Thursday, May 30, 2013


Unless you've been living under a rock you should know by know that the Linfield College Baseball team just completed their finest season in program history by winning the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship this past Tuesday in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Linfield put a cap on their 42-8 season by downing the University of Southern Maine 4-1 in a winner-takes-all championship game.  The championship is the 3rd in program history and the 1st as members of the NCAA.  Linfield previously won national titles in 1966 and 1971.  Linfield has always had a strong baseball program and has been a national contender for the past 6 seasons as the 'Cats have captured 3 Regional Championships and finished 3rd in country in 2010.

The 'Cats came into the 2013 season not even ranked in the top 50 and NWC coaches slotted the 'Cats as the 3rd place team in the NWC pre-season polls.  However, those predictions didn't faze a roster mixed with strong season leadership and highly talented youth. The 'Cats blasted all-comers with a lockdown 2.64 team ERA, .973 field percentage, .319 batting average while platting 5.97 runs per game.  They pretty much beat team after team in multiple ways.

It was an exciting week to watch this team in Appleton and the Linfield community exploded with pride as a GREAT group of student-athletes put together a remarkable year that was capped with the 'Cats winning it all.  A nice football tag was Linfield Tight End Spencer Metzsch (Soph) is also a pitcher for the 'Cats and started a game in the World Series as Metzsch threw 4.2 strong innings vs Ithaca on Monday.

The press coverage has been awesome and well deserved for Linfield's first National Baseball Title in 42 years.  It's always a great day to be a Wildcat but this past Tuesday was one to remember forever.  Go 'Cats!

D3baseball:  Linfield gets over the top.
Linfield Sports: The Waiting's Over: Linfield is NCAA National Champion!
Oregonian: Linfield Rolls Past Southern Main to claim National Championship

Friday, May 17, 2013

Catdome Poster Project: "Uh Oh"

Here it is.  Our 4th and final poster of the collection.  This is our only non-football inspired poster but this one fits on many levels.  The City of Portland has a love affair with the Portland Trailblazers.  Being the only major sports team in the city it's understandable.  The Blazers have a huge and loyal following in Rip City.  The city is still devours all things Blazers but the peak of that passion was during the early 90's when Portland reached the NBA finals in 1990 & 1992.  The Blazers were known for their high energy and toughness led by Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams, etc.  The City still loves those players and those teams.

"Uh-Oh" is an awesome poster that still hangs in many Portland sports pubs and other sport theme establishments.  It features Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, and Porter running right at you and that trio evoked many highlight reel moments for the city of Portland.

This was a perfect poster to put a Wildcat spin on as the Wildcat defense has been causing quarters to say "Uh-Oh" on a regular basis.  The 'Cats have led Division III in sacks the past 3 years (49, 47, 63), lead all of NCAA in sacks in 2010 & 2012, and have the most combined sacks in all of the NCAA over the past three years.  In 2013 I'm fully expecting for the 'Cats to continue that pace...."Uh-Oh"

Brad Thompson Sports Photography
Joel Ray Photography & Joel Ray Photography on Twitter
CMDesign (Chris Miles) & CMDesign on Twitter

Catdome Poster Project: "The Winning Streak"

The instant that I recalled this poster I knew what our twist would be.  I don't think I have to remind anybody who Barry Sanders was as a football player.  A true legend of the sport that managed to put up great rushing numbers on Detroit Lion teams that didn't have much talent.  Sanders was a 10x Pro Bowl Selection, 10x All-Pro, 4x NFL Rushing Champ, NFL MVP in 1997, twice named the NFL's offensive player of the year, and a Heisman Trophy winner while at Oklahoma State.  He was a remarkable player that walked away from that game with a lot of fuel left in the tank.

The moment I saw this poster I knew that the 'Cats fantastic Josh Hill was the guy for our take on the Silver Streak.  I think it took Joel Ray about one frame before he nailed the image.  J-Hill was as smooth in front of the camera as he is on the field.    You don't need me to explain why our take is called "The Winning Streak".  Unmatched and not slowing down anytime soon.

Brad Thompson Sports Photography
Joel Ray Photography & Joel Ray Photography on Twitter
CMDesign (Chris Miles) & CMDesign on Twitter

Thursday, May 16, 2013

'Catdome Poster Project: "Flight 6"

Next up in our Catdome Poster project is our take on another 90's classic.  I can't stand the Cowboys.  Terrible.  However, going through most of my teen years in the early 90's you can understand why.  The 'Boys ran the NFL and front and center of that machine was Michael Irvin.  The Cowboy WR was a physical force known as "The Playmaker".  He was a force of nature and he wasn't afraid to let you know it.

Irvin had an Iconic Nike poster that was on the wall of any Cowboy fan during the 90's.  "Flight 88" was another perfect poster to add a Catdome twist on.  Linfield 1st team All-NWC receiver, Charlie Poppen, was our subject and was a trooper.  This was the most difficult photo to get by Joel Ray had a great plan and captured a great photo.  Come back tomorrow AM as we hit you with poster #3.

Brad Thompson Sports Photography
Joel Ray Photography & Joel Ray Photography on Twitter
CMDesign (Chris Miles) & CMDesign on Twitter

'Catdome Poster Project: "The Linebacker"

Returning All-American Linebacker Dom Forrest is ready for 2013

Linfield Senior All-American Linebacker Dom Forrest was the perfect player for this poster and Joel and Chris knocked it out of the park.  

Our 1st of 4 posters is our take on a former Raider great Lester Hayes' "The Judge".  Hayes was a tremendous corner for the Raiders as he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1980, 5x Pro Bowl selection, 6x NFL All-Pro, and 2x Super Bowl Champ.  I not a Raider fan (49ers baby) but have always loved this poster. 

Brad Thompson Sports Photography
Joel Ray Photography & Joel Ray Photography on Twitter
CMDesign (Chris Miles) &CMDesign on Twitter

'Catdome Poster Project. Oh heck yes!

The Inspiration

This has been a big few weeks for our little site/blog.  Last week, Linfield Football released the final wave of recruits and the mammoth 2013 recruit video that features wall-to-wall incoming new Linfield ballers. This past Tuesday, we released the 2013 Spring Ball video "The Difference" and that's been a smash hit.  We're blessed that and both found the video to be worthy enough to give them some major run on each of their sites.  Very cool.

Today we unleash our final big project of the Spring....'Catdome Posters!  After the season ended I was thinking about what to do for the Recruit Video and Spring Ball video but then I started to ask myself if there is something else we could do to step up our game.  Ideas were rolling around in my head (scary) and then I started to think about my room growing up (I hit my teens in the late '80s).  My rooms was covered in photos I cut out from Sports Illustrated and sports posters.  That's when the idea hit me...let's use some iconic sports posters from the 80's and 90's as the inspiration to create a set of Linfield Football posters.

I sat on the idea for a few weeks and thought about my favorites posters growing up that I've seen and how we could incorporate them with the 'Cats.  I had an idea but I have ZERO technical expertise in staged photography, and as you can tell from the photo above, my Photoshop skills are terrible.  If this project was going to happen, it was going to take a team of people to go for it.

The first person that popped into my head is Linfield Professor Brad Thompson, who is the Department Chair for the Mass Communications department.  Wildcat fans also know Brad for the incredible sports action photos of Linfield athletes in action.  Brad is a gifted sports photographer and has been a major supporter of the athletic department and of  I reached out to Brad and pitched the idea with no feel of how he would respond.  Brad's response was an immediate "Let's do this!".

Brad asked if we could bring in a student photographer to do the actual shoot.  Brad's request wound up being a major win for this project as he brought in Linfield Senior Joel Ray into the fold.  Joel has a BRIGHT future in front of him as a photographer.  Joel is a super talent and was a perfect fit for this project.  The next step was to find a graphic artist and that was a no-brainer.  I reached out to former Linfield Defensive Lineman and top flight graphic designer Chris Miles of CMDesign.  You guys already know Chris' work from the previous wall paper projects and other works he's provided.  I can't say enough about Chris and his skill level.  Chris was also fired up to take on this project.

The next step was reaching out to a group of 'Cats that came to mind for these posters and that wasn't a hard sell.  The guys were enthusiastic to take part.  We organized a photo shoot in early March where Brad and Joel brought in their own equipment for the shoot.  The players did a great job in being outstanding subjects and Joel nailed it.

After the shoot was done we turned over the photos to Chris and just had to wait for him to work his magic.  The results that came back are incredible.  At 1 P.M. today we'll reveal the first poster from the set.   From there, we'll post up the 2nd poster right before 5pm.  On Friday, we'll roll out the final two posters.

This has been an incredible project to work on.  99.9% of the credit of this projects goes to Brad, Joel, and Chris.  They are the ones that brought an idea to life and made it happen.  These three did this at NO COST.  In fact, they reached in their own pocket to realize this project.  This came out of the love they have for their craft and willingness to give something unique to Linfield College Football.  I can't fully express how grateful I am to them for making this happen.

Come Back at 1 P.M. today as we kick it off with our take on "The Judge".

Brad Thompson Sports Photography
Joel Ray Photography
CMDesign (Chris Miles)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Linfield Spring Football "The Difference"

Above is our 2013 Spring Football Video that was released this morning.  I hope you take the time out to watch this one and pass it around.  I'm very proud of the effort we made here to capture the essence of what is Linfield Football. 

During the months leading up to the spring football season I wanted to do something we haven't done before.  There are some large school programs that do high quality work but that's typically done with a small army of people.  I've always been hesitant to reach with the videos because I don't want to put out a product that ventures into the cheese zone.  It's a bad look.

However, you can't grow or achieve if you stay in your comfort zone so we went all-in.  

I reached out to Senior Linebacker Tim Edmonds and he was fired up about taking part.  I provided Tim the music track and asked him to come up with a few lines, and a couple of days later Tim kicked back the entire script we used.  I didn't touch a line.  The words that Tim laid down come 100% from the heart and soul of a Linfield Wildcat.  It's what makes this special to me.  It gives you a look into what makes this program run and why it will continue to flourish.  It's young men like Tim Edmonds willing to put in to work it takes to contend nationally each season.

The 2nd half of the clip is action from the Spring Ball season.  DIII has continued to limit what you can do at practice (I'm waiting for them to regulate it down to standing perfectly still for 2 hours), but as you can tell, that doesn't slow the 'Cats down in their effort to get ready for a huge 2013. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Linfield College Football's 2013 Recruiting Class

Here is 35 minutes of incoming 'Cats.  I'll get more into it tomorrow (taking care of a sick little one today) but be sure to read the bios of the 2nd wave of 'Cats!

Linfield Sports:  More recruits heading to Linfield