Monday, February 3, 2014

2013 Linfield Senior Class says “Thank You” (Part 1 of 2)

There are so many great things I could say about the 2013 Linfield Seniors.  Hard working, fun, determined, passionate, resolve, daring, family, and a hundred more positive words I could use to describe this group of GREAT young men.  The success on the field speaks for itself as this senior class finished with a four year record of 41-5.  That record includes 4 Northwest Conference championships (24-0 NWC record), 6 playoff victories, and back-to-back trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. 

This team only experienced one regular season loss and that was the opening game of their freshman year (2010).  Since that loss, this group experienced 35 consecutive regular season victories and a 24-1 home record over their time in the ‘Catdome. 

This Senior Class had players named the Northwest Conference Player of the Year three different times (Yoder - Offense 2013,  Forrest - Def 2012 & 2013) piled up 13 Northwest Conference 1st Team honors, 6 - 2nd Team honors, and 6 Honorable Mentions.  Six times, players from this class have been named to the All-West Region Team (Dom Forrest was twice named the West Region’s Defensive Player of the Year) and this class has collected 4 All-American honors.   Lastly, during their entire career at Linfield, their teams have never been out of the Division III top ten rankings in finishing #8, #6, #5, and #4 in the country and have defeated thirteen top 25 teams along the way.

This is a group of winning young men and took the lessons from the classes previous to them and applied those lessons to their craft.  They have been great students of the game and have been great mentors to the classes coming up behind them.  I can’t wait to see what these Wildcats do in their lives after Linfield.  I know it’s going to be filled with numerous success stories and people making huge impacts on the future communities they will call home.   But now is the time for them to say thank you to those that have helped them to this point of their lives. ‘Catdome!

(Since this 2013 Senior Class is so large we're running this in two parts.  Part II will run tomorrow.)

#5 Dominique Forrest, Linebacker

Where to even start.. .My first thank you goes out to my family. They have supported me unconditionally throughout my career here and made every year something special.

My next thank you goes to the coaches. We've spent countless hours working on schematics and techniques, but what I take away most is the life lessons they've taught me. How to pay attention to details, how to prepare, how to handle pressure, etc. I've grown up a lot in the last four years in the Catdome and these coaches have had a big role in that process.

My next thank you goes to the Catdome. Everyone I've met, older and younger, I consider as family. Guys like Bubba, Sammy and Axel come to mind for showing me the ropes in what this Catdome family is all about. I just hope our class was able to pass the torch, the right way, like they did for us. This Catdome family is something that is so special and something I'll hold close to my heart forever. If I could go back a million times, I wouldn't change it for anything.

My last thank you goes to the seniors. So many ups and a few downs, it's crazy how time flies. I'll miss the DooDoo brown Thursdays, dancing during beef period, locker room shenanigans, hearing "woooo woooo" from across the field, cowboy collars with the LBC, and most importantly putting on the same jersey every game day. Whatever our role was, together we accomplished a lot. We came here as players and are leaving as brothers. I don't believe these words do enough justice to how thankful I am for everyone and every experience I’ve had in this community the past four years, but I hope they suffice. Forever and Always, Roll 'Cats!

Dom Forrest #5

#9 Michael Link, Corner

Coming into Freshman year, I heard coach Smith and everyone say that Linfield football is a family and it is the best class you will take in college. Four years later I find myself telling recruits the exact same thing. These four years would not have been possible without the support from my family. Duane, Ann, Katie, Meghan and Karen I want to thank you guys for all the support that you have provided me over these last few years. It has meant the world to me and I could not so it without you guys.

Thank you to coach Heath for teaching me the game of football at Jesuit. You were one of my favorite coaches that I had. Thank you coach Rombach for helping me get to Linfield through the recruiting process and everything you have done for me here at Linfield. Coach Fendall, Thank you for teaching me that there is more to the game of football than x's and o's. You helped to elevate my game tremendously in the two years we were here at Linfield Together. Coach Haze, thanks for everything. We have had some deep conversations and I consider you a friend and a mentor. You have always been there for me when I needed you and told me what I needed to hear. A big thanks to Fish, Biege, Krieger, Testa, Jason and Larson for showing me the ropes. Shout out to the roommates! Thank you all of the Linfield staff and personal that makes this program what it is.  

Michael Link

#10 Kyle Wright, Safety

I want to thank everybody involved with Linfield Football for allowing me to have such a great experience while at Linfield. The support of the community, the alumni, the coaches and administration, and the players at Linfield is unmatched by any other program in college football. The coaching staff at Linfield has had a huge impact on my life and career, I want to thank all of them for their time and for molding me into the person I am today. I want to personally thank Coach Haze for all his hard work he does for this program and for all the crap he had to put up with me over 4 years. He is an incredible coach, and an even better person, Thank you Haze. Coach Fendall also gets a shout-out and a big thank you, he is an awesome coach and definitely had a positive influence on my life.

I want to thank my parents most of all for their undying support and encouragement of me in college and throughout my life. They flew to every away game and my mom is the loudest person in the stands no matter where I was playing. I am blessed to have parents like Tim and Dani and I can't thank them enough.

The life-long brothers I have made at Linfield are irreplaceable and priceless. They mean more to me than a Thank You can provide and the memories we have made together will last a lifetime. Whether on the field or off, there is never a dull moment and I know for a fact that this will never change.

Lastly, I want to thank Ryan Carlson for all his work he does for the program. Linfield Football wouldn't be Linfield Football without all the video, photo, and behind the scenes media work that this man does. Most don't realize how much time goes into creating a highlight film, let alone all the hours spent getting the film. Ryan, you are incredibly talented and I want to thank you again for all your work.

Roll Cats,

Kyle Wright #10
p.s. I better be getting invites to everyone's wedding!!!

#15 Josh Yoder, Quarterback

I'd like to start by thanking my family, especially my parents, for being the number one supporters in my life. Through everything I've done and all the decisions I've made, they've always supported and motivated me to do the best that I can. Through their hard work and sacrifices, I have been able to get to where I am today. They have raised me to be the best man that I can be, and I am truly thankful for all they have done for me.

I would also like to thank you coaches for all of the countless hours that you guys put in to prepare us and to put us into situations to be successful. I would especially like to thank Coach Boehme. I was able to watch and learn from you as a freshman, and was lucky enough to have you as my coach these last few years. You taught me so much about the game and also how to be a better player and teammate… and we were able to have lots of fun doing it. I also want to give a big thanks to Coach Smith for taking a chance on me. He was able to alter the offense to take advantage of my skill set, so I would like thank and applaud the coaching staff for that because I can’t imagine that was an easy task.

Finally, I want to thank all of the Wildcat players and supporters. I will remember these last four years forever, but this last year will always be extra special to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to play with. They were a real joy to be around. This is truly a great program and I am proud to say I was to be a part of it. I am going to miss it greatly but I can’t wait to watch games at the Catdome for years to come.

-Josh Yoder

#17 Josh Repp, Kicker/Punter

I'd like to say thank to the entire Linfield football program for having me for 5 years. The 5 years I spent in McMinnville were the best years of my life and I can't imagine having gone anywhere else. I'd like to especially thank Coach Haze for pushing me to get better each year and putting up with me. Coach Smith for guiding me through the years, and Coach Thorson for getting me to come to college up here.

Tyler Steele and Michael Carillo my fellow PE majors, thanks for getting me through my classes, couldn't have done it without you guys! Caitlin Conlon, my wonderful fiancé, which I met at Linfield has been there to support me through the past few years, from waking up early on the days we had plane flights and making my lunch to coming to just about every single game no matter how far, she is truly a great woman. And lastly, to every person that I have come into contact the past 5 years at Linfield, thank you very much for everything you did for me!

#20 Louie Colasurdo, Linebacker

More than anything I would like to thank my parents, my three older brothers (and their families) and Rebe for the amount of support they gave me through everything. I truly don’t think I would be where I am today without the support of my family. Part of my decision in deciding where to go to college, was if my family would be able to come watch me play. After four years I have realized many other things that made Linfield the top choice, yet it was always important to me to have members of my family in the Catdome watching. The work-ethic, perseverance and determination I pride myself in today is something I gained from my parents and brothers and without that I can surely say I would not be where I am now.

I would also like to thank the people who feel like family to me now – my coaches. I especially want to thank Coach Smith, Coach Rombach and Coach Vaughan. During the first three years I really only noticed the improvements in how good of a football player I became. I only noticed how much I could bench, squat, how well I could tackle and drop into coverage. Yet during my senior year and especially now, I have noticed how much of a better person I am because of my coaches. I have never heard of another group of coaches that instill such character and work ethic on their team. The amount of time and effort that Coach Vaughan and Rombach put into each game, each week, each practice and each player shows their dedication to this program and is something that has rubbed off on each player. I owe it to Coach Rombach for always giving me an opportunity to go make a play and for always expecting more out of me. Without him, I may have settled and not became the player and man I am now. He took care of every one of his linebackers on and off the field and always made us feel like one of his boys. I know these values I learned while playing football will help me be successful off the field, and I have my coaches to thank for that.

Lastly, I would like to thank all my teammates, friends and professors. There is truly nothing like the time spent in the locker room, ice bathes, during practice, workouts and watching film with your teammates. I am glad I was able to meet every one of you and enjoy these last four years. I never thought the guys I met during the Les Schwab all-star game would be the ones I would be hanging out with during my first ever game in California and preparing for every game after that with.  I also want to thank all the LBC for being some of my closest friends and all the good times we had at practice, traveling and watching film with Coach Rombach.  When I was choosing a college four years ago I would never have expected to gain all these great memories and relationships.

To this day I am still not sure what the “Catdome” is but I know what it means to me, I love saying it and will never stop saying it.

Roll Cats,
Louie Colasurdo #20

#21 Logan Krellwitz, Safety

First off I would like to thank my parents. Words cannot describe how much they mean to me and how much they have done for me. They have been my number one supporters growing up both on and off the field. I cannot remember a single game or event growing up in which they weren’t in attendance or watching. No matter the decisions I have made in my life they are always 100% behind me helping me through it all. They have sacrificed so much just to provide me with the opportunities to succeed and be happy whether it be my dad coaching me through youth, my mom taking pictures at all my games, my parents always being there to give me rides to and from practice, or them helping me through injury and sickness. I know I would not be the man I am today without them and there is no way I can thank them enough.

Next I would like to thank my friends and the rest of my family for the love and support they have given throughout my athletic career. Often times coming to games and showing support even when I wasn’t getting on the field a lot. It means a lot to me how much my friends and family care about my success and support me through both highs and lows.

I thank my fellow teammates and friends here at Linfield for everything they have done from the seniors my freshman year to the freshman my senior year. To my fellow seniors there isn’t a better group of guys I would have rather of spent the last 4 season with.

The coaching staff here at Linfield also deserves a big thanks. I had the opportunity to play three different positions throughout my 4 years at Linfield. Because of this I got to know several coaches as my football mentors and I learned a lot from all of them. I thank the coaches here for all the time and effort they put in to making me not only a better football player but a better person off the field as well.

Lastly I realize there are many people I have missed that have had a positive impact on not only my journey to Linfield but my 4 year journey at the Catdome. To everyone that falls under this category, I thank you for the support and the positive impact you have had on my life It is bittersweet knowing that my football career is over but realizing that I have a whole life full of new things ahead of me. With my experiences gained at Linfield on and off the field, I feel I am more prepared than I ever would have been for my new journey in life, whatever that may be. I am definitely going to miss the Catdome and forever keep with me the memories that I have gained here.


#24 Tyler Robitaille, Linebacker


I'll keep this short but I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who have made my career at Linfield a memorable one. First are my parents, you guys pushed me to pursue my dream of playing college football and funded all of my needs. Second, my coaches, you guys all had an effect on my four years, no matter what side of the ball you were on. You guys made me love the game, appreciate the grind, and create lifelong memories. Lastly, my teammates, you guys will always have a special place in my hearts. Going through the ups and downs of the seasons for the past four years have been an amazing experiences and wouldn't have been nearly as fun with all you guys. I can’t leave without giving the LBC a shoutout, you are my brothers for life. Thanks for all the great memories.

Tyler "Robi, Rob" Robitaille #24

#26 Jordy Romick, Running Back

First off I want to thank the Linfield program for giving me the opportunity to play four years of college football. It’s not something that everyone can say they did, and for that I am thankful. Coach Vaughan, thanks for all the opportunities you gave me, on and off the football field. You always had my back and wanted to see me succeed, and I really appreciate that.

Next, and most importantly, I want to thank my family for all the love and support they’ve given me throughout my athletic career. Making the four-hour trip up north isn’t easy on the pocket, but I always appreciated having you guys there. Big thanks to my beautiful girlfriend, Jaydee Baxter, for keeping my head on straight and being my #1 fan (along with my parents).

To all my teammates, you guys are the real reason I enjoyed my time here! You made the tough times fun and the transition to college easy. Couldn’t have asked for a better class to go through college with, and the relationships I’ve built with you guys will last a long time. Mikkel, we’ve been through a lot together, and I can’t thank you enough for everything you did for me. To all my senior buddies hanging around for a 5th year (Dave, Trev, Char, and Madden), have some fun and enjoy being those creepy old guys on campus!

Thanks for the memories guys, and God bless!

Jordy Romick

#27 Ian Zarosinski, Corner

I want to say thanks to my teammates for an unforgettable four years. It took a lot of hard work to get where we went and I'm grateful that we had the guys who were willing to work and sacrifice for the cause. Thank you to the coaches first for giving me a shot when I didn't exactly make the best of first impressions.  Thank you for all the time they put in to film, practice, and game planning that gave us the edge in tight games. Thanks Coach Haze for keeping football fun and encouraging us to compete within our position group. Finally, thank you to my family for always being there giving their unconditional love and support.

(Come back for part II tomorrow)

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