Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2013 - A Season To Remember

2013 was another year to celebrate in the 'Catdome.
(Photo Courtesy of Brad Thompson: View Brad's 2013 Linfield Football photos here. )

By Cory Edmonds

They say all good things must come to an end, and that may be true, but great things are never forgotten. It’s safe to say the second principle applies to Linfield Football's Senior Class. Although their college careers, and for most their football playing days, came to end in a hard-fought defeat to UW-Whitewater (who went on to win the National Championship), this group leaves an enduring legacy. Their legacy is represented in following accolades:

41-5 record over four seasons (with all five losses coming in the postseason)
Four straight NWC Championship Titles
A 24-0 record against NWC opponents
Six playoff victories
Two consecutive trips to the NCAA quarterfinals
A two time NWC defensive player of the year (Forrest)
A NWC offensive player of the year (Yoder)
A two time West Region Defensive Player of the Year (Forrest)
Four All-American Honors
An averege D3football.com ranking of 6th over four years
Thirteen victories against top 25 teams

Additionally, the following stats demonstrate just how well this 2013 team stacked up to great Linfield teams from the past:

Most rushing touchdowns scored in a season
Second most points scored in a season
Third most offensive yards in a season
Third highest completion percentage in a season
Third hightest rushing yards total in a season
Most fumbles forced in a season
Most pass breakups in a season
Fourth most tackles for a loss in a season
Ninth most sacks in a season

Yet, the accomplishments of these young men transcend simple numbers and go far beyond what occurred on the field. Over the course of four years, the members of this team transformed into leaders, into role models, and into responsible citizens. Soon they will be future businessmen, educators, engineers, journalists, and so forth. Their experiences and the lessons they have learned at Linfield will impact all facets of their future lives and they will be better because of it. More than anything they will remember and appreciate the bonds they formed and will always know that a brotherhood exists that will always provide needed support. I know football fans and poetry fans don't often mix, but the masterful Walt Whitman once wrote a series of lines that I believe these young men can all relate to. Whitman penned the following stanza during the Civil War as he served in an effort to reunite the country:

"I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies;   
I will make inseparable cities, with their arms about each other’s necks;   
        By the love of comrades,   
          By the manly love of comrades."

It is because of this group's companionship and this group’s sense of camaraderie that they were able to accomplish so much on the football field and these same values will serve them well as they forge forth into their bright futures. Best of luck gentlemen, and go Cats!

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