Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Catdome Family Letter

Team. Excellence. Attitude. Class.
The letter below is from Linfield College Football Head Coach, Joseph Smith.  Hope everyone that's part of our Catdome family has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Dear Catdome: Merry Christmas!

I want to publicly thank everyone that has helped make our program what it is. Without the many unseen contributions of time, resources, and support by so many former Cats and loyal supporters, our program would not be able to stand amongst the elite in the country with any hope of success.  On behalf of our staff and our entire program I want to thank all you for your support. Our players feel it, our coaches know it, and our program depends on it. That loyalty and love for our program is truly the hidden and unseen foundation Linfield Football is built on.   Thank you!

I am so very proud of our young men. Our goal every year is to use the entire season to become the best team we can be, so that at the end we give ourselves the opportunity to stand before the best in the country, and be measured. 

In the playoffs, we soundly beat a solid Whitworth team, and then faced and met on their terms what we felt was a physical and battle tested Cortland State from New York. Our game vs Mary Hardin Baylor will be one we remember at Linfield for many years. UHMB was a very talented team, and the character and resolve our team displayed that day made us proud.

We earned the right to travel to a very worthy opponent’s house and be measured. We did not measure up that day at St Thomas. I would give most anything for a chance to restart that game, but in real life there is no reset button.

Our team set its sights on winning a National Championship this year. We knew the odds.  We knew stating that goal openly and trying to visualize that goal happening, would set us up for possible heartbreak. Daring greatly, most often ends in failure.  It has to be that way. Greatness is a rare occurrence. We want the young men in our program to dare greatly now, as well as throughout the rest of their lives. They are not “cold timid souls that know neither victory nor defeat”. It has been said, “Not all men really live”.
Our guys do.

This team accomplished much this season. This was one of the most dominating regular seasons I have seen, averaging over 53 points per game and allowing less than 7. Our team seemed to thrive on challenge, as we played our best when we faced the best teams.  The 77-10 win vs Pacific really showed what this team was capable of when we were healthy, dialed in fully, and attacking in all three phases. Winning their 7th straight NWC title and 5 finishes in the Top 5 during that span is hard to do.  I was not sure what to make of our lack of motivation playing the weaker teams on our schedule, as we played our worst vs. the worst teams.   But now looking back and knowing this team’s “thrill of it” and rise up mentality, it makes more sense. Getting to finally compete in the playoffs, was reinvigorating for us all.  There is nothing quite like it.  The highs are so high, and appropriately the low is so very low.  

However, what we are most proud of is not what these young men have accomplished but rather the manner in which they have done it. Much is expected of these young men. They are fine students, they are leaders on campus, they give back to others, and they work their tails off trying to become a master of their trade.  They have all committed to Parker Moore ways in which they are bent on improving themselves and I believe they have honored his memory with how they are trying to live their lives. They will continue. This year they did in fact Play for Moore.

My mother gave me a quote that hangs above my desk.   I believe Margaret Thatcher perfectly described a Linfield Wildcat Football Player.

“The desire to win is born in most of us.
The will to win is a matter of training.
The manner of winning is a matter of honor.”

Play For Moore

Coach Smith

1 comment:

DS said...

Merry Christmas All!

This letter helps me know I'll feel better after the New Year.