First some history. Maxwell Field was the first (real) grass football field in the Northwest Conference. Before that teams in the conference played on dirt.
Now, (summer 2014) the second "FieldTurfed" Maxwell Field is installed. It'll be fun to see Cat football action on the new "rug" during the upcoming 2014 football season.
FieldTurf #1 had a 10-yard wide cardinal "L" at midfield. For FieldTurf #2, the "L" is still there, but it's purple. Linfield school colors are still cardinal (not red!) and purple, but purple is definitely the favorite of the two for Linfield Athletics.
While the days of Linfield home football games on real grass Maxwell Field are memories, Maxwell real grass lives on thanks to the foresight and initiative of the late, great Steve Davis, former Linfield football player and Linfield Athletics Hall of Famer.
When the real grass was removed from Maxwell prior to FieldTurf #1's installation during the spring and summer of 2004, Steve saved some of the sacred sod and it's planted and growing on your left as you enter Maxwell Field's secondary gate (on the far left hand side as you face the back of Memorial Stadium on Lever Street). Enter that gate. Look to the left and note the real grass.
And while admiring the real grass recall the many years when one of the fears of Wildcat football opponents playing late season football games versus the Wildcats on Maxwell Field was not only the well-coached Wildcat team, but also the mud and muck Maxwell Field could/would become after rain and games. (Also, who can forget that special Maxwell Field mud smell, too!?)
This bring back memories of the Ad Rutschman-coached Wildcats in the NAIA championship 1982 season. All three playoff games were in McMinnville, the first two (20-16 over Cal Luth and 37-9 over Westminster, Pa.) on Maxwell Field and the title contest (33-15 over William Jewell, Mo., at McMinnville High's Wortman Stadium because, Maxwell Field was unplayable due to the mud.
In Wildcatville’s opinion, secondary only to beating William Jewell for the title was the opening playoff game win over Cal Luth held Sat., Nov. 20, 1982 at Maxwell.
The Oregonian's John Nolen covered the game. His coverage included:
- How could Linfield survive a record-smashing aerial blitz by (Cal Luth’s) Russ Jensen -- an incredible 437 yards -- and not allow the California Lutheran quarterback a single touchdown through the air? Linfield's bending, but not breaking defense pulled off the miracle in a wild mudbath.
- The rain and goo proved to be the great equalizer for both teams. Hard to believe with the stats Jensen achieved in the game. Trouble was, Jensen said after the game, "Every time I took the ball from center, I got a handful of mud with it."
Wildcatville has no photos from the aforementioned Cal Luth at Linfield 1982 football game. But, the YouTube-posted slideshow with this story of photos taken by Wildcatville during the Nov. 15, 1975, Willamette at Linfield football game on Maxwell Field, provides Muddy Maxwell Memories. f