Sunday, December 23, 2012

Remembering MVP of Linfield's 2004 bowl victory

Few if any Linfield football fans will forget that the Wildcats won the 2004 NCAA DIII national football championship.

In Salem, Va., the 'Cats defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor, 28-21, for the title in the Stagg Bowl on Dec. 18, 2004.

Who was MVP -- hint, it was a Linfield player -- in the game. Linfield QB Brett Elliott? No, 6-foot, 190-pounds Riley Jenkins (see photo).

Part of the Roanoke (Va.)  Times newspaper Dec. 19, 2004, coverage about the game included,

"A Division I-A transfer was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Stagg Bowl.

"No, not Linfield quarterback Brett Elliott, a former starter for Utah. Elliott threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in his team's 28-21 victory Saturday, but he was outshined by former Oregon State walk-on Riley Jenkins.

"Jenkins, a fifth-year senior, ran for a team-high 81 yards and one TD on 18 carries and had four catches for 64 yards. He scored the winning touchdown on Elliott's 10-yard pass with 5:51 to go.

"What's up, MVP?" teammate Mordechai Kotler said to Jenkins as they hugged on the Salem Stadium field before the award announcement."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Linfield football 2012: Sons like fathers, they're Wildcats

Player #17 Aaron Hire (Wildcatville photo), Coach Doug Hire (Rusty Rae photo) from 11/24/2012 North Central at Linfield NCAA D3 football playoff game.

College football: Sons follow fathers to the path toward Linfield

By Nick Daschel, Special to The Oregonian,  Nov 28, 2012

Football teams often refer to themselves as family, even if most of the bonds are just friendships.

At Linfield, though, there's something to the family talk. The apple doesn't fall far from Maxwell Field, as at least nine players on the Wildcats' roster have fathers who participated in Linfield athletics.

Most sons of former Wildcat fathers say there weren't expectations to attend Linfield, which plays at noon Saturday in McMinnville in an NCAA quarterfinal playoff game against Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

The school and its football program spoke for itself.

"My dad always encouraged me to look at other places, but of course, he has nothing but good things to say about Linfield," said senior defensive tackle Tyler Steele, a 2011 all-American whose father Bill played baseball for the Wildcats.

Defensive end Jeremy Girod, whose father, Jon, played quarterback at Linfield during the early 1980s, has twice enrolled at Linfield. Girod played football as a freshman, left Linfield to play baseball at Vancouver's Clark College, but felt the Linfield pull again when he returned to McMinnville in 2011.

"I really liked the team's family-oriented atmosphere and I couldn't find it anywhere else," Girod said.

Senior receiver Aaron Hire says he was "intimidated" by his father's Linfield accomplishments. Doug Hire -- the current assistant head coach and offensive line coach -- earned two NAIA championship rings as a player, and an NCAA ring as a coach.

"Are you kidding? What was I going to do to top that?" Aaron Hire said.

At first, Hire didn't try. Aspiring to play professional football someday, Hire decided to attend the two-year Foothill College in northern California, hoping to attract interest from a Division I program. 

But following a year there, it became apparent Linfield was the place to be for Hire.

"The attraction for kids to follow their dads to Linfield is tradition. It's overwhelming. It's almost like a lineage of pride," Hire said.

Drew Wert, a starting senior offensive guard, says Chuck, a former Linfield linebacker, didn't push the school on him during the college decision process. Wert picked Linfield because it came down to winning; no college in the Northwest wins as regularly as the Wildcats.

"I wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than myself," Wert said. "My dad was just happy to watch me play football anywhere. But I think he does take a little pride that I've had a pretty successful career at Linfield."

Other Linfield players with fathers who formerly played football at the school include sophomore linebacker Nick Fairhart (George), sophomore tight end Westly Meng (J.P.), junior defensive end Michael MacClanathan (Todd), junior safety Hoku Kama (Ed, a Linfield all-American) and freshman linebacker Trey Chiu (Tony).

It's not a surprise that many sons of former Wildcats ended up at Linfield. Among the school's current 13-man coaching staff, 10 were former Linfield players, including head coach Joseph Smith.

Of all the Linfield sons of former players, the most likely to land in McMinnville was Hire, even if he first resisted with a trip to a JC. Hire's mother, Teresa, played soccer at Linfield, as does his sister, Miranda, a freshman. Hire was a ball boy for Linfield's 2004 national title team.

"When I was a kid, my mom bought me a helmet, and I made her paint the stripes purple and red for Linfield," Hire said.

Steele's father Bill didn't play football, but had plenty of contact with former Wildcats football coaching great Ad Rutschman, who also coached baseball.

"My dad would always tell us stories about the character values coach Rutschman would instill in his players," Steele said.

Someday, if the current Wildcats have sons, there's a good chance their blood will flow toward Linfield.

"The first place we're looking," said Steele, "is Linfield. There's no doubt he'll find this place is special."

Wert promises if he has a son, he'll be sure to have plenty of Linfield game video for him to watch.

"If he asks, I'm sure I'll give this place a shining review," Wert said.

Monday, December 03, 2012

New looks at an old favorite

Graphics -- related to "No Shave November (2012) -- appeared in Dec. 3, 2012, Linfield Review student newspaper.

This story will (so to speak) make you sick to your stomach

From Dec. 3, 2012, Linfield Review student newspaper 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Where to eat in McMinnville before Linfield football games?


There are many choices. Consider WildWood Cafe, 319 NE Baker St., home of the "Wildcat Special," and Alf's, 1250 SW Baker St., home of the "Elk Burger."  (Baker Street is also Oregon Route 99W.)

WildWood is dowtown. Alf's (named for it's founder/former owner-operator Albert Alfred "Pat" Alf, Jr.) is within easy walking distance of the Linfield campus.

A "Wildcat Special" is smoked ham, melted cheddar and tomato on grilled sour dough.

An "Elk Burger" is made with elk meat. It's named for Linfield Prof. Harold C. Elkinton. He chaired the college's Department of Business administration & Economics for 42 years, 1927-1969. Early in his career, students nicknamed him "Elky." Students in later years called him "The Elk."

'If you love Linfield football, you love Catdomealumni and Wildcatville. They cover the Wildcats inside and out, forward and back. If you are not a true cardinal & purple believer in the value of these sites, make one visit to each and you will become a frequent visitor to each." -- Wildcatville 11/28/2012

Larry Hermo sheds light on Maxwell Field night football games and more


Larry Hermo, Linfield Class of 1959, was a Linfield football manager/trainer during the 
1955, 1956, 1957 and  1958 seasons. 

He saw every Wildcat home and away football games, except overnight road games. During those four football seasons, there was only one day game on Maxwell Field. It was at the start of the 1956 season when Linfield and Portland State played to a 0-0 tie.  

"Saturday night was football night in the Northwest Conference. The lights at (Maxwell Field) were not very good and a few times with fog you could not see to the other side of the field. The crowds were never very big, in fact I think everyone sat" in Memorial Stadium, he said. 


Early parts of late season football games "you could see the numbers" on player jerseys for only a short time because the Maxwell Field "muck was quite deep most of the game, even though the field had a high crown for drainage," he said. 

During his student years (1955-59) at Linfield, football managers, paid 75 cents an hour for their work, were Wildcat baseball and basketball athletes. Trainers were credited four hours for each practice and game, said Larry. Jack Riley, Bill Machamer (both Linfield Hall of Famers), Kenny Davis, Jerry Martyn and Dick Duerr were among Linfield athletes who also served as managers for football. 

The college did not have an athletic trainer, said Larry, "but, there was a doctor in attendance during the games. Without a trainer, my last three years I was (the football team's) unofficial trainer even though I had) "zero training" in training. 

"I had no decision making regarding the injuries of players as that was in the hands of (football) coach (Paul) Durham or the team doctor. 

Larry "taped hundreds of ankles and knees along with bandaging many wounds of sorts," he said. Linfield Hall of Famer Ted Henry, who would become an assistant coach on Ad Rutschman's Linfield football staff for many years, was one of the players who Larry taped every practice and game. “ 

A graduate of Clatskanie, Ore., High School, Larry has a serious arm injury his senior year at Clatskanie that hampered his early athletic career at Linfield. For the Wildcats, he played two seasons (1955-56 and 1956-57) of basketball and four seasons (1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959) of baseball. His head coach for both sports was Roy Helser. 

After graduating from Linfield, Larry served in the U.S. Army in South Korea. 

While in that country, he read in Stars & Stripes (an American newspaper which reports on matters affecting the members of the U.S. Armed Forces) that tryouts for the Seoul area Army Baseball Team were going to take place. 

"I asked my office sergeant if I could get off to try out." He asked if I'd miss work if I made the team. I told him ‘I played college baseball and I would think that I might make the team,’ he said. 

There were 109 soldiers at the first tryout." With a few ground balls and three swings I was not one of the 50 cut. With three more practices I made the team. After our first three pre-season games our sergeant called a team meeting and said the coach was transferred and wondered who might coach. He asked if any team members had coached before and no one answered. I raised my hand and said I went to college to be a coach. He asked the team if it was OK for me to be the coach and low and behold I was the player-coach for our entire season. 

“My office sergeant was not happy as I only worked three hours in the morning and baseball every day from April to mid-August 1961. A three star general signed the order for me to get off of work, therefore; the sergeant had no power about me being off work. Our team was decent and we placed in the All-Korean Military Tournament. It was a good experience and training for my high school coaching days." 

The team, SAC (Strategic Area Command), represented the Seoul area of South Korea. During the season a couple of players left the team for the States when their 13-month "term" ended and new players replaced them. 

In 1954, the year after the Korean War ended, U.S. Major League players went to South Korea to teach Koreans baseball fundamentals. "The Koreans became familiar with a number of major leaguers" and some of them were identified with Major League stars or coaches. For example, there was the Casey Stengel of Korea, top manager; the Stan Musial of Korea, best hitter; Babe Ruth of Korea, top home run hitter. 

In addition to playing baseball, Larry also played basketball while serving in Korea. One of the South Korean players against whom he played was called the Bob Cousy of Korea, because he was the best player in the country. On the court, he played three or four members of the 1960 South Korean Olympic men's basketball team which played in Rome. 

After discharge from the Army, Larry returned to Maxwell Field starting in 1962, as a fan, to watch the football Wildcats play. He remembers:

  •  the 1962 Lewis & Clark at Linfield game. During it, an L&C running back "broke out of the fog from the left and went down the sideline near the stands with a Wildcat in hot pursuit." That 'Cat "made the tackle on the 10 yard line" and L&C subsequently failed to score. Linfield won, 12-6.
  • Willamette playing at Linfield at the end of the 1965 season. Both teams were undefeated. It was a "mud bath." Linfield won 26-6 for the Northwest Conference title. That night, Larry said, Linfield running backs LeRoy Fails and Odis Avritt were not slowed by the mud or Willamette. Each rushed for more than 100 yards.  

Larry’s coaching career started at Yamhill-Carlton High School after attending and graduating from Linfield and serving in the Army. He was there, 1961-1967. One of his Y-C players was Tom Jernstedt, a “very good baseball player for me, in fact he pitched five no-hitters my first year of coaching,” Larry said. Jernstedt went on to become the “number #2 in the NCAA, in charge of all championships for NCAA member schools with emphasis on the basketball playoffs. He changed the basketball playoffs from 32 teams to 64 teams and also negotiated a TV contract with CBS for $6 Billion dollars for 11 years. When I was at the Final Four in Indianapolis in 2010, Tom was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame.” 

From Y-C, he moved to Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie, coaching 1967-1991. He coached Linfield Hall of Famer Scott Brosius at Putnam and encouraged Brosius to attend Linfield. Brosius is now Linfield head baseball coach and, before that, went on to fame in Major League Baseball with the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees. “It is so neat to guide a guy to Linfield and see what he did in professional baseball and end up to coach the Wildcats,” said Larry. 

"Guess I did an adequate job coaching during my career as I was inducted into the Oregon High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998," Larry said. "It was great during my induction as there were three other Linfield guys inducted the same time. In 1990 I was inducted into my High School Clatskanie Hall of Fame as I earned 12 varsity letters for my career.” 

Proud to be a Wildcat, Larry (Class of 1959) said he is “more proud that my grandson, Troy (Class of 2016), started at Linfield in 2012. Troy is a third generation Wildcat. Larry, his late wife, Claire, and his wife Sharon both graduated from Linfield (Class of 1964) as did his older son, Brad (Class of 1986), who played baseball for Linfield, two seasons with Brosius as a teammate. 

“We are a Linfield Wildcat family and I bleed purple and cardinal,” Larry said. 

Photos from: 

  • 1959 Oak Leaves, the Linfield 1958 football team. In close-up, Larry Hermo is second from the right in top right, standing next to assistant coach Roy Helser. Larry is wearing a hat for a Portland summer baseball on which he played. The hat has “GT” for Granning & Treece loan company. 
  • 1959 Oak Leaves, Larry as a member of the 1959 Linfield baseball team. 
  • 1961 as player-coach of the U.S. Army’s SAC (Strategic Area Command) baseball team 
  • Linfield 2012 Homecoming, Larry visits with Linfield grad Rob Saxton, State of Oregon public instruction deputy superintendent. Saxton, a former Linfield quarterback, is the son of Cliff and LaRene Saxton, both of whom attended Linfield. Cliff, who played football for Linfield, is a member of the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame. 

Note: While Wildcatville wrote this story, the reality is that it “wrote itself.” Larry Hermo has an amazing memory and he’s also a very good writer, as “evidenced” by writing sports stories for his hometown Clatskanie Chief weekly newspaper while attending Clastskanie High School.

Larry Hermo got a foul ball at the Hillsboro, Ore., Hops 8/13/2013 game. Honored during it was the 2013 NCAA DIII national champ Linfield baseball team, coached by Scott Brosius, whom Hermo coached in high school. Wildcatville photo

Saturday, December 01, 2012

UW-Oshkosh at Linfield NCAA D3 football 12/1/2012

During the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at Linfield NCAAD3 quarterfinal football playoff game on Linfield's Maxwell Field in McMinnville on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, a Wildcat fan watching from her seat at Memorial Stadium sent game updates by text to her not-at-the-game son. WUO recovered a Linfield fumble to end the game with the Titans winning, 31-24. To describe the fumble, she sent her son a one word text:: "Dagger."

Read McMinnville N-R 12/3/2012 (online) 12/4/2012 (print) story, "Linfield fumbles away season in quarterfinals."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What follows Black Friday?

Answer: Black & Blue Saturday.

Sign about/of/at Maxwell Field

This sign, photographed by Wildcatville on 11/20/2012, is on the grass (original Maxwell Field turf) next to Memorial Stadium and "FieldTurfed" Maxwell Field. Read about the $1.4 million gift here.

To clarify, the sign says "Maxwell Football Stadium." Maxwell is a field. Memorial is a stadium. It's Maxwell Field at Memorial Stadium.

Dorothy Helser with collage saluting Roy Helser

Linfield grad Dorothy Helser, widow the late Roy Helser, who served as Linfield athletic director, baseball and men's basketball coach and assistant football coach, poses in this Wildcatville photo taken 11/19/2012 with a  collage which includes representation of his baseball playing and coaching career.


With the permission of Elam Anderson, Linfield president, after Dorothy Evelyn Wall and Roy Herman Helser married Aug. 11, 1935, in Kitsap County, Wash., they became the first married couple to attend the college. 

Tickets sold for 2012 football playoff action

Tickets were sold to the general public Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 20, 2012, for the Saturday, Nov. 27 North Central College (Illinois) at Linfield College NCAA Div III football playoff game. Kickoff for the contest is noon. Wildcatville photos taken in Paul Durham HHPA Bulding office of Polly Sommers, Linfield College athletic ticket manager.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

LINFIELD: Year after year, Oregon’s best

Of The Oregonian staff
Aug 28, 1987

Linfield College hasn’t had a losing football season in 32 years.

The last time the Wildcats lost more games than they won was in 1955 – Tommy Prothro’s first year at Oregon State, Len Casanova’s fifth season at Oregon and the first-ever football season for Portland State as a four-year school.

The Wildcats have had 31 consecutive winning seasons. In the same span, Oregon, Oregon State and Portland State have had 30 winning seasons – combined.

Linfield has put the frosting on the cake with three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II national titles in the past five years.

Comparing NAIA football to the NCAA brand that is played by the Ducks, Beavers and Vikings is like comparing apples to oranges.

Yet, continued dominance at any level is remarkable.

The Wildcats have played 299 football games since 1955, winning 240, losing 50 and tying 9. Counting ties as half a win and half a loss, that’s a winning percentage of .818. Nebraska (.816) and Alabama (.807) are the NCAA leaders over the past 25 years.

In the last 12 seasons when Paul Durham was coach and the 19 seasons under present coach Ad Rutschman, Linfield has had four unbeaten seasons and 13 years with only one loss.

The Wildcats are getting few, if any, football players at the Pac-10 level. The Columbia Football League, made up of the 14 NAIA schools in the Pacific Northwest, probably didn’t have more than six players who could have started in the Pac-10 during the 1986 season.

What makes the best small-college players take the road to McMinnville, where Rutschman has annual squad turnouts in the neighborhoods of 125 players?

“The best players want to play for the most successful team,” said Frank Buckiewicz, the former Pacific University coach (1965-80) who beat the Wildcats once in 16 tries – 9-7 in 1971.

Rutschman, a 1950 Hillsboro High School and 1954 Linfield graduate, still holds three career and season rushing records at Linfield. He played four years for Durham, 1950 through 1953. Teams on which he played  had respective records of 6-3, 3-3-3, 5-3-1 and 5-4 those seasons. The Wildcats went 3-6 in both 1954 and in 1955, the last year the squad was below .500.

“The tradition hadn’t started yet,” said Rutschman, who was a standout athlete at Hillsboro High School. “I have fond memories of those years. I loved my teammates and my coaches. Many of them are lifelong friends.”

Fred Wilson, who will return to the coaching sidelines at Lewis and Clark this year, coached against Rutschman’s first 16 Linfield teams and won once, 7-4 in 1973. Wilson thinks the Linfield tradition played a big part in the Wildcats’ success.

Alumni in prep coaching ranks
help Linfield recruit top talent

“Linfield has a strong physical education major and that attracts athletes,” said Wilson. “They have hundreds of graduates in the high school coaching ranks and when there is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound kid in La Pine, he’s likely to end up at Linfield. It’s a real plus for them.”

Durham, who was 90-16-6 in his last 12 years, recalls the start of success at Linfield.

“In the late ‘50s,” said Durham, who left Linfield in 1967 to become athletic director at the University of Hawaii and is now retired on Oahu, “Roy Helser and I started recruiting. By that time, we had 200-300 Linfield graduates in the high school coaching ranks.

“We couldn’t recruit them by going to their homes,” said Durham. “We had to get them on the campus and they were interested. It’s no secret the kids who graduated to coaching helped us in recruiting.”

Durham developed other connections in Hawaii and Hartford, Conn.

Joe Beidler, a former coach at Whitman, called me and wanted to know if I was interested in a player from Hartford,” said Durham. “The first was Curtis Manns, who is now a professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut. Eventually, we got John Lee. Lee was the only player in NAIA history to play in national playoffs in football, basketball and baseball in the same school year.”

Helser remembers Al Wills as the first to come to Hawaii and bring other players with him. “One of the original five was Hugh Yoshida.”

Durham said that Yoshida, an NAIA All-American linebacker in 1961, is not director of athletics for Oahu public schools – and the Hawaiian connection continues. Doug Hire, the bellwether of the offensive line on last year’s national championship team, came from Oahu. “He’s one of the best offensive linemen I’ve ever coached,” said Rutschman, who usually doesn’t throw out individual accolades.

Durham remembers Rutschman’s first year as a player at Linfield. “He was a tremendous athlete, leader and fun guy. He drives a coach nuts. How the big schools passed him up, I’ll never know.”

“I realized he would be a great high school coach before he graduated,” Durham said of Rutschman, who coached three state championship teams in baseball and one in football at Hillsboro before moving to Linfield.

“When I decided to leave, Roy, Ted (Wilson) and I sat down to talk about my successor. Ad was the only one any of us wanted,” said Durham.

Fred vonAppen, who is in his fifth season as special teams coaches for the San Francisco 49ers, was there almost at the beginning of Linfield’s dynasty. During vonAppen’s four seasons (1960-63), the Cats went 33-4-1 and played for the national championship in his sophomore year – losing to Pittsburg State (Kan.). The was when all NAIA teams were in the same division. Division II didn’t come into being until 1970.

“I came out of South Eugene High School, a two-way 173-pound player, and I know I wasn’t major college caliber,” said vonAppen. “My coach (Loyd Amick) counseled me on the Northwest Conference and I wrote to Linfield, Willamette and Pacific. I got positive letters from all of them.

“I decided to visit Linfield, so I got on a Greyhound bus and went to McMinnville,” said vonAppen. “The minute I set foot on campus, I knew that was where I wanted to go. I’ve always loved the campus.

“Paul Durham was a very engaging and caring man,” he said. “They had an exceptional assemblage of coaches in Durham, Ted Wilson and Roy Helser. Wilson coached basketball and Helser baseball, but they both assisted in football.”

“We had a good class of football players,” said vonAppen. “Linfield had been competitive before but not perennial champions. Paul got it going then and Ad had taken it even further.”

VonAppen said, “Paul was a surrogate father to us and he had a great sense of humor. The interaction of the coaches transcended the practice field.” That’s not to say the players got off easy. “We had to go to class and to chapel.”

VonAppen coached the line for Durham for two years after he graduated and went to work as a volunteer coach for Frank Broyles at Arkansas to learn and get into major college coaching – that year the Razorbacks went unbeaten into the final game of the season, losing 15-14, losing to eventual national champion Texas. He later coached at UCLA, Virginia Tech, Oregon and Stanford for two Rose Bowl teams coached by 49er Coach Bill Walsh. He gives the Linfield atmosphere credit for motivating him toward the coaching field.

“I was on scholarship, but I lined the field on Saturdays before home games, washed buildings and we taped each other’s hands before games – something coaches have to do,” said vonAppen. “The unique environment and intimacy of the campus made it possible to see your professors in the coffee shop or drop by a coach’s office any time during the off-season,” said vonAppen.

“They were great role models,” he said of the coaches. “They had high standards and there is no question that they motivated me toward coaching.”

Jim Massey, who played one season for the Los Angeles Rams and two seasons for New England, started several games at cornerback for the Patriots in 1975, was a transition player at Linfield – playing on Durham’s last two team and Rutschman’s first two.

“I had a full ride to Oregon, but it was just too big for me since I was from a small high school (Neah-Kah-Nie at Rockaway),“ said Massey. “I left that first fall and talked to my high school coach, Dick Smith, about options. He played with Ad at Linfield and he recommended Linfield to me.

“I was aware as an 18-year-old could be that there was an winning tradition there. Once I started playing, it was instilled in the players. I don’t know of anyone who can do that better than Ad. The lessons he taught on the field were applicable off the field.”

After his four-year pro career, Massey played one year with British Columbia in the Canadian Football League before he returned to Linfield as an assistant coach for two seasons.

“I live in McMinnville and I haven’t missed many games in recent years,” said Massey, who was head football coach at Yamhill-Carlton High School before taking an assistant’s position at McMinnville High School this year.

Mike Riley, in his first year as head coach of the division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, received most of his coaching experience on Rutschman’s staff from six seasons (1977-82).

Riley, who quarterbacked Corvallis to a Class AAA state high school championship in 1970 and played as a defensive back for four years at Alabama for Bear Bryant, said, “They’ve played great football for a long time. Winning builds upon itself.”

“Ad is the key,” said Riley. “He’s a great coach, teacher and motivator. I’ve never been around a better football mind. He’s right where he should be, but no matter where he was, he would be successful.”

Riley sees the Pacific Lutheran series  and one game in particular, the 1982 football playoff game on the way to the first national championship, as symbolic of the Linfield program.

“We were ranked 1-2 in the country, and it was a great game,” said Riley. “It was really the championship game.”

“I can’t tell you how great the kids were. Hard working, down to earth and all winners. We kept coming from behind to win. In the semifinals, there was no way we had any business on the field, physically, with Cal Lutheran – but we won.”

Over all of this is Rutschman – coaching from the press box, dedicated, single-minded and completely involved.

“He’s the No. 1 competitor on the team,” said David Lindley, who quarterbacked the 1984 and 1986 national champions. “There’s no one working as hard as he does.”

Lindley recalled the 1984 championship game when the Wildcats came to the dressing room at half-time, trailing Northwestern Iowa) 22-0.

“He wasn’t mad; he was fired up,” said Lindley. “He took a piece of chalk and wrote on the board, ‘This is what the heck we’ve got to do,’ he said. ‘This will get the job done.” He had in his mind that we could still win and we did (33-22).

“He was always coming up with adjustments during a game. He did it last year in our playoff game against PLU. He is a genius with X’s and O’s. I knew that the first week of my freshman year.”

Note: Article as printed in the newspaper, except Wildcatville corrected errors:

--Incorrect is Rutschman playing football for Linfield "1951 through 1954 and records of 3-3-3, 5-3-1, 5-4 and 3-6." He played 1950 through 1951 with respective records of 6-3, 3-3-3, 5-3-1 and 5-4.

-- Not correct is Rutschman playing for the Detroit Lions in 1955. Offered a Lions’ contract, he turned it down and began teaching and coaching at Hillsboro High School.

-- Last name of former Whitman coach was Biedler, not “Bidler.”

-- First name of former South Eugene High School coach was Loyd, not “Lloyd.”

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Linfield at UPS football 11/3/2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Linfield football 1962: Columbus Storm memories

It's Friday, Oct. 12, 1962. The Columbus Day Storm hits Oregon, including McMinnville. 

How did the Linfield football team deal with it? 

The Wildcats dealt with the storm's aftermath out of town,. They played at Chico State the next day, Saturday, Oct. 13. 

On Oct. 12-13, 1962, the Paul Durham-coached ‘Cats were traveling to (or from) or in Chico for the non-conference contest. It ended in a 6-6 tie, the only “non-win” in Linfield’s nine game season which concluded with an 8-0-1 win-loss-tie record.

The two schools played each other four times: 1953, 1960, 1961 and 1962. Linfield won them all, except for that darn tie. Here’s what the McMinnville News-Register said:

“The only tie Linfield had, a 6-all contest with Chico State in what was termed the ‘mud bowl’ (the game was called off twice due to flooding conditions) cost the Wildcats a chance for a return trip to the Camellia Bowl. Going into the Chico contest, Linfield was ranked fifth in the nation and after the game, the ‘Cats dropped to 13th. Linfield could only manage to elevate its ranking to the seventh position, not high enough to merit a return NAIA playoff bid.” 

The storm’s impact on Oregon and Washington are well documented. Lesser known, in those two states at least, were how it affected northern California and, specifically, Chico. 

In an Internet posting, “Ed” said the storm is regarded as the strongest in recorded history of the Pacific Northwest. I was eleven years old at the time … We lived in Chico, California (a hundred miles north of Sacramento), and even that far south of the Pacific Northwest, we returned home to damage. Our giant beloved weeping willow tree in the back yard had been ripped in half.”

One of the members of the 1962 Linfield football team is Carl Heisler. He has total recall of the Linfield-Chico State football game that season. Here’s part of an article in the July 27, 2010, Forest Grove, Ore., News-Times.: 

 “It was at the end of the Columbus Day storms, which dumped considerable rainfall in Northern California, and the field took a beating for it. In fact, the game was actually canceled twice and the team was sent home on the bus before eventually being played. 

"The result was a scene straight out of the movie ‘Leatherheads.; 

" ‘(The field) was perfectly flat and green ‘til you stepped on it and went clear to your ankles,” Heisler said. “We got so muddy, the only thing you could tell different is, we both had white hats and one had a stripe down the middle and the other one didn’t. In no great surprise, the game ended in a 6-6 tie.

"When the team arrived back in McMinnville, the players got off the bus and Durham said they were going to do ‘a little running.’ 

 “They ran for two hours, with many players throwing up along the way.

 “ ‘And I’m going, ‘Jesus, what am I gettin’ myself into? If he does this when we tie a game, what are we going to do when we lose?’” Heisler said. 

Not to worry. During Heisler's time playing football for Linfield the teams went 24-2-2.


--It’s likely Linfield and Chico State will never again play each other in football. Chico State dropped the sport in 1997. 

 --Carl Heisler photo by Wildcatville on Oct. 27, 2012.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

1960s art by QB Bruce Priem depicts Wildcat players, coach

In college football, Bruce Priem is best known as the 1968 and 1969 starting quarterback of the Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, Calif.) Cougars. But, he has Saxons and Wildcats in his background, too. 

At South Salem, Ore., High School – Bruce is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a three-sport (football, basketball, baseball) athlete – he played football for Linfielder Marv Heater, the South Salem Saxons head coach. Former Linfield football player Sonny Jepson, Linfield Class of 1973, was one of his high school football teammates. 

After graduating from South Salem in 1966, Bruce studied at Linfield for two academic years (1966-67, and 1967-68) and was a Wildcat junior varsity QB. He transferred from Linfield to Azusa and was the Cougars’ starting quarterback. Bruce is in the Azusa football record book for throwing six touchdown passes in a game. 

(By the way, John Tully, Whitworth University head football coach, was Azusa’s starting quarterback 1971-1974.) 

How did Bruce, was an outstanding athlete, become an artist? An artistic inspiration was his dad, Roy Priem, a graphic artist, cartoonist and sign painter in Salem. "I always did a lot of sketching and doodling," Bruce said, "I learned a lot from my father." Similar to a coach encouraging an athlete, his dad told his son, "you need to practice more!" Art was "enjoyable for me," Bruce said, "but no way was I doing to be as good as my father. He had serious talent." 

At Linfield, Bruce took some art classes. His teachers were art faculty members Peter Teneau and Randall Jelinek, also art department chair. Bruce remembers his Linfield football coach, Paul Durham, had Teneau football (a fake draw screen) and Jelinek (a draw) plays. 

Bruce’s artistic talent came to the attention of Rick Pullen, a Linfield sports information director, and Tim Marsh, a Linfield Review student newspaper sports editor. They commissioned him to do pen and ink drawing from black & white photos. 

The first drawing, of Ted Wilson, Linfield men’s head basketball coach, appeared on the cover of the 1967-68 Linfield men’s basketball media guide. His drawings of football players Mike Barrow, Rogers Ishizu and John Sadowski, and Bob Haack and Bob Laycoe were used in the newspaper’s sports section and/or home game football printed programs. He also wrote sports stories for the Review. The Barrow drawing is on a football card issued as part of the Linfield 2011 football season dedication of the Mike Barrow study room in the college’s Nicholson Library. 

After graduating from Azusa in 1970, Bruce earned a master of science degree in physical therapy from the University of Southern California. He is a licensed physical therapist in the state of Oregon. 

Today, Priem lives in Salem, where he is a physical therapy-occupational therapy department manager at Kaiser Permanente in Salem. Bruce and his wife, Mary, are active in their church. In the summer of 2012 they traveled to Honduras and worked in an orphanage. It was a return to that country and the Dominican Republic where they lived and worked as short term missionaries for World Gospel Crusades, 1970-72. 

Photo information: Bruce & Mary Priem and Bob Haack during a 2012 football season visit to the Mike Barrow Study Room in the Linfield library. Priem sketches: -Bob “Igor” Haack and Bob “Heavy Duty” Laycoe in the Oct. 19, 1967, Linfield Review. -Rogers Ishizu and John Sadowski, Linfield players from Hawaii. -Coach Ted Wilson on cover of 1968 winter sports media guide. -Mike Barrow on card given out at Mike Barrow Study Room dedication fall 2011. -Priem bylined article in Oct. 19, 1967, Linfield Review.