Saturday, June 27, 2015

Linfield’s Legendary Maxwell Field

The University of Oregon track & field scoreboard at Hayward Field in Eugene rightly identifies the venue as "historic."

See photo here...


Hayward was built in 1919. Originally it was intended to primarily serve the UO's football program. A few years later, a track, for use by the UO track & field team, was constructed around the football field.


Linfield College's Maxwell Field in McMinnville has been home to Linfield football and track & field teams since 1928. In 1947, Memorial Stadium, providing covered seating for fans of both sports and other services for athletics was built at Maxwell.

See photo here...

Henceforth, Wildcatville shall rightfully identify it as "LEGENDARY MAXWELL FIELD."

Friday, June 26, 2015

If Wildcatville had a food truck, here's what it would include on its menu

Wildcat Cardinal & Purple Dog: A turkey frank  -- cats and dogs, get it?! --  with cardinal red ketchup and diced purple onions.

Sparky's Special Dog: Honoring Steve ‘Sparky’ Davis. Foot long beef hotdog with guacamole sauce and shredded lettuce. Add banana peppers if you like.

Linfield BWC Dog: It’s basic. Pork hot dog simmered in beer.  Yellow mustard. Wash down with favourite bottled water.

Lindog Chili Dog: Odis Avritt recipe chili on a football stadium beef frank smothered with melted WSU Crimson Fire cheese.

Funky Traveler Dog: Teriyaki chicken dog with kimchi, sauerkraut, Tabasco and Dijon mustard. Season to taste.

Catdome Dog: A high flying delicious beef hot dog garnished with mustard, a little bit of mayo and some garlic spread. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Story about Linfielder John Howey in 6/23/2015 The Dalles, Ore., Chronicle

Tip of the cap to a community icon

By Ray Rodriguez, Sports Editor, The Dalles Chronicle, 6/23/2015

MAUPIN, Ore. – Since 1970, John Howey (photo) had been a staple in the Maupin community, as a coach, teacher, parental figure and a positive influence to any and every one he came across.

This past Father’s Day, the South Wasco County High School gymnasium was filled to capacity with well-wishers saying their final goodbyes, while sharing many anecdotes, jokes and stories of an important figure who passed away in his home on May 20 at the age of 67.

 “I had a lot of conversations with him when it came to me making plans with my life,” said current South Wasco County High school coach and athletic director Jim Hull. “He had done that with multiple kids at our school over the years. He was a strength in our athletic programs and he did positive things with the kids, whether as a teacher or a coach. He was great at motivating students in our school.”

In his time at Maupin, Howey coached football, cross country, boys’ basketball and girls’ and boys’ track and field.

His 1996 boys’ basketball team finished second in state and placed third in 1998.

Howey also led the girls’ cross country team to a second-place output in 1979, and also third place in 1978 and 1980.

He was the 2002 1A Coach of the Year in track and field the same year he led the Redside program to a state championship. 

From all of the sports played in Oregon that season, Howey also earned the 1A classification’s Coach of the Year honors.

This past spring, Howey volunteered his time to work with junior discus and shotput athlete Ellis Rager.

Rager won a shotput district championship with a then career-best of 45-feet-2 inches.

Two days after learning of Howey’s passing, Rager had a career-best shotput attempt of 45-5 for a state crown. 

 “Well, my track season couldn’t have ended any better. Came in as district champ and left as the 1A state champ of Oregon,” Rager said. “It’s a blessing and an honor to achieve this. I couldn't have done it without the support of my family, friends, coaches, community and everyone else that helped me along the way. Special thanks to Howey for coming and helping me out when he could with my throwing technique. RIP Howey couldn’t have done it without you.”

Howey was born on Sept. 1, 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Robert and Mildred Howey.

After graduation from Radford High School in 1965, Howey attended Linfield College in McMinnville, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1969 in Physical Education as well as a Master’s degree in Physical Education in 1970.

He began a teaching career at South Wasco County Union High School in Maupin that year and remained there until his retirement in 2003. 

Through her four-year high school career, 2014 graduate Joy Kelly stood out as a volleyball player, track athlete and basketball player.

Howey was along for that journey, as an assistant coach and substitute teacher.

Kelly remembers the funny statements and quick-witted humor Howey had, like calling players walking turtles or cream puffs and marshmallows.

A post player, Kelly worked diligently with Howey on post moves.

Whenever Kelly saw Howey on the streets of Maupin walking his poodle, the long-time coach was quick to tell Kelly to get back to work. 

All of it a snapshot of memories, something Kelly will hold dear to her heart for many years to come.

“I was extremely blessed to have such great coaches through all of high school and each and every one of them not only taught me how to be better and push myself in the sport, but taught me about life, and how you can succeed,” Kelly said. “All five of them (coaches) impacted me in such a powerful way. There are no words that can be described on how much this man will be missed by the community.”

When not on the sidelines on in a classroom, Howey could be seen on the banks of the Deschutes River fishing for salmon and trout, or hunting in the hills around Maupin in the fall for deer and elk. 
Howey also was a passionate golfer, as a member of the Pine Meadows Golf Club in Wamic, as well as the Kah-nee-ta Resort Golf Club where he golfed regularly, with several tournament wins over the years.

In his more than 20 years as basketball coach, Howey won between 350-400 games.

SWC’s boys’ track and field team won 10 straight district titles in the mid-90s until 2006, with Howey in charge for all but the last four from 2003-2006. 

Since 1993, South Wasco County has totaled the 1A division’s all-time highest point total in shotput, discus and javelin.

 “He found a way to bring out the very best in every athlete,” Hull said. “He just had that magic touch on what to say to a player to give them the confidence to perform at their best. That’s a skill very few coaches have.”

Being around Howey since he was in middle school, Hull looks back at successful times in athletics or spending time skeet shooting or fishing. 

To this day, coach Hull catches himself making statements similar to what Howey would say.
It brings a smile to his face.

“I consider him my mentor. Here’s a guy who was my track coach for all four years in high school, my basketball coach for all four years in his school and the reason why I got into coaching,” Hull said. “Once I was out of high school, in college, we would play golf or do some other things. You cannot weigh the influence he had on me, on who I am today and how he affected the way I am with my very own family. He is the very next thing aside of my family that had a huge impact on pushing me towards the way I coach, my career and what I chose to do and he was around my life since I was 12-13 years old in all my athletic and outdoor adventures.”

Howey is survived by his wife Gwen Snodgrass, mother Mildred, brother Mark and sister in law Mary, five nieces and nephews: Matthew Howey, Jeffrey Manuel (and wife Rhonda), Jana Downs, Mischa Hurst (and husband Troy) and Nathan Grafe (and wife Joyce); two sisters-in-law: Peggy Grafe and Sylvia DeSordi; Two brothers-in-law: Jerry Manuel and Gary Grafe; and eight grand nieces and nephews.

For a slideshow of the ceremony, log on to

Friday, June 19, 2015

James Madison University names Linfielder Brett Elliott as QB coach, co-offensive coordinator

Story below slightly edited by Wildcatville.

JMU roundup: Dukes name Elliott to football coaching staff

10:12 pm Friday, January 16, 2015 from Northern Virginia Daily (Strasburg, Virginia)

HARRISONBURG, Virginia — James Madison University (JMU) football named Brett Elliott as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator, head coach Everett Withers announced Friday.

Elliott takes over for Drew Mehringer, now on the football coaching staff at the University of Houston.

Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2011, the JMU Dukes open the 2015 campaign in Bridgeforth Stadium on Sept. 5 against Morehead State.

Most recently, Elliott was on the offensive staff at Mississippi State for the past three seasons, working on offensive quality control. During his time with the team, the Mississippi State Bulldogs finished with its highest Associated Press ranking since 1940 by finishing No. 11 this past season, while also tying for its highest Coaches Poll finish at No. 12. This season’s squad won 10 games for the first time in school history and played in the Orange Bowl for the first time since 1941. The team also broke 29 individual and team single-season records during the 2014 season with the top offense in school history, led by First Team All-Southeastern Conference quarterback Dak Prescott.

After his collegiate playing days, Elliott signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He also played for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe and was under contract with the San Jose SaberCats when the league halted operations in late 2008. Elliott also played in the Arena League as a starter for the Utah Blaze in 2010 and the Georgia Force in 2011.

A native of Lake Oswego, Ore., Elliott played his redshirt freshman year at the University of Utah before transferring to Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., a member of the Northwest Conference.

In 2005 at Linfield, he won the Gagliardi Trophy and Melberger Award, given to the top player in NCAA Division III. Elliott was twice named an All-American and led Linfield to the 2004 NCAA Division III national championship. During his playing career, he set Linfield and Northwest Small College single-game, single-season and career passing records and broke the all-divisions record for most touchdown passes in one season — throwing for 61 scores in 2004. 

Elliot has also served as a Linfield football assistant coach. 

He graduated in 2006 from Linfield with his bachelor’s degree in mass communication.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Linfield football history: In 1948, Paul Durham named Wildcats' head football coach

'Kentucky, Bears NCAA Victors; Durham Gets Linfield Grid Post' is headline over two unrelated sports stories in the Sunday Oregonian, March 21, 1948. 

--One is an Associated Press story with a Kansas City dateline about Baylor winning a Western NCAA men's college basketball game to win the right to play Kentucky for the national championship in New York City. 

--Other story, without byline,  is about Linfield

Paul Durham being hired from Portland's Franklin High School to become Linfield College head football coach, succeeding Wayne Harn.

Kentucky Bears NCAA Victors; Durham Gets Linfield Grid Post

Franklin Boss To Make Move

Paul Durham, athletic director in the Portland school system for the past six years, Saturday was named football mentor of Linfield college, his alma mater, to succeed Wayne Harn, resigned. The appointment was made by Dr. Harry L. Dillin, president of the school.


The new Wildcat athletic boss will take over his new duties officially September 1, but will conduct spring practice under the lights at Linfield's new 3000-seat stadium while finishing out the school year at Franklin, where he is the head football and baseball mentor. During will meet Monday night with a dozen returning 1947 Wildcat lettermen and map plans for next season's ten-game schedule, six of them being Northwest conference tilts. He will select two assistants in the near future.

Durham is a 1938 graduate of Linfield, where he played basketball and tackle on the football team. He began his coaching career at Yamhill high, and then served as an assistant mentor at Franklin for two years. He was shifted to Commerce, where he was the head man in basketball and baseball, and assistant to Football Coach Joe Enzler for two years. In 1946 he was transferred back to Franklin, and that first year he was the head coach in football, basketball and baseball. He is a graduate of Franklin.

The appointment of Durham, who is married and has three children, came after an exhaustive search for a man to head the Wildcat gridiron staff. He was very highly recommended and was almost a unanimous choice of persons with whom Dr. Dillin conferred in his survey of the field.

Durham, president of the Linfield Lettermens' society, will be an assistant profession of physical education in his new position.

Mike Riley, now University of Nebraska head football coach, said in 1982 about Linfield College football: ‘People make this place.’

George Pasero wrote about Linfield winning the NAIA DII national football championship in his 12/16/1982 “Pasero Says” sports column in the Oregonian.

Linfield won the game, played 12/11/1982 at McMinnville High School’s Wortman Stadium, 33-15 over Missouri’s William Jewell College.

The column headline ‘Cooper is helping Blazers pound the backboards’ and opening paragraphs deals with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, most of the column is about Linfield. Here’s the text:

“Linfield at random: Accepting the NAIA championship trophy at midfield with the school’s president, Charles Urmston Walker, was a spry little man wearing a Camellia Bowl jacket. That’s as in Camellia Bowl 1961.

“It was, of course, Harry Leslie Dillin, Linfield’s president emeritus. As if his pleasure wouldn’t quit, well, no one had it coming more. It was Dillin, who, when Linfield faced the retirement of one of its early great people, Henry Lever, turned to former Linfielders Paul Durham and Roy Helser … and then Ted Wilson and Ad Rutschman. (Durham, Helser and Rutschman are Linfield grads. Wilson graduated from Eastern Oregon College.)

“ ‘What a fine history has been recorded in the intervening years,’ he said. ‘I’m glad to have been a bit of it for nearly 52 years.’ ”

“Harry was shocked as anyone, maybe more, when William Jewell scored on its first play of the game. ‘Oh, no,’ he said. ‘That’s what happened in the Camellia Bowl when Pittsburg State (Kan.) went all the way on the opening play.’ Linfield didn’t really recover then, losing 12-7.

“This time, the Wildcats eased Dillin’s worries in a hurry, with a tying touchdown on only three plays. On the sideline, the new thinking was simply, as defensive tackle Steve McAllister said, ‘We’ll get it back; the whole attitude was positive.’ It was that way all year for this Linfield team with a difference.

“McAllister is convincing evidence that size can be over-rated. Imagine a defensive tackle who weighs only 180 pounds. Well, that’s the sophomore from Albany – and all he did was make two interceptions and a jarring tackle to cause a fumble … all of which was enough to get him voted defensive MVP.

“Durham, now retired and living in Hawaii, after serving as director of athletics at U-Hawaii for seven years and in the school’s college of education for six more, is part of the Linfield pipeline from Hawaii.

“And so far former Linfield players now coaching in Hawaii – Hugh Yoshida, Tony Ah Yat and Al Wills among them.

“Mike Riley, Rutschman’s defensive chief, has been called a ‘veteran coach.’ Huh, at age 29?

“The sharp, personable Riley has been with Rutschman six years now. And he apprenticed under Mike White at Cal and Hugh Campbell, the Grey Cup monopolitizer, at Whitworth. He has lived football all of his life, however. His father, Bud, twice an assistant at OSU, now again is in Canada as coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“So why does he stay at Linfield?

“Because: ‘It’s a heckuva job. To me, Ad is one of the greatest people and coaches around. And  appreciate the way he runs his show.

“ ‘ I like it a lot here, and I just take it one year at a time. I don’t set goals … like, five years down the road I’d like to be coaching at such-and-such a place.

“ ‘ We don’t have a lot of frills here. People make this place. And we just seem to have a special group of kids.’

“It was a neat touch when Linfield and William Jewell players were introduced alternately and run to midfield to slap hands to kickoff. Fans were mystified, though, by WJ players make a motion as though throwing something to the ground. Indeed, they had something in their fists – Missouri dirt. MJ wanted to be the host team, but denied that, brought some ‘home ground’ to play on.

“Besides all the plaudits to the team, more are due to Linfield and McMinnville for a superior job of staging the playoffs and championship game.

“Some wondered why the game wasn’t moved to a bigger stadium. Well, the NAIA’s Steve Veal said the organization wanted it in “the community,” where it would be most appreciated. Surprisingly, the NAIA paid the bills better this year than in many past. In fact, there had been some talk of dropping the Division 2 playoffs because of the cost of the long trips. McMinnville’s reception of the game and the good attendance ended that talk. Moreover, the NAIA got a plus – if perhaps at too small a price – in the televising of the contest.”

Wildcatville comments

== The last paragraph of Pasero’s column relates to Portland’s KATU-TV, which KATU-TV televising the game live.

== In this column, Pasero says, "It was Dillin, who, when Linfield faced the retirement of one of its early great people, Henry Lever, turned to former Linfielders Paul Durham and Roy Helser … and then Ted Wilson and Ad Rutschman." To clarify:

--In 1939, William Everson, Linfield president (1938-1943), named Wayne Harn, then a Linfield assistant football coach and head men's track coach, as the college's head football coach. Harn succeeded Henry Lever, who remained as Linfield as athletic director, football assistant coach and coached other sports.

--Harn coached Linfield's 1939 football season before, in 1940, being called to U.S. Army active duty service as a member of the Oregon National Guard. Lever coached Linfield football in the 1940, 1941 and 1942 seasons. Linfield did not have football during 1943, 1944 and 1945 due to World War II and its aftermath.

--Harn returned from the service in 1946 and was head football coach in the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Harry Dillin (1943-1968) was Linfield president and Lever was its athletic director. On Jan. 27, 1948, Harn resigned as Linfield head football coach because, according to the Oregonian, he planned to enter "private business in McMinnville."

--On March 20, 1948, Paul Durham, Linfield grad and then a coach at Portland's Franklin High School, was named Linfield's head football coach and he signed a contract at the college. Durham's first season as Linfield head football coach was 1948.

--On May 28, 1949, it was announced that Durham would succeed Lever as athletic director and continue as head football coach.  Lever was concluding 18 years of service to Linfield as its athletic director and as a coach.
Photo of Linfield President Charles U. Walker and Linfield President Emeritus Harry L. Dillin taken by Wildcatville at McMinnville High School’s Wortman Stadium on 12/11/1982.

Looking back: Linfield vs. William Jewell nat'l championship football game in McMinnville on 12/11/1982

Photos from the Wildcatville Archives: 'Cats win 1982 NAIA Nat'l Football Title


Looking back: Linfield vs. William Jewell nat'l championship football game in McMinnville on 12/11/1982

In December 1982, at McMinnville High’s Wortman Stadium, Linfield beat William Jewell  College (Liberty, Mo.) 33-15 for the NAIA DII national football championship. (Legendary Maxwell Field was too muddy. That's why game held at the high school.)

1-Link to scan of printed program for game banquet in Linfield’s Dillin Hall. 

On 6/17/2015, a member of the team told Wildcatville the banquet date 12/11/1982 --  same date as the game -- printed on the banquet program is not correct. He said, "The banquet was definitely before the game." Therefore, the banquet was held Friday,12/10/1982.

2-Link to scan of the Saturday, 12/11/1982, game (12:30pm kick) printed program:

There was a post-game community celebration at the McMinnville National Guard Armory near the McMinnville airport.

All linked PDFs from William Jewell College Athletics/football. Photos by Wildcatville.


Salem, Ore., Statesman-Journal daily newspaper. Saturday, Dec. 11, 1982, story preceding William Jewell College of Liberty, Missouri, versus Linfield for NAIA Div. II national football championship played same day at McMinnville High School’s Wortman Stadium. Linfield won, 33-15:

Printed program from game: