Thursday, December 15, 2016

Linfield QB Sam Riddle runner-up as nation's top player

Story and photos from Linfield Sports Info

December 14, 2016

Riddle runner-up as nation's top player

SALEM, Va. – Sam Riddle, Linfield College quarterback, husband and father of two, was runner-up for the 2016 Gagliardi Trophy honoring the best all-around football student-athlete in NCAA Division III. Despite Riddle's glossy statistics, the award instead went to to St. John's University linebacker Carter Hanson, who became the first defensive player to win since 2004.

Co-sponsors Jostens and the J-Club of St. John's (Minn.) announced the 24th annual award – the Division III equivalent of the Heisman Trophy – Wednesday night during a formal banquet at the Salem Civic Center. The 45-pound trophy is named for John Gagliardi, head football coach of Carroll College 1949 to 1952 and St. John's from 1953 to 2012.

“It's been an amazing experience,” Riddle tweeted shortly after the nationally streamed announcement. “Not the outcome I hoped for, but honored to be here nonetheless. Congrats Carter, you earned it man!”

Named a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association on Monday, Riddle is one of the best playmakers ever to compete at Linfield, a school known for its unequaled string of 61 consecutive winning seasons. He set Linfield career marks for total offensive yards (9,617) and touchdowns responsible (118). In three seasons as the Wildcats' starting quarterback, he won 30 games and lost just four.

“Sam has been the spark of this team for the past three seasons,” said Linfield coach
Joseph Smith of his graduating star. “He's given us the confidence and the play-making skills to go head-to-head with the very best team in the country.”

A two-time All-American, West Region and Northwest Conference Player of the Year, Riddle passed for a career-best 3,317 yards in leading Linfield to the 2016 Northwest Conference championship and the NCAA playoffs. He threw 32 touchdowns and ran three more scores.

In all, Riddle's senior season included six 300-yard passing games. He achieved personal bests for completion percentage (64.9), passer efficiency rating (167.9), average yards per pass (9.5), average yards per completion (14.7), and average passing yards per game (301.5).

Riddle threw at least one touchdown pass in all but one game of his career in which he started.

A business management major from Hillsboro, Oregon, Riddle plans to pursue a career in commercial real estate once his football career runs its course. He and wife, Bri, are raising two sons, Mason, 3, and Henry, 10 months.

“I am so proud to have been his coach. And so very proud of Sam as a man,” said Smith. “There was so much placed on his shoulders and he bore that load with a strength and poise that is truly admirable. When we needed it most, he was a role model for our entire program as to how to be a man of character and a man of action.  He did the heavy lifting that was required. He was a wall for those in need. And he was one giant hammer."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Linfield men’s basketball alumni game 12/10/2016

Game (Linfield men’s basketball alumni) was held starting after  10 o’clock in the morning 12/10/2016 in Ted Wilson Gym, located in the building next to the Coach Paul Durham statue on the Linfield campus in McMinnville, Ore. Wildcatville photos.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

All about Paul Durham’s popular McMinnville newspaper sports column

This is the tale of one popular McMinnville newspaper sports column with three different names written by one popular person, Paul Durham.

(A member of Linfield’s Class of 1936, Durham was born in Portland in 1913 and died in Honolulu in 2007.)

“Recreation Roundup” in the McMinnville Telephone-Register was the column’s original name. It ran in seven issues between July and September of 1952.

It appeared while Durham was City of McMinnville summer recreation program director. He promoted summer rec, but strayed into other sports news including that Linfield related.

(In 1953, the Telephone-Register/T-R merged with the News-Reporter and became the News-Register/N-R.)

The column became “Shooting the Bull,” appearing in 13 N-R issues, all in April 1953.

Finally, under its best known name, “Dodging with Durham” started April 30, 1953 in the N-R and concluded May 1, 1968.

While Paul Durham was multi-talented, he was not a juggler. But, what else explains how he was able to coach, direct athletics and teach at Linfield, be a husband and father, a singer in the First Baptist Church choir and do other things and still find time to write his newspaper sports column?

Wait, there’s more! From April 1953 through July 1964, Durham was also the News-Register sports editor. (He continued writing “Dodging” after he stepped down as sports editor.)

In the next-t0-last “Dodging” on April 24, 1968, he wrote, “We began working for the then Telephone-Register back in 1953. We were handling the (city of) McMinnville summer recreation program at the time and wrote some items for the T-R to help publicize the softball and park play programs. The paper was making plans to go daily and editor Bill Powell asked us if we’d like to be a sports editor.

“All three of the Durham offsprings were in school, money was a tad bit on the short side (even shorter than now), so we decided to give it a whirl.

“We showed up at the paper at 6 every morning, laid out the sports page, wrote headlines, and hit the Linfield campus for teaching and coaching duties by 8 or 8:30. Each evening, five days a week, we pounded out a sports column for use in the paper the next day. As we look back, it doesn’t seem too logical. But if you’ll check on some old copies of the T-R or N-R you’ll find out it really happened. And, as we view the past in retrospect, we really didn’t seem to have the feeling we were overworked.

After the N-R “swung back to twice-a-week publication, life got a litter easier. Then … (after) we gave up the sports editorship, (we) continued to whip out the column twice a week.

“We’ve enjoyed it and generally it’s been a ball. At times it got to be a bit of a chore, but not often. It gave us a contact with many wonderful people we might not of have had an opportunity to meet otherwise.”

Durham said "I always enjoyed writing, took a journalism class (at my alma mater, Franklin High School in Portland), and wanted Linfield (athletes’) names in the (newspaper). I always knew people enjoy seeing their name in print, even me, and that led to the column built on names.”

“When I started writing the column in the N-R, (publisher) Phil Bladine, a good friend of mine, named it 'Shooting the Bull.' After a bit, some readers started adding a word to it in their minds, and we decided we had to get a new name. Bladine suggested 'Dodging with Durham,' which was fine with me."

Paul Durham wrote his last “Dodging with Durham” in Honolulu. It ran in the May 1, 1968, N-R. Final words of that column: “Aloha” (goodbye) and “mahalo” (thank you).


--Durham returned to the college in 1948 as football coach (succeeding Wayne Harn) and added the athletic directorship (succeeding Henry Lever) the next year. He left Linfield in 1968 and became athletic director at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

--For three seasons, 1949-1952, Durham and Roy Helser were Linfield men’s basketball coach-head coaches. Durham also coached Linfield golf a season or two.

--During Durham’s time working for the N-R, it published as a six days a week daily from 1953 to 1958 before returning to a twice-weekly as a weekly schedule.

--There were at least two exceptions to “Dodging” running continuously between 1953 and 1968:

=The Sept. 7, 1966, N-R sports section explained that the column “will not appear in The News-Register until the third week of this month so that Coach Durham may devote full attention to training of his Linfield Wildcat squad.”

=The column did not appear in the Aug. 3, 1966, N-R. Durham was is in Sun Valley, attending the Idaho Coaching Clinic. He mailed the column from there. But, apparently because of an airline strike, the column did not arrive at the N-R in time for publication in that issue.

=In addition to his column, Durham started and wrote the monthly ‘Linfield College Athletic Newsletter,’ sent by U.S. Mail to alums and friends. During the summer he mailed his Linfield football players a newsletter, too.


First 7/17/1952 in T-R






Seventh and last 9/4/1952 in T-R


First 4/13/1953 in N-R












Thirteenth and last 4/29/1953 in N-R


First 4/30/1953 in N-R

Last 5/1/ 1968 in N-R


On 12/9/2016, Gordon Gillmouth, McMinnville High Class of 1958/Linfield Class of 1963, provided this insight into Paul Durham as N-R sports editor/sports columnist:

“Brings back fond memories when I worked at the N-R with Paul, covering mainly local high school sports from 1955 thru 1962 (3 years while I was at Mac High and 4 years while at Linfield).

“There were times when Paul would be absent from the N-R due to his other responsibilities and I got to be the fill-in sports editor - editing copy that others wrote, writing headlines, and laying out the sports pages, in addition to the stories I wrote.  Since I was paid 10 cents per column inch printed, I loved headlines because they were in larger type and the column inches added up faster! 

“It was a challenge and very satisfying to lay out the sports pages (headlines, stories, & pictures) - to make it all fit as you had space restrictions based on advertising volume. It was like a new puzzle each time.

“When Paul was gone, he would write "Dodging with Durham" columns in advance. There may have been a time or two when I got to write the column in his absence. His columns were very popular as he was well connected and would mention many people in his writings; as he said, people like to see their names in print.

“The ‘Dodging With Durham’ column heading you show at the beginning of your post is ironic, for it mentions Tom Fuller, a 5-10 150 pound reserve football player at Mac High. Tom Fuller is my cousin.

"As Paul would say: ‘Take two and hit to right, lad.’ "


Paul Durham wrote "Dodging with Durham" in the News-Register, except when Gordon Gillmouth, who worked in N-R sports while attending McMinnville High (Class of 1958) and Linfield (Class of 1963), or John Buchner (Class of 1963), who worked at the N-R while a Linfield student, filled in. 

For Buchner -- he wrote "A Buck's Worth" which ran instead of "Dodging" -- here's an example from the Sept. 9, 1962, N-R. The note after his byline reads, “Sports Editor Paul Durham is taking his annual fall vacation, if you call herding 61 grid prospects a vacation. Because of all this, the regular “Dodging with Durham” feature, which usually occupies this space, will be missing for a couple of issues. After our tenure of office, we’ll probably be ‘dodging’ Durham.” 

For Gillmouth, here's examples from the Sept. 12, and Sept. 16, 1962, N-Rs. The note after Gordon's byline reads, "Subbing for sports editor Paul Durham who is taking a short vacation from his sports writing duties." Sept 12 leads with “The time is here again!” Sept. 16 lead is “Linfield’s Athletic Department…” 

Dodging With Durham News-Register Sports Editor Paul Durham is on vacation and his column, "Dodging with Durham" will not appear in today's issue or next Monday's. His column will reappear on Thursday, September 17. McMinnville N-R/News-Register Sept 10, 1959

Monday, December 05, 2016

Linfield Football 2016 Awards Dinner 12/5/2016

Dinner held at Covenant Church, McMinnville.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Excellent biography: '...Perfect read for football followers of the college and/or pro games..."

Author/sports researcher/retired dentist Bob Gill of Milwaukie, Ore., has Linfield connections as a football quarterback opponent of the Wildcats and his work giving recognition to many former Linfield athletes. Read about Bob here:

After five years researching, writing, editing and rewriting, Bob's book, an authorized biography, Mel Renfro: Forever a Cowboy, was published in 2015. Review of the book from the College Football Historical Society newsletter (Nov. 2016):

(If this review text is hard to read or cut off on the right, click on review for a larger, easier to read version.)

“Dr. Bob Gill has released his new book entitled ‘Mel Renfro: Forever a Cowboy,’ a biography of the Pro Football Hall of Fame player. The book (227 pp.) covers the athletic days of Mel Renfro in high school and at Oregon and then his 14-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. This book is available online in paperback via (17.95) or information on obtaining a signed copy can be obtained from the author via online at or at: Bob Gill, 13115 SE Pennywood Ct., Milwaukie 97222”
Source: College Football Historical Society newsletter Nov. 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Linfielder Johnny Bill 'Moon' Self was in filmed in Oregon 1969 movie 'Paint Your Wagon'

Speaking of movies filmed in Oregon … 

… Linfielder Johnny Bill “Moon” Self (Linfield Class of 1969, Napa, Calif., High School Class of 1964), sporting a full beard, had an uncredited bit part in the 1969 movie “Paint Your Wagon,” staring Lee Marvin, Clint  Eastwood (who sings “I Talk to the Trees”) and Jean Seberg. 

It was filmed in eastern Oregon (Baker County) in May-October 1968.

Johnny transferred to Linfield in 1966 from Napa, Calif. Junior College, now called Napa Valley College. 

Retired after a career as a Napa public school teacher, he has and might still be living in Napa. He has and might still be living in Alaska. 

Read about Johnny as a Linfield football player here:

Johnny was a cover feature story, headlined “ ‘Moon’ Self-his wit and wisdom” in the May 1, 1969, Linews. 

According to the story, Johnny was “born 22 years ago in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.” He came to Linfield after football coach Paul Durham told him to “come on up and bring my own football shoes. I didn’t have any shoes but I came anyway.”
As a Linfield football player, he was JV team captain “because I was the oldest and didn’t cry in the huddle. In my second (year of football) I was named ‘friendliest lineman of the year’ and oldest member of the junior varsity” in the college’s history.”

He was “kicked out of two games that year (by coach Jack Ostlund). Once for not wearing a team with my team blazer and another time for rolling forward in the huddle and doffing my helmet after the crowd gave me an ovation.”

Story says Johnny plays guitar, harmonica, piano and clarinet and also paints, carves and is a poet.

During the summer of 1968 he worked around Baker County doing jobs including bucking hay bales, branding cattle and working on a plywood mill green chain until he was fired for "doing Tarzan yells."

His time in Baker County concluded with landing a job as an "extra" on the ‘Paint Your Wagon’ motion picture being filmed there. According to the 1970 Oak Leaves yearbook, he was an "actor-singer" in the movie.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Linfield’s 'Mac the Wildcat' among mascots wearing hats

Some say a person is never fully dressed without a hat. Is the same true for college/university sports team mascots?
There are many renditions of each mascot mentioned in this insightful/fascinating/somewhat researched story. Depending on the rendition, what is stated/indicated/declared can be proven true or not. Accepting the story as gospel truth is the best for you. Apologies to Pete Seeger:


Where have all the mascot hats gone, long time passing?
Where have all the mascot hats gone, long time ago?

It used to be that many college/university mascots wore hats. Some still do. Among the “still do" are:

  • 'Mac the Wildcat,' Linfield
  • 'Benny Beaver,' Oregon State
  • The Duck, University of Oregon
  • 'Butch the Cougar,' Washington State University*

LINFIELD:  “Mac” wears a hat in illustrations and in person. (The illustration shown here has been succeeded by the Cat without what some considered crossed eyes.) You might be interested in Linfield Football’s annual “Cats on a Hat” decals affixed on helmets ritual.

OSU: Benny of Oregon State was superseded by the angry Beaver. Angry was replaced by the current Beaver. Benny sports a hat, angry and current don’t. The in-person Benny these days doesn’t wear a hat.

UO: Oregon’s in-person Disneyesque (akin to Donald Duck) Duck and the current Duck are hat wearers. 

WSU: 'Butch the Cougar' of Washington State wears a hat in some illustrations, but the in-person Butch does not don a hat. *Officially Washington State's mascot is Butch T. Cougar.