Daily Archives: November 12, 2013

Basketball star balances classes, playing


Coming off of a 4-21 season last year, junior forward Chris Dirks, along with the rest of the Linfield basketball team, expects a much stronger season is in store for them.

With Linfield’s top-scorers from last year graduating, someone has to step up and take on the role of the new team leader.


Junior Chris Dirks waits for his turn to shoot during basketball practice for the upcoming games. The team practices every day in the gym to prepare for the games.
Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer

Dirks believes that the team has “a lot of new talent” and will be very competitive this season, adding that he is “excited about our potential.”

Dirks played in 13 games last season and played an average of 12 minutes in each of them. He averaged 2.6 points per game, but really contributed with his rebounding skills, pulling in 39 rebounds and averaging three per game.

Dirks is motivated to be the best team player he can, saying that he doesn’t care whether he starts or gets his minutes off the bench, either way he believes that “Coach Rosenberg will put us in the best position to win this season.”

His personal goals are to just simply do whatever he can to make the team better and help his team reach a .500 record.

Dirks’ team goals aren’t any different.

“I think a realistic goal for the team this year is to put ourselves in a position to be playing for a conference playoff spot at the end of the season,” Dirk said.

Basketball has always been Dirks’ passion, and he feels extremely privileged to be able to play after high school, but the NBA isn’t where he sees himself ending up.

Dirks’ plans for the future include being a math teacher and coaching basketball, with an alternative option of going to play ball in Australia with his old teammate Zach Anderson, a 2012 Linfield graduate.  Anderson played as a forward for the Wildcat’s basketball team his senior year at Linfield.

One of the things that is difficult with playing a sport in college is figuring out how to manage your studying, as well as practicing your sport.

Dirks can relate to balance being a struggle while playing a sport, but says that when he is in season, he finds it much easier to manage his time.

Having a lot of free time can sometimes be harder to handle than not having any free time at all.

Dirks and the Wildcats play their first official game at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium for the Bon Appetit Classic against the State University of New York-Old Westbury.

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter


Wildcats chop Loggers, 79-3

Football Photo 1

Junior quarterback Matt Yarborough led the Wildcats to yet another victory, piling up 132 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against Puget Sound.

Football Photo 2

Junior quarterback Matt Yarbrough (2) rushes down the sideline away from University of Puget Sound defenders. Yarbrough had four rushes for 89 net yards, contributing to Linfield’s total 289 rushing yards.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Two early fumble recoveries started the ‘Cats off with 14 points on the board before Puget sound had a chance to move the ball at all, and Linfield kept the pace up all game, beating Puget Sound 79-3.

After senior star quarterback Josh Yoder (164 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns) was taken out of the game midway through the second quarter, Yarborough came in and worked his magic. Minutes after running in a six yard touchdown, he broke free for his second touchdown run, taking it 69 yards to the house.

Freshman Spencer Payne also rushed the ball for 67 yards and a touchdown, as well as returning a kick 71 yards for a score. “I just really wanted it” Payne said, “everything lined up perfectly.”

Coach Joseph Smith noted after the game that “special teams was a giant factor in the game.” The special teams squad totaled 256 yards, returning one for a touchdown, and set the Wildcat offense up in great position to start every drive.

Fredrick Douglas III was a big factor on special teams, retuning two punts for an average of 23.5 yards per return.


Senior running back Mikkel Smythe (20) breaks free from a University of Puget Sound defender. Smythe had five rushes for a net gain of seven yards, averaging 1.4 yards per carry. The Wildcats ran away from the Loggers, out-rushing them by more than 290 yards. 289 yards (Linfield) to -5 yards (University of Puget Sound).
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Linfield played over 100 players in the game, making sure everyone got some play time once it was clear that they were going to get the victory. Coach Smith played all five quarterback listed on the roster, and ever though not all of they got to throw a pass, he liked how each of them was able to take control of the offense and move the ball downfield.

The Wildcats are averaging 58.4 points per game this year, and are beating their opponents by and average of 48.75 points per game.

Linfield united 32 of its seniors with their parents before the game to honor their last season playing for the team.

The Wildcats also honored eight Hall Of Fame inductees at halftime.

Linfield plays their last regular season game at 1 p.m on Nov. 16 against Pacific. The game will be played away in Forest Grove, Ore. The team hopes to finish out the season with a perfect record, as a win would make them 9-0.

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter


Volleyball ends the season with close-match win

The Wildcats traveled to Washington for the weekend where they came out on top in their final game against Whitman College on Nov. 9.

The volleyball team won three of the five sets against the Missionaries.

The first set was won 27-25. The two teams battled back and forth during the first set, going point-for-point with each other till point 25, when Whitman made two attack errors, earning the Wildcats the first set win.

Whitman bounced back during the second set, winning 28-26. While Linfield started off with the lead, the Missionaries stepped up in the final minutes to pull ahead. Despite the loss, the Wildcats made 16 kills during the set.

The battling continued during the third set, where the Wildcats stole the win early in the set. Linfield won the set 25-12. During this set, the Wildcats made kill-after-kill, making a total of 12 kills.

The fourth set went quickly as the Whitman pulled ahead and won 25-11. The Missionaries managed to earn 14 kills while the Wildcats only put out four kills.

The fifth and final match went to the Wildcats, who took an early lead due to some errors made by Whitman. Linfield maintained the lead for the entire set, winning 15-9.

The whole game resulted in 54 kills for the Wildcats, 21 kills belonging to junior Kailana Ritte-Camara. Following in second for the Wildcats was freshman Sam Hammons with 11 kills. Junior Courtney Wanamaker made 23 defensive digs, followed by a tie for second most digs was sophomore Quinn Takashima and Ritte-Camara with 16 digs.

Despite the success of their first game, the Wildcats fell to Whitworth University on Nov. 8. The game was close, but the Pirates managed to pull ahead in three of the four set.

The Wildcats took the first set 25-23, despite an early Pirate lead. The Wildcats tied it up after a string of errors made by Whitworth and a block made by junior Victoria Thompson at point 22.

The second set went in favor of the Pirates, 25-17.

The Wildcats tried to gain another win, but were outplayed in final few plays, ending in a Whitworth win, 28-26.

The final set ended with a five point difference in favor of Whitworth, 25-20.

The Wildcats finished the season with a total of eight wins and 15 losses. Half of those wins were made during conference games, giving them a conference record of four wins and 12 losses. Linfield finished last in conference, only one win and loss behind Whitman.

Despite the season being over, the future for Linfield volleyball has a bright outlook.

“It’s sort of a trend to have a really young team,” senior Shaylli Coopock said. “But I think it’s a good experience for them, because being on a smaller team it allows them to have more playing time and so for their future seasons, I think it will be good. This year was a transitioning year, a growing year.”

Kaylyn Peterson/Managing editor


Wildcats fall in last games of the season

Woman’s soccer lost their two final conference game against Lewis & Clark College with a score of 2-1 on Nov. 8 and Pacific Lutheran University with a battle in double overtime that ended with a goal from the Lutes making the final score 3-2 on Nov. 9.

In the Lewis & Clark game freshman Molly McCool score the only goal for the ’Cats that tied the game 1-1 until the Pioneers were able to pull ahead less than 10 minutes later.

This was the first time that Linfield has suffered back-to-back conference losses since 2009.

“There are days when our team just clicks.” Freshman Erin Moller said. “There is always a bit of anxiety connected with away games, and our goal is to pinpoint that feeling and get a feel for what we can do as a team to overcome that anxiety. When we decide as a team to get out there and play our game, we succeed.”

The next day the Wildcats went against the Lutes for the final game in conference for both teams.

The Lutes started off with the lead and didn’t let the ’Cats score until the second half, where senior Emily Fellows scored her conference-leading 20 season goal to put them on the board.

Sophomore Tegan Grunwald then tied it up with the Lutes with at 2-2 that pushed the two teams into double overtime.

The game ended with Pacific Lutheran scoring after three attempts against the Wildcats.

With these two losses, Linfield finished the season 11-4-1 making them one win shy of first place in Northwest Conference standing.

Stephanie Hofmann/Sports editor


Freshman stands out on soccer field


With 50 plus  saves and great leadership abilities, freshman keeper Jorge Rodriguez is the main man to watch at Linfield soccer games.

After lettering three times and being the team captain in high school play, as well as being a second team all-Metro League honoree, Rodriguez came into Linfield knowing how to take over and give the team the best chance to win. Rodriguez has started in every game he has played in all but one, playing over 1000 total minutes this season. He missed four games due to injury late in the season, but still managed to reach the 50 save mark, finishing the year with 52 saves.


Freshman goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez (1) kicks the ball down the field during the first half of the Nov. 9 game. Rodriguez had 52 saves and gave up 19 goals total this season.
Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer

“Reaching the 50 save mark feels good, although it wasn’t something I was aware of,” Rodriguez said. “I just did my part to help us win.”

He gave up an average of 1.71 goals per game, giving up 19 total goals, but saved a little over 73 percent of shots that came his way.

He was not very happy with his play this year, however, saying, “I could have done much better preparing myself during the offseason, and done a better job on the field. I don’t feel like I played up to my full potential.”

He felt a little better about how the team played as a whole, but still believes they could be much better.

“I am decently happy with how we did, but I know we could have done better. A lot of the guys on the team would agree with that,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez expects that the team will do much better next year, and will work hard during the offseason in order to ensure the best chance of success for him and his team.

“My expectations for next year are to finish top three in league and get eight total clean sheets,” Rodriguez said. “We have a very young team full of potential.”

The Wildcats ended their season with a record of 8-9-1, improving from year to year. This young Linfield team will look to take a another step further next year and reach the .500.

Drew Mahrt/Senior sports reporter