Alec Wisthoff/Sports editor
With spring sports coming to a close many Linfield Wildcat fans are turning their heads towards the 2014 football season.
Hopes are high next season after falling short to UW-Whitewater in the 2013 playoff season. With many seniors graduating the ’Cats are looking towards a strong incoming freshman class to help build the team. The team itself has been working hard in the offseason to ensure that there will be a strong morale for next season.
The team has been left in a state with many leadership opportunities available.
“It will be very interesting to see who steps up into leadership roles and how the team responds to them,” Coach Joe Smith said in an email. “Our guys have been working very hard in the offseason and I am pleased with the leadership our seniors to be have shown up to this point.”
Though the Wildcats had a strong regular season they fell short in the run to the national title. Changes need to be made, but they must assess the team with the new incoming freshman to see what needs to be changed.
“Every year’s team is its own entity,” Smith said. “We will need to see how we come together as we add the freshman class to the team, then we can assess where our weaknesses and strengths lie and what adjustments we need to make.”
If you were to ask any Linfield student on how they believed the ’Cats would do next season almost all would say they would play for the national title. Many freshmen that join this prestigious program should know that even the mightiest teams could fall.
“Every year our expectations are to build throughout the season to the point where we are the equal of any team in the country,” Smith said. “If we have enough talent in the program and we have worked in the offseason to our utmost, then playing to our full potential will lead to many wins on the scoreboard this next season.”
Linfield went undefeated in the regular season scoring an average of 48.8 points a game while holding their opponents to only 14.1. Though Linfield outscored their opponents it doesn’t deny the fact that teams change each year.
“The league will be similar to what it was last year,” Smith said. “PLU will be solid with their offense pretty much intact, but their defense took a big hit with graduation. WU will be solid, as will Pacific. Whitworth I expect to be improved over last year.”
The 2014 football season should be filled with many leadership opportunities for the remaining players and, as always, plenty of touchdowns.
Alec Wistoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org