Tag Archives: Football

Key players to look for in the fall season

With all the excitement surrounding football, soccer, cross country, volleyball and golf seasons beginning, I figure it would be a good idea to let the Linfield student body know who the clutch players are and what we can expect from them this fall sports season.

Let’s start with golf.  On the women’s side the Wildcats have freshman Abigail Heringer a strong new golfer from Salem, Ore. She tied for fifth with a score of 15-over-par 159 in the Pacific Invitational last week.  Not bad so far for her first season at Linfield.

Although the women’s golf team finished eighth out of twelve teams at the Pacific Invitational, the Wildcats improved tremendously from the first to the second day, despite terrible weather conditions.

On the men’s side, there are three impressive juniors, Taylor Klopp, Taylor Pirnke and Kevin Kawasaki.  Klopp is described by head coach Greg Copeland as “a hard worker who hates to make a bogey,”  and a natural leader on the team.

Pirnke is described as a solid player and shot 78 on the second day of the Pacific Invitational. Kawasaki is a hard-working player whose extra practice during the summer has helped him to improve overall as a player!

His hard work paid off when he shot a crisp 71 to sit in fourth place at the Pacific Invitational. Kawasaki helped his team achieve first place overall after the first day of the tournament.

In the world of soccer, four men stick out from the lineup: freshmen Brian Degrandmont and Jorge Rodriguez, and seniors Harper Taylor and Jake Baker.

During their last game against Whitman College, Taylor and Baker worked together to score in the first half.  Baker sent in a cornerkick from the left side, which found his teammate in front of the net, setting up a point-blank range shot tying the game in the second half.

This was Taylor’s third career goal and his first goal since the 2010 season. Degrandmont tied the score at 1-1 in the game with a long-shot on goal from beyond the penalty box.  Rodriguez made six saves against the Pacific Lutheran offense keeping the Wildcat’s defense firm settling with a 0-0 tie. For women’s soccer, junior Lauren Pyrch, did her part against Pacific University from the back line helping Linfield achieve its best start in the program’s history and eventually getting the team voted into the top-25 teams by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America holding the 20th spot! Pyrch has been recognized as the Northwest Conference Women’s Soccer Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week and leads a defense, that only  allowed two goals and 14 shot attempts during all three matches. Pyrch is definitely a player that opponents should look out for!

Now how about those football guys? Well, as you know, the Linfield football program has had a very successful start to their season.

The team beat Texas Hardin-Simmons College 71-21 and beat out California Lutheran University last week 52-14. Linfield senior quarterback Josh Yoder was a huge contributing factor for the win against California Lutheran University as he passed for three touchdowns and scored on a 35-yard romp.  In the last game against Case Western Reserve University, sophomore running back sophomore Travon Willis rushed a game-high 80 yards against the Ohio team, while sophomore wide receiver Brian Balsiger caught eight passes for 99 yards, setting the tone for the Wildcats 45-0 shut-out.

Way to go boys!

How about my favorite ladies in spandex? Although the season has started off a bit rough for the squad, there are still some hard-working athletes that we can always count on to work hard and push their teammates to success!

Two-time Northwest Conference all-star junior Kailana Ritte-Camara, topped the stats with a match-high of 14 kills and a .231 hitting average in their last game against Puget Sound University.

Although the Wildcats weren’t able to walk away with a win, her performance should show the other teams that Ritte-Camara is an aggressive player who is ready to give it her all, all year round!

And don’t think I forgot about Linfield’s cross-country runners! We have three outstanding athletes on the team including seniors Hannah Greider, Siena Noe and  Joe Gladow.

With the help of Greider and Noe, the women’s team earned first place overall in the North West Classic held in Eugene, Ore., with five Wildcats finishing in the top ten spots.

Greider finished in third place while Noe finished in fifth place with a time of 19:23. On the men’s side, Gladow set the pace for other Wildcat men.  He scored 85 points and helped the team finish in the top for the Northwest Conference.

The senior averaged 5:19 miles during the 4-mile course, clocking in at 21:15.  With the help of these stellar athletes, the Linfield’s cross country team has a strong chance of qualifying for the NWC Championships and being a strong competitor in the league as well!

So those are the Wildcats to look out for! However, sports teams are called teams for a reason.  Although this article highlights the current star athletes for the season, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go watch and support other Wildcat athletes that weren’t mentioned!

So get out there and support your Wildcats, who knows, maybe you will witness a new star athlete in the making!

By Camille Weber/ Sports Columnist


Wildcats crush Kingsmen, 52-14

The undefeated football team dethroned the California Lutheran University Kingsmen, 52-14, on Sept. 21.

The Wildcats never let the Kingsmen take the lead, only tying with them once in the first quarter before regaining the lead. The teams’ talent, matched with a home field advantage, made them just about unstoppable.

“Being at home is both physically and mentality easier without question,” head coach Joe Smith said. “The crowd also gives you an energy boost that makes playing all that much better.”

The team used these advantages in addition to their talented personnel to pull off a win. The Wildcat offense proved its abilities by nailing a total of seven touchdowns.

The defense was just as impressive and got an interception, which led to a touchdown. The defense held the Kingsmen to two touchdowns.

“I think we have a special team this year,” sophomore Brian Balsiger said in an email. “[We] are capable of performing at an elite level, so no I wasn’t surprised when we got rolling early on in the game. It’s definitely the ‘cherry on top’ to beat a rival handily.”

Even with a great win such as Saturday’s, the Wildcats refuse to let their success get to their heads.

“I don’t think the game said a whole lot,” Balsiger said in an email. “We will always get every team’s best shot each and every week, so as long as we execute and stay disciplined it can be a great season.”

The team will face off at noon on Sept. 28 against Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

By Stephanie Hofmann/Sports editor


Photo-Helen Lee/Photo editor

Senior Josh Hill (center-left) celebrates after making the first of the teams’s seven total touchdowns during their game against Cal Lutheran
University. The team will head to Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 28 to take on the Spartans.

Photo- Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Senior Kyle Wright (left) making the only interception of the second quarter. The Wildcats dethroned the Kingsmen on Sept. 21, 52-14.

Photo- Helen Lee/Photo editor

Junior Westly Meng (left) reaches forward to make one of the seven touchdowns during the game. This was the team’s first football game at the home field this season, and the extra energy helped keep the game alive.

Senior football player takes a hard head-hit

On Sept. 14, during the football game against Hardin-Simmons, senior cornerback Brandon Funk, experienced a full-targeting hit to the head.

The collision occurred when an opponent headbutted Funk, just seconds after senior Kyle Wright had been tackled, ending the play.

“The play started just like any other,” Funk said in an email. “I was about four yards from him [Wright] at the time the play was over. I had started to take my mouth guard out to get the play for the next down, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.”

The referees ejected the Hardin-Simmons player from the game shortly after.

Not only did the referees see the head collision, but the entire nation later saw a clip of the headbutt featured on ESPN.

The clip was shown as an example of why the “no targeting” rule exists.

“[Its] kinda cool I guess,” Funk said in an email. “No one wants to be on a national stage [seen being] trucked, but I’m fairly confident that just about anyone, under those same circumstances, would yield pretty similar results. So that makes it not so bad and the fact that I wasn’t hurt at all makes it fun and exciting to be on ESPN.”

By Stephanie Hofmann/ Sports editor


Wildcats unsaddle Cowboys, 71- 21

tavonwillis Linfield college vs hardon simmons from Kelly Bird

Sophomore running back Tavon Willis dodges advances of the on-coming Hardin-Simmons player. The football team was ahead of
Hardin-Simmons for the entire time and by halftime the Wildcats were 33 points ahead of their opposition.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird

The football team started this season off strong with a 71-21 win against Hardian-Simmons University at Abilene, Texas, on Sept.


Since the first game of the season wasn’t until late in September, the team had a lot more time to prepare in the preseason. They

used this to their advantage by practicing every day and perfecting everything.

“The preseason went well, I thought the coaches did a great job of pushing our tempo and causing chaos that we will have to deal

with in game situations,” said senior quarterback Josh Yoder in an email. “Also we have had a lot of young guys stepping up and

earning spots or are at least pushing older guys to make them better.”

Coming out of preseason, the team never expected the game to be an easy one. They looked at it as a challenge that they were

determined to overcome.

“I expect HSU to be a very physical opponent, and I expect them to play with their hair on fire down in West Texas,” Smith said. “I

have nothing, but the utmost respect for their program. It will be a grueling trip, tough conditions and a very strong opponent. We will

mikeyarkans.chadcoburn from Kelly Bird

Sophomores Mikey Arkans and Chad Coburn tackle a player in the first game of the season. Linfield stayed in the lead throughout the
game and eventually beat Hardin-Simmons University 71-21. Photo courtesy of Kelly Bird

have to bring our best for the entire 4 quarters.”

Which they did, since by the first quarter the football team was already leading 20-0 and they didn’t slow down from there. Not once did

the cowboys come close to scoring above them for the whole game.

“Our offensive line is also looking really good, that’s where it all begins and all of our offensive success will be because of them,”

Yoder said. “Whether that is opening up holes for the running backs to run through, or giving me time to throw, I have complete

confidence they will do a great job.”

Even with the offensive doing so well at the game, Smith emphasizes that the team is made up of more than just one group.

“TEAM is the first pillar of this program, and without it, we are just another program,” Smith said in an email. “So I feel we have been

working well together, all parts putting the whole ahead of themselves. This team has been doing that very well, and it will pay off in a

big way at some point this year.”

The team’s next game this season is against Cal Lutheran at home this Sat., Sept. 21.

Stephanie Hofmann/ Sports editor




The “Lewi,” a package deal on and off the field

Football Twins Color

The Lewis twins, Mitchell (left) and Dylan stand together from football to making the choice on where to go to college, they do it as one.

Freshmen Mitchell and Dylan Lewis are unmistakable identical twins. The twins are often referred to as “twin” or “Lewi,” a term derived from the plural of Lewis.

The twins both stand at six and a half feet tall and have light brown hair. One of the only noticeable differences between the two is a darker brown patch of hair on the back of Mitchell’s head, which is not visible under a football helmet.

“When we were born one of my toenails was painted red to keep us straight,” Mitchell said. “For all I know our parents could have confused us and I could be Dylan.”

The mixups never get old for the twins. Mitchell and Dylan are notorious for sneaking to the bathroom to swap clothing, causing confusion among their friends, babysitters, substitutes, sports opponents and teachers.

“We’re bad,” Dylan laughed. “Its kind of funny and really easy to confuse people. Sometimes I have full conversations with people who think that I’m my brother and I just don’t even correct them.”

The confusion and double-takes surrounding the twins have continued since their arrival at Linfield four weeks ago for football. The twins recalled their first week on campus, when they felt as if there wasn’t a single person who didn’t give them a second glance.

“Even the guys on the football team were a little surprised about how close we are,” Mitchell said. “I think they get it now that we consider ourselves a package deal.”

Playing football without each other in college was never even an option for the Lewi. In fact, the twins never even considered going to different colleges. When asked what it would have been like to play football with out each other, they answered in unison that they wouldn’t be playing if that were the case.

“Choosing a college was a group decision for us,” Mitchell said. “We visited University of Oregon and Western Oregon University, but we didn’t feel like they were schools we wanted to spend the next four years at together. ”

The Lewis brothers felt good vibes from the football coaching staff and players at Linfield.

“We liked Linfield because the team is close and feels like a family,” Dylan said. “The community felt similar to Sheldon High School, where we just graduated from.”

In addition to their identical looks and shared interest of football, they have identical academic goals and hobbies. They are both majoring in business, have the same class schedule, work on homework together and even share a room on the third floor of Mahaffey. In high school, despite taking different classes, the twins had the exact same grade point average, down to the thousandth.

Their free time is spent together of course, playing baseball, Mario Party with their older sister Amanda who goes to Oregon State University, shooting targets, hunting birds, squirrels and deer and fishing for salmon and trout in the Willamette River behind their house.

Football Twins

Dylan Lewis (right) and his twin Mitchell Lewis have done everything together, so going to Linfield together was always the plan.

You would think that spending every waking moment with someone that looks and thinks the exact same way as you, would get annoying; however this is not the case for the Lewi.

“It’s weird when we tell people that we never want space from each other,” Mitchell said. “Most siblings can’t stand to be around each other all the time, but for us its more weird when the other twin isn’t around.”

The longest the boys have spent apart is one week, which was during this past summer when Dylan participated in the Les Schwab Bowl for football.

“Mitch didn’t go, and it was terrible,” Dylan said. “He sent me a text as soon as I left the driveway.  A couple days after I left Mitch texted me that whenever he saw a picture of me around the house, he told me that he felt like he was trying to forget about me or like I had died or something.”

On rare occasions, the twins are apart. Mitch has a girlfriend, which often forces Dylan to be a third wheel while they hang out. Also, the twins’ parents separated when they were 2 years old, forcing them to spend half of their time with their mom and half with their dad, sometimes splitting up for nights at a time.

“If we do split up it’s only for one night because thats all we can handle being away from each other,” Mitchell said. “We have been extremely fortunate in the sense because they still live close to each other, we still have family dinners and they still come to our scrimmages together, which makes it as easy as possible on us.”

According to the twins, there is absolutely nothing they don’t agree on. As freshman on the football team this year the Lewi want to be coachable, accept their roles on and off the field and practice hard all the time.

Mitchell will be wearing jersey number one from the safety position and Dylan will be number 13 from the corner position. The boys have been playing football since the first grade, and have been on the same team ever since. The Lewi brothers love playing on the field at the same time, big surprise.

“People always ask me what its like to be a twin,” Mitchell said. “And I’m like what is it like to not be a twin?”

“People are like, “You guys are weirdly attached to each other,” Dylan said. “And I’m always just like “Yep, you don’t really get it.”

Sarah Mason / Copy Editor

Sarah Mason can be reached at LinfieldReviewCopy@Gmail.com

Photo by Sarah Mason