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Islanders should catch Cole Franklin and the Linfield Wildcats
As a proud graduate of Linfield College, I was pleased to finally see a bit about Friday Harbor's own Cole Franklin and his season with the Linfield football team this past season in The Journal.
I saw three Wildcat games this year and Cole played in two of them (injured in one) and did very well given this is his first season of starting. Linfield is a NCAA Division III team that plays schools like Pacific Lutheran and U of Puget Sound and sent Willamette [10-1] to the national playoffs.
Cole matured a lot this year and by the end of the season he was making much better on the field decisions, quick decisions. This only comes from someone with a good, quick mind so I was pleased to see that he is Dean's List academic as well.
By the way, NCAA Division III schools don't have any athletic scholarships so it is really a labor of love playing at this level.
He will have a much better season next year if Linfield develops (1) a stronger and more consistent running game and (2) their receivers and backs hold on to the ball more. Dropped passes and fumbles really hurt their season [6-3] this year but it is not the quarterback's fault. His leading the team in rushing is indicative of the weakness of the running game but is a great tool to have in "go to" situations.
I love it, seeing a guy from Friday Harbor on the starting line-up of my alma mater, so islanders should go to Tacoma and see Cole when the 2009 Wildcats play either PLU or UPS some Saturday afternoon. I played on Wildcat teams in the late 1950s when we started the 53 straight years of winning seasons, an NCAA all-divisions record, and went on to coach a bit in the Canadian Football League so I know something of the game, especially Linfield football.
Great work, Cole. Hope to meet you some day on campus.
Bill Berlin [Linfield '60]
Anacortes, and former San Juan Island resident