Sunday, July 26, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Linfield

Located in McMinnville, Oregon the Wildcats of Linfield at one time fielded a wrestling program.  Today the school is NCAA Division III.  At the time they had wrestling they were NAIA. 

Dave Youngbluth
152 lbs 

Youngbluth was an NAIA All American in 1966 with a sixth place finish. 

Ray Larson
190 lbs  

Larson was sixth at the 1972 NAIA Championships 

Mark Harvey 

Harvey took sixth place All American honors at the 1978 NAIA championships. 

Bob Walker

A graduate of Grants Pass High School,  Walker came to Linfield to play football & to wrestle.  During his time on the gridiron, Linfield played against Northwestern (Iowa) in the NAIA championship game. They were getting beat 22-0 going into halftime but came back to win 33-22 in what some consider to be the greatest football game ever played in the NAIA.   After his football & wrestling days came to an end as a competitor he turned to coaching, where he coached both sports at Roseburg high school. 

Russ Thurman

Thurman's high school didn't have a wrestling team.  During his prep years he was a standout on the football, basketball & track teams.  When he came to Linfield it was to continue in those three sports. Yet the Wildcats had announced that they were considering getting a wrestling team.  Thurman thought it looked interesting.  He was the first to sign up for the program & he began to learn the sport from coaches at high schools in the area & from books.   Initially the coach of the program, Linfield wanted a faculty member as coach, so Thurman taught a professor about the sport so he could take over.   

Post college, Thurman went on to coach wrestling at Crook County High school where he lead his team to an impressive 500-76 dual record.  This included winning 17 district titles & finishing in the top 10 at the state tournament on 18 occasions including two state titles. 

No comments:

Post a Comment