By Arwyn Rice
Pilot staff writer
Morgan Kocher attended the Linfield College Nov. 20 football banquet in the same spirit he played football for the team for four years: to support his team.
During those years Kocher, 22, never missed a practice and gave his all on the second-string "scout team."
Someone noticed. In fact, the whole team noticed. When a surprise award created just for Kocher was announced at the team banquet, Kocher received a standing ovation from the entire team.
"The Linfield L' Award" the award read. "For outstanding commitment to caring, service, football family, faith ethics, character, family values, academic career and strength and fitness."
"It's really nice to get recognition from the team, from those who put the work in," Kocher said.
Kocher, son of Gerry Livingston and Curry Coastal Pilot publisher Charles Kocher, played football and wrestled for Brookings-Harbor High School for four years before undergoing reconstructive knee surgery after his graduation in June 2005.
After surgery, Kocher spent his first year as a Linfield Lynx on the bench, but still found ways to contribute to the team.
Kocher spent his three active years as a member of the Linfield "scout team," a development squad that models the plays used by the next opponent so the first-string team can prepare a defense.
"How much effort the scout team puts into it makes the difference," Kocher said.
The 2008 season was Linfield football team's 53rd winning season.
Kocher expects to graduate in spring 2009 with a degree in athletic training, and will spend the 2009 fall semester interning as an athletic trainer at a Salem high school.