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 andquot;scout team.andquot;

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.

andquot;The Linfield 'L' Awardandquot; the award read. andquot;For outstanding commitment to caring, service, football family, faith ethics, character, family values, academic career and strength and fitness.andquot;

andquot;It's really nice to get recognition from the team, from those who put the work in,andquot; 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 andquot;scout team,andquot; a development squad that models the plays used by the next opponent so the first-string team can prepare a defense.

andquot;How much effort the scout team puts into it makes the difference,andquot; 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.