Ashland's Lime to play FB at Linfield

Ashland High senior Franklin Lime, a Midwestern League first-team all-star football player who helped the Grizzlies reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals last fall, has decided to attend NCAA Division III powerhouse Linfield College.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Lime said he hopes to play defensive end for the Wildcats, who boast a record 56 consecutive seasons, four national championships and eight playoff berths in the last 12 seasons. He also considered Lewis & Clark College, Pacific University and Navy, but after checking out the campus and meeting the coaches decided Linfield was the best fit.

"After the visit it just seemed like the place for me," said Lime, who was recruited Jim Nagel, the former Ashland head coach who's now the offensive coordinator at Linfield for the past eight years. "On the field and off the field the coaches expect the most out of you — it's just a lot like Ashland. I mean, you're not allowed to cus."

Blessed with phenomenal speed for his size, Lime was a first-team all-league selection on offense (tight end), defense (defensive end) and special teams (punter) as a senior. On offense, he led the Grizzlies in receptions (34), receiving yards (467) and was tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions (four). On defense, Lime led the team in both sacks (nine) and tackles for loss (17.5). As a punter, he averaged 35.1 yards per boot.

Despite his big-play ability as a tight end, Lime says he has no qualms about sticking to defense and defense alone in college.

"I thought about it for a while, but I would rather be making some big hits," he said. "(last season) made me love defensive end, and (Linfield's) system I think will help me to utilize my pass rush."

College Sports

Southern Oregon ranks 16th in the latest NAIA Learfield Sports Directors Cup Standings, as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics released the first set of winter rankings Thursday.

The Raiders garnered 90 points for the wrestling team's second-place finish at the 2012 NAIA Championships, with the men's indoor track and field team picking up 40 points thanks to a pair of All-American performances. Combined with SOU's fall point total, the Raiders' mid-year total of 279 points places them 16th overall and third among Cascade Collegiate Conference programs.

Southern Oregon is looking to finish 2011-12 school year in the NAIA top 25 for the second time in department history and first time since 2001-02.

Southern Oregon's best mark was a 22nd-place finish in 2001-02.

Fellow CCC schools Concordia (sixth, 371.75 points) and College of Idaho (14th, 281) rank ahead of SOU, while Eastern Oregon (30th, 169) and Northwest Christian (78th, 80) also made the top 100. Azusa Pacific leads the standings with 603 points, 149 ahead of second-place Oklahoma Baptist (454).

Southern Oregon University sports information contributed to this report.

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