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Falcon boys look to feed off last season’s success

By: Mike Ray
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The 2017–18 boys basketball season at Colfax High was definitely one that will be remembered.

Anchored by a strong senior class, the Falcons posted a 24-10 record, which equaled the most wins posted by a Colfax boys team since the 2012–13 team notched 24 wins and won the outright Pioneer Valley League title.

Last year’s Falcons grabbed a piece of the PVL crown and also reached the CIF Division V Sac-Joaquin Section and Northern California regional finals.

“We were one game away from playing for a state championship,” said Colfax coach Terry O’Keefe. “I thought we accomplished a lot last season.”

But fast forward to 2018–19 and it’s a whole new ballgame for the Falcons.

For starters, Colfax waved bye-bye to the school’s all-time leading scorer in Garren O’Keefe, now playing football at UC Davis, and second leading scorer Nate Sawi, along with O’Keefe, an All-PVL selection.

Not only is Colfax in a newly realigned PVL, which includes Marysville and Lindhurst replacing Placer and Lincoln, but the school’s enrollment gained 25 students to up it to 601, which now makes Colfax a Division IV team for postseason play.

“I think Division IV in our section will be very competitive this season,” said Terry O’Keefe. “I think our league will be good and real well-balanced too.”

Colfax welcomes back two starters and seven letterman totals from a year ago. In addition, seven players from the Falcons’ 16-10 JV squad and a transfer will also bolster Colfax’s hopes this season.

Leading the returning cast for the Falcons is 6-foot-8-inch senior center Maxx Wolff, who averaged a shade under 10 points and five rebounds a game last season while earning All-PVL honors.

A three-year varsity player, Wolff missed most of the Falcons’ summer action with an injury but looks in early workouts to be rounding into his old form.

Also back after starting a year ago is 6-foot-2 wing Jake Green, who was third on the team a year ago in 3-point shooting. Green uses his athletic prowess to make him a threat on both ends of the court.

While the lengthy Colfax High football season slowed the start of seven players expected to be in the playing mix, O’Keefe noted that the remainder of the Falcons’ starting spots could be filled by the likes of seniors Alex Weir, John McCann, Christian Evensen, Jack Watts and 6-foot-7-inch Klay Calvert.

Up from the JVs and also ready to lend a hand are Sam Sinor, Daniel Bliss, Michael LaVigne, Max Keonig, Wyatt Paul, Blake Havens and Dakota Campos. The Falcons also landed a transfer player in junior guard Luke Stallions, who played last season for Placer’s JV squad.

“When we get everyone here and in basketball shape, we should be okay,” said O’Keefe. “We have a lot of players that have been in the program a long time. They know what we’re asking of them.”