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Falcons are filling vacancies

Graduated standouts who led Colfax to playoffs leave big shoes behind for 2009
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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COLFAX — A season after losing several key players that fueled Colfax High’s boys soccer team to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Falcons coach Robert Ruzette is on the lookout for new sources to fill vacancies created by the graduation of those departed standouts. “I don’t think this year’s squad will have the soccer skills of last year’s team but they have a lot of heart and desire,” Ruzette said prior to his team opening the season. “We’ll have some good, quality players back but we will have a lot of new faces out there too.” However, thanks to some heady play by a combination of returnees and newcomers, the Falcons are off to a 5-5 start to the campaign. In last weekend’s always tough Del Campo Jamboree, the Falcons showed their potential by notching wins over Kennedy and Pioneer and dropping a pair of 2-1 losses to Vacaville and Del Camo. “We played very well against good competition,” Ruzette said. “We’re improving every time out.” Ruzette’s biggest chore will be finding sources to replace scoring leaders Aaron Schindler, now on scholarship at William Jessup, and Erik Mackenstadt. The duo combined for 33 goals last season. “We’ll miss Aaron and Erik but we’re looking for new people to step up this season,” Ruzette said. “I think our offense will be more balanced this year.” Ruzette will have a core of five players who started in Colfax’s rotation last season plus a key transfer player. Expected to pick up some of the slack in Colfax’s offense are the likes of seniors Steve Smith and Michael Manning and juniors Austin Oberg and Joey Rooker, both who played on the varsity team last season as sophomores. In addition, David Lanthier and Trent Sosbee, both varsity players a year ago, are being counted on by Ruzette to also be factors this season. So is Quentin Devins, a foreign exchange student from France who just joined the team. “David and Trent are two players who gained experience last season and could really help us this season,” Ruzette said. “The addition of Quentin has also been a plus for us.” Elliott Forsman was one of the leading scorers on last season’s JV squad and is expected to be in the playing mix for the Falcons while goalie Adam McCord, who played at Colfax as a freshman, returns after two seasons in Minnesota. A year ago, Colfax went 3-0-3 over its last six matches to nip Whitney for the Pioneer Valley League’s third playoff berth. The Falcons finished behind El Dorado and Lincoln in the standings. “I think El Dorado will be up there again and you can’t count out Lincoln either,” Ruzette said. “Placer and Whitney should also be right in there, too. Hopefully, we’ll be able to play with those teams.”