Falcons gain slight edge in I-80 rivalry

PVL Pipeline
By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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One can’t have Mr. Hyde without Dr. Jekyll. One can’t have Captain Ahab without the great white whale. One can’t have Harry Potter without “he who shall not be named” (Voldemort). One can’t have a rivalry without an antagonist. Whether one prefers to refer to the rivalry as “Placer vs. Colfax,” or “Colfax vs. Placer,” it is a rivalry between two high profile athletic schools. With graduation a little over a week away, the athletic season for 2010-2011 has almost come to a close. A look at the head-to-head meetings between the two schools shows how intense the competition is between these two schools. Since the rivalry began six years ago, each school has painstakingly carved out a niche of success in certain sports. Yet, some sports show no dominant school. Over the course of this year, the two schools met 19 times in 12 different sports. Of those 19 meetings, Colfax won 12 while Placer won 7. Placer has become the dominant team in cross-country, girls’ volleyball, wrestling, tennis, and track. Colfax has exerted its muscle in boys’ soccer, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, and girls’ soccer. Football, the most high profile of all high school sports, has seen the two schools split the four games played since Joey Montoya became the Hillmen head coach. Colfax won the first game in 2007-08. Placer won in 2008-09 and 2009-2010. Colfax won an overtime thriller this past season. … Colfax High will lose a longtime teacher and coach when Mondo Alonzo retires at the end of this school year. Hired at Colfax in 1973, Alonzo has coached football, track, skiing, and started the wrestling program in the late 1980’s. “If you combine all the sports I have coached over the years, it would work out to 80 seasons,” stated Alonzo. “I coached 37 years of football, including two years at Nevada Union. For several years, I was the co-head football coach with Tony Martello. “I have enjoyed working with the kids all these years. I tried to let the kids know that the joy was in the chase and not in the catch,” Alonzo added, alluding to the old saying, “It’s the journey and not the destination.” Ironically, Alonzo will return as a volunteer coach next year. He will coach the defensive line on the varsity as the Falcons compete for another league title. He will also work part-time in the spring as the throws coach for the track and field program. Coaches like Alonzo are a rare breed. His 37 years of service to Colfax and its students will be sorely missed.