Falcons wary as they take flight

Veteran defense, speedy offense key Colfax’s hopes for a playoff run
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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COLFAX — Jim Logan learned just how quickly fortunes can turn in the Pioneer Valley League last fall in his inaugural season as Colfax High’s boys soccer coach. The Falcons looked like contenders for the league title until losses against Foothill and Center sent them hurtling toward the bottom half of the standings. “We can’t afford to take anyone for granted, we found that out last year,” Logan said. “I think our seniors realize how short league play is and they know we have to stay focused and not get ahead of ourselves.” Colfax is back with a team Logan believes should be in the hunt for a PVL crown, which the Falcons have not hoisted in nearly a decade. An experienced defense and some dynamic talent on the front line have the Falcons thinking big. “Our back line is phenomenal,” said junior captain Ben Rooker, who combines with Cameron Ford at forward. “I’ve played with Cameron (Ford) for a couple of years and we make a lot of really good plays together. I don’t think most schools have the talent that we have at forward.” Rooker’s older brother Joey led the Falcons with eight goals last year. He graduated, leaving Ben a challenge to not only spark the offense, but lead the team on the field, and off of it. “I take pride in leadership and my brother told me to look forward to that,” Rooker said. “My attitude changed this year and he helped me through that.” Rooker’s running mate Ford is coming off a club season in which he helped the Placer Blues under-16 team reach a No. 2 ranking in the country. Senior Eric Graves anchors the defense at sweeper. Left back Gary Root was an all-PVL pick last season. Sophomore Adam Allen has proven to be a valuable defensive player despite his youth and junior Josh Partin is also reliable. If anyone gets through the back line, senior goalkeeper Chris Lovejoy is there to stop them. Senior Ryan Sinclair is a leader in the midfield. He scored three goals last season and already has a team-best four this year. Logan’s sons, senior Jimmy and sophomore Jake, are both valuable contributors in the midfield. Senior Mike Moore has come on strong early this season with one goal and two assists from his midfield position. “(Moore) is going to be tough for teams to match up with,” Logan said. The Falcons are hoping a new, more possession-oriented approach can boost the offense this year. They managed just 20 goals in 16 games a year ago. “We want to try to take advantage of open space on the field and possess the ball more,” said Logan, who has coached some of this year’s seniors for nearly a decade. Root, who also shines on the baseball diamond, is excited about Colfax’s prospects. “It sounds cheesy, but we have a good connection,” Root said. “We know each other well and we have good leadership. We’ve also got a lot of motivation this year.” The Falcons won’t have time to settle into the PVL schedule. Defending champion Foothill will visit on Sept. 27 in the league opener. “I’m looking forward to Foothill,” Root said. “We had a tough loss against them last year. And Placer’s our rival. We always want to do well against them.”