by Marlys Kruger
Wow. Another exciting basketball season ended with plenty of ups and downs for all four of the teams I cover for The Messenger. Colfax and Elk Mound boys’ and girls’ teams combined for a 85-15 record with the Elk Mound boys and the Colfax girls winning the conference championships.
Both Elk Mound teams ended their season in the regional championship game, the Viking boys went a step further and lost in the sectional semi-final game, and of course we know the Lady Vikings finished their season with a silver ball at the state tournament. Not many sports reporters for a small town newspaper can say all of their teams were this successful in the same year. And even less can say they covered one of their teams at the state level two years in a row with the Colfax boys at the Kohl Center in Madison last year and Colfax girls at the Resch Center in Green Bay this year.
It was brought to my attention after the Colfax-Elk Mound boys’ regional championship game it was a little “What goes around comes around” factor involved. Although it occurred 33 years ago in 1980, the Colfax boys, just two years after their state championship season, finished 18-0 on the year and had defeated Elk Mound twice during the run. It was Dick Dieners final year as head coach of the Vikings and the team was ranked pretty high and seemed to have a good chance at getting back to state. Meeting up with Elk Mound in a first round sub- regional game, the Mounders pulled out a 53-51 win to end the Colfax season. Bruce Myers scored 14 points in the win while Kevin Malnory and Scot Miller both had 12. This year, the Elk Mound boys were undefeated at 23-0, were highly ranked and had beaten Colfax twice during the regular season. But in the regional final, the Vikings earned a hard fought win 67-52, ending the Mounders season. I wonder if Mike Kiekhafer, a senior starter on the 1980 Colfax team had a little talk with his youngest son Ethin, a junior starter for the Vikings this year, before that game? (Mike scored eight points in the final quarter of that game, including 6 of 6 free throws).
Several of our local basketball players, have earned other honors besides All Conference including Mallie Doucette of Colfax who was named to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 All State Team on the first team while Elk Mound’s Josie Hayes was named honorable mention. Mallie was also chosen for the Division 4 State Tournament team. The Mounder’s Nick Heit was named to the WBCA honorable mention All State Team for Division 4 also.
The Bloomer-Colfax wrestling co-op season culminated with Colfax freshman Brady Simonson competing at the state tournament. Although Brady lost both matches there, head coach Jim Poirier said the experience of wrestling at the Kohl Center will be valuable for him in the next three years. Poirier also said the team loses a couple of seniors but have one eighth grader form Colfax expected to wrestle in high school next year and 5-6 from Bloomer so he thinks the numbers will hold steady for a few years.
With snow still on the ground, several baseball and softball games have already been postponed or cancelled. Before you head out to try and catch some action by the local teams, check the Colfax or Elk Mound school website or call the school to find out if the games are on. Track and field teams begin outdoor competition April 4 at St. Croix Central but they may be able to only do running events because the area where the field events take place is still wet. Again, check with the respective schools for details.
I for one, am ready to get into the spring sports season!