COLFAX — After winning the conference championship two years ago then relinquishing the title to Elk Mound last year, the Colfax boys’ basketball team has high ambitions this year and hopes to be a contender for that top spot again. The Vikings finished the conference season with a record of 12-4, tied for second place with Elmwood, and their overall record was 19-6. They won the regional championship over Elk Mound after having lost to them twice during the regular season, then ended the season with a sectional semi-final loss to Unity under the direction of now retired head coach Andy Meade.
First year head coach Garrett Maas is familiar with the team and their talents, after working as an assistant with the program for seven years. He knows he needs to replace All Conference post player Lane Olson, and AC three point sharp shooter Cody Zivcic as well as reserve Joe Wahl. With only one senior on the roster this year, this could be a tall task, but this senior is a mighty talented and experienced one. Ethin Kiekhafer will be starting his fourth season at the varsity level and has played in regional and sectional championship games and at the state level. He has played pretty much every position on the court and as a junior, averaged 10.8 points per game, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He is a three-time All Conference player, named First team last year and will be expected to be a team leader.
Juniors with varsity experience include Sawyer DeMoe with two years under his belt who also played in some big time games, averaging over 10 ppg last year and 7.3 rpg, along with point guard Jeremiah Wait and forward Ben Kragness, as well as sophomore Jarrod Rudi who saw plenty of playing time as a freshman. Juniors Grant Phillips, Jacob Klukas and Andrew Larson fill out the varsity roster along with sophomores Kedar Davis, Zach Meyer, Andrew Harmon and Brett Prince along with freshman Aliymu Davis.
Maas feels the teams’ strengths are their size and experience, despite having only one senior. With 20 kids out for varsity and JV, team depth may be a problem and he expects the guards coming back will need to take on a bigger roll this year.
“Our goal is to be competitive every night in a very competitive conference,” he said. “We hope to be in the run for a conference title. Elk Mound is very talented and deep with good size and very skilled players. Mondovi has a lot of talented seniors and are finally healthy, and Spring Valley is well coached and has Zach Webster, one of the top players in the conference,” he added.
Assistant coach this year is Ryan Krall, and he is the junior varsity coach.
Colfax begins the season with a pair of road games, Nov. 19 at McDonell Central and Nov. 21 at Cochrane-Fountain City, then begins conference play at home against Spring Valley Dec. 3.