by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — After finishing 13-9 overall and 9-6 in conference play a year ago, second year Colfax coach Garrett Maas hopes his senior leadership along with some experienced juniors will help the team keep up with their winning ways in this season. Maas will have to find someone to replace four-year starter Ethin Kiekhafer. Kiekhafer played just about every position for the Vikings and was a three time All Conference player while finishing third in the conference in scoring as a senior.
Returning with three years of varsity experience is Sawyer DeMoe, who led the Vikings in scoring as a junior and was second in the conference with a 16.3 points per game average and was also the team’s leading rebounder. Also returning are guard Jeremiah Wait and forward Ben Kragness. Wait led the team in assists last year with 82 while Kragness was fourth in the rebounding department, averaging 4.8 per game.
Juniors with varsity experience who should contribute are guard/forward Jarrod Rudi, the third leading scorer with a 6.5 average and guard Kedar Davis.
Maas expects juniors Isaac Lee, Andrew Harmon and Brett Prince along with sophomore Aliymu Davis to vie for varsity spots.
Rounding out the team are sophomores Rowdy Kadinger, Bryce Kragness, Matthew Reisdorf and Jacob Larson, along with a big group of freshman, including Taylor Sarauer, Treyton Teige, Mitchell Kiekhafer, Marcus Reisdorf, Caleb Korevaar, Jackson Harvey, Adam Pretasky and Jacob Jensen.
Maas believes the strength of this year’s team will be just that -— their strength.
“We have some pretty big kids, not tall but strong,” he said. “We should be able to control the boards. But we will need some players to be able to hit from long range so we can open up the middle for our inside shooters.”
He expects the conference to be pretty balanced this season and looks for Glenwood City and Elmwood-Plum City to be pretty decent this year.
“But Spring Valley is very well coached and they have the tallest team in the conference this year,” he said. “And Mondovi only has one senior back but their JV team was undefeated last year. So we’ll just see how things play out. We hope to be in the mix of things at the end of the year,” he added.
Colfax will open the season at home in a non-conference game against Cochrane-Fountain City December 2 then will not be on their own court until January 6. Maas is assisted by Ryan Krall as well as another familiar face, who is helping out when his busy schedule allows him, former coach Andy Meade.