Three seniors from Colfax finished off their basketball playing days for the Vikings with a Dunn-St. Croix Conference co-championship this year. Sawyer DeMoe was a four year letter winner while Jeremiah Wait and Ben Kragness both lettered three years for the team.
DeMoe was a part of two conference championships, his freshman year and senior year, and a regional and sectional championship as a freshman. He helped the Vikings to a 63-34 overall record and 46-15 conference record during his four years. In DeMoe’s freshman year, the team ended their season on the Kohl Center floor at the WIAA state tournament. He played in all 27 games for the Vikings including the loss to Dominican at state, finishing the year with 93 points, 76 rebounds, five assists, 10 steals and six blocked shots.
He continued to improve on both the offensive and defensive side of the game in his next three seasons. As a sophomore, he was third on the team in points with 260, adding 28 assists, snared 182 rebounds, had 28 steals and 11 blocked shots. He was named Second Team All Conference for his efforts. He led the Vikings in scoring and rebounding his junior year, averaging 16.3 points a game with 358 total, and 188 rebounds for the season. He added 16 assists and was third on the team in steals with 23 with nine blocked shots. He was named Second Team All Conference for the second time.
Heading into his senior year, DeMoe needed just 289 points to surpass the 1,000 point mark for his career. Although it appeared he would reach that pinnacle at Glenwood City, he graciously held off and scored number 1,000 in the next game, which happened to be in front of the home crowd in a come from behind win over Mondovi. DeMoe finished with 15 points in the game, and had the Vikings lost, they would have been knocked out of contention for the conference title. He was a First Team All Conference selection and was also the D-SC Co-Player of the Year along with Elmwood-Plum City’s Levi Wolf. His career totals are: 1,053 points which leaves him fifth on the list of leading scorers in school history, 630 rebounds, 53 assists, 76 steals and 39 blocked shots. His high game of his career was 28 points in his junior year against Cochrane-Fountain City and he pulled down a career high 14 rebounds in the game versus Flambeau, also his junior year.
Wait was a point guard for three seasons after missing his freshman year with a torn ACL. He played in 22 games, starting eight of them as a sophomore and was second on the team in assists with 43. In his junior year, he started 18 games and led the Vikings in assists with 82 and was second in steals with 28. After starting all but one game as a senior, he again led the team in assists with 70 and was second in swiping the ball away from the opponents with 34 steals. And he showed that at five foot nine, you can still be a factor under the basket if you get yourself in the right position as he snared 75 rebounds, placing him fifth on the team in that category. His career totals include 146 points (67 as a junior), 182 rebounds, 195 assists and 76 steals. He had a high game of nine points in the McDonell Central game as a junior and a career high eight assists that season against Plum City.
Kragness was a two year starter for the Vikings and used his abilities to help DeMoe under the basket, scoring 102 points this year. He was fourth on the team in rebounds his junior year with 106 and second this year with 99. Although most of his points came from the paint, he knocked down seven triples this year with most of them coming at a key point of the game including two in the afore mentioned Mondovi game. He totaled 195 points, 279 rebounds, 49 assists, 19 steals and six blocked shots. His high game for his career was 13 points this year against St. Croix Central and he had a personal high nine rebounds in the game versus Eleva -Strum this year.
Head coach Garrett Maas commented on his three players:
“These three guys should be very proud of what they accomplished this year,” he said. “They showed the younger kids what hard work during the season and the off season can do to make you a better team. They were great leaders and played through adversity this year when we had several lineup changes. They kept their heads up and gave 100% every game which is all we could ask for,” he added.