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From the Sport’s Desk – 12-30-2015

As we head into 2016, I thought it would be nice to keep all the fans informed on some local college athletes they might want to keep track of this winter, along with some other items of interest. Although my list is getting shorter with several basketball players deciding not to continue playing at the college level, there are a few who are doing quite well early in the season.

Colfax graduate Lane Olson is a sophomore on the roster at Division II UM-Duluth and has played in all eight of their games, starting three of them. He has been averaging 12 minutes a game for the 8-3 Bulldogs who play in the Northern Sun Conference and has scored 34 points as a post player with 28 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Former Viking Ethin Kiekhafer is a sophomore but listed as a freshman on the roster for the Viterbo University team and has seen playing time in seven of their 13 games, averaging 6.6 minutes a  a game. He has scored nine points including one triple and has three rebounds and three assists.

Braanna Steen from Colfax, has started in all nine games for the University of Dubuque, a Division III team in Iowa. She is third on the team in scoring with a 12 point average and scored 19 points in a game against UW-Stout on Dec. 8. She upped that with a personal best 22 points in a game against UW-La Crosse a week later and for the season has scored 109 points with 11 three pointers and is 26 for 36 in free throws. She also has 79 rebounds and 17 blocks while playing for head coach Mark Noll, a former Colfax resident.

Mallie Doucette, also a former Viking, transferred to St. Cloud State University after playing basketball for Minnesota State-Moorhead last year. Doucette is ineligible to play for the Huskies this year due to transfer rules but practices with the team and is listed on their roster. Both schools are in the Northern Sun Conference which are al Division II. Since St. Cloud is my home town and I still have family there, I may have to take a trip or two next year to catch a game.

Colfax graduate Jared Miller is a junior post player for the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds and has been playing a few minutes in every game this season. In a 80-74 win over St. Olaf during the Blugolds Holiday Classic, Miller played nine minutes and was 2 for 2 at the free throw line and defensively came up with one steal.

A couple of former track and field stars will be competing in the indoor track season starting in January including Colfax grad Sarah McMahon at Bradley University and Elk Mound grad Emma Hayes at UW-River Falls.

A few Colfax grads are trying to make a name for themselves on the gridiron including Trevor Secraw, a junior defensive end for UW-Eau Claire. After going 0-10 this season, the Blugolds head coach was relieved of his duties so Secraw, who saw limited action, will be playing for a new coach his senior year. A pair of red shirt freshmen, Ben Kragness and Jeremiah Wait dressed but did not play for their respective teams this fall. Kragness is an offensive lineman for Southwest State in Minnesota, a D-II school and Wait is a defensive back for D-III UW-La Crosse.

And speaking of coaches, (I was earlier in this column), many of you faithful readers know when Eau Claire Regis comes to play our Colfax girls Jan. 19 they will be led by Colfax graduate Patrick Boughten. But devout fans will want to be in our gym Jan. 4 to see two of the most winning coaches in the state on the same floor. Coach Al Guthman of Owen-Withee will bring his Blackhawks to town looking for his 650th win while our own Joe Doucette has at least 554. (This was written before the games at UW-Stout).  That makes at least 1,254 wins between the two with Guthman second in the state behind Jim Meyers of Barneveld for most wins while Doucette is seventh.

If I missed any college athletes, please let me know. I used rosters posted on school websites for information.

At the time this is being printed, the Packers are already in the playoffs and the Vikings may or may not be. The last regular season game between the two teams at Lambeau Field may determine whether Teddy, Adrian and company will watch the playoffs from their nice warm living rooms or if they will be on a field somewhere. Good Luck to both of them!