By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — Last year’s Vikings boys’ basketball team finished the year with just three conference wins for a seventh place finish, but went 7-16 overall.
This year, head coach Garrett Maas sees his team being right in the thick of things for the Dunn-St. Croix title chase.
What does he credit that to?
“There’s a definitely improvement in attitude,” he said prior to a practice session last week. “I think it’ll be a great year for basketball in the conference.”
The 2016-2017 Vikings’ boys seemed plagued by some negative attitudes on the court by Maas’ admission, something which appears to be a thing of the past.
The Colfax coach said he is looking forward to this season with his roster of 32 players to see just how well the Vikings can play.
Colfax graduated just two players from last year’s team in May, Jacob Larson and Matthew Reisdorf. Larson was named second-team all-DSC for his senior season after averaging 13.7 points per game and 8.7 rebounds. Reisdorf completed his high school career with 2.8 PPG and 3.0 rebounds.
Treyton Teige and Marcus Reisdorf are back for their final seasons as letter winners. Teige picked up 4.7 points per game in his junior season, while Reisdorf take up 1.8 per game despite sitting out several weeks late in the season due to an ankle injury.
The duo are joined by fellow seniors Dylan Everett and Taylor Sarauer for one final season of prep basketball play.
Juniors Luke Heidorn, George Scharlau and Ben Thompson return after big sophomore seasons. Scharlau, who tacked on an extra three inches between February and now to stand at six feet, five inches, led the Class of 2019 with 11.7 points per game, and an impressive 6.3 rebounds per game.
Heidorn picked up 2.6 PPG and 33 rebounds after coming off the bench in 18 games. Thompson averaged nine PPG and 77 rebounds while providing 21 assists. The trio will be joined by Jackson Hellmann, Zach Paffel and Trevor Rothbauer in seeking varsity minutes for 2017-2018.
Sophomore Ed Hydukovich picked up a varsity letter in his freshman season after nabbing 14 rebounds in nine games last year. Noah Albricht, Marcus Drees, Tyler Hallquist, Wesley Kallstrom, Brady Lawrence, Zach Rindy, Bryce Schindler, Cole Seehaver and Brad Thompson will also represent the sophomore class on this year’s team.
A class of 12 freshmen joins the team this season to start gaining valuable experience. That class includes Asher Black, Shane Cooper, Danny Cuaquehua, Caden Erickson, Drew Gibson, Noah Heidorn, Tanner Hoffman, Easton Kassa, Devan Olson, Hunter Rebak, Mitchell Reisdorf and Quinn Russell.
While Maas did not name any players he sees potential in this season, he does seem to see the team’s change in attitude as one of the Vikings’ greatest strengths going into this year. He also retains a solid group of starters and back-up players from last season after underclassmen like Hydukovich and Heidorn proved productive off the bench.
Maas also did not pinpoint who he thought would take this season’s D-SC title, but mentioned Glenwood City, Durand, and Spring Valley as teams to watch in the conference race.
Garrett Maas is heading into his fifth season as head basketball coach at Colfax, and will be assisted by John Dickinson as the junior varsity coach, and Tim Devine as the c-team coach.
The Vikings open their season November 21 at Ellsworth, and will open their home season November 28 against Thorp. Colfax then will not play again until hosting Cadott December 4, and Turtle Lake December 5. The team will take December 6 off before facing Boyceville on the road December 7, and will cap the week with a December 9 contest against Fall Creek at the Northwest Tip-off Classic hosted by UW-Stout.
Seniors: Dylan Everett, Marcus Reisdorf, Taylor Sarauer and Treyton Teige.
Juniors: Luke Heidorn, Jackson Hellmann, Zach Paffel, Trevor Rothbauer, George Scharlau and Ben Thompson.
Sophomores: Noah Albricht, Marcus Drees, Tyler Hallquist, Ed Hydukovich, Wesley Kallstrom, Brady Lawrence, Zach Rindy, Bryce Schindler and Cole Seehaver.
Freshmen: Asher Black, Shane Cooper, Danny Cuaquehua, Caden Erickson, Drew Gibson, Noah Heidorn, Tanner Hoffman, Easton Kassa, Devan Olson, Hunter Rebak, Mitchell Reisdorf and Quinn Russell.