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by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — For the first time in nearly three decades, there will be a new head coach for the Colfax girls’ basketball program.
After former coach Joe Doucette resigned last spring with a career record of 639 wins and 144 losses, he knew he was leaving the varsity program in good hands to someone with a familiar face to Colfax fans. Doucette’s daughter, Courtney (Doucette) Sarauer, is a former player and has been an assistant coach for several years at Colfax and has now taken the big step up to the varsity level. Joe Doucette will continue to work with the junior varsity and the lower level programs.
The Vikings were Dunn-St. Croix Conference champions one year ago with a 14-0 record and finished at 21-4. They were regional champions but, lost in the sectional semifinal game to Unity 52-40.
“We achieved our goal to win conference,” Sarauer said. “After that we wanted to win regional and sectional championships. We accomplished the first but fell short on the second. Our goals are always team goals and we want to repeat as conference champions this year. From there, we set our sights on the tournament,” she added.
If the Vikings are to repeat as champions, they will have to do it with a lot of new faces in the lineup. The team lost eight players through graduation (five starters) including four all-conference players. Kameri Meredith was chosen for the first team and was also the Dunn-St. Croix Player of the Year, while Rachael Scharlau and Morgan Schleusner were first team and Taylor Irwin second team. Also seeing significant playing time were Josie Steinke, Jayna Bowe, Addy Olson, and Saville Wilson.
Players returning with varsity experience include junior Madison Barstad as well as seniors Marissa Harman and Addisyn Olson.
“Madison will be a key player for us this year,” Sarauer said. “We’re also looking for her to be a leader because she has the most varsity experience. Addisyn and Marissa are our only other two varsity players returning and I know they are both ready to step up to the plate. They are eager to prove themselves. But you’ll be seeing a lot of new faces in our program this year. Each player has her own benefit that she brings to the team.”
As always, team depth should be a strength for the Vikings this year with 25 total players out for basketball, Sarauer believes she has 10-11 girls who can all play varsity and contribute. On the flip side, their weakness may be the lack of experience at the highest level. Several of the girls suited up last year for varsity and saw some playing time, but not a lot of close, big game time. She is confident that her girls are ready for the challenge.
As far as the teams to beat in the conference this year, Sarauer believes several of them will be competitive and will be trying to knock Colfax off the top.
“Durand returns their top six scorers this year and they should be a front runner,” she said. “Mondovi returns a lot of great players, and Elk Mound has a lot of new young kids that are going to round out their key returners from last year,” she concluded.
The Vikings will be tested early when they host Mondovi on Tuesday, Dec. 1, then will play again at home Thursday, Dec. 3 against Elmwood/Plum City.
2020-21 Team Roster
Seniors: Abigail Irwin, Addisyn Olson, Bailey Bradford, Marissa Harmon, Tyler Noll, Jasmine Paulus, Rylee Parker
Juniors: Jillian Bowe, Madison Barstad, Emilee Burcham-Scofield, Jasmine Best, Aliyah Rihn, Jenna Goodell
Sophomores: Paige Jensen, Aynsley Olson, Molly Heidorn, Keyarra Olson
Freshmen: Meadow Keltner, Jaycey Bowe, Alexis Schindler, Josie Seehaver, McKenna Shipman, Jeanette Hydukovich, Jada Anderson, Amy Wenzel.