Smaller team, coaching staff changes as Colfax football season begins
The start of the high school football season has always brought a sense of anticipation and excitement for players, coaches, parents and fans alike.
This Friday night at Marson Stadium should be no different as the Colfax High Falcons kick off their 57th season of football when the Green and White (or is it green and silver now?) host Golden Sierra in the 2016 lid-lifter.
Colfax enters Friday’s game hoping to embark on a year where the Falcons can sweep last autumn’s 3-7 mark under the rug.
If it means anything, veteran Falcons coach Tony Martello, starting his 22nd season at the helm of the Falcons Friday, liked what he saw in his team’s scrimmage action last Saturday at Marysville.
“Overall, we did all right,” Martello said. “We have a long, long way to go but it was a good step for us. We did well and we came out healthy so that’s always good.”
Colfax enters this season untested in several key positions and the Falcons are fielding one of their smallest squads in Martello’s tenure in regards to numbers.
“Our numbers are down a bit this season but the kids that are out there are all working hard,” Martello said. “The effort has been there.”
Martello’s varsity staff this season has taken on a little bit of a make-over from a year ago.
Justin Heimann, the school’s athletic director who led the Colfax JVs to a 9-1 record and a Pioneer Valley League co-championship last season, has moved up this season to coach running backs.
A pair of former Colfax High standouts have also joined this year’s staff.
Tommy Baldoni, the PVL’s offensive MVP in 2010, is coaching linebackers, while Daniel Stephens, an all-league player for Colfax in 2009 who went on to play at LaVerne College is working with the defensive backs.
However, one of the biggest re-additions to the Falcons coaching corps is the return of Jason Stowers to coach Colfax’s defense.
Stowers coached and taught at Colfax from 1999 to 2010 before moving on to Del Oro where he was an assistant coach for three seasons. In 2013 and 2014, Stowers was the head coach at Woodcreek. While at Colfax in his first tenure, Stowers was the architect of several outstanding championship Falcons’ defenses.
Joe Pelfanio is coaching the Colfax JVs this season. Pelfanio is being assisted by defensive coordinator Marc Corro, C.J. Topper on the offensive and defensive lines and defensive backs coach Jason Slattery. His team will kick off Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Colfax frosh, who open today on the road against the Biggs JVs, are being coached by Wyatt Covich who will be assisted by Dennis Lahie, Adam Echeverry and Steven Collier.
The season gets underway with some good match-ups. Here’s how the opening weekend looks:
Colfax 22 Golden Sierra 14 – A year ago, Falcons couldn’t stop the Grizz Box.
Bear River 16 Orland 14 – Bruins’ Austin Baze may be best player in PVL.
Lincoln 33 Ponderosa 21 – Zebras, nearly 70 strong, cage Bruins.
Placer 27 Golden Valley 16 – Hillmen too polished for Merced hosts.
Rio Linda 20 Center 19 – Cougars were Knights lone 2015 win.
Foothill 35 Mira Loma 20 – Brown, Robertson are Mustangs dynamic duo.
Elsewhere: Del Oro 31 St. Paul 17; Granite Bay 33 Jesuit 24; Vista del Lago 33 Oak Ridge 19; Folsom 40 Couer d’Alene, Idaho 21; Grant 24 Rocklin 20; Antelope 21 Nevada Union 20.