Sports Chatter: Falcons, Grizzlies renew rivalry

Colfax treks to Graden Valley Friday night
By: Mike Ray, Colfax Record
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It’s been awhile – like 17 years ago -  since Tony Martello took his Colfax High Falcons down Highway 49 and up and over to Garden Valley to take on Golden Sierra in a football game of any significance.

The year was 1998 and that season only Golden Sierra stood in the way of the Falcons wrapping up, at the time, a third straight Golden Empire League title.

On a bitter cold November evening on The Divide that had fans on the hillside above the stadium standing around bonfires to stay warm, the Falcons went on to post a 23-7 win to cap a 10-0 regular season. The game was also the last that veteran Golden Sierra coach Terry Cox would be on the sidelines for the Grizzlies.

Now, this Friday, Martello will roll his Falcons into Garden Valley once again. And, while there are no league title implications in this non-league meeting, the Falcons are probably at a pivotal point in their season whether they decide to either sink or swim.

“It’s an important game for us because we need to keep improving and getting better,” said Martello whose team slipped to 1-2 after falling to Dixon, 28-14, last Friday. “We’re a little banged up right now but we’re trying to take everything a game at a time.”

For Martello, his inexperienced Falcons, with just two non-league games remaining, are at a point where the team needs to start hanging up some  “Ws” if the team wants to have any post season aspirations.

With the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section using a win total of “6” as a guideline to become playoff eligible, one can see that the Falcons have a ways to go if they want to play past Veteran’s Day this season.

“We’re not even close to talking about playoffs at this point,” said Martello. “Right now, we’re about staying focused and playing better.”

Friday’s Colfax-Golden Sierra match-up will be the 19th meeting between the two schools. Once both members in the GEL, Colfax leads the all-time series 13-4-1. A year ago Colfax notched a 42-21 win.

This will be the end of a two-year playing contract between Colfax and Golden Sierra. The Falcons, with 620 students this year, seem to be a good non-league fit for Golden Sierra, which has 413 students.

And, with the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section ready in 2018 for a major overhaul of its leagues in what is expected to be a huge realignment of schools, the Falcons, who look to headed back to Div. V because of their enrollment, could be lining up in the future against the Grizzlies as a league opponent.

“You never know,” said Martello. “We were in the same league with them for 15 years so it could happen again.”

Prep Picks

An 8-4 showing last week – the big ones being Bellarmine over DO and the Niners over the Vikes – push the season mark to 25-11. This week:

  G. Sierra 28 Colfax 27 – Falcs need to play four full quarters.

  Lincoln 35 Wheatland 12 – Zebras have PVL’s best air game.

  Placer 53 Rio Americano 7 – Here’s a reason CAL wanted no part of Hillmen.

  Foothill 24 Rio Linda 21 – Saturday afternoon at Highlands.

  Center 23 Vanden 20 – If Cougars can stay healthy…

Elsewhere: Foresthill 23 Rite of Passage 21; Folsom 39 Burbank 28; Reed 37 Oak Ridge 30; Granite Bay 21 Vacaville 14; Ponderosa 26 Woodcreek 21; Rocklin 28 Sacramento 27;  Sierra 28 Laney 21; Ravens 17 Raiders 16; Steelers 23 49ers 21.