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PVL Pipeline

Boys Basketball At Colfax High Keeps On Winning

Falcons' Hardwood Success Unmatched In Area
By: Dave Krizman
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Add the Colfax boys varsity basketball program to the elite list of sports dynasties in our foothill region. With their most recent win at Power Balance Pavilion, where they secured another Division IV Section Championship, Colfax joins the Del Oro football program as undeniable dynasties. Over the last eight years, beginning with the 2003-2004 season, the numbers the Colfax program has put up are impressive. Overall record: During this eight-year run, the Falcons are 249-54, for a 78.3% winning percentage. CIF Division IV Championship appearances: Over the eight-year span, Colfax has appeared in six championship games, winning four of them. Their only two losses were to national prep power Modesto Christian. Sac Joaquin Section playoffs: In the Division IV Sac Joaquin playoffs, the Falcons are 24 - 4, for a winning percentage of 85.7% Nor Cal Playoffs: No team in the area has made as many Nor Cal playoff appearances as Colfax. With six appearances in eight years, Colfax sports a 4-6 record. Five of those six losses came at the hands of St. Joseph’s of Alameda (Jason Kidd’s alma mater), Cardinal Newman, and St. Mary’s of Berkeley, all private school powerhouses. PVL titles: Colfax has won five league titles. Wade Wolf, who won the first section title in 2003-2004, and Mike O’Connell, who won the title this season, agree on when and how this run of success began. Credit goes to the foundation that was laid by former head coaches Fred Kern and Ron Pucci. “We have had a consistency of coaching philosophy that dates back to Fred Kern and Ron Pucci. My coach at Colfax when I played there was Ron Pucci. He stressed good defense, fundamentals, and the need to give up individual goals for the greater team good,” stated O’Connell. “Kern, whose team in 1977-78 won the equivalent of the CIF Championship before there were CIF playoffs, mentored Pucci. In turn, Pucci mentored me and Mike O’Connell,” added Wolf. Pucci, who coached Colfax to CIF championships in ‘05-’06 and ‘06-’07, also holds the record for most wins in one season. His ‘98-’99 team won 31 games, losing to Christian Brothers in the Nor Cal finals. O’Connell also gave credit to Mr. Colfax, Mike Ray. Ray, a Colfax grad, has for years coached the Weimar Hills Middle School team. Weimar Hills is the primary feeder school to Colfax High. “Mike does a good job and is passionate about coaching. He schedules a long season so that when they enter Colfax as freshmen, they are more prepared for the rigors of a high school season.” In addition, beginning next week, next year’s varsity squad will shed their green and white uniforms and magically morph into the AAU program, the Sierra Express. Coached by Leonard Iventosch, Sierra Express has been an integral part of the success at Colfax for years. Their season, which starts in two weeks, will see them compete in the most demanding tournaments in northern California. Putting sports in perspective: For approximately three weeks, many families at Del Oro High School hosted a group of Japanese exchange students. Ironically, when the disastrous earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, these students were at Del Oro. None of their families were affected as they live in the southern part of the island, but frantic phone calls were made. These students returned home this past Monday fortunate to have missed the deadly earthquake and tsunami.