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Sports Chatter: Good season, Falcons

By: Mike Ray, Colfax Record Sports Editor
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Sometime over the upcoming Christmas break, Michael Kirby of Timberline Signs will put a ladder up on the side of the Colfax High football team room, pull himself up to the top wrung and place a “2010” on the Falcons’ championship football sign that greets visitors when they enter Marson Stadium.
To Kirby, adding another year to the Falcons’ championship lineage is starting to become old hat. In fact, when he fastens the 2010 next to “League Champions”, it will mark the 11th time in Tony Martello’s 15-season tenure at the reins of the Falcons that he’s made the trip up the ladder.
That Kirby is climbing anything close to the football team room at Colfax is a testimonial to a fantastic season put forth by the Falcons. A stinging 41-6 loss to Escalon last week not withstanding, the Colfax team and coaching staff should be commended on its stellar 10-3 campaign.
As late as Oct. 1, following a tough 33-22 non-league loss to Wheatland, there may have been some doubters to whether the Falcons had enough gusto to survive the Pioneer Valley League season and even qualify for the playoffs.
But somewhere after two throw-away wins against Center and Foothill to start their PVL season, the Falcons came together as a unit and proceeded to go through the league gauntlet — Placer, Lincoln, Bear River — for three huge wins. In the process, the Falcons’ outscored the three foes 76-27 with the starting defensive unit allowing just one touchdown during 12 regulation quarters.
“It was a great year,” said Martello on Monday after a chance to digest the tough semi-final playoff loss to Escalon. “We got knocked out by a very good football team. That we made it this far is a tribute to the kids and coaches.”
It should be noted that all of Colfax’s three setbacks came at the hands of quality opposition. Wheatland went 11-2 and advanced all the way to the North Section AAA finals before losing to Lassen. Union Mine, meanwhile, finished 10-2 and also lost last week in the Sac-Joaquin semi-finals to Calaveras — which plays Escalon Friday for the Div. IV title.
It should also be noted that Durham, who Colfax defeated 21-13 back at the “Battle at the Capital”, went on to finish 11-2 and win the North Section AA championship with a win over Live Oak.
“You look back at some of the things this team went through and it’s a testimony to their heart,” Martello said. “They never gave up all season long.”
Names in the news
Former Colfax High basketball players are making their presence felt for their respective teams early in the hoops season. Courtney Harrison, a 2008 CHS grad, popped in 15 points to help pace Chico State’s women’s team to a recent 73-55 win over Academy of Arts. Harrison averages 16 minutes of playing time per game. In Aurora, Ill., sophomore guard Joel Iventosch scored 14 points to help the Spartans defeat North Central University, 66-59. Iventosch, a 2008 graduate whose older brother Ari played at Aurora last season, also had 14 points in an 81-75 loss to St. John’s (Minnesota).