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Winter a season of change

Looking back on 2008-09: Colfax
By: Eric J. Gourley Journal Sports Writer
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The Colfax High boys and girls basketball teams both made playoff appearances, but both squads will feature new head coaches at the helm when they hit the hardwood next winter. Veteran boys coach Ron Pucci retiree earlier this spring following a 35-year teaching career and three decades of coaching at the school, including 19 memorable years at the varsity level. Pucci led the Falcons to the Pioneer Valley League titles in four of his final five years and took the team to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV quarterfinals last winter, where the No. 12 Falcons fell to fourth-seeded San Juan 59-41 after a rough fourth quarter to finish the year 17-11. Golf coach Mike O’Connell will take the reins of a team that finished tied for second in the PVL. Juniors Justin Witt and Joey Jergo will return after Colfax graduates top scorers Jeff Divine and Ethan Guiles. The No. 12 Colfax girls also struggled down the stretch in losing their Division IV opener to No. 5 Linden, the eventual section runner-up, 60-47. Led by senior Katie Cassilagio and juniors Cassandra Campbell and Audrey Lewis, the Falcon girls also finished 17-11 overall. Head coach Dan Hicks, who coached the Falcons to the NorCal playoffs four times in his nine seasons and won two CIF championships, was not retained. Dave Campbell, a varsity assistant who played under Pucci in the 1980s, assumes the head role. Junior Allison Gutierrez placed fourth overall to lead the Colfax girls to a fourth place team finish at the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation Championships at Mammoth Mountain in March. Sophomore Nicole Bajka joined Gutierrez in earning all-state honors. Senior Max Schopfer won the slalom competition to lead the Falcon boys to seventh place overall. Schopfer wrapped up an impressive career on the slopes as the only local boy to earn all-state honors. Led by underclassmen Danny Kern and Lisa Holm, the Colfax snowboard team carved past the competition to win the Central Division II banner before Placer dominated the state event. Wrestling also saw a leadership change when five-year coach Jerry Sinkey was not offered the position again. Trevor Hoke, an instructor at Colfax and assistant wrestling coach, will take over. Tyler Rios placed second at 103 pounds at the Pioneer Valley League championships in February. Robin Profitt was also runner-up in the heavyweight class.