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Return To Glory ?

Falcons Looking For Bigger Things In '10
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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There’s no question that the 2000s proved to be a decade of excellence for the Colfax High football program. In Colfax’s 10 seasons from 2000 to 2009, the Falcons gridiron record basically speaks for itself. And, if there’s any question about Colfax’s 10-year gridiron supremacy, take for instance the following mind-boggling numbers that the Falcons put up: Wins: 88 League Championships: 7 Section Championships: 3 Section Finalists - 5 Playoff Appearances: 9 But in the same vein, it’s no secret that the Falcons didn’t exactly finish the just completed decade in a blaze of glory. Coach Tony Martello’s last two teams went 6-4 in ’08 and 6-5 a year ago. Missing the post season in 2008 was a first for the Falcons since 1996. So has the Colfax High program turns the page into a new decade this season, there’s a sense in the Colfax camp that a return to glory would be high on the Falcons’ goals for the 2010 season. “We’ll always strive to be the best that we can be and I think this team wants to continue that tradition,” said Martello has it put his Falcons through their paces in anticipation of Friday’s season opener at El Camino. “I think we have a good mix of returning players and players up from the JVs that will mesh well,’ the Colfax coach added. “We’re a work in progress.” For the first time since Martello took Colfax’s grid reins in 1996, Colfax will suit up less than 45 players on the varsity. Usually stocked with rosters in the 50 to 60-player range in recent years, the Colfax turnout is a direct reflection on the school’s enrollment dipping below 900 students for the first time since the 1980s. “We anticipated that we had a couple of small classes coming up,” said Martello. “But the kids are working hard and trying to get better every day.” Defense Line – Defensive coordinator Jeff Baggett is looking for the return of seven starters on the defensive side of the ball as a plus for the Falcons. On the Colfax front, Francis Stanford (6-2, 275), Danny Walker and Jeremy Dawson have all looked good in early drills. Senior Austin Fitzhugh could also be a player to watch at defensive end. Linebackers – Three-year varsity player Tom Baldoni leads the Falcons after earning first team all-Pioneer Valley league honors last season. Baldoni has been involved in 190 total tackles in two seasons and has four career pass interceptions. He’ll be joined by Roger Lillie, who started on the outside as a sophomore a year ago, and senior Brennan Holman, another returning starter. Secondary – Seniors Alex Chaney, Peter Freer and Jake Karbowski return for the Falcons. They’ll be joined by versatile Nolan Karbowski who quarterbacked Colfax’s JVs to a 9-1 season a year ago. Offense – Line – Martello is especially high on his offensive front which shined in opening up holes and pass blocking in last Saturday’s scrimmage with Oak Ridge. The center position will be filled by junior Brett Fowler (6-2, 235) while the guards are senior David Wasko and junior Cory Rodgers. The tackles will be Dustin Downey (6-2, 235) and senior Jose Mariscal (6-2, 250). Senior tight end Alan Meyers (6-2 195) figures to be more of a threat this season after catching six passes last season for 91 yards. Quarterback – Junior Austin Young, who played part-time has a receiver and quarterback a year ago as a sophomore, is penciled in to handle the signal calling chores. At 6-5 and 220 pounds, Young has a strong arm to make up for a lack of experience. “Austin’s doing fine,” said Martello. “His everyday improvement is a plus for us.” Backs – Josh Moreno, who picked up 775 yards on the ground a year ago, figures to be in the offensive game plan both as a running back and receiver. Connor Bown and Baldoni will also see action. Receivers – Last season marked the first time a Martello-coached team threw the ball for less than 2,000 yards (960 yds.) since the 1998 season. If the Falcons want to amp up their passing game to a return to previous standards, receivers Tyler Ingram, Chase Mosier, David Mowbray and Shawn Rawlins will have to step up in the pass catching department.