Ford: Falcons have new faces, same winning attitude |

Ford: Falcons have new faces, same winning attitude

The Colfax football team practices Tuesday. The Falcons are gearing up for the 2014 season which gets started Aug. 29.
John Hart/ | The Union

One of the only things shorter than a pro football players average career length (3.3 years) is that of a varsity football player in high school.

For most, there is a two-year window to make your mark.

Some years a coach will have a team loaded with seniors like the Colfax Falcons had in 2013, other years the team may have to lean on a few returning senior starters and a plethora of juniors and seniors that are starting for the first time.

The Falcons are in the midst of the latter.

With Michael Wilson, a two-year starter and all-league quarterback, graduated along with a trio of talented receivers and two of the defense’s main contributors, the Falcons will be hatching young players on the varsity stage and against an intimidating schedule no less.

But if there’s one thing Colfax coach Tony Martello knows how to do, it’s win.

As the Colfax coach for nearly two decades, Martello has notched three Sac-Joaquin Section titles (2001-2003) and has kept the Falcons in the hunt nearly every year. Over the last 12 years, Colfax has won at least a share of the Pioneer Valley League eight times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 [share], 2006, 2007 [share], 2010 and 2011).

But in recent years the trek to the peak of the PVL has been a rocky climb, and Placer has planted their flag at the top of the league for the past two seasons, winning it outright in 2012, and sharing the title with Center last season.

Placer again remains the favorite this year, especially with Center’s Tyrell Anderson, the 2013 PVL MVP, now graduated. But in the PVL anything can happen.

The Falcons will open league play at Lincoln on Oct. 3, after closing a five-game non-league stretch that takes them on the road four times.

Facing teams like Argonaut, Winters (reigning Northern Section D-III champs), Dixon (2013 playoff team), Golden Sierra (2013 playoff team) and Wheatland (2013 playoff team) leading up to the PVL season will have the Falcons battle tested and ready to make a run at the league title.

I think the Falcons have what it takes to beat Argonaut, Dixon, Golden Sierra and Wheatland, but they will run into problems with the explosive Winters offense.

Once in league play, the Falcons will have to contest with an up and coming Lincoln team, headed by former Bear River JV coach Chris Bean. The Fighting Zebras also return last year’s second leading rusher in the PVL in Dane Stimbert (1,444 rushing yards).

After Lincoln, Colfax will face off with rival Bear River at J. David Ramsey Field, which is sure to be a battle.

After facing Center and Foothill in the following weeks, the Falcons close the regular season against Placer, in what Colfax will hope is for the league championship.

Prediction: Colfax finishes 7-3 overall (4-1 in non-league play and 3-2 in PVL play) and slips into the playoffs.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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