PREP FOOTBALL: Colfax begins new era against Argonaut
KNOW & GO
Who: Colfax vs. Argonaut
When: 7:15 p.m., tonight
Where: Robert O. Marson Field, Colfax High School campus
Tonight marks the dawning of a new age in Colfax football as the Falcons begin the post Tim Rawlins era against Argonaut.
For the first time in three years, the Falcons will take the field without running back Rawlins, who is the school’s career record holder in rush yards (3,569) and touchdowns (51).
Rawlins was especially impressive in his senior campaign last season, rushing for 1,861 yards, scoring 35 rush touchdowns, being named the Pioneer Valley League Offensive MVP and leading the Falcons to the Sac-Joaquin Section D-V championship game.
Colfax head football coach Tony Martello, now in his 20th year at the helm of the program, is used to losing incredible talents throughout the years, and said the 2015 Falcons will reload and look to have a successful preseason that will propel his team into a very tough PVL season.
Support Local Journalism
The preseason starts with Argonaut, a team that went 2-8 last season, including a 34-12 loss to the Falcons.
“They are a good little team,” Martello said of Argonaut. “They are a lot like we are. Smaller school, a lot of pride in their community and they take their football serious.”
Opposed to last season where the Falcons ran the ball more than 75 percent of the time (498 rush attempts to 148 pass attempts), Martello said the offense will be more balanced this season.
“I think we will be a mix,” he said. “We’re not going to be heavy one way or the other. We going to throw the ball and we have some talented receivers. We have a quarterback that’s working hard and has some skill. I like our quickness on the offensive line, I think we’re going to be able to run the ball. I think it’s going to be a nice blend of pass and run.”
The Falcons will have 6-foot, 1-inch, 180 pound junior quarterback Austin Weir taking the snaps.
“He can throw some strikes, some really nice balls,” said Martello. “He’s got upside and he’s going to be OK.”
Weir, who was the junior varsity quarterback a year ago, already has the confidence of his offensive line, said senior Jake Stager.
“I have a lot of respect and trust in him,” said the 6-foot, 2-inch, 200 pound O-lineman.
Martello noted the quarterback competition between Weir and transfer Justus Spillner helped Weir step up his game.
“Weir got better throughout the summer,” said Martello. “A lot of it was his own pride and his own development, but also I think his relationship with Justus was good for both of them. It kind of took the pressure off each other, with Justus learning a new offense and Austin learning how to play varsity quarterback. That was really nice to see.”
Spillner was ultimately ruled ineligible to play this season by the CIF, but has remained with the team, helping out at practice and encouraging teammates.
Weir will have some talent to throw to this season with 2014 All-PVL receiver Matthew Harshman leading the pass catching corps.
The 6-foot, 1-inch Harshman led the team in receiving last season with 55 catches for 744 yards and two touchdowns.
Harshman said he looks to be a leader this season.
“I hope to be an offensive and defensive leader on the team this year. I accept those roles,” he said. “As a team we’ve come together and really bonded. We really stuck together this summer.”
Other Colfax receivers to keep an eye out for are senior Dylan Meinster, sophomore Nick Van Doorn and — after a 30-day sit out period — transfer Drew Daniels.
Stepping into the mighty big cleats left by Rawlins, is senior Lukas Rineer. The speedy back has varsity experience, rushing 115 times for 751 yards as a junior, including a 124-yard effort against Placer. He will likely be an even bigger part of the offense this season.
With the mix of talent on the offensive end, Stager said the Falcons will be able to win games on the ground and through the air.
“I think we are pretty versatile,” he said. “We can stuff it up the middle, and we can also break free for big plays. We have a lot of good receivers. But we can also shove it down team’s throats.”
The Colfax offense will get the luxury of working out any kinks from having so many new starters at key positions against an Argonaut defense that allowed 30 points per game last season.
Defensively the Falcons are strongest at linebacker with returning starters Jakob Norad and John Pederson.
“We think they will be solid and expect good things from them,” said Martello.
A season ago the Falcons allowed 21.2 points per game.
Colfax opens the season at 7:15 p.m. today at Robert O. Marson Field, where they have six of their 10 games this season.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Connect with needs and opportunities from
Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.