Rookie coaches bring new life to Colton basketball programs
Colton will have young girls and boys basketball teams this season.
The same will also be true of the coaches.
Valerie Wakefield, 24, and Jordan Nation are taking over the girls and boys basketball programs at Colton.
Both are first-year varsity head coaches who know the area well.
Nation, originally from Estacada, was the Vikings JV coach and varsity assistant under Brandon Kishpaugh for three seasons from 2014-16.
Competing in Class 3A, Colton finished 23-6 and placed sixth at the 2016 state tournament.
"I learned a lot being the JV coach here and we were fortunate to have a great group of guys," said Nation. "That was just a ton of fun and that's where I eventually want to get this program back to where it was, where we're contending to go to (the state tournament) Pendleton. That's the ultimate goal."
Nation left Colton to work on earning his teaching license.
After coaching and student teaching at St. Paul High School, Nation is now teaching health and P.E. at Molalla Middle School.
Wakefield is from Mulino, but played high school basketball at Damascus Christian, where her father, Dave, is the longtime head coach.
"I've been around the game since I was really little," said Wakefield, whose mother, sister, and brother all now coach at Damascus Christian.
Wakefield's 2013 high school team won the Class 1A state championship.
After high school, she played at Multnomah University in Portland. After graduating from college in 2018, Wakefield was an assistant coach at Multnomah for one season before accepting the job at Colton.
"I love the high school game," Wakefield said. "I grew up in the small school atmosphere, too, so it's fun to be back in that environment."
Like her dad, Wakefield is preaching defense at Colton.
"He's definitely a defense first type of guy," Wakefield said. "I grew up with the offense wins games and defense wins championships mindset. Defense is super important because when your offense isn't there, your defense has to be there every single night."
Both Colton basketball teams return just one starter from last year.
"This is a great group of guys and I'm excited to see what's going to happen this year," Nation said.
Follow us on Twitter
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.