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Bears losing dedicated assistant coach

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” Alfonso Alfini has somehow had his hand in a large chunk of Rifle High School’s sports highlights in the last decade.

Whether it was winning the Class 4A 171-pound wrestling title in 2000, getting the Bears football team to the playoffs as an all-state performer on the gridiron or helping coach other wrestlers and football players to success, Alfini has done a lot for Rifle athletics.

Now, it is time for Alfini to do something for himself. He has resigned his posts as an assistant coach for the football and wrestling teams as well as his teaching job at the high school and is heading to Spain.



Alfini studied abroad in Spain will getting his bachelor’s at Mesa State College in Grand Junction ” where he also played football for the Mavericks. After coaching and teaching at Rifle for three years, he is returning to Europe. The decision wasn’t easy for Alfini and he knows he will miss being at Rifle.

“I just kinda knew it was time to do this,” Alfini said on Wednesday. “I am happy with my decision but it is still tearing me up, but I have to go do this for myself.”



Alfini will be staying in the area until September when he heads to Spain. He plans on spending a year or so in the county and is then hoping to come back to the United States and go to graduate school to study exercise science. This past week, Alfini traveled to the East Coast to look at schools.

John Wisniewski, the head wrestling coach for the Bears, not only coached with Alfini for three years, but was his coach in eighth grade and high school. He knows the Bears are losing someone special in Alfini.

“I am going to miss him a whole lot and the program is going to miss him a whole lot,” Wisniewski said. “Alfonso brings enthusiasm and spirit to the program. He was a state champion in 2000 and he’s brought that intensity to practice ever since then. But that’s just Alfonso, he brings that to everything he does.”

Anthony Alfini, Alfono’s younger brother who is already an assistant for the wrestling team, will now step up as Wisniewski’s right-hand man.

Alfini was also an assistant for former Rifle head football coach Damon Wells, who retired following the 2007 season. Bill Kucera has been named as the new football coach at Rifle, but the school is currently still searching for assistants.


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