The Del Norte High boys golf team is aiming high this spring.
“We want to try to get to sections,” freshman Kobie Lockwood said. “I want to win the league.”
Both Lockwood and the Warriors took another step toward their goals Thursday at the Humboldt-Del Norte League tournament at McKinleyville’s Beau Pre Golf Course.
Lockwood earned medalist honors with a 1-under 73, his first individual championship of the season.
Senior Anthony Kravitz turned in the Warriors’ second-best round of the day, with a 10-over 82. Collin Wakefield (92), Zach Horner (96), Conner Rideout (96) and Miguel Pelayo (107) also competed for Del Norte.
As a team, the Warriors combined to finish third with a stroke total of 439. Del Norte topped St. Bernard’s by eighth strokes but lost the tournament to Eureka (402 strokes); McKinleyville, the tournament host, took second place (428).
Course conditions on the par-72 track were less than ideal. Powerful gusts of wind altered drives and iron shots; water sitting on the grass two days after a rainstorm made for soft greens and fairways.
For Lockwood, Beau Pre has turned into something of a second home. When he was seven years old, Lockwood convinced his father, Ko, to drop him off at the course for a junior golf clinic held during the summer. Kobie was hooked, and Ko began making more trips to McKinleyville.
“It’s one of my favorite courses,” Kobie Lockwood said.
Lockwood plays Beau Pre “nearly every day” in the summertime and occasionally during the school year. He even recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 sixth hole on Jan. 20. Lockwood used an 8-iron on the 139-yard hole.
The golf world is close-knit, particularly in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, and the soft-spoken Lockwood’s reputation has only grown with his play. He and Eureka’s Aaron Russell are presently tied atop the league standings.
“He’s a really good player,” Kravitz said. “Solid with the putter. Some days you just say, ‘Wow.’
“He was overall a pretty good youth golf player. Now he’s awesome.”
To be sure, Del Norte’s golf team is not just Lockwood and a supporting cast.
Kravitz is presently the ninth-best player in the HDN, even though he admits to not playing his best at the start of the season. The Warriors’ other young golfers — Kravitz is the only senior — have made major improvements to their games, enabling Del Norte to compete at a high level.
“The big three (Horner, Wakefield and Rideout) went from shooting 100s to (shooting) 80s and 90s,” Kravitz said.
Wakefield and Pelayo are both juniors; Horner and Rideout are sophomores. The discrepancy in academic class disappears on the golf course, according to Kravitz.
“We all mess around with each other, enjoying each other’s company,” he said.
All of them share high aspirations, including the team’s young up-and-comer.
Del Norte will take spring break off from competition before its next scheduled HDN tournament, at Benbow Golf Course in Fortuna.