Last fall the girls golf team once again took the Bay Valley Athletic League title, and has not lost a league match in the last three years (48 wins in a row). The Lady Wolverines finished sixth on a tough course in Arcata in the North Coast Section playoffs. This spring the boys team continued its success, going undefeated in league action, repeating as league champs (they went 14-1 in league last season).
“This year my team is quite a bit better,” said Coach Brian Kofford. The varsity team consists of two juniors in their third year of varsity competition, Andrew Sirowy and John Bell, along with four sophomores, three of them in their second year of varsity competition: Jaskaran Sihota, Isaiah Antoine and Adam Sunga. New to the team this season is Robert Riel, who also plays on Deer Valley’s JV baseball team. One freshman, Dash Wada, also played several varsity matches this year.
The team averaged just over 200 shots per nine-hole match. Sirowy was named the league MVP and averaged just 39.6 shots per nine. Sihota (38.8 average) and Bell (39.9) were selected to the all-league first team. Earning a spot on the second team were Sunga (42.8 average) and Antoine (43.4).
Putting some icing on the victory cake, Riel (39.5 average) was the individual winner of the April 26 BVAL Tournament at Delta View Golf Course, shooting a 76 despite a double bogey on the last hole. His 72 at the Spring Tournament at Monarch Bay on March 29 vaulted him into a tie for first.
The test of a great team is how it stacks up against the best. And the Wolverines boy golfers have stacked up well, finishing in the top 10 in all their tournaments against top competition, including that tie for first at the Spring Tournament.
They played on Monday in the NCS Tournament of Champions at Baywood Country Club in Arcata. In 2002 they finished in fourth place on the same course in the same tournament. “It’s hard to predict how this group will do,” said Kofford last week. “We are young, but having four players that average less than 40 is rare, and they are extremely competitive. We could surprise some of the perennial golf powers if my guys play to their potential.”
Unfortunately, two top players have been nursing injuries. Sirowy injured his back in a recent tournament in Southern California and Riel sprained his ankle in a baseball game. “Both of them have been playing really well lately, as has Jaskaran, John and Adam,” said the coach. Sunga finished second in the BVAL tournament with his lowest 18-hole round of 78. Jaskaran has 10 rounds in the 30s and Bell shot even par in the last league match. “Isaiah is an excellent ball striker, and if he putts well he should score at Baywood,” Kofford said.
“This is a very talented group, whose hard work will be rewarded – hopefully, this year at Baywood, if everyone is healthy. If not, next year Deer Valley High School golf will be an extremely competitive team and a force to be reckoned with.”