Raber. It’s a name that is synonymous with Davis golf.
Tyler Raber — a two-time CIF champion for the Blue Devils — continues to put up leaderboard numbers for UC Davis.
Little brother Scott Raber — now a senior and probably the No. 1 player for Davis High — is at the top of his game and, together with classmate Jordan Baroody, could provide a 1-2 punch that helps the Devil golf team challenge for its third Sac-Joaquin Section crown.
In a Future Western Collegiates Tournament in Seaside last month, Raber shot a final-round 69 at Bayonet/Black Horse Golf Club to take first place. Baroody tied for 39th.
As head coach Karl Ronning enters his 12th season with the Blue Devils, 16 players have been dodging raindrops at Wildhorse Golf Course as the veteran mentor tries to whittle his roster to 12.
“It’s great this year because there’s a junior varsity tournament due,” Ronning explains. “So we can keep an extra four to five golfers … primarily freshmen.
“But that’s good because it will give them more time for practice and get them used to the team concept.”
Raber, who Ronning says “is on a real upswing right now,” and Baroody — “a great kid who has a chance to be a four-year varsity all-league player” — will get a push from Chase Dossa.
“Dossa is only a sophomore, but has a ton of youth-tournament experience,” Ronning continues.
Besides seniors Raber and Baroody, another 12th-grader with a “a really solid game,” according to Ronning, is Alex Blumenfeld. Charlie Klein, a junior who the coach says “has made huge strides,” rounds out the current DHS top five.
But in a trio of seniors — Riley Anderson, Joey Bayshore and Chris Klein — the Blue Devils have much-needed depth between the tee blocks.
Sophomores Grant Heir and Abitya Jagadish and junior Luke Soler add to that competitive spirit and DHS depth.
“We really have a good 1-2-3-4 punch,” Ronning says, smiling, about his squad’s chances when Delta Valley Conference play opens April 5 at The Reserve (Stockton).
Davis and Wildhorse will host the DVC No. 3 match come April 25.
In league, Ronning says his Devils “should be right there at the top.” He thinks Franklin will be the main threat, “but after that, there’s a lot of drop-off.”
In section and Masters play, defending champion Jesuit, according to Ronning, appears to be the mountain to climb.
“I think everybody’s back, and then there’s Folsom’s Joel Slak.”
Slak is the defending individual champion and is touted as one of the top 25 prep golfers in the country.
Initial competition kicks off March 3 with a dual meet against Will C. Wood at Wildhorse. Before league starts, DHS will play in at least four tournaments, including the Father Joe Barry Masters (March 11), the Cardinal Invitational (March 14), the Wolfpack Invitational (March 21) and the Atwater tournament (March 28).
Notes: Davis High’s two Sac-Joaquin Section crowns came in 1983 and 1999. … The locals have had three individual section medalists. No, not PGA whiz Nick Watney (though he led the Devils to that 1999 team title). In 1982, Mike Tingus won it all. Greg Bystrom (1987) and Tyler Raber (2007 and 2008) also earned crowns.