Colfax boys golf coach John Lamb knew he had a future star when he met Colby Smith and his family at their home during Smith's freshman year.
"On the wall in his room he had a checklist of where he wanted to be at every age level as far as stroke average, records, tournaments to play in," Lamb said. "I knew we had something special."
Smith starred for the Falcons as a freshman and sophomore but was home-schooled last year so he could compete on the junior tour to enhance his scholarship chances.
That paid off when he signed a scholarship offer with UNLV last fall.
"That's the biggest scholarship that we've had," Lamb said of the golf program that he has coached for 21 seasons. "UNLV is among the top 10 to 12 programs in the country."
As an individual, Smith will try to lead Colfax to a top-three finish at Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament at Stevinson Ranch Golf Club, south of Modesto.
He's a candidate for medalist honors among a deep field that includes returning Masters co-champions Tyler Raber of Davis and Sam Smith of Turlock; Justin Estrada of Yuba City; Tim Honeycutt of Union Mine; and Grant and Cameron Rappleye of Christian Brothers.
"I'd like to try to win the Masters and see what we can do at NorCals," Smith said. "To make it to state would be nice."
As far as team goals, Smith agrees it will be a challenge to match last year's performance, even though the Falcons already repeated as D-IV section champions last Monday.
In addition to winning the 2007 D-IV section title, Colfax placed second at the Masters and barely missed qualifying for the state finals with its performance at NorCals.
"That will be really tough," Smith said, noting that last year's three top players all graduated. "To replace three people is really difficult. We just have to take it one step at a time."
- Bill Paterson