Former Kwalikum Secondary School golfer Jake Lane will be playing for the Bethsune-Cookman University Wildcats in Daytona, Florida this coming spring. — NEWS file photo

Kwalikum golfer heads to Florida with D-I scholarship

Former B.C. champ Jake Lane lands scholarship at Bethune-Cookman University

Jake Lane has been living away from home for the last three years so that he can play golf year-round.

The former Kwalikum Secondary product is originally from Fort St. John, B.C., a location prone to long winters and freezing conditions.

“I have been playing golf since I was seven and in Fort St. John I can only do it during the summer months,” said Lane. “I made a decision three years ago to leave my family so I can play golf during winter.”

It was a big sacrifice for Lane to leave his family but, he said, it was necessary if he wanted to improve and sharpen his golfing skills. Lane looked at various locations to move to and he found Qualicum Beach much to his liking. His family approached Kwalikum Secondary golf head coach Butch Gayton, who ended up offering Lane a place to stay and welcomed him as part of the Gayton family.

“Qualicum Beach is the closest place that doesn’t snow during the winter and that basically was the deciding factor,” said Lane, who made Pheasant Glen Golf Resort his training ground. “I play in Pheasant Glen just about every day.”

Lane became a member of the Kwalikum Kondors golf team and was instrumental in helping the Kondors land their third provincial crown two years ago as he also garnered the individual provincial AA championship. It was one of his most memorable moments playing for Kwalikum.

“Winning provincials was pretty special and I will be remembering that for a while,” said Lane, who graduated last June and since then has been mapping out the next chapter of his life.

In the next couple of weeks, Lane will be packing his bags along with his precious golf clubs and will be jetting off to sunny Daytona, Florida, where he will be joining the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats on a scholarship.

“I am pretty happy to be going there,” said Lane. “The weather is going to be good and nice, better than here for practice and stuff.”

It’s a dream come true for Lane as it is another goal that he can cross out on his wish list.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to get a full-ride scholarship to a Division I school,” said Lane, who plans to take a course in philosphy at Bethune-Cookman. “I am hoping to play and win a couple of tournaments in my first year.

Gayton, who has come to know Lane well, expects him to go far with his golfing endeavours.

“Jake was a very dedicated golfer who spent all of his time at the course, working out and/or running,” Gayton said. “His diet and training regime was a testament to his dedication and his ultimate goal of receiving an NCAA Division I scholarship.”

Gayton said Lane’s skills were very apparent when he first came to Kwalikum. His golfing acumen, Gayton added, vastly improved with his determination and the solid coaching of Gord Melissa and Canadian assistant coach Robert Ratcliff at Pheasant Glen.

“Jake has all the physical skills that you could ask for,” said Gayton. “Mentally, he is preparing for a tremendous challenge under intense pressure, and I believe that he will be able to fall back on all of his countless hours of practice. No one puts in more time than Jake and no one has been more successful at the high school level than Jake. I think he has the opportunity to do something special.”

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