State qualifier reflects on past golf season


Entering his senior year, Gonzales’ Mason Richter wants to break through the glass ceiling and earn himself a medal at the state golf tournament in 2020. This upcoming school year, Richter says he’s going to use all the lessons he’s learned in the last three seasons of playing golf to finally reach that goal. But before working toward that goal, Richter reflected on this past season, where he qualified for state for the third year in a row, citing his dad as his biggest influencer.

“My biggest influence has been my father,” Richter said, “because I know he watches over me and would be extremely proud of everything I have conquered.”

Last season, Richter had a rough go at the regional meet, but overcame it to advance to state. Unfortunately, the third-year qualifier had a “rough go at state,” according to head golf coach Brandon West.

“I'll start by saying Mason did have a rough go at state, but he had a successful season,” West said. “At the start of the season we talked about the fact that he needed to mature in his ability to not let his emotions get the best of him. I can tell you he was extremely successful in this pursuit. Mason struggled to get in a groove at Plum Creek, but he did a good job of staying focused despite his struggles.”

One of the bright spots of the season was the regional tournament, where Richter’s performance looked more like a roller coaster with its many ups and downs.

“Biggest obstacle was getting through regionals,” Richter said, “because I had to overcome all of the bad breaks that fell my way.”

“Mason led the tournament after the first day but had a tough time with bad breaks as well as getting the putts to fall through the first 12 holes on the second day,” West added. “It seemed that he may have lost all hope, but he finished the last six holes one under par which earned him a trip to state.”

Richter isn’t the only golfer West gave props to. Kiley Allen, who missed the state tournament by one stroke, is a Lady Apache golfer to keep an eye out this upcoming season.

“Kiley's season started out pretty rough battling through several weeks of the shanks,” West admitted. “She worked very hard to fix her swing and earned a trip to the regional tournament. At regionals, Kiley opened up with a 79, which was a tournament [person best]! She managed the course very well that day which put her in a really good position toward the top of the field. The second day was a little different and Kiley had a few errant shots that put her in the hazards. It was a tough pill to swallow, but she missed a playoff for the last advancing spot by one stroke. It was heart breaking, but I know she will use that to drive her to be ready next year.”

“I am extremely proud of not only Mason and Kiley, but all of the golfers as well,” West added. “The growth I witnessed among them was fun to watch, and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish in the future. Thank you for all of your hard work, as it has not gone unnoticed.”

As Richter matures, goals and expectations rise higher and higher.

“This year’s state tournament wasn't what I was looking for at all,” he said. “I didn’t meet my expectations, but I did learn a few things along the way. The biggest thing I need to continue to work on is my attitude to overcome and adapt to the situations I put myself in.”