• Blue Springs' Peters repeats as Girls Golfer of the Year

  • Mariah Peters set the bar high when she won The Examiner's Girls Golfer of the Year award as a Blue Springs High School freshman in 2011.

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  • Mariah Peters set the bar high when she won The Examiner's Girls Golfer of the Year award as a Blue Springs High School freshman in 2011.
    It's now a rung higher as she topped even her stellar freshman accomplishments to once again claim the honor as a sophomore.
    Peters led the Wildcats to a fourth-place team trophy at the Class 2 state tournament as she finished second overall individually with a two-day total of 155.
    Her 1-under 71 helped Blue Springs win its first girls conference championship and for the second year in a row she was the sectional medalist, shooting 73.
    “She's just an amazing golfer,” Wildcats coach Jill Courter said. “She was so impressive as a freshman. To win your Golfer of the Year award as a freshman is impressive. To win it back-to-back years is even more impressive.
    “And with her work ethic and talent, I wouldn't be surprised if she won it all four years she's at Blue Springs High School. She is one of those rare athletes who combine great talent, drive, determination and a great work ethic to become a great golfer. She is very special.”
    She is also a passionate teammate, as Peters said the greatest satisfaction she received this season was sharing in her team's success.
    “Going to state with the entire team was so great,” Peters said. “It's so much more fun to share an experience like that with everyone on your team, to have all the girls get to experience a state golf meet.
    “And then, to bring home a fourth-place trophy. I'm really going to miss the seniors on our team, but I know all the underclassmen are going to work hard in the offseason because they want to experience the same thing we experienced in 2012.”
    Peters is a natural golfer who started the sport with a set of clubs cut down to her size when she went out golfing with her mother and father.
    “I had my own little set of clubs and liked hitting the ball around when I was 5 or 6,” Peters said. “But I really started playing about four years ago.”
    And she enjoyed immediate success, winning a nine-hole Kansas City Junior Golf Association tournament as a first-year player.
    “Nothing she does surprises me,” Coulter said. “Her work ethic is just unbelievable. When you have that kind of talent, you could probably get by on talent alone – but not Mariah. She outworks everyone, but she loves it so much, she probably doesn't even feel like she's working.
    “She loves to compete and she loves to be on a golf course. And we have her two more years!”
    Peters suffered one minor setback this season, failing to win a second consecutive district championship. She shot an 88 and finished 11th, but her teammates rallied for a second-place finish to help the entire Wildcat team make it to state.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Not winning district for the second year in a row was a big turning point for me mentally,” Peters admitted. “I was used to success, and even though I finished 11th at the tournament, I expected to win it.
    “I re-thought my game after that tournament. I took a new mental approach, taking it one shot at a time, one practice at a time, one round at a time. I thought that all I could control was what was happening at the time I was playing, and I wasn't going to linger on my lack of success at district.”
    Her approach worked, as she improved from a sixth-place state finish in 2011 to the state runner-up in 2012, just two strokes away from a title.
    Want to guess what her state goal is in 2013?
    “Like every year I've been to state,” she said, “my goal is to win it. And I hope to achieve that goal – and have our team enjoy a lot more success – next year. And I want to win another Golfer of the Year award.”

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