The recently played golf season for Delta High School featured two sets of brothers who played for the Panthers. Both sets involved senior and freshman siblings.
This year's 4A regional golf tournament was held in Gypsum on Sept. 16-17. Ten teams competed for the top team and individual spots. Earning the top four individual scoring spots for the Panthers were Tyler and Mason Garcia and Keaton and Blake Reiher.
Tyler Garcia (Sr.) finished with a 91 in Gypsum while brother Mason (Fr.) carded a 95. Both finished just out of the qualifying scores for their shot at state.
Keaton and Blake Reiher completed play with 81s and forced a four-way tie with players from Rifle, Cortez and Delta. After scores had been tallied, Keaton and Blake, along with two other golfers, would battle for the remaining two qualifying spots (10th and 11th).
Lori Reiher, Keaton and Blake's mother, explains her feelings as the final days of the 2013 golf season played out.
With more anxiety than she had ever felt before, her thought process bordered on the unbelievable. "Never in a million years could this be happening." It was her own experience of "The Manning Bowl," and never wanting to go through it again.
As the playoff for the remaining two spots began, Mrs. Reiher felt even more anxiety with her sons bringing mixed emotions as they talked with their mother. Both were more than uncomfortable being in their positions. Neither wanted to be in the position of facing a possibility that one or the other might eliminate his brother. Each wanted to pull his name from the playoff.
After some stern encouragement from mom, the two brothers headed to the ninth hole for "The Reiher Bowl."
Big brother Keaton had some words of wisdom before little brother Blake teed off. "Play this hole hard or I'll kick your behind!!" Blake did just that by parring the hole while Keaton and Ty Caron from Rifle shot one over and the Cortez player went two over to be eliminated. Blake's play earned him the 10th spot on the state roster and Keaton and Caron played on for the final spot.
The remaining two competitors played number nine again with Caron winning the hole and the 11th state roster position. Keaton filled the State Alternate's spot with a chance to play should any player not get to go.
With Blake's qualification for state, the Garcia boys and Mrs. Reiher felt great excitement and disappointment at the same time.
The long ride home from Gypsum gave Lori time to reflect on the day's events. Both her sons were more than willing to pull their names from the playoff so the other could advance.
Keaton challenged his brother to do his best at state. As hard as it was for Keaton to miss his last chance for state, he was proud of what his brother had accomplished. Later that night, Keaton wrote a note to his younger brother. "I love you buddy! You have a chance to do something I never did. I am proud of the way you handled yourself. You stepped up with three All-Conference golfers and proved you could hold your own. Thank you for your consideration on pulling your name out for me, but never, never give up on an opportunity like you had today! I love ya little brother and I'll be there cheering you on harder than anyone."
From Lori ... "History in the making? I think so! This story starts out with two sets of brothers on a journey side by side, cheering for and competing against each other. All four boys represented Delta High School really well!!!!"
In the end, the Reiher brothers were put in one of the hardest spots brothers could face, and they came out showing grace, humility, and true brotherly love.
Blake competed in the 4A State Golf Tournament at Hiwan Country Club in Evergreen. He shot consistently and considered it a great experience for his freshman year.blog comments powered by Disqus