Blue Springs High School senior Mariah Peters was flipping through a golf publication five years ago when she came across an article on the Kenneth Smith Award. The annual honor, she learned, was reserved for the Kansas City area golfer who best demonstrated excellence on the golf course, in the classroom and through community service.
Although she had been playing golf for only a year, Peters added the award to her list of objectives.
“It immediately became one of my main goals to win the award sometime during my high school career,” she said. “The thing I really liked about it is it wasn’t just for golf. It was academics and community service, too.”
Peters checked that goal off her list Wednesday, when she received the Kenneth Smith Award in front of her family, friends and coaches in a ceremony at Blue Springs High School.
Peters won the Missouri Class 2 state championship this fall and led the Wildcats to the team title. She also won the MoKan Golf Invitational for the third time before adding victories at the Suburban Golf Conference meet and her district and sectional tournaments.
“It was just one of the most incredible seasons,” said Peters, who will continue her career at Western Illinois. “I’ll probably remember the team win more than anything because over the summer, we got together and started practicing in April. We knew if we started a little earlier than the other teams, it could pay off.”
In the classroom, Peters’ grade-point-average ranks second in her class. She is the president of the school’s National Honor Society and an active member in Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), the Youth Advisory Council and the A+ tutoring program.