Golf is often referred to as the beautiful game. But from October of 2015 until about April of this year, Williamsville North's Ben Reichert says he was at a low point in his high school career.
"I got a little sidetracked, started messing around with my swing too much," he said. "I got back to the basics and started doing what I do best."
After finding his groove, the senior battled his way to a second straight Section VI Championship on Monday, becoming the first to repeat at the event since 2005.
"It's what you play for man. It's everything," he said.
Ben shot a 2-over 74 and was tied for first after 18 holes at River Oaks Golf Club on Grand Island.
"Pretty consistently 25 mile per hour winds all day. I shot 7-shots worse this year and probably played better to be completely honest," Reichert said. "It was pretty tough out there. I knew scores were going to be higher so just keep hitting fairways and greens and I should be fine."
Over the final nine championship holes, the senior fired a 2-over 38 to win the title by five strokes.
"It's tougher when the wind blows like this, you just got to kind of accept that, accept you're going to hit bad shots, find it and go hit it again, really."
"He truly has been the best golfer of his era in the last five years at Williamsville North," head coach John Burns added.
Now heading to the state tournament for the fourth time in his career, the senior is eyeing redemption after a 48th place finish a year ago.
"I've struggled a little every time I've gone," he said. "Now, having seen the course one more time I think I can compete this year and give it a run."
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
#1 – Ben Reichert, Williamsville North Golf
Won the Section VI State Qualifier for the second year in a row, firing a 4-over 112 at River Oaks Golf Club on Grand Island.
“He truly has been the best golfer of his era in the last five years at Williamsville North.” – John Burns, Head Coach
#2 – Tiana Luton, Sweet Home Track & Field
Ranked #1 in the US in the Pentathlon with a score of 5,329.
“We are obviously happy with where she is, however the best part about it is she still understands there is a lot more to accomplish this season, and it will not come easy. You worry about athletes maintaining focus in these situations. However, with her this has seemed to make her more focused.” Brian Lombardo, Head Coach
#3 – Francesca Gugino, Mount St. Mary Academy Softball
Pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 10 batters in the Thunder’s 6-0 win over Immaculata. She also went 1-3 with an RBI in the victory.
#4 – Brianna McKenzie, Lancaster Track & Field
Won the shot put and discus at the Crusader Classic track and field invitational last weekend.
#5 - Carter Stefaniak, St. Joe’s Lacrosse
Scored 4 goals vs 13-9 win over rival Canisius. He’s found the back of the net 28 times this season to help guide the Marauders to a 6-2 record in the Monsignor Martin Association.
#6 – Alyssa Oviasogie, Williamsville South Track and Field
Was a triple winner at the Crusader Classic track and field meet, winning the triple jump along with the 100 and 400 hurdles.
“Alyssa had a very impressive performance at the Crusader track invite this past weekend. She did a great job of overcoming the windy conditions. She has been working really hard this season, and I am thrilled to see it paying off for her.” – Dan Syracuse, Head Coach
#7 – Drew Coniglio, Fredonia Baseball
Drove in two runs as the Hillibies improved to 12-5 with a 3-2 victory over Orchard Park.