MSJC golfer Richard Schweitzer is set to play for, and study at, Whittier College this fall
■ Corey Evan / Reporter
Anyone who plays golf knows that an “Eagle” is two strokes under par. Anyone who knows MSJC Richard Schweitzer will say he comes in well under par.
Schweitzer, an alumnus of Hemet High School, signed on at Whittier College as of June 21, and is set to tee off for the Poets and continue his studies this fall.
For those who are unfamiliar, Whittier College is a private, four-year liberal arts school established in 1887, located on 75 acres just 20 miles from Los Angeles. Its motto is “Light, Poetry, Truth, Peace, and Love of Knowledge.” Whittier is part of NCAA Division III and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Schweitzer is looking to help the Poets improve on their most recent 8-16 season. He will be among 2,000 students enrolled at the college and will major in criminal justice.
Coach Pete Martinez has known Schweitzer since he was in the 8th grade, and discussed his drive and determination.
“I was an assistant coach at the time with the Hemet High School boys golf team, and we would see Richie practicing all the time at Soboba when we were having our team practice. You could see then the drive and enthusiasm he had for the game. That same drive he had then has never diminished, only become more intense,” said Martinez. “He is one of the players that I can honestly say will never be outworked. He is an excellent individual and has been a great team player. He is respected and liked by his teammates.
“The only problem I’ve had with Richie is that he’s very critical of himself,” continued Martinez. “If a coach could have a team of players all like Richie, there would be tons of success. I’ve had the opportunity to coach Richie at the high school and two years at the community college level and never had a problem.”
Schweitzer tied for Medalist honors in the conference finals by shooting back- to-back scores of 73. He achieved a best-in-conference average of 73.7 for 2017. He went on to shoot 81-71 in the Southern California Regionals, earning a spot in the state championships. He may not have won or placed at state level, but earning that spot is an accomplishment in and of itself.
“Richie carded a season high 81 in the first round and then carded a second lowest score for the tournament of 71 to qualify for the CCCAA State Tournament. I only see bigger and better things for Richie in his future,” said Martinez.
Martinez is humbled to have had Schweitzer choose MSJC over other community colleges, and says it’s bittersweet to see him go: “Our returning players know there is a big hole to fill with his departure. I wish him all the success in his future education and athletic endeavors.”