Graduates to have one last hurrah as Yuma Indians

Two Yuma High School graduates will have one last hurrah as Yuma Indians.
Jada Young and Ema Richardson, members of the Class of 2021, will compete in the Class 3A State Golf Championship, Monday and Tuesday at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo.

They qualified for state last Thursday at the Class 3A Region 3 Tournament in picturesque Estes Park.
Young finished 13th with a 115, and Richardson was 17th with a 118. Freshman Jailyn Mekelburg also competed at regional, shooting a 140 to place 33rd.
A state berth is a crowning moment for Young, who did not take up the game until her freshman year.
“I just tried it out and I ended up loving it,” she said earlier this week. “Now it’s just kind of my thing, I guess.”
Besides golf, she also has been a key member of the YHS Spirit Squad throughout high school.

Jada Young in action this season. (Dave Gustafson)

Young said she knew she had a shot of qualifying, comparing scores to the other golfers in the regional. She said she did not play as well as she wanted, but it was good enough earn a state berth.
However, it was far from a sure thing when she finished her round as many golfers remained on the course.
“I was really nervous after I finished and watched my name move around on the leader board,” Young said, “but when it made it I was really excited.”
Ema Richardson in action this season. (Dave Gustafson)
Richardson is going to state in her one and only season playing for the YHS team. She ran track her first two years, and was going to go out last year except COVID-19 got the spring seasons canceled. Richardson had played golf in the summer with family, so she was not totally unfamiliar with the game.
She said she figured she had a chance at qualifying for state because she had a good round on the Estes Park course earlier in the season. Then she got a par on her first hole, bolstering her confidence.
“I’ve been getting better, and I get more determined when there is a prize at the end, like going to state,” Richardson said.
Young and Richardson both were Cum Laude graduates (a grade point average of at least 4.0 for all eight semesters) in May. However, in this unusual COVID-19 impacted school year, the final sports season extends well into June.
“It’s a little weird, to be honest,” Young said. “I still feel like I am still in high school in a way, but after state is done I will probably feel like I am done with high school.”
She added that playing a sport after school is done does provide more freedom in regards to practicing she wants.

Richardson said practice has been at random times, but has enjoyed golfing after school is out because the weather has been nicer than during a regular spring season.
Young will be attending Northern Arizona in Flagstaff beginning in the fall, majoring in graphic design.
Richardson will be attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, going for a double major in agriculture economics and general business.
First, both of them have some golf to play early next week in Pueblo.