Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week: Johnsburg’s Riley Klotz

Skyhawks’ senior had standout postseason, ending high school career with trip to Class 1A girls golf state finals

Riley Klotz, Johnsburg

Johnsburg’s Riley Klotz accomplished what many high school golfers dream of when she earned her first trip to the state finals after an exceptional postseason.

The Skyhawks senior fired an 82 to tie for third at the Class 1A Johnsburg Regional, leading her team to sectionals for the ninth straight season. The next week, she tied for ninth at the Sandwich Sectional to qualify for the 1A state tournament.

Over the weekend at the state finals, Klotz had an 87 to make the Day 2 cut and put the finishing touches on her four-year varsity career with a final round of 84, tying for 45th overall.

For her performance, Klotz was voted the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week by readers. The Kishwaukee River Conference Girls Golfer of the Year answered a few questions about her favorite memories on the course, her funniest teammate, where she sees herself in 10 years and more.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you play a round of golf?

Klotz: I have sort of created a ritual out of my warmup before a tournament. I crack my back, stretch my shoulders and start swinging. I always start with my 56 degree wedge and work through my wedges, then my irons, onto my hybrid, wood and driver. After the range I putt for a little bit depending on how much time I have and then I go to the first tee. Whenever I play 18 holes I have to wear my long white Nike socks. I feel a little out of whack whenever I don’t follow these routines, so I make sure to follow it as much as possible.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Klotz: I hope to be living on my own and working in some sort of accounting job. I would love to be able to play golf whether it be in a league with friends or just for fun.

What is the hardest part about golf?

Klotz: The hardest part about golf is not letting bad shots define my round. I am definitely a perfectionist, and I tend to only focus on the bad part of my rounds rather than the good parts.

If you could play a round with any three people, who would you choose?

Klotz: I would play a round with Nelly Korda, Chris Evans and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nelly would hopefully give me golf advice while on the course. I think it would be fun to golf with Captain America and I would probably ask The Rock to sing “You’re Welcome” from Moana the entire round.

What is a good fashion tip?

Klotz: A good fashion tip of mine would definitely be to wear leggings and hoodies because they’re extremely comfortable and that is what’s most important.

Who is your funniest teammate?

Klotz: I think my two funniest teammates are Kenzie (McQuiston) and Elaina (Moss). Kenzie makes me laugh a lot while we’re playing, and Elaina made me laugh when I heard about her accidentally throwing her driver into a bunch of bushes.

What is your favorite local course to play and why?

Klotz: My favorite course to play is Boone Creek [in Bull Valley] because it’s very easy, and I’ve played it more times than I can count.

What do you like to do when you’re not on the golf course?

Klotz: I’m typically busy with school work and cheer practice. When I find free time I’m usually sitting on my couch on my phone messaging friends and watching TikTok.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Klotz: If I could live anywhere I would probably live in The Villages in Florida. I really enjoyed it down there when I visited my grandparents, and I would be able to play golf all the time on all kinds of different courses. I would also be able to visit Disney World often.

If you could change one thing about golf, what would it be?

Klotz: I would change the size of the holes. If the holes were just an inch or two larger I would make so many more putts than I usually do.

What will you remember most about your high school career?

Klotz: I’ll remember most being able to go to state for both golf and cheerleading. I was very fortunate to be a part of the state championship cheer team at my school, and I finished off my four years of golf at the state tournament after working incredibly hard all season.