As the season has shifted from winter sports to spring sports, it has been great to see our students back participating in more activities.

While many activities have looked different than in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been great to see our students still participating and experiencing success. Here are some highlights from the end of the winter seasons at Pine River-Backus and some things to look forward to the rest of the school year.

Pine River-Backus state speech participants

The Pine River-Backus speech team saw its two participants, Tabitha Kibwaa (extemporaneous speaking) and Randy Yost (storytelling), qualify for the Class A State Speech Tournament, which will take place virtually Saturday, April 24.

Road Crew wrestling state participants

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The Road Crew won the Section 8AA championship Saturday, March 13, over Thief River Falls and then immediately wrestled in the state quarterfinals where they lost to a tough Princeton Tiger team out of Section 7AA. The Road Crew finished the dual season at 29-5.

The Road Crew had eight wrestlers advance to the Class 2A state prelims in Foley on Saturday, March 20 (Parker Zutter, Easton Miller, Owen Carlson, Korey Kinyon, Chance Abraham, Connor Tulenchik, Corbin Knapp and Riley Peters). Tulenchik and Carlson advanced to the state tournament at St. Michael Albertville, where Tulenchik took home a runnerup finish and Carlson made the final eight.

Another congratulations goes out to Travis Hoffarth and Justin Franke for being named Section 8AA Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year.

PR-B girls basketball

The PR-B girls basketball team earned the No. 3 seed in the Section 5A tournament and picked up two playoff wins over Sebeka and Browerville-Eagle Valley before losing a hard fought game to No. 1 seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 56-46 in OT in the Section 5A West semifinals.

The Tigers finished the season with a 12-9 record overall. Rylie Hirschey was recognized as All State Honorable Mention by the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association.

PR-B boys basketball

The PR-B Tiger boys basketball team received the No. 4 seed in the Section 5A boys basketball playoffs. The Tigers' season came to an end Thursday, March 18, when they fell to No. 5 seed Browerville-Eagle Valley in the section playoffs. Overall, the team finished the season with an 8-11 record.

PR-B Knowledge Bowl team

The PR-B Knowledge Bowl team competed in the region competition Wednesday, March 17, finishing sixth out of 23 teams. Congratulations on a great season!

PR-B robotics

On Saturday, April 17, the Pine River-Backus robotics team competed at the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference Conference Tournament at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. The team had a successful showing, taking home a fourth-place finish at the event.

PR-B band & choir

The Pine River-Backus band has had two concerts within the last month as they held their grades 9-12 concert Monday, March 22, and their junior high concert Wednesday, April 14. The PR-B choir held its grades 7-12 concert Monday, April 12.

Other activities

  • Spring sports are underway at PR-B as our teams started to compete during the second week in April. As is typical in the spring we have seen some schedule changes due to the weather, but we are looking forward to a busy schedule of games and meets in the next few months.

Spring sports that are currently going on include baseball, softball, track and field, boys and girls golf and trap shooting.

  • The Pine River-Backus spring musical, "The Trials of Alice in Wonderland," is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, May 21-23.

  • Opportunities for youth have begun as Coach Jordan Ackerman ran camps for youth basketball during March and has additional offerings for elementary students throughout the rest of April as well.

  • We are gearing up for summer ball, which will have practices start in late May.

  • The PR-B Booster Club plans its golf tournament for July 25 at Emily Greens. Stay tuned for more information!

Additional activities information

For more information and updates on Pine River-Backus activities, feel free to follow our new social media pages:

I am looking forward to all our Pine River-Backus activities programs having a successful end to the school year, and I am excited to have more opportunities available to our students in the coming months.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via email at ttungseth@prbschools.org or via phone at 218-587-8029.

Thank you and go Tigers!

Tim Tungseth is the Pine River-Backus School District activities director and youth sports coordinator..