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Boys Golf: Raph among returning PR-B letterwinners

The 2019 PR-B boys golf team: Front row, from left: Ethan Burns, Eli Schneider, Joe Zaczkowski. Barron Milham and Cooper Green. Back row: Coach Heslop, Brady Bristow, Brady Raph, Keenan Dahl, Ethan Tulenchik and Assistant Coach Jake Hradsky. Not pictured: Tyler DeGrote. Dan Determan / Echo Journal

The Pine River-Backus boys squad returns five golfers, including three-time Class A state qualifier in junior Brady Raph.

"We have everyone back," said PR-B head coach Steve Heslop. "We have a lot of experience, but we're still a little young."

Besides Raph, other letterwinners are Keenan Dahl, Tyler DeGrote, Brady Bristow and Ethan Tulenchik. Others who could contribute are Joe Zaczkowski and Eli Schneider.

Last spring, Raph improved on his previous state tournament outings by shooting a 75 in both rounds of the state tournament for a total score of 150 and a fourth-place finish. Raph finished six strokes behind medalist Ben Laffin, who led Sleepy Eye United to a first-place tie with Mounds Park Academy for the team Class A team title.

At the Section 6A meet, Raph finished first by 15 strokes with a two-day 143.

Heslop expects Raph to continue improving.

"(Raph) is very mature, in his mind, for golf," Heslop said after last year's state tournament. "When he approaches a shot, he looks at it and sees all kinds of options. He very seldom ever compounds a problem."

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