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Two Lafayette-area golfers qualify for IHSAA state finals

WEST LAFAYETTE — Coyote Crossing Golf Course in West Lafayette wasn't supposed to experience whistling winds of around 30 miles per hour until noon, but for Carroll senior Porter Dick, the gusty weather came early.

Gusts affected the tee shots and hampered the shot attempts of all 90 golfers competing in the IHSAA Regional Championship on Friday, but Dick was undaunted and remained consistent on his shots from start to finish.

He and Boston Pritchett, a senior at Benton Central, are the two remaining golfers from the Lafayette area who will compete in the IHSAA state championships next week at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.

Dick finished second overall with a score of 74 (3 over par), while Pritchett finished fifth with a score of 76 (4 over par), the second-best score of all non-team golfers.

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For Dick, this moment was a dream come true as he was dealing with the death of his mentor and former coach, Michael J. Cesare, a police officer with the Frankfort Police Department. Dick wore Cesare's initials on his blue cap.

“The road to get here has been incredible and it was a great last week to score so well,” Dick said. “To be in front of so many great players at these regionals, which are some of the best in the state, and to come in second is insane. I'm super proud of myself and it's a lot of fun to go to Prairie View. I'm where I need to be.”

Pritchett's path to success took a less conventional route, as he didn't play on the varsity golf team until his senior year. This spring, he switched sports after saying he was burned out from playing baseball the past two seasons.

“I kind of lost the love of baseball and loved golf more,” Pritchett said. “I decided to do it and it worked for me. The coaches relaxed me, especially before tournaments. Nervousness was never something I struggled with, especially when playing golf. So having them help me calm down helped me do well in every tournament.”

West Lafayette, which won the sectional at Battle Ground, capped its successful season with a fourth-place finish behind state qualifiers Guerin Catholic in third place, Zionsville in second place and regional champion Westfield.

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“We had a good day, the first nine holes were really strong,” said West Lafayette coach Avery Boaz. “We're really proud of these guys. They played with Guerin Catholic, the two-time defending champions. Those guys are always great and we kept up with them. We played shot for shot and then we got tired on the back nine holes. I wish we would have been a little stronger, but today was a really good day. That's a really big accomplishment.”

Three-time IHSAA sectional champion Sam Peter finished ninth with a score of 78 (6 over par) and will continue his career at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dick has received a scholarship to Taylor University.

Ethan Hanson is a sports reporter for the Journal & Courier in Lafayette. He can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter at EthanAHansonand Instagram at ethan_a_hanson.