MOHAVE VALLEY — Dust Devil senior golfers Logan Cummings, 83-85—168 and Austin Rice, 81-87—168, returned to Mohave Valley after tying for 57th place.

The two River Valley High School golfers returned from the Randolph Dell Urich/Randoloph North Golf Course in Tucson after competing in the 2017 Division III State Championship on Thursday-Friday.

Northwest Christian’s Frankie Capan shot 62-72—134 to earn the individual title. Phoenix Country Day’s Supravee Sakulbunpanicl finished second at 67-71—138, Show Low’s Skyler Koury came in third at 68-72—140, and Bisbee’s R.J. Wright III rounded out the top five at 71-70—141. Eighty-seven high school golfers and 15 teams qualified for the Division III final.

Northwest Christian fired 288-311—599 to earn the team title. Valley Christian placed second at 296-308—604, Sedona Red Rock finished third at 305-311—616, and Yuma Catholic rounded out the top five high schools at 303-321—624.

Dust Devils head coach Lucus Lechman said the greens were “very nice.”

“They set up the par-3s pretty difficult as far as pin placements like behind traps and at the edge of slopes,” Lechman said. “But they have to protect the hole.

“They don’t want to leave it out in the open, so it’s easier to attack. This is the state golf tournament.”

The Dust Devils hadn’t had any of their golfers earn a state berth since Morgan Dupree in 2014, and it did not look like any of River Valley’s student-athletes were going to make it as the month of April passed into its second week.

That changed when Rice and Cummings started to shoot better scores after the River Valley Invitational, which was held on April 12.

“It was a great feeling of accomplishment,” said Cummings about earning a state berth. “I just felt a great deal of relief because it had been my goal from start of the season and I had cut it close to not placing in the cut line by .2 of a ranking. So, being there and having a chance to participate in the state tournament was a great honor and an awesome way to end my senior year.”

It felt good, Rice said.

“It was a great experience to compete with some of the best,” he added, “even though the two of us didn’t play very good it was a lot of fun.”

When asked if it was rewarding that two of his Dust Devils earned state berths, Lechman said. “Yeah, it was very rewarding.”

“It’s a great feeling,” he added. “It makes you feel proud that they worked hard enough to get there, and they worked hard over that time span to improve their play.

“I was trying to get the team there, too, so we were not only working on those two, but at least three more to step up to make some decent scores for the team, but as a team, as a whole, the five players that were able to play and they did improve our standings as a team.”

Lechman said his team improved from 25th place to 19th, down to 12th and up to 13th.

“It was a huge improvement for the team, as well, Lechman said. “We had to be in the top eight after the secton leaders were pulled out.

“So, we were about five places out.”

Seniors Elyse Oehler, Alexis Grammatico, Preston Martinez and Ethan Lechman, along with Rice and Cummings, helped comprise the collective five — in one form or other — that almost qualified for state as a team.

Rice shoots 165 to tie for 14th place

Daily News staff

MOHAVE VALLEY — Dust Devils senior Austin Rice fired an 82-83—165 to tie for 14th place during the individual competition at the 2017 Metro Invitational hosted by Northwest Christian and Scottsdale Prep on May 5-6.

River Valley High School senior Logan Cummings shot 96-83—179 to tie for 36th place.

Valley Christian’s R.J. David fired 68-73—141 to win the individual title.

Valley Christian topped 16 high schools with a score of 380-369—649, and RVHS finished 14th at 394-372—766 at McDowell Mountain Golf Club.

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