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The Braves know it's the work on and off the course that'll get them where they want to go.

COURTESY PHOTO - The Banks boys golf team poses for a photo following their dual match win over Astoria April 7. Left to right: Bo Wormington, Jake Walters, Aaron Brown, Ben Cost, Joseph Crowell, Darian Nelson, Sean Peters, Conner Willems. Not pictured: Liam Peters, Kade Long.There is a buzz surrounding this year's Banks boys golf team, but despite a solid core of varsity players and some quality early results on the course, Braves head coach Geoff Marlatt said there's much to do and much more to accomplish.

"We have performed well in our first two matches with Tillamook and Astoria," Marlatt said, "but we have some significant matches on the schedule in the next two weeks, and we'll have a greater understanding of where we are as a team at that point."

The Braves played particularly well in their match April 7 at Astoria Country Club, where they shot 309 as a team and left the home Fishermen well in their wake.

Banks was led by a pair of one-over-par 73s by seniors Aaron Brown and Jake Walters, while also boasting a 76 by fellow senior Ben Cost, an 87 by junior Bo Wormington, and a 101 by sophomore newcomer Joseph Crowell.

"The strength of our team revolves around the love of the game and competing, and the vision we're working towards," Marlatt said. "We work as a team and as individuals to be held accountable for our judgments, decisions, confidence, poise and our self-control. We have a very special group of players and we don't take it for granted."

Brown, despite being small in stature, plays a power game, regularly driving the ball 300 yards off the tee. He's also working hard on his wedge game from 120 yards and in.

As for Walters, Marlatt said he makes his hay when things matter most, stepping up when the pressure rises.

"Nothing phases Jake," the coach said. "He welcomes pressure and performs well in tough situations."

COURTESY PHOTO - Banks' Aaron Brown sets up for a tee shot at Astoria Country Club during their match with the Fishermen April 7.
Cost has vastly improved over the last year and has mostly a "terrific short game and putting touch" to thank, Marlatt added, and Wormington and Crowell are "really coming along nicely" and have great minds and a passion for the sport.

Like with sport in general, Marlatt says golf often reflects real life. He said he and girls head coach Don Giannetti talk to their team about that a lot.

"We have to make good decisions and judgments on the course," Marlatt said. "Much like life, judgments and decisions we make can have a huge impact on where we end up."

The Braves have matches with Seaside and Valley Catholic coming up, and on April 27, they'll host the Banks Invitational, which will consist of roughly 85 of the 4A classification's best golfers. Marlatt said the competition will be stiff in both Banks' region and throughout the state, but he feels they're competitive and that if they continue to do their part to improve, they have a chance to be near the top when the dust settles.

"It's important that we continue to get better and practice with a purpose and better our mental strength," he said. "There is an opportunity, but it's our job to seize the moment."


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