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West Fargo's Creighton Pfau saves the ball possession as he throws the ball at Fargo Shanley's Chase Montplaisir Thursday, Dec.12, at West Fargo. File photo

Determan: WF coaches have resolutions, too

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How is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolution?

Have you already given up on it? I have too.

Hopefully, there are a few of you out there still doing your best to improve yourself, but resolutions do not simply apply to individuals. Each Packer coach also has a way he or she would like to see the West Fargo teams improve, despite being a generally favorable season so far for each sport.

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The Packer boys basketball team is currently 2-2 on the season, but are just one game out of first place in the Eastern Dakota Conference. Head coach Greg Limke appreciates the effort his team is giving every day, but admits he could do with a bit more consistency from his players.

“There are times that we have let down a bit, both on offense and defense,” Limke said. “We need to work on that, but I like the attitude they bring to practice each day. We make each other better. We have a couple of tough losses, but I am more encouraged than ever with what I have seen in these guys.”

The girls basketball team, on the other hand, is currently the top team in the conference. They are 5-0 and have an average point differential of plus-20.4.

“We have a ‘true’ team,” head coach Barb Metcalf said. “So many of the kids are able to score, and that is a lethal weapon to have. They are also the most unselfish group that I have ever coached. That is very refreshing for me.

However, there is always room for improvement, as Metcalf has noticed a bit of sluggishness in her team at times, but she knows that her girls will work hard to fix that problem.

“We always talk to them about finishing every single play,” Metcalf said. “We need to take time to digest mistakes and missed opportunities, but when we have a sluggish second half, I know the next practice is going to be a doozy. These girls want to be better. They want to get the job done.”

The boys hockey team is faring worse than the other West Fargo teams. They are currently 3-7-0 on the season and are ranked sixth in the east. Four of their seven losses have come by just one goal, despite outshooting many of their opponents.

Even though the first third of the season has been rough, co-head coach Tim Capouch has seen many positives in his teams, especially as the season progresses.

“We are definitely getting better as the season goes on,” Capouch said. “Our scoring is coming from all of the lines, and that is what you like to see.”

In 2014, Capouch would like to see a few more of his team’s shots on goal find their way past the goalie.

“After losing four games by one goal, it would be nice to see us win a few by one goal,” Capouch said. “We just have to keep putting pucks on the net. We knew with all of our young players, it would take some adjustment this season, but I think they are starting to figure it out.”

The girls hockey team has had a better time, going 6-3-0 in 2013. Though not as dominant as last season, the girls still find away to score, averaging roughly five goals per game.

However, illness and injury have plagued the team since the start of the season, and coach Pat Johnson’s biggest wish for 2014 is to be able to consistently field a full team.

“We have battled through a lot of injuries and sickness so far,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we can get well soon, because we need to find a rhythm. We need to get consistent and go from there.”

The boys swimming and diving team has won both of their duals this season and has swam well in tournaments so far, but the team is still trying to fill a few top spots from last season. Coach Marsha Dahl hopes to have a consistent, hard-working roster in the new year.

“We just want to fill the spots when the state meet comes around and swim as well or better than we did last year,” Dahl said. “We have a lot of inner squad competition and we are hoping to keep kids well and keep them improving. The young athletes who swam offseason with the West Fargo Flyers really improved from last year so that really helps. I just want to have the kids work hard, improve and have fun.”

Meanwhile, the wrestling team is the state favorite right now. They are ranked No. 41 in the nation and seem to be doing everything right, but coach Kayle Dangerud claims there is plenty of room for incremental improvements.

“We can always improve in everything we do: training, nutrition, sleep, schoolwork, etc.,” Dangerud said. “I believe our guys are on the right track. Our coaches are proud of our team's effort so far. We just need to keep getting better.”

Like every other resolution, some of these may work out. Some may not. Either way, Packer fans should be in for an interesting 2014.

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