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Preston Lehmann, top, of West Fargo wrestles with Clayton Jennissen of Cambridge-Isanti, Minn., for the 182-pound Rumble on the Red championship Dec. 4, in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Communications Co.

DUAL DOMINATION

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DUAL DOMINATION
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Last year, the West Fargo wrestling team's lone blemish at the Grand Forks Dual tournament came from a loss to Bismarck.

The Packers got their revenge last week.

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In unprecedented dominating fashion, West Fargo went a flawless 5-0 during the same tournament, which spanned Friday and Saturday. More impressive still, however, were the scores; the most an opponent gained on the Packers was 14 points.

In short, West Fargo dominated.

"We wrestled pretty well," coach Kayle Dangerud said. "We won some matches that were tossup matches. It was a good weekend."

A slight understatement? Maybe, but Dangerud knows what his wrestlers are capable of, and he knows the kind of competition they are used to.

He also knows that regular-season results can be deceiving. In many instances, the true nature of a team doesn't reveal itself until the postseason.

Case-in-point: the Red River tournament. The Packers had three duals Friday, resulting in a 42-14 win over Williston, a 62-9 victory over Mandan, and the 46-14 win over Bismarck.

That last one was a bit of a surprise, as the Demons have held a strong upper hand for many years. But while the Packers were outstanding in the dual, Dangerud admits the Demons weren't at full force.

"They had a couple kids out who were normally in their lineup," he said.

That shouldn't take away from West Fargo's win, which was well-deserved. But it does serve as a reminder that, come the state tournament, a different Bismarck team may be ready and waiting to pounce.

On Saturday, the Packers continued their almost effortless dispatch of opponents with a 51-9 win over Turtle Mountain Community High School, and finally a 54-6 rout of Minot in the final dual.

"The thing we were impressed with our guys, is there wasn't a hangover on Saturday," Dangerud said.

Almost every West Fargo wrestler, in every weight class, picked up wins during the tournament. Even Zach Eider, who normally wrestles at 195 pounds, was successful after being moved up a few weight classes. The junior bested Bismarck's Zach Scalzo 3-2 on Friday at 285 pounds, then pinned Minot's Daniel Macy in 1 minute, 31 seconds during a 220-pound bout.

"He had to drink a water just to make weight," Dangerud said.

Next up for the Packers is a 7 p.m. dual Thursday at Grand Forks Red River. Then on Saturday, they travel to Aberdeen, S.D., for a tournament

If trends continue, the Packers should put on a pretty good show. They have so far.

"The guys are working hard in the wrestling room," Dangerud said. "We're happy."

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