Midseason review: Solid play has made the Packers entertaining
I realize that "midseason" is a bit misleading, what with the tennis, golf and soccer seasons winding to a close. However, since we are about halfway between the time I started discussing cross country and volleyball and the time I will start talking about basketball and hockey, I'm calling it midseason.
If I had to use one word to best describe the fall season for the Packers as a whole, I would say consistent is the best choice.
The perfect example of this is the girls' golf team, who has finished third or fourth in almost every meet this season. Junior Ashley Bixby has finished in the top five in all but two tournaments and has won three different events. She has shot an average score of 81.8 and has qualified for the state tournament as an individual. The team has also qualified.
The boys' soccer team has also been incredibly solid. They are currently second in the Eastern Dakota Conference with 17 points (8-2-1 in the EDC, 11-3-2 overall) and went 8-1-1 through the month of September. They have two regular-season matches left before playoffs begin, where I have to believe they will continue to impress.
The same can be said about the cross country teams, who have regularly finished quite high in their meets. The teams have been led by senior Darin Baltezore and eighth-grader Jen Dufner, both of whom regularly finish in the top five in fields of 50 or 60. The teams also typically get strong outings from the likes of Austin Albrecht, Nathan Aswege, Brooke Grooters and Suzy Dullum, among others.
The football team, while currently .500 overall, has also been playing consistently well. They have averaged 26 points per game, and have had an impressive rushing game, especially from senior running back Preston Lehmann. They had a bit of a setback this past week as quarterback Nick Roehrich went down with a knee injury in a loss to Fargo South, but the team's toughest tests of the regular season are already behind it, and a winning season is still a strong possibility.
While the Packers' volleyball is teetering around .500 on the season (currently 10-8 overall), they are currently 6-3 in the conference and have been getting strong play almost every night from Christina Bruenjes, Courtney Suppa, Amanda Levin and Andrea Klug. Bruenjes, Suppa and Levin have been solid in front of the net for the team, usually getting around 10 kills each. Meanwhile, setter Klug has been all over the court, supplying the team with plenty of assists and enough digs to keep the team in games.
The swim team has also done a fine job this season. This past weekend, they topped six other teams in a meet in Mandan. Despite not having any seniors on the team, head coach Marsha Dahl has been happy with her young swimmers who have been stepping up and competing.
The boys' tennis team's season just wrapped up as a team, but strong play from Keyan Farahmand, North Knewtson and Brady Ballweber has not gone unnoticed. Ballweber finished third in the EDC tournament this past weekend, and Farahmand and Knewtson finished sixth as a doubles team.
On the whole, the Packers have been fairly solid this season. Most teams have winning records as of now, and they have all, no doubt, been fun to watch. Best of luck to every Packer as the season winds down.