As hockey pads are stored away and replaced with soccer jerseys and baseball spikes, several West Fargo students are thinking about their future. With graduation less than two months away, many seniors have their college athletic futures all planned out, while others have yet to finalize theirs.
Packer football has more participants than any other sport at West Fargo and often graduates more high schoolers into the ranks of college athletics than any other sport. This season is no different, with nine members of last fall's team planning to play college football.
North Dakota State College of Science, in Wahpeton, signed three Packer seniors to play football for the Wildcats, including linebackers Kirby Keller and Brock Drayton, as well as offensive lineman Robert Delorme. Keller was named to the all-state first team after the Packers lost in the state quarterfinals and finished with a 6-4 record.
Minnesota State University-Moorhead signed Tyler Hewson, while cross-town rival Concordia College landed Packers Kyler Eid and Steven Hay, who was named all-state this season for West Fargo.
Eid, who plans to study physical therapy, said he chose Concordia for several reasons.
"My family has connections there, and my mom used to work there," he said. "Plus, their job placement after graduation is high."
Fellow West Fargo football teammate Mason Thorstad, named all-state this season, plans to play defensive end at Northern State University.
"I toured the place and really like the coaches there," said Thorstad, who will study business management. "It looks like they're going to have a good program."
Packer kicker Nathan Kuik plans to take his talents to Northwestern College in Iowa and play football.
Some West Fargo football players say that Chris Parsons may play football in the area somewhere as well.
Most of the boys' basketball team's senior class could be playing college basketball next season as well.
All-state guard Tanner Farkas has already committed to Jamestown College, while fellow all-state Seth Dye said he plans on college hoops as well. Dye said he plans to study history and someday get into teaching or coaching. He said he's looking into Concordia, MSUM and Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, N.D.
Michael Schnepf, named all-EDC this year, said he's looking to play somewhere next year and is currently weighing his options. Jon Reznecheck said he plans to play for the JV team at Jamestown College next season and study computer science.
"They have the academic program that I want, and they gave me a chance to play sports," he said.
A pair of Packer long distance athletes plan to utilize their running talents next fall while getting a college education. Cassandra Sayler will run at Minot State University, while three-time all-state cross country runner Travis Stadum plans to run at the University of Sioux Falls.
"I like the camaraderie of running, plus staying in shape," said Sayler, who will go into nursing. "It clears your mind, and you feel refreshed when you're done."
Wrestler Lex Lunde said he will join his brothers Logan (WFHS class of 2004) and Lane ('06) on the wrestling team at Concordia.
"I've been looking at wrestling there since my sophomore year," said Lex.
Two-time all-state volleyball player Jamie Green knows she wants to play volleyball somewhere next season in the area, but she's unsure where. She said she's thinking about NDSU, Concordia or MSUM.
For every West Fargo Packer that plans to play formal college sports, there are others that want to continue on with athletics in college in a bit more informal manner - such as Artan Vllahiu, who plans to play club soccer for an area college next season.
There's bound to be others from the class of 2008 that plan to play college sports. If you know someone that went unmentioned, send information to the sports editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.