Tennis team 'not as good as they thought'
A couple of years ago it would have been business as usual for the Packer girls' tennis team to lose to Fargo South.
That was until last season when the Packers broke nearly every school record en route to their best season ever, which included their first win over Fargo South in a quarter century.
When nearly the entire team returned for more this season, West Fargo was a favorite to beat everyone in the conference except for six-time defending state champion Grand Forks Red River.
It all changed last Thursday when the Packers didn't just lose to the Bruins - they were beaten badly, 7-2.
With prom and several other end-of-the-school-year events taking place, Packer coach Chad Anderson wondered if his team may have been a bit distracted.
"We'll do a lot of talking to try to figure out where everybody is at," said Anderson after a recent practice. "We just learned that we're not as good as we thought we were. I'd say it's an eyeopener, and I would say it's definitely a wake-up call. It was very disappointing."
A victory over Fargo South was especially important, given that the Packers had just been shut out by the powerful Roughriders earlier in the week, 9-0.
"We knew Red River would be tough, but we were hoping to get a win against South; but things didn't go our way this time," said senior Sadie Doggett, who plays No. 1 singles and is 2-2 so far this season. "South played really well, and we didn't play consistent."
Junior No. 2 singles player Beth Anderson, 3-1 this season, was the only Packer to win her singles match against the Bruins. She also won her doubles match against South with Doggett.
"I feel horrible," said Beth. "We should have won it. I think they came out ready to play, and we weren't. If we can still beat the other teams to make sure we're still up there, then we'll be okay."
The 2-2 Packers, in a three-way tie for fourth place in the EDC at press time, play second place Fargo Shanley tonight. The Deacons beat Fargo South earlier this season.
The West Fargo Invite is scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday throughout the F-M area. The annual event is bigger than the state tournament and features 14 teams and more than 206 individual matches.
Two break 80
Two Packer golfers broke into the 70s at the Fargo Shanley Invite last Thursday to help boost West Fargo to fourth place in the nine-team meet.
Senior Casey Stavenger and freshman Logan Palmer shot 79s to force an eight-way tie for fifth place individually at the invite. Stavenger was coming off his first career tournament win the week prior at the West Fargo Invite.
"We're very happy with that," said co-head coach Steve Anderson. "It was a big step for Logan being a freshman to shoot a 79 and try to get over that barrier. Once you do that, it's a confidence booster."
Their performance brings to four the total of individual West Fargo golfers who have broken 80 this season, joining sophomores John Sund and Derek Sund who did so earlier this season.
"They can do it, it's just a matter of putting it all together at the same time," said Anderson.
Stavenger leads the team with a 77.7 average, while Sund is second at 82.3.
First EDC win
The Packer baseball team finally won its first conference game of the season with a 13-0 drubbing of Grand Forks Central last Thursday after losing game one of the doubleheader 10-9 in extra innings. West Fargo senior pitcher Luke Steckler picked up the win.
West Fargo (3-11 overall, 1-6 EDC) was tied with two other teams at the bottom of the conference at press time.
Junior shortstop Chris Mapes said he and teammates have been very concerned about their play lately.
"We've been talking about how we're basically embarrassing ourselves in front of our home crowd, because we haven't won a home game yet."
Mapes said he hopes the recent win will help turn things around.
"We were proud of the fact that we actually got a conference win finally," he said.
Softball heads west
The Packer softball team kept pace in the EDC with a pair of conference wins last week against Grand Forks Central and Fargo Shanley.
West Fargo, 7-5 overall, 4-1 EDC, will not make up the cancelled April 29 game at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The Packers travel to Minot for a total of four games Friday and Saturday against Minot High and Minot Bishop Ryan.
Junior pitcher Ally McCracken moved to 4-2 on the season with the win over the Deacons, while junior Andrea Sluke upped her record to 3-3 with the victory against the Knights.
Issues on offense
Continuing to be plagued by meager offensive production, the Packer girls' soccer team dropped a pair of EDC contests last week to Fargo North and Fargo South.
West Fargo, which remains in fifth place, had more shots on goal than each opponent, including a missed penalty kick against the undefeated Bruins.
The Packers (3-6-1 overall, 1-5 EDC) scored one goal total in the two losses.
Packer of the Week
...for the second time this spring, goes to sophomore Ellie Grooters for breaking her school records in the two hurdles events last week. That's seven total meet titles in the 100, 200, 100 and 300 hurdles for her in one week.