Ty's Take: On the home stretch; postseason dead ahead
Break out your big foam "We're No. 1" fingers and don your favorite Packer paraphernalia, because it's tournament time.
I know, I know, it seems impossible, what with the crazy spring and all. But believe it or not, postseason tournaments already begin this week.
Girls tennis kicks off the festivities with their Eastern Dakota Conference meet Thursday in Fargo. The four weeks to follow will run the gauntlet of spring sports, ending with the state boys golf tournament June 7-8 at Edgewood Golf Course.
It's going to be a flurry of activity in short order, so make sure you don't blink. Now, we'll get down to the nitty-gritty of last week's Packer action.
Girls tennis No. 2
Although their West Fargo Invitational was squashed thanks to the gorgeous windy and rainy weather during the weekend, the Packers girls tennis team still managed to have a solid week of competition.
For starters, they took down two conference foes, beginning with Fargo Davies on Tuesday. Sammie Smith defeated her first-flight opponent in straight sets, while her sister, Cassie, went 7-6, 7-3, 3-6, 10-4 against No. 2 Laura McGuigan for the win.
The Eagles' only win came in the No. 3 doubles match, where Allyson Meyer and Emily Strinden downed Brooke Christensen and Mariah Stein 7-6, 7-4, 4-6, 10-5.
But West Fargo's biggest win of the week came Thursday against Fargo North. The Spartans were ahead of the Packers in the standings at No. 2, and a win would mean a shift of power.
And win West Fargo did, going 6-3 to bring its record to 6-1 in conference play, while North dropped to 6-2. The Packers now are 1.5 games behind No. 1 Grand Forks Red River, which is undefeated on the season and has gone 9-0 in every meet except for an 8-1 win over Central last Thursday.
So unless some disaster strikes within the Roughriders' ranks, it looks as if this season will come down to another battle for second place. As it stands, the Packers are sitting well.
But everything changes come tournament time. West Fargo had one last regular-season meet Monday hosting Fargo South, but results were unavailable by press time. The first round of the East Region Meet kicks off Thursday in Fargo, and championships will be Saturday.
Thursday's first-round itinerary is as follows:
Match 1 at Courts Plus: No. 1 Red River vs. play-in winner (although the standings aren't set, this will come down to the bottom three teams in the EDC, which currently are Wahpeton, Central and Shanley).
Match 2 at Fargo South high School: No. 4 vs. No. 5.
Match 3 at West Fargo High School: No. 2 vs. No. 7 (if West Fargo beat South on Monday, they are a lock for No. 2 as No. 3 North is finished with its regular season).
Match 4 at Island park: No. 3 vs. No. 6.
Track and field set for EDC
With their final regular-season meet Monday - the results of which were unavailable come press time - the West Fargo track and field team now must take what little time remains to prepare for the postseason.
The East Region meet begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at West Fargo High School (just in time for everyone to rest up from their morning marathon).
The Packers are one of, if not "the" favorite to win the meet. At last Monday's Fargo Rotary, the West Fargo boys team took first place with 177.5 points to beat out Grand Forks Red River by 18. The Packer girls also fared well, taking second with 106 points behind first-place Mandan.
There also is a highlight in the hurling department. Cherae Reeves recently broke the school record in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 8¼ inches during the Packer Relays. The old record of 40 feet, 10 inches had stood since 1985.
Those kinds of strong results can be looked forward to at Saturday's festivities. The Packers have had a competitive, albeit brief, season and are poised to hit the home stretch on a dead sprint.
Following the East Region meet is the State Tournament on May 27-28 in Bismarck.
Softball still undefeated
At 11-0, the Packers softball team is making it look like a 14th-straight state title isn't out of the question.
Last week saw a slew of lopsided victories, beginning with a 17-0 rout of North on Tuesday. The trend continued Tuesday with a 10-1 showing against Fargo Shanley, before Friday's doubleheaders sweep of Thief River Falls. Kacie Johnson hit her fifth homer of the season in the opener, while Danielle Nelson smacked her second in the nightcap.
West Fargo has another busy week ahead, beginning with a doubleheader against Bemidji on Monday that wasn't finished by press time. They also had games against Moorhead and Hankinson on Tuesday.
Next is a game at Fargo South at 7 p.m. Friday, and then games Saturday against Roseau at 11 a.m. and Warroad at 1 p.m.
Boys golf: West Fargo has been burning its candle at both ends, with three meets last week resulting in second-place, third-place and fifth-place finishes. Based on conference matchups, the Packers are sitting in third in the EDC standings behind No. 2 Fargo Shanley and No. 1 Fargo South. They also possess two golfers who currently sit in the Top 10 in the conference: Connor Holland ranked fourth with a 76.5 stroke average, and Riley Johnson ranked 10th with 78.5. This week will be another barn burner, as the Packers prepare for five straight days of activity.
Baseball: The Packers are a game behind No. 1 South in the standings, and are hoping to bridge that gap before next week's EDC Tournament in Wahpeton. West Fargo (12-2, 26-4) played a gauntlet of games last week, and walked away with five wins and a loss. The grind continued this week, as the Packers played two games Monday and a game Tuesday against North that weren't available by press time. Other upcoming games include their final conference doubleheader Thursday hosting North at 5 p.m., as well as a doubleheader Friday hosting Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at 5 p.m.