Ty's Take: Packer-dom marches on as seasons hit midway points
If there's a hill to fall sports, we're officially over it.
Boys tennis leads the way with the first of the postseason tournaments Thursday through Saturday in Grand Forks.
The remaining sports follow suit in the upcoming weeks.
So here's a quick recap of last week's Packers sports scene, as well as some important dates to jot down.
The Packers' homecoming game was last Friday against Williston, and the Coyotes never had a chance.
Brady Schwartz took a Matt Ruff pass 87 yards for the touchdown to open the floodgates in the first quarter and lead the way for West Fargo's 47-0 rout.
Schwartz had four receptions on the night for 111 yards. The senior is chipping away at the Packer record book, and currently is ranked third in career receptions with 56 (he only needs 17 to overtake first) and fourth in career reception yards with 897. First place in the latter category is Kyle Balster with 1,540 yards, which, if the Packers make it to the state title game, Schwartz could overtake if he can average slightly more than 80 yards per game.
Ruff let his arm do most of the work, and went 9-for-14 passing and 206 yards and three scores. Tucker Bucholz came in late in the game and hit Chaz Gunderson for an 80-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter and the last score of the game.
The Packers (3-1) head north to play Grand Forks Red River (4-0) at 7 p.m. Friday. After that, West Fargo only has four more regular-season games before the state tournament quarterfinals Oct. 30. The state title game is Nov. 13.
Cross Country takes third
The West Fargo boys and girls cross country teams each grabbed third place at last Thursday's Andrew Nelson Metro Classic.
On the boys side, Moorhead took first with 27 points, while the Fargo Davies girls team also grabbed first with 47 points.
The Packers boys were paced by senior Nate Peterson's sixth-place time of 17 minutes, 11 seconds. Five seconds behind and one spot back was sophomore Darin Baltezore. West Fargo's Lukas Johnson rounded out the Top 20 with a finish of 17:56.
The West Fargo girls' top finisher was sophomore Jessica Rosenau, who took fifth with a time of 15:27. Christine Baltezore was 10th at 15:15, while Brooke Grooters finished in 16:07 for 14th place.
The Packers only have two more meets before the conference championship Oct. 9, in Moorhead. This weekend, West Fargo heads to Minnesota for the Milaca Mega Meet at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The state tournament is Oct. 23, in Jamestown.
Girls swimming tops South
Hosting Fargo South last Thursday, the Packers girls swimming team finished first overall thanks to a deep field of players and plenty of top finishes.
Danica Dutt paced West Fargo with two individual first-place finishes, as well as legs on first- and second-place relay teams. The freshman finished first in the 50 freestyle with a 26.33, and first in the 100 butterfly at 1:00.52.
Dutt also was part of the first-place 200 medley relay team that finished in 1:59.28 to edge South by less than four-tenths of a second. Alongside Dutt was Rachel Kranda, Paige Weisz and Sam Gunning.
The Packers now host the High Five Invitational at 11 a.m. on Saturday. They will host Fargo Shanley, Fargo South, Wahpeton and Fargo North for the event.
West Fargo still has a handful of meets and invites to go before the East Region Tournament on Nov. 6, at LE Berger Pool. State is Nov. 12-13, in Mandan.
Tennis wins two of three
The Packers boys tennis team took two dual wins last week, but fell to Fargo North on Thursday.
West Fargo (4-4 EDC, 8-4) swept Wahpeton (2-6, 4-6) on Monday 9-0. Ben Ballweber took the first-flight win over Carson Miller 6-4, 6-3. Ben's brother, Brady, followed suit with a second-flight win over Eric Christensen 7-6(2), 7-5.
And in a shift of game play, the Ballwebers were split up for duals. Ben and Kyle Roberts took Miller and Dylan Johnson 6-2, 6-1 for the win. Brady and Tom Meyer grabbed a second-flight win over Christensen and Michael Withuski 6-4, 3-6, (10-8).
On Tuesday, the Packers defeated Fargo Davies (3-5, 3-6) 6-3. West Fargo got individual wins from Brady Ballweber, Kevin Roberts, Tom Meyer and Walker Degerness. In duals, the tandem of Ben Ballweber and Kyle Roberts got a win, and well as Kevin Roberts and Jordan Degerness.
But on Thursday, the Spartans (6-2, 6-3) were too much for the Packers, who were shut out 9-0 in their final match of the regular season
No. 5 West Fargo will take on No. 4 Grand Forks Central (5-3, 5-3) at the East Region tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Grand Forks. The state tournament begins Sept. 30, in Bismarck.
Boys soccer: West Fargo fell to Fargo Shanley 3-0 last Tuesday, but picked up wins against Mandan and Minot during the West Fargo Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Bismarck St. Mary's defeated the Packers 3-0 during the tournament. The Packers faced Red River on Monday, but results were not in by press time. West Fargo heads to Fargo North at 7 p.m. Thursday, and then Detroit Lakes at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Packers have a total of seven regular-season games remaining before the state tournament Oct. 14-16, in Grand Forks.
Volleyball: The Packers (5-1, 11-4) continued their winning ways last week with victories over Devils Lake on Tuesday, and Grand Forks Central on Thursday. They host Red River on Thursday at 7 p.m., and head to Valley City on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Girls golf: On Tuesday, the Packers placed fifth at Village Green. Ashley Bixby led West Fargo with 86 strokes and a fourth-place finish. The Packers had a meet Monday, but results were not in .The East Region tournament is Monday, Sept. 27, and state is Oct. 4-5. Both will take place in Jamestown.