Ty's Take: Rain may dampen fields, but not baseball success
Last week, the Fargo-Moorhead area got hit by some of the first showers in at least a month. Athletic teams were abruptly awakened from the dream that has been this spring's gorgeously unseasonable weather.
That being said, West Fargo's baseball team missed out on a matchup Thursday against Eastern Dakota Conference rival Fargo North, and only got in an inning during the Moorhead Tournament last weekend before that, too, was cancelled.
Obviously, it's impossible to say what the finishes might have been, but it can be ascertained that the Packers wouldn't have been pushovers. Currently ranked second in the EDC and third in the state, West Fargo (7-1 EDC, 14-2 overall), to put it mildly, is scorching hot.
"We're off to a good start," Packers coach Brett Peterson said. "We're playing well at almost every phase of the game."
And it's not like the competition has been sluffing off, either.
"Every team has been competitive," Peterson said "When you get to that EDC tournament, anybody can beat anybody."
Before the sloppy weather, the Packers' most recent series came last Tuesday, which resulted in a 5-3, 6-4 sweep over Wahpeton. First baseman Matt Strahm was West Fargo's big hitter, going 4-for-6 at the plate with a homer, triple and four runs batted in. In the first game, junior Jake Hermanson was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Though their numbers have been solid - 45 runs-for in conference play compared with just 10 runs-against - there always is room for improvement, Peterson said. Consistency at the plate is important.
"We have a few guys who are in a bit of a slump," he said. "We have some guys who aren't hitting the ball like they have in the past. ... I think that's going to come."
On the mound, the Packers have been stellar. "They're throwing strikes," Peterson said. Against Wahpeton, Tanner Dahl (3-0) and Karson Mapes (2-0) each snagged wins.
"If we can continue to play at the level we've been playing at, we'll be ok," Peterson said.
A fresh varsity face this season is making quite a defensive impact. Sophomore Andy Young has "been phenomenal," Peterson said. The shortstop is making plays and has been "solid" overall.
In fact, West Fargo's strongest suit may be at defense.
"We kind of expected to be a good defensive team, but we've been a very good defensive team," Peterson said.
Weather aside, the Packers have plenty of time to continue building on their strong start to the season. The most recent chance came Tuesday at Fargo Shanley, but the results were not in when this edition of the Pioneer went to press. West Fargo plays 5 p.m. Thursday, at Fargo South, and then faces visiting Minot at 7 p.m. on Friday.
But even though they seem to be rolling along, Peterson doesn't want his team getting too comfortable.
"I think we basically need to not get complacent," he said. "It's dangerous. We can't be having that attitude that we'll win just by showing up.
"There's always room to improve and get better and, largely, we have done that."
It is obvious from their season so far that the West Fargo softball team has one thing in mind: winning their 13th straight state title.
At 11-1, the Packers once again are dominating the season and are well on their way to defending their second title as a sanctioned sport.
West Fargo's only loss came was a 4-3 nipping by Bismarck in early April. Other than that, the Packers have been putting up double-digit score counts on a regular basis.
For example, last week the Packers defeated Fargo North 11-2 on Tuesday, followed by a 14-3 lashing over Valley City on Thursday. That means, in slightly more than half the season, West Fargo has accumulated 133 runs-for while allowing 13 runs-against.
Lopsided? Maybe just a bit.
To catch them in action, head to West Fargo on Thursday for a doubleheader against Grand Forks Central. The dustup starts at 4:30 p.m. The Packers then head north for a tournament in East Grand Forks this weekend.
On Tuesday, May 4, West Fargo faced Fargo South, but results were not in by press time.
Girls tennis tops EDC
With only one loss on the season, West Fargo girls tennis is flying high.
Last Tuesday, the Packers (2-0 EDC, 4-1 overall) picked up a lopsided 9-0 victory over Grand Forks Central (0-2, 0-2). It was their first sweep of the season.
The Packers faced Fargo North on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. They head north to Red River on Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. match, and then host an East-West Crossover on Saturday, which kicks off at 9 a.m.
Soccer finds its stride
Skunked through its first four games, the West Fargo girls soccer team picked up it's first win of the season April 20, against Grand Forks Central.
Last Thursday, the Packers got another one, this one a 1-0 win over the Roughriders. They also tied Jamestown 0-0 on Friday during and East-West Crossover.
Scoring for West Fargo (2-3-0, 2-3-3) against Red River was captain Kelsey Kloos, who picked up a feed from sophomore Andrea Muller.
The Packers were slated to face the Knights on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. They play again 7 p.m. Friday, at Fargo North.
Track on track
The Packers track team swept last Monday's West Fargo Triangular, scoring 309 points from the boys team and 278 from the girls.
They also had a meet Tuesday at Wahpeton, but results were not in by press time.
They host the Packer Relays at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Hockey: Jonasson, Tendeland help Stars 16U win title
The North Dakota Starz 16U boys hockey team recently captured the USA Hockey National Tier II 3A championship in West Chester, Pa.
West Fargo's Conor Jonasson and Brandon Tendeland were members of the team. Jonasson finished No. 1 overall in points after racking up nine goals and seven assists. Tendeland had a goal and five assists.
The Starz beat Portland, Maine, 8-4, Ashburn, Va., 6-2, and Nashua, N.H., 9-1 in the preliminaries. They then defeated Allegany, Pa., 7-3 in the quarterfinals and Houston 5-2 in the semifinals.
In the championship game, the Starz beat the Affton (Mo.) Americans 3-1 for the national title, and the team's second in four years.
The tournament finished April 11.
WF's Green named to All-Star volleyball team
Five-foot, 10-inch middle hitter Jenna Green recently was honored as the only Packer to be named to the NDHSCA Optimist's All-Star Team.
Some other EDC players include Fargo Shanley's Madalyn Laske and Sammi Post, Fargo North's Kristin Cochran and Angie Waller, and Fargo South's Abby Carlson.
Green was named to the All-EDC team last season, and was named West Fargo's Most Valuable Player along with Courtney Voeller.
Tyler Shoberg is Sports Editor of the Pioneer and can be reached at 701-451-5717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.