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Ty's Take: Summer over the hump

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Holy cow, where did the summer go?

Well, it isn't done yet, but we already are at the end of July, and the fall sports season will be starting before you know it.

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In fact, some West Fargo varsity sports already kick off less than a month away.

So long, summer; you were fun while you lasted.

There is one good thing about summer ending: the start of fall, quite possibly the best season of the whole, dang year.

Hunting wild game aside, with autumn comes the beginning of school (sorry kids) and the start of prep sports, which also makes it quite possibly the busiest season.

Busy is good and bad for us sports reporters. The good thing is we rarely are want for content. The bad thing is trying to cover it all as fairly and equally as possible.

That latter point is nearly impossible, especially for a one-man sports department like The Pioneer has (namely, me). So, I'll make it a point to traverse the Packers scene as best I can during the upcoming months to bring you, the reader, a vast array of athletically focused material.

By the way, there are seven sports going on during the fall season, which roughly lasts from the middle of August through the middle of November. That's a heck of a stretch. Cross country, girls golf, boys soccer, girls swimming and diving, boys tennis, volleyball and, of course, football make up the horde.

With that many options, there's no reason avid sports fans can't find some outlet to appease their appetites.

Important dates

Heads up to all parents of student athletes planning to participate in fall sports: there are some important dates you should know. The parent meeting for cross country, football, girls golf, boys soccer and boys tennis is 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 8, in the West Fargo High School theater.

The parent meeting for volleyball and girls swimming and diving will be Aug. 15, at the same location and time.

Other important dates, by sport, are as follows:

• Cross Country: First practice - Monday, Aug. 9. Opening meet - 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 20, Jamestown Invitational at Hillcrest Golf Course. Home opener - 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 26, West Fargo/Fargo North/Shanley Dual at Edgewood Golf Course, Fargo. EDC Championships - 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, at Johnson Park, Moorhead. State Meet - 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, Jamestown.

• Football: First practice - Wednesday, Aug. 11. Scrimmage - Aug. 20, time and site TBA. Home opener - 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, vs. Bismarck at WFHS. State Playoffs - Saturday, Oct. 30, quarterfinals; Saturday, Nov. 6, semifinals; Saturday, Nov. 13, championship at Alerus Center, Grand Forks.

• Girls Golf: First practice - Monday, Aug. 9. Opener - 1 p.m., Aug. 16-17, Jamestown Invitational at Jamestown Country Club. Home opener - 9 a.m., Sept. 14, West Fargo Invitational at Village Green Golf Course, Moorhead. EDC Tournament - Sept. 27 at Village Green Golf Course. State Tournament - Oct. 4-5 at Jamestown Country Club.

• Boys Soccer: First practice - Monday, Aug. 9. Opener, Saturday, Aug. 21, East-West Games in Jamestown. Home opener - 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24, vs. Fargo Davies at Lodoen Stadium. State Tournament - Oct. 14-16, at South Middle School Soccer Bowl, Grand Forks.

• Girls Swimming and Diving: First practice - Monday, Aug. 16. Opener - Saturday, Aug. 28, Fargo North Invitational at Fargo North High School. Home opener - 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, vs. Fargo South at H Berger Pool. EDC Meet - 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, West Fargo. State Meet - Nov. 12-13, Mandan.

• Boys Tennis: First practice - Monday, Aug. 9. Home opener - 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 20, vs. Fargo Shanley at WFHS. EDC Tournament - Sept. 23-25, Grand Forks. State Tournament - Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Bismarck.

• Volleyball: First practice - Monday, Aug. 16. Scrimmage - 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 21 at Barnesville. Opener - Aug. 27-28, Bismarck Tournament. Home opener - 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs. Fargo North at WFHS. EDC Tournament - Nov. 11-13, Grand Forks. State Tournament - Nov. 18-20, Minot.

All schedules are subject to change. For addition dates and times, visit the West Fargo High School activities website at www.west-fargo.k12.nd.us/schools/wfhigh/activities/.

One last thought

On Sept. 21, I'll have been at the West Fargo Pioneer for a year.

Time truly does fly.

I know, as of this column, I still have a couple months until I hit the year mark. But I figured that mid-September was right in the heart of the fall sports season, and I didn't want to muddle our sports pages with my drivel when there's all that juicy West Fargo news to get in.

We're currently in the eye of the storm, so now is perfect timing.

On that note, I've learned quite a lot in the past 300-ought days - and I'm still learning. While working in the sports department as a copy editor at the Grand Forks Herald, I picked up much about sports writing through practice, repetition, observation and maybe a bit of osmosis.

Still, I was a tad green when I got here, and really tried to hit the ground running. I would like to think that, since then, I've improved quite a bit.

But I am in no way perfect. Admittedly, I'm far from it.

If you have suggestions, criticism or comments, please, do not hesitate to drop me a line. I am more than receptive to new ideas, and enjoy chasing different stories. Sometimes, that is how I get my best angles.

So call, send an e-mail, snail mail, carrier pigeon, what have you. If it's legible, I'll get to it.

Or, if you have written a story or taken photos and would like to get it published in the Pioneer, my contact info is below. All you have to do is ask. No harm in that, right?

All-in-all, thanks for the great (almost) year, and I look forward to dishing out plenty of Packers sports every week for many years to come.

Tyler Shoberg is Sports Editor of the Pioneer, and can be reached at 701-451-5717, or tshoberg@westfargopioneer.com.

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