Too much Packer success, not enough room
The annual year-end Pioneer issue of Packer sports rankings never ceases to garner a fair share of readers' opinions, and last week's was no different.
The issue featured top 10 lists, featuring my picks of the most impressive team moments, female and male athletes.
In reading several emails, it seems some readers feel other important achievements were left out. Just like the past couple years when these lists were published, I completely agree. However, this past school year, especially, featured moments aplenty that earned their place in Packer athletic history, and there probably isn't enough ink to do them all justice.
The following are some of those achievements and athletes that were not in last week's issue.
Behind a young guard and several now-graduated seniors (as well as a new coach) the Packer girls basketball team made it back to the state tournament for the first time since 2006. West Fargo beat Fargo North in a thrilling state qualifying game.
The Packer girls tennis team didn't do well at the state tournament, but it did steam roll several competitors. West Fargo shut out Grand Forks Central, Dickinson and Valley City (twice) during the year. The Packers also presided over lop-sided wins over Wahpeton and Fargo Shanley, proving they are still one of the better teams in the state.
West Fargo's Krista Weiszhaar, now graduated, closed out a brilliant prep girls golf career with a solid senior season. She won two regular season meets, won the EDC championship and finished second at state. Weiszhaar is far and away the top girls golfer in school history.
How about the girls swimming team? The Packers won another EDC title and finished second at state. Another huge year for a Marsha Dahl-coached team.
Everyone who works hard in high school sports deserves mention. Few ever get the attention they deserve. Those that surely had standout Packer sports seasons this past school year and may have been overlooked include eighth-grader Leah Hermanson, who had spectacular cross country and track seasons, and graduated senior Cody Mammenga, who had a solid football season and took second in state track in the discus.
Other top athletes include graduated seniors Cole Mapes (boys basketball and baseball) and Alex Pribula (football and baseball).
Graduated senior Sarah Denne never did get the farewell she deserved after a stellar prep sports career at West Fargo. Fighting injury most of the past year, Denne still had an all-state volleyball season and worked some of her old sprinting magic for the track team.
Denne and too many departing seniors to mention were always available to me for comment, and this publication is grateful for their help in telling the Packer stories the past few years.
Send it to me!
If you want your summer youth sports team or recreational league scores to find their way into the Pioneer, send them to me at email@example.com.
A worthy cause
I salute everyone involved in the girls basketball team's summer camp that helped raise some money for the American Cancer Society. I was a Packer myself back in 1992 when my mother, Gloria Decker, lost a long and painful battle with the deadly disease.
First they fought floods and now they're trying to fight cancer. Say what you want about high schoolers today, but in West Fargo, at least, they're doing their part to serve their community and make a difference.