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West Fargo girls golf team reaches state tournament

Hopefully fans had a chance to stock up on green and white face paint and double check their Packer gear because the girls golf team made it to the state tournament Oct. 5-6 in Wahpeton, N.D.

The results of the state tournament were not available when this edition of the Pioneer went to press.

West Fargo finished in sixth place with a team score of 410 at the East Region tournament at Bois de Sioux Golf Club in Wahpeton, on Monday, Sept. 28. The top six teams from the tournament qualified for state. The Packers are ranked fourth in the EDC regular season standings behind Fargo Shanley, Grand Forks Red River and Fargo South.

The Deacons won their fourth straight EDC tournament after finishing with a team score of 349.

According to Packers girls golf coach Dan Wolf, there are three schools to watch out for at the state tournament: Fargo Shanley, Minot, and Bismarck Century. "After that, it's a

tossup," he said.

In Wahpeton, the Packers were paced by eighth grader Ashley Bixby, who tied for 10th place with a 97 and was named to the All Conference Team.

"We've been very happy with the way she's played this year," Wolf said. "It's not often that you find an eighth grader who is All Conference and named to the All Region Team."

Senior Mara Johnson was one stroke behind Bixby in a four-way tie for 14th.

The second straight absence of freshman Lexi Lennon may have hurt the Packers' chances of finishing higher at the East Region tournament.

"Hopefully, she'll be back and we'll have six strong golfers at state," Wolf said. "It's nice to know you have girls who are reliable and play well."

Wolf likes his team's chances at the state tournament.

"I think we have the ability to finish in the top two or three of the East Region teams," he said. "We certainly were happy to finish fourth place in the regular season and we look forward to playing at state."

Boys soccer aims for state

West Fargo boys soccer is stuck sharing second place in the East Region with Grand Forks Central after falling to the Knights 1-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The Packers (9-4-3, 4-2-2 EDC) did scratch out a 6-3 win over Crookston on Friday, Oct. 2, though the nonconference game didn't change their EDC standings.

On Tuesday, Alex Nagel scored the lone goal for the Knights (9-4-3, 4-2-2 EDC) at 48:00 in the second half from an assist by Luke Schulz.

"They were fortunate to capitalize on a key situation," said Doug Millar, West Fargo head coach, "but the stats are a bit misleading."

Other than the lone goal, Braden Schmid was solid in net for the Packers, stopping eight shots. Central goalie Sean Cano blocked five.

"Our defense allowing that many shots was more than we would have liked," Millar said.

On Friday, West Fargo saw back-to-back goals in the second half from Tarley Gaye. Junior captain Jade Johnson also had a strong game, tallying a goal and two assists against Crookston.

The Packers have a chance to head to the state tournament Oct. 15-16 in Jamestown, but to do that they have to stay strong through the rest of the regular season and, according to Millar, "keep our emotions in check."

"I think every one of the kids right now, they've been so close to qualifying for state in the past," Millar said. "If we are fortunate enough to qualify, we don't want to go in limping. Win, lose or draw, we have to carry that momentum into the state tournament."

Two of West Fargo's remaining games are against rival Fargo Shanley. "We had a chance to see Shanley play," Millar said. "They look like a pretty sound squad. ... We have to assume that if we play sound soccer, we should be extremely competitive with them."

XC places well at GF Invite

The Packers finished strong at the Grand Forks Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 3, with the girls team taking first overall and the boys placing second.

The girls team loaded the leader board, placing five runners in the top eight. With a time of 15:29.25, sophomore Alissa Mears barely edged teammate Christine Baltezore for first place, finishing less than a half second before the freshman.

The girls "had a very good performance," said Joe Bailey, West Fargo cross country coach. "Each week we have had a different girl step up and run a great race."

The boys team also fared well, with seniors Jamison Gehrig (16:30.59) and Spencer Uetz (16:45.10) taking second and third, respectively. Junior Nate Peterson placed seventh.

The Packers now must prepare for the EDC tournament on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Grand Forks.

"We have been training hard and will cut back a little this week to be ready to run our best," Bailey said.

Swimmers finish fourth

The West Fargo girls swimming and diving team grabbed fourth place Saturday, Oct. 3 at the University of North Dakota Invitational in Grand Forks.

A West Fargo squad comprising of Chelsea Gentzkow, Paige Weisz, Danica Dutt and Amy Doll finished second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:57.10.

In other top-three finished, Dutt placed third in the 100 butterfly, while Weisz grabbed second in the 100 breaststroke. Gentzkow finished third in the 100 backstroke.