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Eighth-place state finish for girls golf

The West Fargo girls golf team came back from the state tournament empty-handed.

But that's not to say Packers coach Dan Wolf is disappointed.

"I was really pleased with how we played," said Wolf, who recently finished his ninth year coaching the Packers. "Looking at our season averages and the teams that finished ahead of us, realistically, how we finished was about the best we could have."

West Fargo placed eighth overall after a two-day team total of 772. Bismarck Century took the title after shooting 674. It was their first state championship since 1983.

Ashley Bixby once again led the Packers after hitting back-to-back 89s and placing 15th overall. The freshman finished the season tied for sixth in the Eastern Dakota Conference with an 87.8-stroke average, and earned spots on the All-EDC team and All-Conference Tournament team.

Behind Bixby was Lexi Lennon, who combined for a two-day total of 191 and wound up 33rd. Laruen Johnson tied for 35th place, Lexi Wasem tied for 56th, Brittany Rheault was tied for 61st place, and Chelsey Buth tied for 69th.

Wolf said the Packers played well despite the conditions of the Jamestown Country Club course.

"The course was so firm and fast that we had this situation of greens being lightning quick, so we had to deal with that," he said. "It was a little bit of a learning curve."

The West teams may have had a slight advantage over East teams because the WDA conference meet was held at the same course. Still, Wolf said the tide could turn next year when the tournament returns to the East Region.

"It works in their favor one year and ours the next. That's just how it works out," he said.

At state, West Fargo managed to finish ahead of Fargo North, a team which they hadn't beaten all year. The Packers were able to kick it into high gear when it counted, Wolf said, and some played their best golf of the whole year.

"A couple of our girls played ... their best scores of the year," Wolf said. "We hope to try and play our best golf at the end. Fortunately, for a few that happened."

And there is reason to look forward to next season. The Packers are losing just one senior in Buth, so they have a chance to build on the experience from the past few seasons.

"We always hope for that magic day when everyone puts up their best round at the same time," Wolf said.

If West Fargo players can find time during the offseason to practice their game, there's a good chance the Packers could give the rest of the EDC a run for its money.

"Moving up one spot (in the standings) is very doable, but I'd like to make an even bigger jump, if possible," Wolf said.