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Football team ready to tackle special season

West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson conducts a recent practice.

The West Fargo football team missed out on winning the conference outright last season by two minutes. The Packers were tasked with beating Grand Forks Red River and Fargo Davies in the last two games of the season, but lost to the Roughriders and the Eagles in the final minute of play in both games.

“You look at it and you’re totally disappointed with that, but we were two minutes away from being the conference champions,” said Packers head coach Jay Gibson, a 25-year vet. “It was just a matter of not knowing how to finish the game and I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that there were many underclassmen that were playing.”

A small senior class plagued the Packers last season but now all those underclassmen have a year of experience to help them out and also an increase in numbers to play with.

The Packers return seven starters on defense and seven starters on offensive and according to Gibson whenever you have experienced players back, practice goes better.

Same Olsen, a senior, is an all-conference and all-State running back and linebacker and is one of the key players on the Packers roster this season along with senior Zach Larson, who also plays linebacker and earned all-conference honors last season.

Zach Mohs and Seth Fretheim, both seniors, will do the dirty work up front on the offensive and defensive lines. Mohs brings quickness and good work ethic up front and Fretheim is an all-conference center.

“Those four guys are shoe-ins because they performed at a high level last year and I expect them to perform at a high level again this year,” Gibson said. “Our two linebackers are back and that’s a nice thing. It’s like having a quarterback returning. It’s important.”

Starting under center will be Creighton Pfau, who has a lot to offer to a football team, but has a long way to go.

Gibson added: “We’re extremely excited about it.”

There is something else that has the Packers excited, but it’s not something you can see. It’s a feeling of togetherness. This is the last year that football in West Fargo will be solidified under the Packers’ name and it’s something special for both Gibson and his players.

“There is something special going on and I’m enjoying it,” Gibson said. “This is the last class where every kid is a West Fargo kid. After this year there will be two graduating classes so it’s special for these guys. I feel it an sense it and I think they feel it a sense it too. They think it’s a neat thing.”

The Packers’ season begins this Friday as they host Minot starting at 8 p.m. West Fargo Sheyenne’s season also starts on Friday, but on the road against Bismarck Legacy. The Mustangs and Packers are schedule to play Sept. 12.