Just name any element of the West Fargo boys soccer team, and chances are that this year it's performing above and beyond. From the defense to the offense and the midfielders in between, the Packers are beating nearly everyone they play and having a lot of fun along the way. Since West Fargo last made the state tournament in 2005, the Packers likely haven't enjoyed being on the field like they are now.
Not being the best team in the EDC may actually benefit the West Fargo volleyball team this season. The Packers have been so good for so long in recent years, and with that success has come the pressure to keep it up. The team's league winning streak that lasted more than two seasons came to an end earlier this month. With it, may have gone some unreasonable expectations and some of that pressure. "I think some people think that because we lost so many seniors last year that we're not going to be good, so there's not that much pressure on us.
Conference games were already important for the Packer football team due to its newly-shortened league schedule, but even more is at stake in tomorrow's home game against Grand Forks Red River. Now that West Fargo lost its EDC opener to Fargo South, the Packers will be trying to avoid a 0-2 start to a conference season that only lasts five games. "Red River is a good team, and as far as our conference season goes we're playing the best two teams in the first two games, so we don't want to fall to 0-2," said West Fargo coach Jay Gibson. Tomorrow night's game will be the third consecutive
It's been a rough year for the Packer boys tennis team. Coach Chad Anderson just hopes his players can salvage something from the season as EDC begins today in Fargo. "When you have a conference tournament, you just never know. There are four very good teams ahead of us, and it'd be very difficult to beat them," said Anderson, who noted the usual shift to a post season format. The regular season is played with six singles matchups followed by three doubles contests. It all switches to a three-two format starting today, perhaps giving a team like West Fargo a bit of an edge.
The Packer football team made up for its lackluster early season play with a big win last Friday over No. 2-ranked Minot. The West Fargo homecoming victory gives the team a 2-2 record going into the EDC season beginning tomorrow at home against Fargo South. "We were told that we'd better win and we went out and had some fun and came out on top. We needed some momentum going into the game with South," said senior quarterback Bryce Jorgenson.
That's probably not a headline Packer soccer fans are used to reading in recent years, and depending on how Tuesday's match went against Fargo-Shanley it may not even be true. Results from the Deacons matchup were not available before press time, but even in a worst case scenario, West Fargo, 3-1-3 overall, is looking much improved this year in its quest to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2005.
Former all-state Packer quarterback Rob Gibson, playing for his second college football team, is starting to see the rewards for his hard work. A 2007 West Fargo High graduate, Gibson red shirted at University of Minnesota-Duluth for a year before transferring to University of Mary in Bismarck last season where he sat out the mandatory one year.
The Packer girls cross country team showed last week at the F-M Metro Showcase that its well on track to repeat last season's dominance of the EDC. West Fargo easily won the Showcase, a meet featuring local teams, by placing six runners in the top 16.
A rough start to the season continued for the Packer football team last week as it lost its home opener to Bismarck Century. It's no secret what's keeping the team out of the win column. After seven turnovers in their season opener to Mandan, West Fargo surrendered the ball three more times against the Patriots, again losing the turnover battle. "Things are going to go the same way they've been going if you're minus in the turnover column.
Anyone associated with the competitive swimming scene in West Fargo knows that Marsha Dahl is a very goal-oriented coach. It should come as no surprise that this year her girls swimming team's goal is to win a state championship. Last year's boys team finally broke through and ended Minot's decade-long state title streak. Now it may be time for the Packers to end the Minot girls' state championship streak at six. "The boys have stood up, and the girls are climbing the ladder," said Dahl. "Last year was the closest we've ever come. We know we have to work hard.