Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter.
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Andy Gravdahl had always wanted to play Division I or Division II football. That was the dream. Despite breaking several school records, becoming West Fargo's all-time passing leader and leading the Packers to an undefeated season and their first state championship in 15 years, Gravdahl didn't get the opportunities he wanted. But ultimately, Gravdahl wanted to go somewhere he felt wanted. So in reality, picking Concordia College was a fairly easy decision for him.
Esofi Nunyi, a soon-to-be-senior at West Fargo Sheyenne, knew she had high expectations for herself. Already having placed in the top 10 at the HOSA Annual International Leadership Conference last year, Nunyi wanted to improve on her performance despite North Dakota rarely making the top 10 in any competitive category at all. But Nunyi delivered. She took seventh place in prepared speaking and was among several Sheyenne students to stand out at the HOSA conference in late June.
Jake Faircloth loves sports because of the lessons he's learned from them. Even in all of his success, his failures still stick with him. During the high school baseball season, the then West Fargo senior had a chance to drive in a run to maybe help the Packers beat Minot in the North Dakota state quarterfinals. Instead, Faircloth came up with nothing and the Packers were shutout in their hope to defend their state championship from the previous year.
The West Fargo Spikes 9-year-old Cal Ripken baseball team is heading to the 9-and-under World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida. The Spikes earned their World Series berth by winning the Midwest Regional Tournament in Denver last weekend with a 5-0 record. The Spikes beat Mineral Area of Missouri 8-4 in the championship game. The West Fargo Spikes youth baseball team won the North Dakota state 9-year-old Cal Ripken baseball tournament in Mandan. The Spikes beat the West Fargo Rattlers 14-1 in the championship game.
While on a trip in Florida, AJ Hofer heard about a sandwich store that made food sliced fresh to order and had to give it a try. Years later, Hofer had to have a location of his own. Hofer opened his first Jersey Mike's Subs in West Fargo two weeks ago, and lines have been nearly out the door early on. The owner and franchisee of the first North Dakota and metro location has three more stores lined up in the metro and hopes to open even more depending on the future success of this first location.
West Fargo graduate Randall Taylor just finished his second year in North Dakota State's musical theater program. But he's going to take next year off to audition for Broadway shows, just to see what's out there for him.
Jamie Berg-Gramer was named West Fargo Public Schools Director of Special Education and started in the role on July 2. Berg-Gramer has been a special education coordinator for the school district since 2012.
Jackson Walker, Ayden Schmidt, Jacob Dosch, Alex Misheski and Tyler Lies with adults Pat Walker, Mike Misheski and Paul Dosch of West Fargo Boys Scout Troop 279 recently went to the Florida Keys for Sea Base, a National High Adventure Camp. The group went sailing, scuba diving, rustic camping on an undeveloped barrier island and fishing. They also participated in deep-sea fishing, sailing, parasailing and paddle-boarding, explored the city of Key West, ate some fresh seafood, enjoyed an afternoon at the beach and went snorkeling several times in a week's time.
Alex Sell played the Shrine Bowl all-star football game not because of the game but to show support for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Still, he and other players from West Fargo had significant contributions as the East defeated the West 35-12 in the 11-man Shrine Bowl all-star game on Saturday, July 14, at Sid Cichy Stadium. "There was no doubt in our minds," Sell said. "We knew we needed to step up our game and we brought it to them."
West Fargo's Joe Pistorius drove down the lane and drew defensive attention. Almost seemingly ready for that, the Class A senior athlete of the year passed it off to West Fargo Sheyenne's Kemal Hajric for a wide open layup. Even if they were rivals for their entire high school careers, the Class A starting five for the Lions All-Star basketball series had chemistry right away.