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The West Fargo track teams had another strong performance in Friday’s State Class A indoor meet at NDSU. The girls finished second out of 14 teams with a score of 82.83 and the boys took fourth with 54 points. The Packer girls earned 14 top-five finishes in various events, including a first-place finish from senior Christina Bruenjes in the triple jump. The boys had eight athletes finish in the top five.
Despite the piles of snow and frigid temperatures, my calendar is telling me that Spring has begun, and with it comes a fresh batch of new Packer sports to enjoy. Perhaps the most interesting of those will be the West Fargo baseball team, who went 33-5 overall last season and won their first state championship. However, last season’s team heavily relied on 10 seniors, and are going into the 2013 season with little varsity experience.
By Daniel Determan The West Fargo School Board unanimously approved professional staffing requests for the 2013-2014 school year, which call for the hiring of roughly 50 full-time employees, including 12 elementary-level teachers, to cope with the anticipated growth in enrollment as well as to open Liberty Middle School and an expanded Sheyenne High School. “We consider that a conservative request,” human resources director Robin Hill said. “We will likely need more.”
The spring season took off for Packer sports on Friday evening, with boys’ and girls’ track team having a strong outing in their first meet: the Cobber Invitational at Concordia College. The girls finished in first place out of five teams with a score of 161 points and the boys took second, behind Fargo Davies, with 174 points. “I was very pleased with the way we competed as a team,” head coach Darin McKinnon said. “Our kids took advantage of the good competition and performed well.”
After a strong outing the previous week and an EDC Championship victory, the Packer boys went into the state tournament with the No. 1 seed and a full head of steam – and quickly stalled. In their first tournament game against the Bismarck Demons on Thursday, the Packers made just four of 21 shots in the first half, and found themselves in a 36-13 deficit at halftime. They managed a 22-4 run in the second half to pull themselves to within five points, but fell back again, losing by a score of 57-42.
The Packer girls’ season came down to the exact same situation as last season and, sadly, ended the same as well. The team plowed through the competition to make it to the state championship game but once again fell to the Bismarck Century Patriots on Saturday by a score of 73-39. “(The Bismarck Century coaching staff) told me that was the best game they had played all year,” Packers head coach Barb Metcalf. “I’m not sure there was anything we could have done differently.”
After 34 years within the West Fargo School District, assistant superintendent Louise Dardis will resign from her position on April 5 and begin working with schools across the state. She - along with her husband, Bernie, and two grown sons, Patrick and Daniel - has been a part of the district since 1979. Dardis began her career in West Fargo as a teacher at Harwood Elementary School. Four years later, she served as a teaching principal at Horace Elementary School.
The West Fargo Police Department was on the scene at Freedom Elementary School Wednesday afternoon after three threatening phone calls were made which claimed a man would possibly “shoot up the school.” In response to the threats, the school went into lockdown. “The Freedom faculty did an outstanding job implementing the procedures and following their training,” principal Jeff Johnson said in a newsletter to parents. “It is also imperative for us to thank local law enforcement and our district personnel for their help and guidance.”
University of Minnesota sophomore wrestler and West Fargo alum Scott Schiller finished second the 197-pound class in the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championship on Saturday. Schiller – who was a three-time state champion for the Packers – is the first NCAA Division-I qualifier and Big Ten finalist ever to come out of West Fargo High School. In the championship match, Schiller fell to defending champ Quentin Wright of Penn State University, by a 5-3 decision. The Gophers finished second as a team behind Penn State with a score of 139 points.
The Packer girls’ week wasn’t quite as good as that of the boys, but they are still heading to the state tournament. The girls trounced the Valley City Hi-Liners 66-44 in the first round of EDC play on Tuesday. They then met Fargo North in a tough contest, but won 62-54 with their tough defense and clutch shooting. “We go by the fact that everything flows from our defense,” senior guard Jolene Woodbury said. “That leads into our offense.” “It was a matchup of two athletic, hard-nosed teams,” head coach Barb Metcalf said, “and we persevered.”