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It was a tough week for both Packers basketball teams. The boys lost both of their games and the girls, despite beating Moorhead in non-conference play on Thursday, ended their 12-game winning streak on Saturday against Grand Fork-Red River.
The West Fargo School Board unanimously decided Monday night to accept the bid offered by Industrial Builders Inc. of West Fargo for the rehabilitation of the L.E. Berger Track, which will make it function more as a walking track instead of one designed for competition. Industrial Builders offered to do the necessary construction to the track for $104,600, along with an additional $5,000 to remove asphalt around the end zones. This total is about $14,000 more than the district had estimated, but was the lowest of the five bids considered.
The West Fargo wrestling team finished the regular season the same way it started: victorious. The Packers beat Fargo North 46-24 on Thursday and Wahpeton 58-18 on Friday to finish the season undefeated. The team had four victories by pin against the Spartans and one by a major decision to seal the win. In Friday’s dual, the Packers only lost three of their 14 matches – one by forfeit – to overwhelm the Huskies.
The West Fargo girls basketball team continues to roll through the opposition. They beat the Grand Forks Central Knights 84-48 on Tuesday, then beat the Devils Lake Firebirds 97-53 on Saturday to win their eleventh consecutive game. On Tuesday, the team was led by Amanda Levin, who had 14 points, six rebounds and four steals. Christine Baltezore added 15 points and four assists of her own and Cassidy Thorson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
It took the best team in Minnesota to do it, but the Warroad Warriors beat the Packer girls hockey team 3-0 on Friday to hand the Packers their first loss of the season. Fortunately, the girls still picked up two victories last week, beating Fargo South 6-2 on Tuesday and Devils Lake 9-0 on Thursday for their 15th and 16th wins, respectively. Tuesday’s game saw senior forward Hayley Walsh score two goals and an assist to lead the team and bring her yearly points total to 61.
After a rough start to the season, the Packer boys hockey team is gaining momentum just in time for a postseason push. Despite losing to Fargo North 3-0 on Tuesday, they bounced back to beat a tough Bottineau-Rugby team 7-4 to win their third game out of the past four. “When you get a couple of wins in you, spirits start picking up,” Co-head coach Tim Capouch said. “I am very happy with our play lately.”
With the help of AT&T, the West Fargo High School students were given the chance to witness first-hand the dangers of texting and driving with a simulator brought to Veterans’ Arena on Monday during school hours. “We’re helping sponsor this program... that shows kids how dangerous it really is to text while behind the wheel,” School Resources Officer Skyler Dutton said. “I wanted to bring this to the West Fargo High School just to give our students the opportunity to realize how important it is to not text and drive.”
The West Fargo Hockey Association's upcoming fundraiser has drawn the ire of the national media. The association will be hosting its second annual gun raffle at the Speedway Event Center, and will offer 200 guns to ticket holders in the hopes of raising roughly $100,000 to fund the construction of an ice rink for players. "The need for ice is higher than ever," said Mike Prochnow, the event's organizer. "We grew by 20 percent this year and expect to do the same for the next four or five years. Proceeds would go to build a new rink, preferrably a double rink."
After helping the Gophers to victory on Monday, Jan. 21, redshirt sophomore and former Packers wrestler Scott Schiller has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week. The award is the first of Schiller’s career and the first garnered by a Gopher since Cody Yohn was picked on Feb. 21, 2012. As the twelfth-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds, Schiller posted a 4-2 decision over sixth-ranked Mario Gonzalez in last Tuesday’s 18-14 win against Illinois. His upset victory gave the Gophers a 15-14 lead and allowed for the comeback that kept the team undefeated in the Big Ten.
West Fargo senior wrestler Preston Lehmann set the North Dakota state records for pins in a high school career on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Grand Forks. Lehmann broke the record against Williston when he pinned Bret Sandberg in 1:54 for his 166th victory by pin. Lehmann currently has 29 pins with just over two weeks left in the season and his high school career. He also pinned 42 opponents last season to break the single-season record. The previous state record of 165 pins was held by Marc Mellmer, who wrestled for Dickinson High School from 1998 to 2003.