Over the course of her four-year career, three as a varsity member of the West Fargo girls soccer squad, Jill Kussatz has put the ball in the back of the net more than a few times. In fact, the East Region Senior Athlete of the Year has been first or second on the team in points in each of the last two seasons. But no goal, undoubtedly, was bigger than the one she sent by Bismarck net-minder Bailey Mahlum in the second overtime of their quarterfinal contest. The golden goal gave the Packers a 3-2 lead, and advanced them to the semifinals versus Fargo South.
Retiring Superintendent Chuck Cheney set the tone with a small joke at the outset of Thursday afternoons farewell celebration at Cheney Middle School on Friday. Thank you all for coming, he said. I have a feeling most of you are here because of my wife. With that, friends, family and former coworkers showered the 62-year-old Cheney with gifts, while peppering him with a few jabs along the way. Those selected to speak took several trips down memory lane with stories, some humorous, some poignant. All brought a smile to Cheney and his wife, Margarets face.
When West Fargo Superintendent Chuck Cheney looks back at 40 years of service in the West Fargo School District, he doesnt see the highs and lows. After all, its flown by too fast to keep track. I still feel like I started here just 10 or 15 years ago, Cheney, who will wrap up his career as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent on June 30, said.
They knew they were "loaded." They knew that, if any year it could happen, this would be the year. Now, just one obstacle stands in the way. With just a few more heated practice sessions standing between the West Fargo girls softball team and a bit of immortality, the Packers have a record of 27-0. Eclipsing 30 wins in a row would spell a streak of legendary proportions, and a ninth-straight state softball title. The goal is the same every year, Pat Johnson, the only coach the program has known in its more than 10 years of existence, said. Its what you do along the way.
Ellie Grooters recovered from setbacks early in the season to storm her way to a third place finish in the State A 300-meter hurdles, and Chris Urlaub capped off his junior season with appearances in both the high jump and long jump finals last weekend in Bismarck. The Packer boys and girls team each took 13th place, as the West Region dominated the State A Track Meet this season, placing five in the top seven on the boys side and six in the top seven on the girls team standings. They (were) just loaded up this season out West, even more so than usual, Darrin McKinnon, who was Coach
Head coach Jim Flores looks at seniors Jill Kussatz and Nicole Hertel and can think of one phrase. Instant offense. Together, the dynamic duo has accounted for the majority of West Fargos offense. Toss in senior midfielder Jo Haerter and that number rises to about 90 percent. But Hertel and Kussatz can do more than just score, Flores said. Together, the two have a combined seven years of experience on the varsity squad. Both have had their setbacks with injuries and issues, but both have emerged this season to lead the Packers to the No.
While West Fargoans will have a pretty easy time of it when they head to the polls coming up in mid-June, the situation in Fargo has reached a boiling point, as four legitimate candidates and two dark horses get set for the summer election. On a side note, I dont know whether the lack of participation in the city commission and school board races this year in West Fargo are a sign of contentment, or a simple sign of apathy. Either way, we would like to have seen a bit more participation from this community of more than 20,000 people in this years election.
Wind-aided or not, theres something about a walk-off home run that can make everybody smile. Capping a wild, seven-inning game that figured in more than a dozen runs and a gusty, 25 mph wind, Grant Schmidt slammed a shot to right-center field that gave the Packers a 9-7 victory in the bottom of the seventh, preventing Fargo South from capturing the Eastern Dakota Conference regular season title on West Fargos turf. We didnt want that to happen to us last night and thats something that we talked about going into the game, Brett Peterson, head coach of the Packers, said of his teams w
Two losses, both heartbreakers, to Fargo teams sent the West Fargo Packer girls soccer squad spinning last week, but the news wasnt all bad. Sandwiched around those two losses were a pair of key victories, as the third-place Pack put some distance between those trying to derail their State Tournament hopes. Those were the games we had to have, Jim Flores, head coach of the Packers, said of wins over Grand Forks Red River and Devils Lake. You worry about those, and then you worry about seeding later. If were the No. 3 team or No. 4 team, then thats the place we have to be.
The Little Red-Haired Girl and I got all cleaned up Saturday afternoon for a night on the town, accepting our invitation to the Plains Art Museums annual Spring Gala. Its a wonderful event that involves a lot of effort from volunteers, many of whom share a great love for the arts. Its also an evening that features a lot of familiar faces, many of whom I associate with through my job here at the Pioneer and FM Magazine. Each year, it gets me to thinking. Wouldnt it be terrific to have some sort of anchor for the arts out west?