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The wind whipped Ottertail Lake into a wave-riddled froth resembling an army of white-helmeted soldiers marching to war. Then the trolling motor quit. When dead in the water on angry seas, a person's first reaction ought to be panic. Mine was disappointment. As the boat quickly ebbed south into deeper water, it occurred to me, rather starkly, that the day may be over before it began.
Team trophies may have been out of reach for West Fargo track and field, but individuals managed to make some noise during the North Dakota Class A State Tournament last weekend in Bismarck. In total, the Packers brought home five titles, including four individual efforts and one team relay. Coach Darin McKinnon was honored with a State Boys Coach of the Year honor, as well. The team winner for the boys was Bismarck with 220 points. Bismarck Century earned the girls title with 129 points. The West Fargo boys team finished with 83 total points, good enough for fifth place overall.
Last year, Fargo Davies knocked West Fargo from conference title contention after a first-round upset. This year, the Packers made sure not to make the same mistake twice, and it paid off in a big way. West Fargo prevailed as the East Region's top team after outright winning last weekend's conference tournament in Fargo. After a very tight race at the top of the standings, the Packers entered the postseason as the No.
For 14 straight years - back even before softball was sanctioned as a high school sport in North Dakota - West Fargo has been a force to be reckoned with. In that time, the Packers have won every single state tournament. And while their chance to add No. 15 to that list won't happen until this weekend, the perennial power chalked up one more accolade to its already long list of achievements: a first-ever conference tournament title. On Saturday, the Packers beat Fargo North 9-0 in the East Region championship during the inaugural running of the tournament in West Fargo.
The West Fargo girls tennis team entered last weekend's North Dakota Class A state tournament in Fargo on a high note. Only the week before, the Packers had finished second at the East Region tournament, and qualified five players for state - a team best, according to coach Chad Anderson. Fitting, then, that West Fargo would add to its momentous year during state. After three nail-bitingly close matches, the Packers prevailed as this year's consolation champions by defeating Bismarck 3-2 in the title game. "It was a good way to end the season," Anderson said.
The West Fargo girls soccer team had a shot at one of the coveted spots to represent the East Region during this weekend's Class A state tournament in Grand Forks. But in the end, a fluke play and unlucky bounce cost the Packers a win and a berth. After upending Grand Forks Red River 1-0 on Tuesday, courtesy of a Lauren Johnson penalty kick, West Fargo was set to face Fargo North in their final game of the regular season. Then the unthinkable happened: West Fargo scored Fargo North's only goal of the game for them.
By Tyler Shoberg "What can you tell me about the chicks?" Mary Kay Boeshans asked her students Thursday at the Lodoen Kindergarten Center in West Fargo. Dozens of hands shot up in the air. "Yes, Austin," Boeshans said. "They need water," the boy said, matter-of-factly. "And they're cute." And so it went, from student to student, as each kindergartener eagerly professed his or her knowledge on the subjects of barnyard fowl and, more specifically, their chicks.
By Tyler Shoberg After finishing as regular-season runners up and runners up at the East Region Tournament last Thursday, the West Fargo girls tennis team finds itself in a unique situation. "For such a long time, we were always the underdog, and now we're the team that everyone is hunting again," coach Chad Anderson said. It's true that undefeated and perpetual state champion Grand Forks Red River is the indisputable top dog after successfully defending its conference crown once again last week.
By Tyler Shoberg West Fargo track and field coach Darin McKinnon was pleased with his team's performance at Saturday's East Region meet at Fargo South High School. "It turned out to be a very good weekend, and hopefully we can carry that through to this weekend," he said. That's because the Packers boys took their third straight Eastern Dakota Conference tournament title, and the girls placed second overall. "We had some very good performances, and I think the big thing now is to assure we're all healthy and rested and ready to go," McKinnon said.
Fishing is as simple or complicated as a person makes it. In its most basic form, willing a creature to ingest a dangling bait can mean nothing more than the proverbial hook, line and sinker. And when fishing for channel catfish, that triumvirate is about as complex as it ever needs to get. On a recent Sunday morning, it was with that same fundamentalist mindset that I ventured to a nearby clay bank in hopes of capturing a few of the Red River's most abundant, and voracious, bottom dwellers. But first, there was a not-so-small matter of bait; namely, I was plumb out.