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The West Fargo School Board voted unanimously Monday to move forward with the March 23 special election for the district's proposed $40 million bond referendum. "The need is great," said Karen Nitzkorski, board Vice President.
Hold on to your hats: it's nearly tournament time. By the end of the week, the winter sports postseason will kick off with the Eastern Dakota Conference wrestling tournament. Then it snowballs, with either East Region or state tournaments every weekend through the second week of March. And with a precious few matches and games left, nothing is certain in the standings.
It's official: West Fargo track phenom Ellie Grooters is heading to Nebraska. Grooters signed her National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, Feb. 3, to attend the University of Nebraska. She made a verbal commitment with the Huskers on Dec. 17. Grooters is one of the Packers most decorated female athletes, having been named to the All-EDC team each year since 2005 and the All-State team the past three years.
Jamestown College recently landed one of West Fargo's best. Packers football standout Ross Montgomery signed a Dakota Athletic Conference letter of intent to play for the Jimmies this fall. Montgomery, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound offensive lineman with West Fargo, will shift gears and play defense for the Jimmies. "We feel Ross has a tremendous upside as a defensive end in our system," said Bud Etzold, Jamestown College football coach.
There's a real blast from the past coming to West Fargo. The 10th annual North Dakota Muzzle Loaders and Historical Trade Fair will be held Feb. 20-21, in the Agriculture Building on the Red River Valley Fairgrounds. Attendees will get to experience everything from historical re-enactors to primitive fire starting, and everything in between. "There's a lot for everybody: people who are interested in muzzle loading, people who are interested in history," said Darrell Kersting, Trade Fair Coordinator.
Though West Fargo School Board elections are not until June, the political scene already is taking shape. So far, of the four current school board members up for re-election, one has decided this will be his last term. "I made the decision (to not run for re-election) back in July, and announced it in August at the first board retreat," said Tom Gentzkow, the current School Board President. "It's been a good run, but it's time to move on." Of his 10 years with the West Fargo School Board, Gentzkow has been president for the past two.
Several winter sports have either seen or passed the halfway point of the regular season, so the most critical games are yet to come. This past week saw some West Fargo teams continue to shine, while others are battling out of funks. So without further ado, here's your Packer sports week in review. Boys basketball sweeps The West Fargo boys basketball team now sits comfortably in second place in the Eastern Dakota Conference after beating two conference rivals last week. Neither victory came easy, however. The Packers' first win was against visiting Grand Forks Red River (4-3
Pat Johnson, West Fargo softball coach, was recently selected as a Coach of the Year finalist by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. "It's an honor," said Johnson, who also coaches the Packers girls hockey team. "It's nice that the state - we have the ability to be recognized for this. There are a lot of qualified coaches out there." Last spring, Johnson coached the Packers softball team to a 22-5 record and its 12th straight North Dakota State Championship, beating Fargo North 7-6 in the title game.
The North Dakota boys swimming and diving regular season is quickly winding down and, so far, West Fargo has gone largely uncontested. The defending North Dakota state champions beat Fargo South on Friday, Jan. 29, to stay undefeated in duals at 4-0, and have taken first place in three separate tournaments. Then, the Packers headed to the Jamestown Invitational last weekend and everything changed. Against Fargo South, the Packers took first place in every event except for the 50-meter freestyle and 200 freestyle relay.
Thus far, winter has been more of a slight bother than anything else. Sure, there's been plenty of wind, cold and the occasional blizzard, but rarely has it been more than just a minor inconvenience to the local sports scene. That all changed with last week's slush fest.