The Packers boys hockey team was looking for something - anything - to snap them out of their recent funk. After winning their first three games of the season, West Fargo went the other direction and dropped three straight before tying Fargo South on Dec.
Last week, what should have been a time strictly for celebrating turned into one of uncertainty for the West Fargo wrestling program. After placing second among 58 regional teams during the Rumble on the Red tournament at the Fargodome, the Packers were hit with news that Fargo North High School had filed a written complaint with the North Dakota High School Activities Association as to whether some West Fargo wrestlers were ineligible to compete.
Looking back on 2009, you have to sift through a lot of outdoors stories to find the best one. For example, the big-game baiting debate grabbed early attention, with lawmakers eventually voting to keep the practice legal, but only on private land. Then there was the uproar over controlling the elk population in Theodore Roosevelt National Park: do we hire sharpshooters or let hunters thin the herd? Winter and spring precipitation caused flooding, but also filled dry wetlands, which ultimately increased habitat for waterfowl and other aquatically dependent species.
Entering her senior year at West Fargo High School, track star Ellie Grooters will attempt to defend her North Dakota state Class A 100- and 300-meter hurdle titles for the fourth time this spring. After that, she's off to the University of Nebraska, for which Grooters made a commitment 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.
If it was March instead of December and the venue was the Bismarck Civic Center in lieu of the Spartandome, spectators easily could have mistaken last Tuesday night's double-feature to be part of the North Dakota state basketball tournament. Instead, it was regular season back-to-back games between Fargo North and West Fargo girls and boys teams. The grandstands were packed with raucous fans, so much so that additional bleachers were brought in to handle the overflow. As the clock wound down to each game, cheers rose exponentially and the ground shuddered from stomping feet.
Do you like hockey? More importantly, do you like to play hockey? If so, an event is coming to the Fargo/West Fargo area that will give you an outlet for all that pent-up competitive spirit. The Urban Plains Center, the USHL Fargo Force and Scheels, in cooperation with the Fargo Parks District, are hosting the first annual Pond Hockey Festival on Thursday, Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. Team check-in runs from 9-9:50 a.m. Sixteen small ice sheets (60 feet wide by 80 feet long) will be constructed east of the UPC.
There was little doubt that West Fargo girls hockey would be a strong contender after returning every player from last season's fifth-place State Tournament team. But after starting this season 6-0, the Packers are quelling any doubts that might remain. Adding to its impressive record, West Fargo tacked on a win Friday, Dec. 18, at home against Dickinson, routing the Lady Midgets 11-1. "We came out pretty good in the first period," said Pat Johnson, West Fargo girls hockey coach.
Even though the West Fargo girls basketball team dropped two games to Eastern Dakota Conference opponents last week, coach Barb Metcalf is proud of her girls. "What I was most happy about was our kids never quit," she said. "As far as intensity, I think they're doing a better job of picking it up." That intensity shows when comparing statistics. Even though West Fargo is 0-2 in the EDC and 1-2 overall, its players lead two categories: Junior guard Katelyn Holland is No. 1 in points-per-game with a 21.3 average, and senior forward Jenna Green is No. 1 in rebounds with a 9.3 average.
West Fargo made it a clean sweep this weekend as boys basketball, girls basketball and the boys swimming and diving team all won their season openers. With earlier wins from girls hockey, boys hockey and wrestling, it is the first time since girls hockey was sanctioned as a varsity sport at West Fargo that the Packers have tallied a victory in every winter opener. If that's not setting the bar high, I don't know what is. So without further ado, here's a week's worth of Packer sports wrapped up into one write-up. Boys and girls basketball sweep Bismarck St.
On Monday night, the West Fargo School Board meeting was held at the STEM Center. A fitting location, as Superintendent Dr.