West Fargo Packers 2020-2021 Season Recap

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Tyger Albano, Staff Writer

West Fargo High School’s basketball season came to an end on Sunday, March 14. The Packers beat the Minot Magicians to win the North Dakota Class A Championship. This was the first time the WFHS Packers won the title since 1992. They also had a record-breaking season, going 20-5 after winning 17 games straight at the beginning of the season.

One of the most prominent players of the season was Senior Carter Birrenkott, who averaged 23 points per game and helped the Packers win the title. Carter’s father. Mike Birrenkott was on the team as a senior 29 years ago when the last championship was won. Carter speaks about his great win and overall season. “It was a fun and memorable season for me and for the team. It felt so good to go out the way we did and just seeing our effort and hard work pay off. And I’m proud of our team with the way we handled things in the state tournament and all the mental toughness we showed and there’s no better way to end the season.” Birrenkott also has hope for the Pack in the future. “Even though I won’t be with the team next year I hope they take the experience they gained this year and bring that into next year and stay humble throughout the season. They are going to have a target on their back next year and I hope they stay tough and want more.”

This was also head coach Adam Palczewski’s first state win in 12 years of coaching for West Fargo High School. “The season was about more than a championship. I was so proud of how our players conducted themselves on and off the court. They put forth tremendous effort each day at practice. They were great teammates to each other. I am very proud of the young men they are and the championship was just recognition that they are championship type people and their efforts this year were justified,” Paclczewski said. He also spoke about what went right and what went wrong this season. “A lot of things went right for us. First, we had the right mindset. We spent the entire season preparing for winning the state tournament and never got distracted. We had a stretch when we lost 3 games in two weeks and it exposed some of our weaknesses. We could have gotten discouraged at that time, but we have such great leadership that we just got better. In the long run it was good for us to happened because we got a chance to fix our deficiencies, and we got closer as a team as well.”

The last thing coach Palczewski had to say was his hopes and thoughts for the 2021-2022 season next year due to potentially different COVID-19 Protocol. “I would guess that Covid protocols will be relaxed next year as opposed to this year. The vast majority of the population will be vaccinated and we should be able get back to basketball as normal. However, we realized, as a team, we don’t need a lot of the extraneous distractions. We had a great season because the players took it upon themselves to develop their game and get better, and for that I am very proud of them. The toughest and most disciplined teams thrived during the time of Covid and the Packers basketball team was no different.”

It has been a weird season for the West Fargo Packers due to the restrictions that COVID-19 has made for the team. However, the Packers managed to pull through at take the championship.