As spring sports get underway for the first time since 2019, here’s a look back at the sights and highlights from West Fargo’s winter sports season like no other.

Mustangs qualify for state wrestling as dual team

West Fargo Sheyenne capped a landmark year by competing in its first North Dakota Class A team dual state tournament in program history.

Mekhi Dennis, Kellen Hoornaert, Morgan Strandberg and Xander Spray have helped the Mustangs qualify for the state tournament as a dual team for the first time in program history. David Samson / The Pioneer
Mekhi Dennis, Kellen Hoornaert, Morgan Strandberg and Xander Spray have helped the Mustangs qualify for the state tournament as a dual team for the first time in program history. David Samson / The Pioneer

Packers make surprising postseason run

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

West Fargo’s boys hockey team finished the regular season with a 4-12 record. The Packers entered the East Region tournament as the No. 7 seed, and upset their way to a berth in the state tournament.

The Packers, the No. 4 seed from the East, beat West No. 1 seed Bismarck Century in the quarterfinals before losing to Grand Forks Red River in the semis. They placed fourth at the state tournament after losing to Fargo South-Shanley in a shootout in the third-place game and finished their season at 8-16 overall.

West Fargo goalie Brayden Johnson (1) deflects the puck while Packers defenseman Riley Prochnow (21) keeps Century’s Dawson Shirley from controlling the rebound in the North Dakota boys state hockey tournament quarterfinals Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Bismarck. Craig Bihrle / Special to The Forum
West Fargo goalie Brayden Johnson (1) deflects the puck while Packers defenseman Riley Prochnow (21) keeps Century’s Dawson Shirley from controlling the rebound in the North Dakota boys state hockey tournament quarterfinals Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Bismarck. Craig Bihrle / Special to The Forum

Mustangs defend conference crown

West Fargo Sheyenne’s boys basketball team repeated as East Region champions with a 92-55 win over Fargo Davies. The Mustangs grabbed the No. 1 seed heading into the Class A state tournament, and lost to eventual state champion West Fargo in the semifinals.

Sheyenne ended the year with just two losses and a 24-2 record. Sheyenne's senior big man Jacksen Moni was a Mr. Basketball finalist.

West Fargo Sheyenne celebrates its win over Fargo Davies for the North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo Sheyenne celebrates its win over Fargo Davies for the North Dakota Class A East Regions boys basketball championship Saturday, March 6, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

West Fargo brings home boys basketball state title

The Packers beat Minot 65-60 in the Class A boys basketball state championship to bring home the program’s first state title since 1992.

West Fargo ended a 29-year state championship drought with the win, closing out the year with a trophy and 22-4 mark. Senior Carter Birrenkott was a finalist for Mr. Basketball.

West Fargo's Carter Birrenkott cuts the final strand of net to the delight of his teammates after the North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament championship game at the Bismarck Events Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
David Samson / The Forum
West Fargo's Carter Birrenkott cuts the final strand of net to the delight of his teammates after the North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament championship game at the Bismarck Events Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

Ortiz wrestles to runner-up finish

KC Ortiz, a 285-pound senior at West Fargo, went 17-1 this season and earned a runner-up finish at the state wrestling tournament. Ortiz, who placed fifth last year, lost to Wahpeton’s Josh Krump in a 3-2 decision in the heavyweight final.

West Fargo's KC Ortiz, top, competes with Jamestown's Damien Krebs in the North Dakota Class A state wrestling semifinals on Friday, Feb. 19, in the Fargodome.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
West Fargo's KC Ortiz, top, competes with Jamestown's Damien Krebs in the North Dakota Class A state wrestling semifinals on Friday, Feb. 19, in the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Packers, Mustangs fall a game short of state

West Fargo Sheyenne and West Fargo’s girls basketball teams both saw their seasons come to an end in the East Region tournament. The Mustangs lost 63-54 to Grand Forks Red River in a state-qualifying game. Sheyenne ended the year with a 13-12 record. The Packers fell 76-64 to Devils Lake in a state qualifier. West Fargo finished the year with a 15-8 record.

West Fargo's Brynn Giesen defends against West Fargo Sheyenne's Lauren Fagerland on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Packers gym.
David Samson / The Pioneer
West Fargo's Brynn Giesen defends against West Fargo Sheyenne's Lauren Fagerland on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Packers gym. David Samson / The Pioneer

Young United team finishes year as underdog

West Fargo United’s season came to an end in the girls hockey state quarterfinals against eventual state champion Fargo Davies. United’s young team played to an 8-12 mark this season. They picked up a season-opening win over state runner-up Fargo North-South, and edged Davies in a shootout during the regular season.

Payton Hareland, Madelyn Buchert and Morgan Bents have had a solid season for West Fargo United.
David Samson / The Pioneer
Payton Hareland, Madelyn Buchert and Morgan Bents have had a solid season for West Fargo United. David Samson / The Pioneer

Raimo headlines Sheyenne’s 4th-place state finish

West Fargo Sheyenne junior Vaughn Raimo took home the state title in the 100-yard butterfly at the state boys swimming and diving meet in Bismarck. He also swam to a runner-up finish in the 100-yard backstroke for the fourth-place Mustangs.Sheyenne finished 3.5 points behind third-place Fargo South-Shanley at the state meet for a score of 215.5.

The Mustangs got a third-place finish in the 500 free from Sheyenne senior Nick Benson, who also swam to a fifth-place finish in the 200 free.

West Fargo junior Thomas Doyel placed third in the 50 free and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle. The Packers took 11th at the state meet with 95 points.