Photo above: Junior Jarred Smith
amounts to underclassmen leadership
As winter sports begin to take full swing, many teams look up to their senior leaders for support on how to improve and continue the season strong. This year’s boys swimming and dive team is in a different situation. The team’s oldest swimmers are juniors, with the last two seniors graduating last year. “The juniors had come into this year knowing we would have no seniors and had been anticipating the leadership role,” junior Matt Montplaisir said. “We have all taken a certain leadership roles in our lanes, and at meets we share the responsibility of keeping the team focused and supportive of one another.” Boys swimming and diving coach Marsha Dahl thinks that even though they don’t have senior leadership on the team, they can overcome the disadvantage. “I don’t know how much it really affects us,” Dahl said. “The kids want to see this team headed in the right direction.” The team has kept up on preparation knowing they all would have step up their game to continue without senior leadership, according to junior Cody Eisenbeisz. “A lot of us have had really good off season with lifting weights and others of us have swam
all summer and were swimming with the club and school team,” Eisenbeisz said. The swim team has it’s abundance of divers, according to Montplaisir. “[Divers] really add a lot to our team and have helped us come back from a deﬁcit at a couple of meets,” Montplaisir said. “We are also a pretty young team this year with a lot of underclassmen, even as young as seventh and eighth graders.” Dahl also agrees that the divers have added an advantage to the team this year. “The divers have never before helped us out this much,” Dahl said. “That is going to be a real strong point in our lineup, the divers, in which they take care of what we are lacking in.” Although the loss of leadership may put the team at a downfall, Eisenbeisz thinks the team will step up and show their strengths. “I want to see our team really grow a lot because we don’t have seniors,” Eisenbeisz said. “A lot of people think of us as underdogs because of that, but we have a lot of young and talented guys that will step up.” A constant goal for the team is to always keep improving no matter what situation they are in, according to Dahl. “I just want us to keep improving,” Dahl said. “We are going to have a good team. I don’t know if we are going to shake anybody, but we are going to do a nice job.”
I have been in swimming since third grade. So far the season has been going pretty well. All of our athletes have been doing really well and the only major problems we’ve had are people getting injured or sick. I don’t think that not having seniors this year is a major issue for the team. We juniors have really stepped into the leadership role and we have a great team of kids that make it a lot easier on us. It’ll give us some experience to be great leaders next year.
Elsa Bollinger Co-Online Editor
Strive to be
Bailey Johnson Staff Writer The Packatahna dance team is well known for placing ﬁrst at nearly every competition they compete in but to become champions they have to prepare themselves physically and mentally. “Mostly we have to mentally prepare ourselves because all of us know what we have to do, it is just a matter of how much we want ﬁrst place,” freshman Kinsey Wallace said. Much of the Packatahnas workouts are cardio based to give the endurance they need to perform their best. The girls motivate each other and strive to be successful as a whole rather than as an individual. Each girl drills her teammate to work out and to improve on a daily basis. The team practices every day of the school week, some weekends and depending on the circumstance mornings as well. Each practice is three or more hours at a time according to senior captain Hannah Hoeger. “The hours are long and the practices are hard, but every second is worth it when we accomplish our goals,” Hoeger said. As a freshman coming onto the team the girls are expected to work at the same
level as the upperclassmen. This can be intimidating for a number of the freshman dancers. “It is scary to be a freshman some times because it is our ﬁrst year and we have to adjust to how the older girls do things,” Wallace said. The Packatahnas qualiﬁed for nationals, once again this year, during their summer camp. Next they make it through prelims and ﬁnals to go to Orlando, Florida at the end of January. Every dancer needs to be at their upmost strength and devotion at this time if they want to accomplish the team’s goals. “We all have a lot of dedication to accomplish our goals as we strive to be National Champions and State Champions,” Hoeger said. Aside from setting goals as a whole, each dancer should have mental goals set for themselves to attain by the end of the season. Each girl is expected to be focused and committed to those speciﬁc goals as they continue on with their dancing careers as a Packatahna, according to assistant coach Jessica Roth. “If that is happening, we will have productive practices and they will take care of themselves outside of practice to make sure they, as a team, are at their very best when it matters most,” Roth said. If each dancer strives to be a champion and takes each practice and competition seriously there is no reason that the Packatahnas can’t accomplish any goal they set according to Roth.
The West Fargo Varsity Packatahna dance team performing their kick routine at the West Fargo invite on December 7th. They received first place.“Mostly we have to mentally prepare ourselves because all of us know what we have to do it just a matter of how much we want that first place,” freshman Kinsey Wallace said.