Finally: Jimmies tee it up Monday
Spring sports teams around these parts are used to getting the shaft.
The Jimmie golf team certainly understands this, but coach Dustin Jensen was typically upbeat when discussing his team’s plight.
The Jimmies already had their first two meets wiped out, but will finally get on a course Monday when they host the two-day Klosterman Spring Classic at the Jamestown Country Club.
“It’s one more meet than we had before our conference meet last season, so we feel good about that,” Jensen said. “Our kids have been great. It’s frustrating for them, but they understand what it’s like being part of a sports program in the Upper Midwest.
“We’re really excited to get out and play. They’ve been doing as much as they can indoors, so they’re really looking forward to finally getting out there.”
Despite being caged inside for much of the spring, Jensen expects his strong men’s team to at least contend at the conference meet next week in Omaha, Neb. Perennial power Bellevue, Neb., will be the favorite, but the Jimmies’ top four of Tommy Rockis, Tyler Baukol, Kameron Hunter and Michael Strain have a proven track record.
The fifth spot will come down to Chris Rochon and the Hagenson brothers — Mitch and Trent. The roster lost a couple of key players since the fall half of the season concluded in October, including Matt Vacek, who returned closer to home after his mom died of cancer.
“I’ve known Matt for a long time,” Jensen said going back to their time on the Colorado youth golf circuit. “He had a great fall for us, but we certainly understood his desire to want to be closer to family.”
Despite the defections, the lineup remains strong.
“I really feel like we have a shot to go to nationals. We have to win it (conference meet), and that’ll be tough, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility,” Jensen said. “Our guys have high expectations of themselves. They’ll compete and make a good run at it.”
The top of the women’s roster is set with Ashley Barnhart and Emily Larson. The other three spots remain up for grabs and a strong recruiting class is on the way next fall.
“Our girls have worked really hard this winter. Our top two are really strong,” Jensen said. “The other spots we’ll find out a lot Monday and Tuesday about where we go with that.”
Jensen has secured a strong field for the meet, which begins Monday at 1 p.m. Rocky Mountain College, Concordia College, Minnesota State Community & Technical College-Fergus Falls, Valley City State, Dickinson State and Miles City Community College will send its men, women or both.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org