JPS meeting looks at athletics program issuesThe wheels continue to turn within the Jamestown Public School District concerning the future of the athletics programs. The community met for the second time Wednesday night in the Thompson Community Room at Jamestown Middle School to continue to search for solutions regarding success in the Jamestown Public Schools athletic programs.
The wheels continue to turn within the Jamestown Public School District concerning the future of the athletics programs.
The community met for the second time Wednesday night in the Thompson Community Room at Jamestown Middle School to continue to search for solutions regarding success in the Jamestown Public Schools athletic programs.
The informal meeting allowed members of the community, which included coaches, athletes and parents, to address the issue in a smaller setting — a roundtable-type atmosphere — and then presented to the larger group from designated speakers.
Each table focused on specific issues involved in the JPS activities programs, including feeder programs, scheduling, coaching development, athletic development and an open discussion, all aimed to better the athletic program.
Many concerns involved the competitiveness of some of the teams, while others focused on the facilities and personnel available, but the one thing that was reiterated throughout was the importance of the topic.
“Academics come first, but I believe extracurricular education comes a close second,” said Troy Hanson, a father of both a present and former Blue Jay athlete.
Youth camps, relationship between the coaches and athletes and the coaching criteria were a few of the highlights involved throughout the feeder program discussion, while scheduling was more concerned with conflicts between school and athletic activities.
The idea of having some home activities over Labor Day instead of being in Williston or Dickinson was brought to the table, and scheduling non-conference matchups to kick off certain seasons was also mentioned. Also addressed were activities’ schedules during finals weeks. An idea of scheduling home games or early practices was talked about to accommodate for studying and test-taking.
Concerns with coaching development or professional development were also referred to, focusing primarily on what the criteria is when hiring coaches and how they are assessed. Another concern was the lack of funds given to coaches per activity.
Athletic development concerns focused primarily on the reputation of Jamestown teams.
“I can accept not winning a championship, but what I can’t accept is that we’re labeled as non-competitive,” said Hanson.
Some athletes asid they want to feel like what they are doing, athletically, means something, and that Jamestown has become synonymous for losing.
“A vision in athletics has to be made,” said Terry Anderson, Jamestown resident. “We have to develop a list of goals. ... I urge the board to develop a task force to deal with the issue.”
Hanson also advocated for a task force.
“It’s OK to lose but they should do the best they can,” Hanson said. “How do we know what’s the best they can do if they’re not properly trained.”
Future meetings on the topic were talked about but no specific dates were made.
“Your input is valuable,” said Greg Allen, president of the Jamestown Public School Board. “We have some great ideas and great information that we can take back.”
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or dgriswold@ jamestownsun.com