New plan presented to boardA plan from the Jamestown High School athletic development team came under fire recently after Athletic Director Jim Roaldson presented it at the school board’s regular meeting Monday.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
A plan from the Jamestown High School athletic development team came under fire recently after Athletic Director Jim Roaldson presented it at the school board’s regular meeting Monday.
Roaldson addressed the Jamestown Public School Board with a plan to hire a head coach and two assistant coaches to each work with one team that will currently be in season and other teams not in season.
The cost to the district was estimated at $45,000 to $46,000 a year.
The coaches would work on strength training, agility, flexibility, speed enhancement, overall fitness, nutritional training, mental conditioning and citizenship, Roaldson said. The plan was developed in part because of public scrutiny of Blue Jay athletics.
“We are handed a deck of cards — those are the athletes we need to work with,” he said. “We need to improve our athletes.”
The staff would then evaluate athletes’ raw data to compare skills in the training areas to see if the workouts had made a difference.
“This is something I believe we need strongly,” Roaldson said.
He said bigger schools in Fargo and Bismarck have more student-athletes to work with and those programs are more competitive because of that.
He said West Fargo also has staff that works on skill development with athletes through physical education curriculum.
With Roaldson’s proposal, specific head coaches could also tell the staff changes they want to see for their specific sport.
He initially faced some disagreement from the School Board.
“Like most communities sports is a huge thing for us, but I’d like to see as much of an emphasis on music and the arts,” said Rosemary McDougall, a School Board member. “... We aren’t a Fargo or a Bismarck and we never will be — get over it.”
School Board member Diane Hanson expressed similar views.
“I don’t think we can change the population of Jamestown and who’s interested in athletics,” Hanson said.
The intent of the plan is not winning but giving student-athletes the best possible chance, Roaldson said.
“This is not guaranteed wins, but it guarantees a solid process,” he said.
Several Board members expressed concerns to use local entities in the community instead of paying for positions — especially when the district is facing deficit spending in 2012-2013.
Shelly Jystad, board member, said she wants to see involvement from Jamestown College or the Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
“I like the concept,” she said. “I’m not sure I’m willing to spend that kind of money on it.”
The Rev. Terry Anderson is a member of the athletic and activity co-curricular committee member, but was not representing the group at the meeting.
The committee was formed a year ago and has yet to present the data to the School Board on the results of a survey it conducted.
Anderson said while athletics might get a bad rap in Jamestown that is not always the case.
Last year each winter sports team was represented in state competition, except the boys basketball team which lost by one point in double overtime, he said. The committee was told Roaldson would be presenting his plan without its input.
Anderson said the results will be presented to the School Board in the next couple of weeks.
“It would be reckless to add positions when we haven’t looked at everything we can do to make our athletes better,” Hanson said.
Roaldson was told to take the proposal to the co-curricular activity committee to get a cost on the salaries, as well as look into working with other agencies in the community for the program.
“Sometimes we put too much emphasis on these things instead of focusing on the athlete themselves,” Roaldson said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com