Jays excited for home dualsBus trips have been all too common in the first half of the season for the Jamestown High School wrestling team. The Blue Jays have only a home meet in early December to speak of when it comes to competing in front of their home fans.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Bus trips have been all too common in the first half of the season for the Jamestown High School wrestling team.
The Blue Jays have only a home meet in early December to speak of when it comes to competing in front of their home fans.
But that changes this week, as Jamestown hosts Bismarck St. Mary’s in a dual set for 7 p.m. at the JHS gym. The Jays have four of their last six duals at home and of the five West Region duals remaining, they’ll need to be perfect, according to coach Greg White.
“If we lose to anybody, we won’t go to state,” said White, whose team suffered losses to Bismarck High, Bismarck Century and Turtle Mountain already. “I just can’t see it happening. I can’t picture a scenario that would work that would send us (to state) with another loss.”
The three losses are to teams
that are arguably the best in the region.
Duals with Minot, Williston and Dickinson will likely be the biggest determinants. Dickinson is scheduled for Jan. 17 at home, while the other two will have to be made up as a road trip to Minot for a double-dual had to be canceled because of inclement weather. White said their shooting for some time near the end of the month to get those duals in.
The Jays head into the second half nearing a 100-percent healthy mark. White said one of his wrestlers went home sick on Monday. If he is able to compete in a dual at Devils Lake today, the Jays should have a full lineup. Eighth-grader Kane Barnick has come up from the middle-school wrestling program to fill the 106-pound spot.
White said he’s hoping his squad can carry momentum into the second half after strong performances led the Jays in the early goings. That has continued into the New Year, as defending state champion Zane Braun went 5-0 at 152 pounds to win the title at the Bismarck Rotary this weekend. He improved his record to 24-0. Jaden Horsted finished second, while Paxton Mewes was fourth.
“We really started the season wrestling well,” White said. “We looked good in the Rotary in those top three spots. Then we had about five guys that each probably should have won at least one more match.
“Overall for the season, we have been wrestling pretty well.”
Packers come to town for showdown
As the Jamestown girls hockey team starts its second-half schedule, there’s only one team the Blue Jays have not yet faced.
That team, unbeaten West Fargo, visits Wilson Arena at 7 tonight. The Packers are 9-0 in the state and 10-0 overall, boasting 27 points. Jamestown sits third with 22 points.
“We haven’t seen them yet, but they only lost two girls from last year and they didn’t play much,” JHS coach Brad Schaack said. “They basically got their entire team back. There’s a reason why they’re undefeated. This team has been around for awhile.”
Grand Forks, which has just four losses on the season, is second in the standings with 25 points. But of Grand Forks’ four losses, Jamestown accounted for two of them and West Fargo one. The other was to East Grand Forks, Minn.
West Fargo is led by senior goalie Andrea Klug, who Schaack said is “probably the best goalie in the state.” Klug has allowed seven goals in the nine games she’s played including six shutouts.
She’s had plenty of help, though, as her defense has also been stout. She’s faced more than 20 shots only twice — to Grand Forks and Bismarck.
“One heck of a goalie, three strong lines — everything’s got to work for us,” Schaack said.
But the Blue Jays’ record as underdogs isn’t shabby, either. They beat Fargo North, Bismarck and Grand Forks twice. They also posted a road win over Minot and now sit with a stout 10-2 record.
“I don’t want to sound negative, but when I looked through the schedule (before the season) at the first 12 games, I said we’d be 7-5. I’d be real happy with 8-4. Ten and two, I’m happier than heck with that.”
Big week for
Blue Jay basketball
The Jamestown High School basketball teams have a busy week.
They host Devils Lake today, set for 5:45 p.m. at the JHS gym in nonconference action, followed by a West Region doubleheader this weekend. Dickinson comes to town on Friday night with action starting at 5:45, and Williston is here on Saturday with the girls game scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
The Jamestown girls, ranked fifth in state with a 4-1 record including a 3-0 mark in the region, will have their hands full despite their opponents not faring well in the early going. Devils Lake is 1-4, while Dickinson is 1-3 and Williston 0-4.
On the boys side, Devils Lake is 1-5 but features one of the state’s most dynamic players in Nate Mertens. Dickinson is 3-1 and Williston is 1-3.
The Blue Jays got their first win on Saturday to improve to 1-4, edging Turtle Mountain.
Blue Jay bits
The boys hockey team takes on Mandan on Tuesday before a home game against Minot on Friday. Jametsown is 4-4 in the West Region and 4-6 overall with 12 points, good for fifth. Mandan is sixth with 11 points, while Minot sits tied for second with 15 points. … The boys swimming and diving team hosts Bismarck Century tonight and goes to Grand Forks on Saturday. … The gymnastics team travels to Wahpeton on Thursday.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com