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Ready to hit the links

The common correlation between hockey and golf is alive and well in Jamestown.

It’s well-known in NHL circles that Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson and Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri are golf lovers. Adam Sandler’s fictional character Happy Gilmore even turned to golf after failing miserably — though comically — on the ice.

Seniors Brandon Stahlhut, Jakobi Lux, Ty Spitzer and Brady Hoggarth, along with juniors Nick Stockert and Austin Rene, have dropped their hockey sticks in favor of golf clubs again this spring. Jamestown opens its season today at Souris River Golf Course in Minot.

“It’s a common sport that translates,” Jamestown coach Dean Kraft said.

The Blue Jays have only been outside practicing for a little over a week. Kraft said he expects all six of those hockey players to fill out the varsity lineup card. The Jays are coming off a state-tournament berth last season.

“The six guys that are back saw a pretty good amount of varsity,” Kraft said.

Kraft said he can see his top four faring especially well, also noting that Stahlhut, Rene, Lux or Stockert could contend for medalist honors at any meet.

“Any of them are capable of scoring low and winning a tournament,” he said. “The boys season is a little tougher. They’re not coming off summer. Stahlhut, Rene and (Lux) got some good Arizona time a couple weeks ago. They got a week where they were able to play every day. They’re all geared up to get the season started.”

Also contending for varsity playing time are juniors Ben Harris, Jacob Sherfy, Shane Chandler and Bailey Hoggarth as well as eighth-grader Cole Bennion.

Kraft said shaping up the short game will be key for his Blue Jays.

“They’re all kids that like to hit it a long way,” Kraft said. “If they get it to go the direction they want it to go, they’ll hit it as far as anyone in the conference can hit.

“It comes down to short game, approach shots, proximity to the hole — that’s the stuff you need to develop as soon as you can.”

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or