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Upbeat Jays: Jamestown returns plethora of experience

Jamestown’s Tyler Gaffaney is one of many returners for the Blue Jays this season. The team was picked fourth out of seven teams in the preseason coaches poll. Sun File Photo / John M. Steiner

Jamestown coach Mark Sherfy believes staying with the soccer giants of the West Region is all about mindset.

His Blue Jays won’t be short on experience, that’s for sure.

Jamestown returns nearly all of its minutes from a year ago. The Jays open the season today by hosting the East-West Crossover.

“I’m excited about the group of guys we have out for soccer,” said Sherfy, who is in his first year. “We’ve got a real athletic team and a lot of experienced players. We had many guys play soccer all summer long.”

Senior midfielder Jacob Sherfy is a returning all-region and all-state selection, while sophomore goalkeeper Adam Reiten returns to give the Blue Jays even more stability in net.

“We’re returning most of our varsity starters, a year older and more experienced, and hopefully stronger and faster,” Sherfy said. “We’re looking for good things out of them.”

Tyler Gaffaney and Brady Carlson are two of many that Mark Sherfy will count on in hopes of getting back to the state tournament since Jamestown went back-to-back in 2007-08.

“We want to emphasize possession of the ball and controlling the pace of the game,” Sherfy said. “That requires they be confident in how they handle the ball and how they relate to each other and how they work as a team and move on the field.”

Still, competing with heavy hitters like Bismarck, Century and Minot will require a strong belief in the systems Sherfy has put in place.

West Region coaches seem to have confidence in the Blue Jays, as they’ve been picked fourth out of seven teams in the preseason coaches poll. The top four finishers make the state tournament.

“Some of those teams are tough nuts to crack,” Sherfy said. “They have very strong programs and they’re consistently leading the West Region year to year. We can’t go in thinking David and Goliath. I do think we’re gonna be competitive with some of the other teams, like Mandan and St. Mary’s. I expect to compete with them (right away).

“We want teams to know that when they play our team, they’re gonna get a match. They have to play the full 80 minutes.”

Jamestown plays Fargo South at 11 a.m., and Fargo North at 2 p.m., both on Rotary Field.

The Blue Jays follow up this weekend with a region clash at Bismarck High on the ensuing Thursday.

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