Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
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Numbers are strong for the Jamestown High School girls swimming and diving team. But, it's a different looking squad this season. Coach Ben Smith has 38 kids in the pool heading into today's season-opening dual at Grand Forks Central. "We lost about 13 girls from moving or graduation, but 38 is a really good number. We have lots of new girls," Smith said. "The team is working really well the first two weeks. Lots of them trained in the offseason and that's been apparent at the start of the season." Despite the turnover, the roster has areas of strength.
The Blue Jays make their Class AA debut on the road against the perennially powerful Shanley Deacons. While the teams, towns and stadiums on the schedule are different, the players are not concerned with such matters. “No, we don’t look at it like that. We’re focused on playing football and having a good season,” said two-way starter Tate Orr. “We’ve worked really hard all summer leading up to this. We’re prepared and now it’s time to go play football.”
Ryan Iliff is a familiar name to baseball fans in Jamestown. But this fall, he's spending lots of time on the tennis courts. The former standout pitcher for the Jimmies is now head coach of the Blue Jay tennis team and is leading a promising group.
Count me among the thousands of North Dakota anglers who enjoying knowing that if we want to experience the thrill of catching a hard-fighting chinook salmon, we can do it without leaving the state. If that experience is on your “bucket list” as it is on mine, the next several weeks, plus the late summer period next year, will provide great opportunities to catch one of these silver streaks of the big water.
Nicole Bologna plays in the back for the University of Jamestown soccer team. But on Monday, the senior from Anaheim Hills showed off a sizzling shot. Bologna's long-distance second-half strike was the difference in the Jimmies' season-opening 1-0 win over Northwestern College (Iowa).
It's been rare lately where the three amateur baseball state champions come from different communities. But this year, that's what happened. As a result, the MVPs also come from different parts of the state. For Bryan Erstad and Aaron Stemen, MVPs are nothing new, both have won it previously. But Dalton Flaagan is a first-timer. After playing club baseball at NDSU, Flaagan is now back home in Tolna working in the ag industry. Flaagan and a number of his high school friends and teammates made a convincing run through the Class A field.
Stiff winds made the Links of North Dakota more challenging than usual on Monday. Still, Jamestown's Sarah Azure was able to survive for a solid second-place finish at the Williston Invite. The Blue Jays finished fifth out of eight teams, five strokes behind Williston. "You had to put a little more care into club selection whether you were going into the wind, or if the wind was at your back," JHS coach Tracy Gustafson said. "It was a long, difficult round for everybody, but the girls had the stamina to keep going."
The University of Jamestown women's soccer team set a high bar last season. Head coach Nick Becker says there's no reason to settle for anything less this time around as his team opens the season today. The Jimmies registered 12 victories last fall, second-most in the 20-year history of the program. When healthy, which they are not right now, the Jimmies return nine starters. Still, Becker expects to field a strong side when Northwestern College (Iowa) visits today at 3:30 p.m.
Sam Hirchert logged almost 11 innings on the mound Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium. The question after leading the Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants to the Class AAA state amateur baseball tournament championship was pretty obvious. How was the ol' right arm feeling? "Not good. I am going to feel really awful tomorrow," the former Mayville State standout joked. "I was definitely not expecting to throw 10 2/3 innings today."
The Jamestown Miller Lite Merchants defeated the Jamestown Elks 11-2 in the Class AAA state amateur baseball tournament championship game on Sunday at Jack Brown Stadiuim. Sam Hirchert pitched the final 10 2/3 innings on the mound for the Merchants, who beat Mayville in extra innings (8) in the first game on Sunday. Hirchert logged all nine innings against the Elks, an 11-1 win. Dan Ross clubbed a grand slam for the Merchants in the ninth inning. Andrew Hill went 3-for-4 to pace the Merchants. Ross, Anthony Fontana, Bryan Erstad and Preston Jensen added two hits each.