After a tough year in the sports world, the Jamestown High School Athletic Hall of Fame (HOF) committee is looking to get back to business this spring.
The committee is currently searching for nominees for the upcoming class of 2021, which will be inducted in the fall.
"It recognizes student-athletes who gave a lot of themselves to their school and to the sports that they participated in," said Marney Shirley, former longtime Jamestown High School swimming and diving coach and current Blue Jay Hall of Fame committee member. "It recognizes them for their hard work and dedication."
The Blue Jay HOF has inducted 34 former Blue Jay athletes, 10 former Blue Jay coaches and the 1974 Blue Jay girls basketball team since 2017, the organization's inaugural year. No members were inducted in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nominations for the HOF should be presented in writing to the selection committee by completing the required nomination form and submitting it to JHS Athletic Director Jim Roaldson either through mail or email by March 15. Forms to nominate athletes, coaches and teams can be filled out and submitted online at: https://www.jamestown.k12.nd.us/jamestown-hs/athletics/jhs-athletic-hall-of-fame
All athlete inductees must be a graduate of Jamestown High School. Athletes are eligible 10 years post-graduation, while all coaches are eligible five years post-coaching.
"To me, the athletes who are the most successful and are very deserving are the ones who know how to work," Shirley said of potential athlete inductees. "If you don't know how to work, you might be Hall of Fame but you're really not on the same level as somebody who's worked hard to get the best out of themselves."
Coaches do not have to be Blue Jay alums, but Roaldson said the committee would like to see some type of commitment to the Jamestown Public School District from all nominated coaches.
Roaldson said at this time the selection committee is accepting any and all nomination forms no matter the era of Blue Jay athletics. Once the selection committee chooses from the nominee pool, those nominees will be asked to provide a resume outlining their athletic career at Jamestown High School.
The committee is requiring all resumes by April 15 in order for a nominee to be considered for the 2021 class. Any resumes received after April 15 will be held for consideration for 2022.
Larry Ukestad, a selection committee member and former JHS athletic director and football coach, said most of the past HOF inductees were multi-sport athletes with a wide range of accomplishments. Ukestad said years lettered in a varsity sport, the number of state championships and state events participated in are all criteria the committee considers when selecting inductees.
Shirley added that while collegiate careers are impressive, the committee will be basing the decision to induct a member on what he or she accomplished as a Blue Jay. She herself was inducted into HOF in its inaugural year.
"It's quite an honor to be looked at by your school system or your program as being a success in doing something that was really positive for young ladies," Shirley said. "They also demanded of you as a coach to be able to take them to another level."
Roaldson said the induction ceremony is traditionally slated to be held during homecoming week. Inductees are recognized at the pep rally with a luncheon prior to or following at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Inductees traditionally have ridden on a float in the homecoming parade and are once again introduced during halftime of the football game.
"When you put together their entire resume and read it back to an audience, it's pretty incredible," Shirley said. "It's good for our student population to see what people who have gone before them have achieved. All three years our students are just amazed that these people went to their school.
"I think it's a way to reward (past student-athletes) for what they did. They gave a lot to their school and now we get to give something back."
Questions for the committee can be directed to JHS.HOF@k12.nd.us. Inquirers can also call Roaldson at the JHS activities office: 701-952-4003.