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Blue Jays' schedules change with WDA announcement

jhs football lamp td.jpg
Jamestown's Carson Lamp crosses into the end zone for a Blue Jay touchdown against Bismarck Century at Ernie Gates Field on Oct. 14, 2019. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Western Dakota Association (WDA) announced Wednesday, July 29, that all non-conference Class AAA football games and in-season volleyball tournaments for its member schools have been canceled this fall due to COVID-19.

The announcements were included with a host of WDA schedule changes affecting all fall sports that are aimed at reducing health risks associated with the ongoing pandemic. The current changes limit, or eliminate, nonconference play across the board, which means originally scheduled Jamestown High School football games against Fargo North and Fargo Shanley to open the season have been wiped off the slate.

"We all have to do what we have to do to try and maintain as much normalcy and as many schedules as possible," said JHS Athletic Director Jim Roaldson. "It might eliminate some trips to Fargo for us and stuff like that, and downsize our schedules a bit. But in the light of what we had this last spring, any schedule is going to be welcomed versus not being able to do anything."

The North Dakota High School Activities Association suspended and essentially canceled all winter and spring sports activities March 13, two days before Gov. Burgum ordered schools to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NDHSAA approved a return to sports this fall during a July 16 meeting, approving a set of guidelines to restart sports on July 24.

Blue Jay football will now tentatively begin it's seven-game schedule Aug. 28 at Dickinson and Sept. 4 at Minot. The Jays home opener on the gridiron is scheduled for Sept. 18 hosting Bismarck Legacy.

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Jamestown is also set to host Williston (Sept. 25) and Bismarck (Oct. 15) and travel to Bismarck Century (Oct. 9) and Mandan (Oct. 21).

In-season volleyball tournaments have been eliminated in the WDA, canceling annual trips for the Blue Jays to Bismarck for the East-West Invitational and to Fargo for the Scheels Invitational. Blue Jay volleyball is scheduled to open its season Sept. 1 hosting Bismarck St. Mary's.

"We were trying to work on a possibility of another nonconference match with somebody out of the East, but that will be eliminated now too," Roaldson said. "So we will play a full double round-robin (conference regular season) in volleyball with the West schools."

Blue Jay boys soccer is scheduled to open play Aug. 18 at the Bismarck Community Bowl against Bismarck High. Girls golf is scheduled to compete at Dunseith's Garden Gate Golf Course on Aug. 14.

School activity schedules for WDA members can be accessed online at www.westerndakotaassociation.org or by going to the official conference website: www.wdasports.org .

The WDA stated more changes may be implemented as needed.

Football: All Class AAA non-conference games with East Region teams are canceled. Class AA schools will continue with its schedules as planned. Postseason playoffs remain in place for now.

Volleyball: In-season tournaments for varsity and sub-varsity teams have been canceled. The WDA will conduct its current schedule plan. Postseason tournaments remain in place for now.

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Boys Soccer: Non-conference matches with the East Region are canceled. The WDA will conduct a double round robin schedule for its teams. Postseason tournaments remain in place for now.

Cross Country (Boys/Girls): A modified schedule will be in place for the regular season which includes limiting all invitational meets to six teams or less. The postseason meets remain in place for now.

Girls Swimming-Diving: A modified schedule will be in place for the regular season which includes limiting all invitational meets to six teams or less. The postseason meets remain in place for now.

Boys Tennis: Non-conference matches with the East Region are canceled as well as any in-season invitational tournaments. The WDA will conduct a double round robin schedule for its teams. Postseason tournaments remain in place for now.

Girls Golf: The annual cross-over tournament with the East Region is canceled. All other regular season conference tournaments remain scheduled. The postseason meets remain in place for now.

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