Jimmies football opens delayed spring ball on Jimmie turf field
The Jimmies head into spring ball with a roster that is anticipating having 39 upperclassmen.
JAMESTOWN — Due to the weather, the University of Jamestown’s spring training camp had to be delayed. The Jimmies football team finally opened up spring ball on the Jimmie turf field on April 3, after they were previously scheduled to open up camp in mid-March.
“We had to change our mindset,” Jimmies head coach Brian Mistro said. “It gives us an opportunity to get better in a different way, a lot more films, a lot more meetings, a lot more walkthroughs, things like that inside. But the guys have been itching to get out here so it’s a great day to see the boys in action already.”
As a result of the delay at the start of camp, Mistro said the end of camp will also be pushed back. Mistro was just as excited as his players to get out on the field and get to work.
“This is absolutely the reason why we do it, to see these guys work, to see these guys, the offseason work they put in come to fruition,” Mistro said. “They’re excited to get out here so I’m ecstatic.”
Jimmies defensive lineman Paul Vandal said being inside to start spring training was difficult for him and his teammates.
“That was really weird. It was mentally hard for all of us because not being on the field was hard to lock it in but we got a lot of work done with coach,” Vandal said. “We were able to run plays in the Larson (Center) and stuff, we still got stuff accomplished but it was hard not being out here.”
Last year’s team had 15 seniors with Vandal, defensive back Christian Owens and wide receivers Ryan Collins and Micah Madyun returning for next season.
“When I first got hired, I got hired in February, so we got hired after signing day and so that class we had together was my first class for sure,” Mistro said. “But the first full year calendar cycle of a recruiting class was the class after them, so those guys are going to be seniors now, so it’s fun to watch them and see how they developed and how well things have gone for them. They’re the COVID kids so they have an extra year all of them, we’ll see how far that takes them.”
During his fourth season, Vandal had a breakout campaign recording 50 total tackles and 12 sacks for 83.0 yards.
“I’m hoping as a defense we can step up this year,” Vandal said. “I think we saw an improvement last year but playing altogether and keeping a level head in every game we play in so we can perform at the level we know we can. It’s more team goals this year I think.”
Vandal said he decided to come back because he wasn’t ready to be finished.
“I like the team, I like all my friends, all my teammates and I just wasn’t ready to get away from it and start working yet and I had a few classes to finish up,” Vandal said.
Since spring ball is in its early stages, Mistro was not ready to shed any light on the quarterback battle between the seven players who are expected to be on the roster when they open the season in September.
One of the newest faces in camp competing for playing time is Preston Kroeber who transferred to UJ at the beginning of this semester. Kroeber is back home after spending his first year of college as a regular student at the University of North Dakota.
“I couldn’t leave it so I finally got back into it,” Kroeber said.
Kroeber said he is excited to get back into the routine of playing football again after being off since he graduated from Jamestown High School in 2021.