Four former Jamestown High School football players will have one more chance to strap on a Blue Jay helmet this weekend in Grand Forks.
Marcus Hochhalter, Aaron Mack, Paul Vandal and Carson Kennelly will be representing Jamestown High School on Saturday, July 13, in the 2019 North Dakota Shrine Bowl. It is the last time the four will play together before they head off and begin their journey with their new collegiate teams.
Hochhalter, a former tight end and outside linebacker for the Jays, and Kennelly, a lineman, will head down to Wahpeton to find their spots on the North Dakota State College of Science field this fall. University of Jamestown commit and linebacker, Mack, will be suiting up for the Jimmies next season, and his longtime teammate, Vandal, will most likely fill in as a lineman for UJ and the Jimmies' new head coach Brian Mistro.
All four former Jays are planning to be on the field this fall, but they won't know where they'll rank on the depth charts until teams gather for training camps. Much like the situation this Saturday.
Jamestown head football coach Bill Nelson said his four Jay alums, and the rest of the 11-man West roster, are going to have to be flexible. The newly formed team is made up of the best high school football players in the state, but as Nelson said only so much can be done in the five days head coach Mark Gibson, of Bismarck High, has to prepare for the matchup against the 11-man East.
The 11-man contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Cushman Field. The 9-man game will follow at 7.
"Anytime you get into these all-star games, you don't know (what's happening) schematically," Nelson said. "You kind of get an idea based on the coaches and what they run, but then again what does the team look like? The team is probably going to look a lot different than what your high school team did."
Different teams are something this group of Jays is getting used to.
Vandal and Hochhalter joined Jared Kallenbach at the Badlands Bowl in Miles City, Montana, on June 15. Nelson said the three Jay alums and the rest of the North Dakota roster played a competitive first three quarters, but Montana ran away in the second half with a 41-14 victory. The final wasn't what North Dakota wanted, but Nelson said he was still impressed by how well the whole team played -- especially his three former Jays.
"Our Jamestown boys represented Blue Jay football and the city of Jamestown really well, and I am expecting more of the same come this Saturday," Nelson said.
Nelson said the quantity and quality of athletes the Jays will have sent to all-star games this summer speaks to progress being made by the Jamestown football program.
"It's really cool from a Blue Jay football standpoint that we've got four guys playing in this game," Nelson said, referring to the Shrine Bowl. "Hopefully it's something that we can continue to have guys represent these games every year. The kids do things right, they work their tails off."
Coach Gibson and his assistants have one more day before the game kicks off and some, like Nelson, are excited to make the trip up north and watch the best in the state go head to head.
"It's going to be a lot of fun, I am excited to go up there and watch," Nelson said. "Hopefully it's a good, competitive game. No one wants to see a blowout one way or the other."
North Dakota Shrine Bowl
Cushman Field, Grand Forks
Jamestown-Aaron Mack, Carson Kennelly, Marcus Hochhalter, Paul Vandal; Bowman County-Adam Powell; Mandan-Brad Treiber, Keaton Meschke; Breckenridge (Minn.)-Carter Frederickson; Bismarck-Canyon Stonecipher, Chase Dockter, Dalton Gullickson, Elijah Meidinger, Izzy Olsen, Matt Trolliey, Will Madler; Lewis/Clark-OR-Cole Erickson; Justin Maasjo; Velva-Dakotah Aaseth, Hayden Lee; Beulah-Dawson Biber, Kaleb McGraw, Shaye Yeager; Williston-Dayton Smith; Turtle Mt.-Dylan Short; Killdeer-Dylan Tabor, Zane Pittsley; Watford City-Evan Heiser; Bismarck St. Mary's-Jayce Hoesel; Devils Lake-Joey Hornstein, Luke Knowski; Hazen-Kaden Sago; Bismarck Century-Noah Skalsky; Bismarck Legacy-Patrick Doan; Des Lacs-Burlington-Scott Drovdal.
Head coach Mark Gibson, Bismarck; assisted by Jake Wateland, Devils Lake; Jim Dooley, Beulah; and Matt Weidler, Velva.
Grand Forks Central-Austin Braun, Jaxton Lorenz; Grand Forks Red River-Dawson Brandvold, Nathan Schumacher; East Grand Forks-Chase Olderbak, Ethan Trebil; Park River/Fordville-Lankin-Adam Zavalney; Langdon-Edmore-Munich-Carter Currey; Hillsboro-Central Valley-Mark Hastings, Seth Owens; Northern Cass-Greg Saville; Carrington-Drew Page; Kindred-Charlie Rieger, Michael Hall; Milnor-North Sargent-Adam Neustel, Josh Martinson, TJ Johnson, Troy Dietz; Harvey-Wells County-Jude Lawson; Central Cass-Braeden Knutson, Jacob Halverson, JJ Albrecht, Jonah Lietz; Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm-Phillip Hagen; West Fargo Sheyenne-Caden Jastram, Garrett Lund, Parker Sander; West Fargo-Brandon Steinhauer; Fargo Davies-Jacob Martodam, Jesse Forknell; Wahpeton-Tucker Hermes; Fargo North-Ben Brekke, Peyton Amundson; Fargo South-Carter Moorau, Clay Ludwick, Dawson Weisenberger; Fargo Oak Grove-Isaac Olson.
Head coach Josh Krivarchka, Langdon-Edmore-Munich; assisted by Eric Olson, Milnor-North Sargent; Brian Dokken, Wahpeton; and Tyler Kossel, Fargo South.
Thompson-Josh Sem, Marcus Hughes, Nick Reck; Larimore-Austin Steffen; Cavalier-Conley Carrier, Jaxen Fleming, Jayden Laxdal; Midway-Minto-John Juarez; Mayville-Portland-CG-Reese Hanson; New Rockford-Sheyenne-Joey Gray, Teddy Allmaras, Tucker Longnecker; Hankinson-Hayden Boll, Jaxon Mauch; Oakes-Coy Awender, Taylor Schall; Kidder County-Jaxon Deckert; Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter-Ethan Kleppe, Jamison Fettig, Nathan Weigel, Tyler Long; Richland-Blake Loomis, Hunter Lentz; LaMoure-Litchville-Marion-Noah Pedersen, Shay Ness; Stephen-Argyle (Minn.)-Isaac Durand, Taylor Voytilla.
Head coach Brady Schwab, Thompson; assisted by Sandy Laxdal, Cavalier; Kal Triplett, Larimore; and Greg Dobitz, Oakes.
North Star-Gavin Miller, Keaton Kvilvang; North Prairie-Grant Munro, Jake Boucher; Benson County-Keaton Nelson; St. John-Alex Chorette, Dawson Schroeder, Max Defender; Clearbrook-Gonvick (Minn.)-Ethan Dorman; Norman County East (Minn.)-Noah Klemetson; Towner-Granville-Upham-Garrett Bailey, Shayden Luna, Tanner Schock; Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood-Charles Eriksmoen, Dalton Moberg; Ray-Powers Lake-Aiden Nordloef, Kyle Van Berkom, Terek Enget, Zachary Schultz; Mott-Regent-Cody Perkins; Richardton-Taylor-Hebron-Collin Kuntz, Logan Kuntz, Zach Schmalenberger; New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin-Braden Zuroff, Chauncey Dittus, Evan Henke, Garret Soupir, Tayt Wolding; Beach-Clay Mattern.
Head coach Steve Kleinjan, New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin; assisted by Steve Perdue, Ray-Powers Lake; Ben Wollenzien, Towner-Granville-Upham; and Luke Sturn, New Salem-Almont-Glen Ullin.