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Blue Jay clubs are swinging at the Jamestown Country Club

The Jamestown High School golf team has its first competition on Aug. 12.

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Olivia Sorlie, left, will help lead the young Blue Jays golf team this fall.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — It's shaping up to be a different kind of year at the Jamestown Country Club.

"Last year was a bit of a growing year for us," Jamestown High School head girls golf coach Tracy Iliff said. "We had some younger girls who were playing in their first varsity tournaments so I am looking forward to seeing those girls progress throughout the season.

"We also have a few other girls who played only a couple varsity tournaments and they are going to get opportunities to be more prevalent on the varsity squad. I am looking forward to that shift as they mature a little bit in age and knowledge of the game."

MORE BLUE JAY COVERAGE
The Jamestown High School football teams has one of the best defenses in the Class A football scene this season.

The Blue Jays kicked off the 2022 season on Aug. 8 and will play their first official round of golf on Aug. 12 at Watford City's Fox Hills Golf and Country Club.

Final scores and results of the season opener were not available when the Jamestown Sun went to press.

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The 2022 JHS girls golf team may be small as far as numbers go, but there isn't one of them that isn't bound and determined to accomplish their goals this season.

Olivia Sorlie and Isabel LeFevre are the Jays' only two upperclassmen. The pair of juniors were consistently part of the Jays' top-five last season with Sorlie being the only Blue Jay who made an appearance at the 2021 Class A State Golf Meet.

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Coach Tracy Iliff helps a Blue Jay golfer with her grip during a practice Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the Jamestown Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Freshman McKenna Nieswaag made a couple of appearances at the six spot and played some JV events as an eighth grader. Mylee Michel is a freshman who played the fifth and sixth spot as an eighth-grader but will be a more consistent varsity player this season. Aspen Humes, a sophomore, will likely see nothing but the varsity lineup this fall.

Belle Sjostrom, another freshman, is likely going to be the pick to round out the five-person team.

"There's a lot of familiar names we're just going to see some more improvement in their scores as they've grown and gotten stronger and more comfortable on the golf course," Iliff said. "I am excited for these freshman to gain some experience early on at the varsity tournaments."

Iliff always hits on the basics and fundamentals the first week of practice in order to either drive home the knowledge in the more experienced players or give the newbies a chance to learn at the basic level before developing more skills.

"It can be so cool to watch an athlete playing golf," Iliff said. "You watch the nerves go away and watch them get comfortable. You really see the mental stamina when you watch the sport of golf."

Iliff while she understands JHS golf is not the most widely attended sport offered, she would like fans and the team's opponents to know that the Blue Jays are not to be underestimated and that the girls who have come out for the sport are set on accomplishing their personal and team goals.

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"I don't want to put the cart in front of the horse too soon not knowing what the competition will be but with a younger team that is gaining varsity experience, I always like to say that our goal is middle of the pack so that we can compete to get to State again," Iliff said. "It will be interesting."

In terms of the WDA, Iliff said that she expects Bismarck Legacy's and Mandan's experience to shine through this season. Bismarck Century is sitting pretty with Hannah and Leah Herbel at their disposal along with a slew of other talented golfers.

"I think it is going to be pretty tight for those top three or four spots this year," Iliff said. "I am kind of looking forward to what it is going to be like. It's interesting to see how each team functions each year. We'll see (today) I guess."

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Members of the Jamestown High School girls' golf team practice Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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