Harty, Blue Jays have one more week to prove themselves
Brady Harty is a three-year varsity team member for the Jamestown High School boys soccer team. The Blue Jays are entering into the final week of the 2022 regular season this week.
JAMESTOWN — KX News picked out Brady Harty's header goal against Minot as one of the top-five plays of the week two weeks ago.
The next week is all about making his team one of the top-four for the Jamestown High School sophomore.
This week marks the final week of the 2022 soccer season. The Blue Jays have two more matchups scheduled for the week. Jamestown will be at Bismarck High at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, and will travel west again on Thursday, Sept. 22, to take on Mandan.
The first round of the WDA tournament is scheduled to begin on Sept. 27. The play-in game winners will advance to state qualifiers, which will be held on Oct. 1.
The last two years, the Jays have lost in a state-qualifying match against Bismarck Legacy.
Legacy has already clinched a Class A State Tournament berth this season. The Sabers are currently 10-2-1 in the WDA standings.
The winners of the state qualifiers and the two teams competing for the WDA title will represent the West Region at the 2022 state tournament.
"The ending to last year's season is not what we wanted so we all worked hard in the offseason," Harty said.
Harty is currently ranked second on the team in terms of points accumulated with four. The sophomore is responsible for a pair of goals and a pair of assists. His speed in the mid-field has helped line up a fair share of Blue Jay scoring opportunities this fall.
"I have been playing soccer since I was 2 years old," Harty said. "I have stuck with it because I love the sport. Every time I step on the field for practice or a game I have fun. It is the most famous sport in the world, and if you get to understand it, it’s a fun sport to watch."
Even with Harty's obvious skill at the Jays' disposal, it's been a bit of a roller coaster.
The Blue Jays are currently seeded fifth out of eight WDA teams at 4-6-2 overall. Jamestown has lost three of its last four games. All three losses were by one goal.
"The biggest thing we have been working on is finishing because that is our biggest issue. Finishing means we have the skill level to beat (teams). We just have to put the ball in the back of the net and when we get a lead keep it."
Jamestown played tough against defending WDA champs, Minot, on Sept. 8, only allowing the Magicians to squeak out a 2-1 win.
"The thing we did against Minot is we strung some passing sequences together instead of relying on one person to do it all in the attacking half," Harty said.
Minot was followed by a 1-0 win against the winless Dickinson squad, a 2-1 loss to Century and a 2-1 loss to Williston.
Those losses are certainly playing a part in firing Harty up for the last week of the season.
"He's very self motivated and an ultra-competitor," Harty's father Ryan said of his son. "It could be playing a game of HORSE in the driveway, he just hates to lose and he wants to be the best at whatever he's doing. His drive is really what pushes him."
Harty's drive isn't just motivating himself.
"On Sunday I asked him where he was going and he said he was going to the field and going to go shoot," Ryan said. "He took a bag of ball and went to go shoot. He's just naturally a hard worker. From lifting all summer, to running all summer — he just wants to succeed."
Ryan said the team has developed a group Snapchat where team members can reach out and invite others to join them for an unofficial practice session.
"Connor Traut drove by the other day to go shoot and there were three or four other kids there," Ryan said. "(Brady) is helping to create that drive amongst others and the cohesiveness as a team by doing things together trying to get better.
"Hopefully we can go on a little bit of a hot streak here to finish out the season."