Team effort: Brooks Roaldson credits all-state honor to his team

Brooks Roaldson was an all-state selection for the 2023 All-State Hockey Team.

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Red River's Rylee Vetsch and Jamestown's Brooks Roaldson compete for the puck in the second period Thursday in the opening round of the North Dakota state hockey tournament at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

JAMESTOWN — Winning is the best part of hockey for Brooks Roaldson.

"My favorite hockey-related memory was beating the Grand Rapids AA team in a Grand Forks tournament my second year of bantams," Roaldson said. "My second favorite memory was definitely winning the WDA championship."

If winning is first on his list, where does being named All-State rank for the Jamestown High School senior?

Maybe third or fourth.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) announced the 2023 All-State Hockey Team last week. Roaldson, a senior, was the only member of the Blue Jay roster to earn all-state honors. This season marked the first time Roaldson had picked up an all-state selection.


"I found out almost immediately after they came out," Roaldson said. "I was sitting on the couch in my living room and my parents told me.

"It is obviously nice to be recognized for what I have accomplished," he said. "This was a goal of mine coming into my high school career. It took a lot of hard work to get where I’m at right now so being named all-state is just the icing on the cake."

Roaldson got into hockey 13 years ago when his older sister, Megan, was playing for the Blue Jays.

"With a lot of nagging at my parents they finally gave in and let me play," Roaldson said. "My first memory would have to be laying down on the ice my first couple of practices when I first started getting dragged around by my skates by Brett Stockert and making snow angels."

The senior has progressed a little bit from those first practices and with another member of the Stockert family coaching him, he became a top-5 threat for the Blue Jays.

Roaldson was a three-year varsity team member for JHS head coach Matt Stockert. As a sophomore, he played in all 18 games during which time he netted five goals and seven assists.

As a junior, Roaldson ended the year as the team's third-most scoring forward, behind Nolan Nenow and Hunter Nelson. He notched 15 goals and made 21 assists for 36 total points. The Blue Jays won their first WDA Tournament Championship since 1995 last season and wound up fifth at the 2022 State Hockey Tournament.

After Nelson graduated and Nenow committed to play for the Bismarck Bobcats his senior year, Roaldson was the natural selection for a team captain and starting forward.


"Nolan and Hunter are some of if not the best players I’ve played with," Roaldson said. "Losing them motivated the team and I to work harder and get better."

Stepping up wasn't as easy as Roaldson made it look.

Just a couple of games into his junior baseball season, Roaldson suffered a shoulder injury. Roaldson underwent surgery for a torn labrum in April 2022 which was followed by six months of physical therapy treatments. At the six-month mark, doctors cleared Roaldson to start skating again at full speed.

If the injury to his shoulder bothered him, the senior sure didn't show it.

Roaldson was pretty much unrivaled in terms of points accumulated this season. The senior scored 18 goals and dished out 26 assists for a total of 44 points. Gavin Gerhardt, another senior for the Blue Jay squad, also netted 18 goals but his assist count was capped at 10.

"It’s a lot of hard work not only during the hockey season but all year around," Roaldson said of what is needed to be named all-state. "You have to work to get better every single practice. Some days won’t be as good as others but you have to keep working hard and try to improve day in and day out."

The Blue Jays finished the regular season at 10-5-2, good enough to earn a West Region Tournament berth. The squad topped Mandan in the opening round of WDs, fell to Minot in the semifinals and then rallied to beat Dickinson in the state-qualifying game. At the end of the WDA tourney, Roaldson and Minot's Jaxon Bradley were named Co-WDA Senior Athletes of the Year.

Jarrett Zalumskis and Andrew Walz were also 2023 All-WDA selections. Stockert and Minot head coaches John Grubb and Jason Bennett were named WDA Coaches of the Year.


"I had a couple of goals for the season," Roaldson said. "I definitely wanted to be in the WDA championship game again but unfortunately, we fell short. My other goal was to make State and be there on the final day."

One out of two ain't bad.

The Blue Jays entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed out of the West Region which pinned them against top-seeded Grand Forks Red River in the quarterfinals. The Jays dropped 7-1 to the Roughriders but an awesome effort from the team got the Jays a 4-2 win against Minot in the semifinals, a feat that simultaneously ended the Magicians' season and extended their own.

"The most enjoyable part of the season was beating Minot at State," Roaldson said. "They had beaten us in the WDA semifinal game and it was definitely a highlight to be able to get the last laugh for my hockey career."

The Blue Jays faced off against Bismarck Century in the fifth-place game. The team wound up falling to the Patriots 2-1, thereby making them the sixth-best team in the State.

While he will never again play for the Blue Jays, Roaldson said he is still going to try to stay connected to the game whether that means playing in a recreational league, trying out for juniors or playing at the collegiate level.

"The way everyone stepped up and all got better makes me proud," Roaldson said. "I’m very fortunate to be named all-state but without all my teammates around me, it wouldn’t have been possible. I just want to thank all of my teammates and coaches over the years, I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them."

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Jamestown's Brooks Roaldson (26) skates along with the puck Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, towards Century's Carter Heck (7), at Wilson Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

2023 Boys Hockey All-State Team


Brooks Roaldson, Jamestown
Colten Bjorge, Grand Forks Central
Zach Boren, Fargo South Shanley
Colton Bossert, West Fargo
Marcus Butts, Legacy
Landon Carter, Grafton/Park River
Mikey Coleman, Grand Forks Red River
Colton Getzlaff, Bottineau/Rugby
Matthew Haider, Mandan
Mackley Morelli, Minot
Carter Sproule, Grand Forks Red River
Tyler Miller, Legacy
Noel Olsonawski, Fargo South/Shanley
Riley Swanson, West Fargo Sheyenne
Jaxon Bradley, Minot
Jack Bullinger, Fargo Davies
Peter Dorsher, Fargo North
Zachary Moser, West Fargo Sheyenne
Maxon Vig, Century
Wyatt Wockenfuss, Grand Forks Central

Senior Athlete of the Year — Mikey Coleman, Grand Forks Red River

Coach of the Year — Tim Skarperud, Grand Forks Red River

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 or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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