By Joey McWilliams
The Jamestown Jimmies had another solid weekend to open the Fall 2021 campaign.
UJ went 3-0 at the Bellevue Labor Day Classic and sit at 9-0 on the year. The always tough GPAC portion of the schedule gets underway this week.
Under coach Jon Hegerle, the team continues to excel. And that continual upward trend is the way Hegerle wants to see it done.
“I love being in Jamestown,” Hegerle said. “We’ve been able to get just a lot of great, blue-collar, meat-and-potatoes, lunchpail, roll-up-your sleeves, types of athletes from rural North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Michigan. Those players just understand what it’s like to be part of something bigger than themselves.”
Hegerle said some players come from families of eight to 10 children or more and they know that life is not about only them.
“Because of that they come with a humility and also a strength that leads to just being great teammates.
“So we look at the last number of years and certainly the 13 years I’ve been here, we call it perpetual ascension. We just keep getting better and better and better. There are a lot of people who have put blood, sweat and tears into the program.”
Hegerle recently crossed the 300-win plateau and is the reigning Coach of the Year in the NAIA. He said the thing he is most proud of is the character of the players and the team.
“A lot of times you might look at this and say it’s just by chance and I don’t believe it’s by chance. God has a hand in this.
“You know, we pray, ‘Bring the right players here. Bring the players here that are going to grow here and be significantly better when they’re done with this program than they were when they came in.’ And so hopefully when we look at that, we can see that happening.
“So now, it’s almost like I sit back and I go, “OK, Don’t’ mess this up!’ It’s just been wonderful. It’s been a great experience and I’ve been blessed to be a part of it.”
The Jimmies go on the road for their first conference matches – at Northwestern on Friday, Sept. 10 and at Morningside on Saturday, Sept. 11. The first home GPAC match for Jamestown with be on Wednesday, Sept. 15, hosting Dordt.