With season openers getting closer, Washington High School athletic teams are busy putting the finishing touches onto the lineups.
Five of the Washington teams have started jamboree play. Jamborees are preseason scrimmages which don’t go as long as regular-season contests and scores do not count. Washington’s soccer team hosted Rolla and Waynesville Thursday, playing to a pair of 0-0 draws.
Washington plays the same two schools in softball (Friday in Waynesville) and volleyball (Monday in Rolla).
The football Blue Jays take on Borgia, Cardinal Ritter and Miller Career Academy Friday at Borgia.
Friday also was a big day as district assignments were released for all sports other than football. That sport was released last spring.
• Jamboree — Friday at Borgia starting at 7 p.m. Teams involved are Cardinal Ritter, Miller Career Academy, Borgia and Washington. Admission is $5.
• District Assignment — Class 5 District 4 along with Columbia Battle, Camdenton, Lebanon, Rolla and Waynesville. That assignment was made last spring.
Overall, Washington Head Coach Zach Schneider is happy with how things are going so far in practice.
“It’s been a good eight or nine days and we’ve gotten a lot done,” Schneider said. “We have the normal bumps and bruises right now. The practices have been a little more physical than in the past.”
Schneider is looking forward to Friday night’s jamboree, but knows that it’s going to be tough. Any time Washington and Borgia get together, there always seems to be a little more emphasis put into trying to be physical and making the big hit.
“Dale Gildehaus and I say the same thing,” Schneider said. “Neither team wants to lose anyone really important for the year because of something that happens at the jamboree. We’ll probably run 18 plays with the first squad and see what the others can do. The kids get so excited for that last scrimmage (with Borgia). The kids go harder. Neither coach wants anything to happen. We want to have a good scrimmage. We want to win Week 1. Winning the jamboree doesn’t count for anything.”
Schneider said the jamboree will be a good chance to determine some position starters.
“We’ll find our depth and answer a lot of questions,” Schneider said.
• Jamboree — Monday at Rolla with matches at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Opposition will be Rolla and Waynesville.
• District Assignment — Class 4 District 3 with Eureka, Lafayette, Northwest, Pacific, Parkway South and Rockwood Summit.
Head Coach Kym Blankenship is happy with how things are going so far in practices.
“We have senior leadership in every position with someone who is a first time varsity player,” Blankenship said. “So, naturally there will be a gap in play for a few more weeks as the new players get adjusted to the speed of varsity. We have great leadership to help bridge that gap.”
Blankenship reports there are no injuries of note within the team and that the players are ready to see action.
“We’re looking to see how well we put together all aspects of the game and find weaknesses in our rotations,” Blankenship said. “We have a set lineup right now with particular players in spots but I want to see who works best next to who and see what leaders emerge on the court.”
Overall, Blankenship knows that replacing graduated libero Erica Diener is going to be tough, but three defensive players are working hard to give the Lady Jays the same type of gritty overall defense.
“I have a great group of players who all are working very hard and are very coachable,” Blankenship said. “Our defense is going to be solid this year with three great kids: Olivia Ancell, Tyelar Steiger and Emily Scheible.”
• Jamboree — Washington plays Friday at Waynesville in its jamboree, facing Rolla and Waynesville starting at 5 p.m.
• District Assignment — Class 4 District 4 with Eureka, Lafayette, Northwest and Rolla.
• Jamboree — The Blue Jays played Thursday in a three-team home jamboree against Rolla and Waynesville.
Washington tied both sides, 0-0, starting with Waynesville.
“We came out with a system we tried this summer in a showcase we played in and the kids are really enjoying it,” Washington Head Coach Derek Schriewer said. “Defensively, we’re were stout and were tough to break down. I thought everything looked great today. We had our chances, but didn’t put them away.”
The Blue Jays got some huge saves by goalkeeper Cameron Shipley.
“Cameron joined us this year for his senior year and he’s been real impressive,” Schriewer said. “I like the way he’s looked back there. He’s a real athlete. He’s been playing basketball and baseball and you can see that. He had a few great saves, especially at the end of the Rolla game on a free kick.”
Offensively, Schriewer said the team tried some different pairings.
“Our strikers are linking up well together,” Schriewer said. “The two we started with in the Waynesville match are new, so they didn’t do quite as well, but our top pair of Ryan Becszlko and Jake Whitworth really link off of each other. We should be able to find more chances this year.”
Schriewer indicated the build-up to attack needs to be addressed.
“We generated a few chances,” Schriewer said. “There were a few times where we had numbers going forward and we didn’t get the chances. We’re knocking the ball around well at the midfield. We just need to get the final third put together.”
• District Assignment — In the first year of four classes in soccer, Washington is in Class 4 District 8 with Holt, Timberland and Troy.
Washington continues to work toward the season opener Aug. 30 in the Lafayette Invitational. That meet starts at 9 a.m.
• District Assignment — Class 4 District 2 with CBC, DeSmet, Eureka, Francis Howell, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway South, Parkway West, Pattonville and Rockwood Summit.
Coach Adam Fischer indicated there will be no jamboree for the girls golf team. Instead, the Lady Jays will continue to prepare for their Aug. 25 season opener against Borgia at Franklin County Country Club.
The Lady Jays will face Borgia in two of the first three meets, including another 3:30 p.m. contest at Wolf Hollow Golf Club Sept. 3.
• District Assignment — Class 2 District 4 with Battle, Francis Howell, Francis Howell Central, Ft. Zumwalt West, Hickman, Holt, Jefferson City, Rock Bridge, Timberland and Troy.
There are no jamborees nor district assignments for boys swimming. In this sport, individuals qualify for a one-class state meet.