JAMESTOWN — The Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department has been hosting adult volleyball leagues for at least 30 years and this year is no different. The Parks and Rec Department is running an adult women’s league and a co-ed league.
The leagues take place in the fall from Sept. through Dec. and in the spring from Jan. through April. Both leagues have an A division and a B division, with the A division being more competitive, while the B division is for amateurs. The teams each have 11 players and one alternate, with six on the floor at a time. In the co-ed league, the rosters have to have the same amount of men and women or more women than men. The teams pay a fee of $265 to join the respective leagues. The league rules state that current volleyball athletes can not participate in the leagues. Players as young as 16 can join but those between 16 years old and 17 years old need a guardian’s signature to take part.
Jamestown Parks and Rec Program and Special Events Coordinator Tammy Mewes said the winners of each division get a gift card to a local Jamestown business. Mewes is in her first year working on the leagues after Jamestown and Rec Golf Course Operations manager John Ruff ran the leagues in previous years.
Currently, in the co-ed league, there are six teams in the A division and 10 teams in the B division. In the women’s division, there are four teams in the A division and eight teams in the B division.
Mewes expressed her belief that the leagues are an important place for the competitors to come together.
“I think it’s a great thing for people to get out and be active and be able to socialize with others with the same interests as them,” Mewes said. “.So, I do feel it’s an important service that they can enjoy in our community.”
Many of the teams are sponsored by local businesses including Jonny B’s Brickhouse, Stutsman Harley-Davidson, and NoDak Insurance-Nick Bruns Agency.
“For our team, they put together a team and they came and spoke with us and asked if we’d be willing to sponsor them,” Jonny B’s Brickhouse owner Jon Beyer said. “So, we did, we’ve been doing that for a couple of years now. We paid their fee for their registration and we bought them some shirts.”
One of the players on the Bruns Agency team in the co-ed league is former University of Jamestown golfer Riley Akervik, who has been playing in the A league for two years. He is joined by former Jimmies women’s volleyball player Corina Huff.
“I would say my favorite part and it’s honestly one of my favorite parts about Jamestown as well, the sense of community that people bring to it,” Akervik said. “People have fun at it and you get to network with a lot of different people as well. I’ve had the chance to meet several different people that I’ve heard of in the community. A lot of people enjoy participating in it at the same time. So, we can all network and connect and have some fun at the same time.”
Currently, Akverik and his team are 3-4, with three matches to go.
One player that is experienced in the league is Jenn Quam who has been playing since 2016. Quam plays in both the co-ed and women’s leagues. Currently, Quam plays for the team sponsored by Jonny B’s Brickhouse in the B division of the co-ed league. Quam’s women’s league team is sponsored by Stutsman Harley-Davidson. Quam’s co-ed team is 5-2 while her women’s team is 3-4.
Due to the high level of experience that they have on their roster, Averik and his teammates decided the A division was where they could be challenged the most.
Quam says the players on her team are from a variety of different places including familial connections. Quam said her women’s team includes her daughters and sister and a close friend.
“I’d played volleyball with them before,” Quam said. “I now have my sister (Angel Philbrick) on my team, random people that I’ve played volleyball with other places for open gym. One of the guys has played with me for a few years.”
Quam and Akervik both said the teams are respectful but very competitive.
“It’s a fun competitive though,” Akverik said. “It’s not an overly competitive environment. People will get riled up but it’s a fun competitive environment.”