Put this in the category that the summer has sure gone by fast, but the first day of practices for the fall high school and junior high school sports begins on Monday, Aug. 13.  

    This year is different though because this is the first year for school sports being played under the banner of St. James Area.

    St. James Area, or SJA as it will be frequently designated in this paper, was created by the sports pairing of the St. James and Butterfield-Odin School Districts.  

    So let’s hear it for SJA! Which has a new fight song that is derived from the old Butterfield-Odin fight song and which is based on the Minnesota Rouser.

    The practices getting under way on Monday include girls tennis in grades 7-12 and boys and girls cross country in grades 7-12.  

    Volleyball for grades 9-12 begins and football for grades 9-12 also gets underway.

    SJA Activities Director Les Zellmann said all forms and fees must be submitted by students before they can participate in fall sports.

    Other questions concerning a specific sport can be addressed to the SJA varsity coaches.  

    For tennis that is Les Zellmann, boys and girls cross country is Kyle Blomgren, volleyball is Steve Chapin and football is Jeff Whitney.

    E-mail information and school phone numbers can be found at the St. James Public School website or the website of the Minnesota State High School League under St. James.

    Practices start and then the games begin for real shortly thereafter.  

    Tennis opens with the St. James Tournament on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

    Cross country travels to Fairmont to begin its season on Friday, Aug. 24. The volleyball team also opens its season that day when they travel to Luvern.

    Football gets underway a week later when they travel to Maple River and kickoff at 7 pm on Friday, Aug. 31.