Host families needed as Expedition League team prepares to call Grand Forks home for the summer

Wheat City Whiskey Jacks to open play at Kraft Field on May 28


Summer collegiate baseball is set to return to Grand Forks at the end of the month.

But the players for the team that will call Grand Forks home for the summer need a place to stay.

The Wheat City Whiskey Jacks, an Expedition League team based in Brandon, Man., will relocate to Grand Forks this summer and will play a 64-game schedule in the Expedition League -- a collegiate wood bat league that has 12 teams located in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

The uncertainty regarding the opening of the U.S.-Canadian border and crowd limitations in Canada forced the league to relocate the Whiskey Jacks to Grand Forks.

However, the league has announced Grand Forks will receive an expansion team in the summer of 2022.


First, however, the league needs to find a home for the Whiskey Jacks.

Jaydon Simonson, the assistant general manager for the Whiskey Jacks, said the team still needs roughly 30 host families in Grand Forks.

The team will begin play on May 25 and players will begin arriving in Grand Forks in the next two weeks.

Host families will provide players with their own room, access to a bathroom, kitchen and laundry in addition to providing a clean, safe and healthy home environment.

“We emphasize building a bond that lasts beyond the final game,” said Simonson of host families. “Host families are the cornerstone of what makes summer collegiate baseball happen.”

Simonson said the host families help ease the financial burden of players who commit to summer collegiate baseball.

And the league, he said, is particular in bringing in quality individuals.

“We look for more than just baseball players,” said Simonson. “We want guys with good character, who represent their team, host families and communities well.”


Host families will receive two season tickets, a discount on team merchandise and a gift card.

The team already has roughly 10 host families lined up in Grand Forks.

Players will be on the road for half the season. Each Expedition League team plays 64 games -- 32 on the road.

The coach for the Whiskey Jacks is Robby Laughlin, who is the head coach at Dawson Community College in Montana.

The league will launch its season May 25. The Whiskey Jacks will open with a three-game series at the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs in Minot before holding its home opener at Kraft Field on May 28 against the Sioux Falls Sunfish.

“We’re excited to get baseball back in Grand Forks,” said Simonson. “Everything is on track.”

For host family information, the Whiskey Jacks can be contacted at or


Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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