Blue Jays’ ’87 title team to be honoredLast Saturday in Bismarck, the clock ran out on both the Blue Jay boys’ and girls’ basketball teams — finishing one win shy of qualifying for this year’s state Class A tournament, which kicked off Thursday in Fargo. The girls lost a 65-64 heartbreaker to Mandan, while the Blue Jay boys fell to Minot to the tune of 77-70.
Last Saturday in Bismarck, the clock ran out on both the Blue Jay boys’ and girls’ basketball teams — finishing one win shy of qualifying for this year’s state Class A tournament, which kicked off Thursday in Fargo.
The girls lost a 65-64 heartbreaker to Mandan, while the Blue Jay boys fell to Minot to the tune of 77-70.
Despite their absence this weekend in Fargo, Jamestown won’t go unnoticed this championship weekend.
The 1987 Jamestown boys’ basketball team will be recognized today after hoisting the state-championship trophy 25 years ago in Bismarck.
“Twenty-five years, it doesn’t seem like it should be that long ago,” said Jeff Gould, a member of the 1987 Blue Jay squad. “It’s pretty neat. All the guys that we’ll be able to see this weekend will be a good time.”
Most of the team is expected to attend tonight’s ceremony, which will be held at halftime of tonight’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal game at the Fargodome.
Legendary coach Jerry Meyer and assistant George Helmstetler are expected to join the entire roster, with the exception of two players — Bruce Dobson and Steve Koenig.
“It’s going to be so much fun to see everybody and kind of relive the moment,” said Bryan Flam, a former teammate of Gould’s. “It was a great time in our life.”
For the Blue Jays, 1987 marked the third straight year they appeared in the state title game, but in the third year they broke the trend with a 69-64 victory over Fargo South after finishing runners-up the previous two years.
“They had beaten us the year before and that was the fourth game we had played them that year,” said Gould, who now resides in Fargo. “That was pretty special to win that with your friends and family in the stands, and to do it with guys you’ve been playing with since you were seven, eight or nine years old.”
It was also the final state championship for Meyer, who won four with the Blue Jays.
“The thing about Coach Meyer that I remember the most is that he had total control of the team, nobody second guessed him and everybody respected him,” Flam said. “We grew up watching him coach and by the time we got to Coach Meyer he was legendary. We treated him as such.”
The title run hardly came without a few bumps in the road for the Blue Jays that year.
Jamestown stumbled out of the blocks and won just two of its first six games. Nobody, however, was shaken.
Jamestown rattled off 11 straight victories to battle its way to the top of the Eastern Dakota Conference standings, but it was the Fargo South Bruins who upended the Blue Jays to send them on a two-game losing skid to close out the season — costing Jamestown the EDC crown.
The Bruins also took down Jamestown in the title tilt of the EDC tournament, but the Blue Jays got their revenge in the two teams’ final matchup of the year at the state tournament.
“That was huge for us,” said Flam, who was a senior that season. “I was scared going into that championship game that we were going to finish second for the third time. Nobody remembers the second-place finishers, so it made it that much sweeter for me in my senior year to end with a championship.”
Flam was not only an all-state selection that season but he was later named North Dakota’s Mr. Basketball after finishing his senior campaign averaging 19 points on 53 percent field-goal shooting. He also dished out five assists per game and was one of the purest three-point shooters in the state.
But tonight isn’t about individual accolades, rather a group of players buying into a team-first philosophy and executing it in the state’s biggest tournament.
“We still keep in touch,” said Gould of his former teammates. “Not like we used to, but we still exchange emails, text messages and phone calls and whatnot. They’re kind of your teammates for life.”
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/DGriswoldSun