Just like the Jamestown High School baseball team, Jack Bowman has been out of the game for a while but the recently hired Blue Jays head coach is going to be back on the field this spring.
"I have been involved in baseball forever," Bowman said. "I played into college and then got onto a coaching staff and coached for a long time.
"I've been out of the game a little bit ... I'm just excited to be back in baseball. I love the sport and being around the kiddos."
Bowman was hired to head up the 2020-21 Jamestown High School baseball team after longstanding head coach Kelley Kessler officially retired following the cancellation of the 2020 baseball season due to COVID-19. Bowman was hired in January after originally relocating to Jamestown from Idaho to accept an assistant baseball coaching position at the University of Jamestown.
Bowman's baseball experience includes serving as a volunteer assistant baseball coach at the University of Jamestown and working as an assistant coach at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. Bowman also served as a head American Legion Baseball coach in Idaho Falls.
"(Coach Bowman) is a baseball guy. He has experience. We felt comfortable that he had the knowledge and the ability to be our next coach here," JHS activities director Jim Roaldson said. "I do think that when people think of Jamestown they think of ... (Jack Brown Stadium) is one of them and the baseball teams that go along with that."
The new head coach has had very limited contact with his team up to this point. The team and head coach officially started practice on March 22. The Blue Jays are slated to open the season hosting Bismarck High on Apr. 8 at 4:30 p.m. As of March 29, the Blue Jays have 12 regular-season games on their schedule.
"I am just going to continue what has been done here before," Bowman said. "I am just learning the kids and what they can do. We have some open gyms so I get to watch them swing a little bit and take some ground balls. I want to incorporate things that I have learned throughout the years. To me, it's not about winning, it's about building the program. The winning will take care of itself."
Bowman said the Blue Jays will be relatively young with just two seniors and four juniors on the roster right now. JHS 2020 grads Isaac Mimong and Chris Erickson have continued their baseball career at the University of Jamestown. The Blue Jays also lost all-state catcher Tommy Falk to graduation.
"We're going to be relatively young," Bowman said. "They're a good group from what I've seen. They've got some ability to play the game and it's just a matter of getting the repetitions and getting physically stronger."
Bowman said while the Jays will certainly be developing physically this spring, he hopes the team will also be developing personally.
"I want the kids to do well on the field but I also want the kids to do well in life and to use baseball to help them learn to be good young men -- to be good fathers and husbands and to be productive in their communities throughout their lives. Baseball is a great way to help progress these young men toward that."