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Doug Beaudoin to join nephew in N.D. Sports Hall of Fame

Doug Beaudoin has had to put up with two years of teasing from Brooks Bollinger.

doug beaudoin.jpg
Doug Beaudoin, pictured, who'd go on to play for the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers, all of the National Football League, will be inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame with Jeff Boschee, Whitney Carlson and Mike Peluso on June 26, 2021, in Jamestown. Photo courtesy JHS Athletics Dept.

Doug Beaudoin, who will be enshrined into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in Jamestown next weekend, has had to put up with a few years of teasing from Brooks Bollinger.

"Brooks Bollinger -- my nephew -- actually got inducted three years ago and I think that it's a great injustice that (he) got inducted before I did," Beaudoin said with a laugh. "But now it's my turn. It feels good."

Beaudoin, a 1972 graduate of Jamestown High School, is one of four inductees heading into the hall on June 26 at the Jamestown Civic Center. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social, auction and banquet.

Last season's Hall of Fame induction ceremony was postponed to the COVID-19.

"Growing up in Jamestown and Dickinson was awesome," Beaudoin said. "It was some of the best years of my life. I don't get back often so it will be nice to get back."

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During his two years at Jamestown High School, Beaudoin lettered in football, basketball, and track while a student-athlete for the Blue Jays. Beaudoin led the Eastern Dakota Conference (EDC) running backs in 1971 averaging 108.5 yards per game. Beaudoin also paced the East Region in points scored (90) with 15 touchdowns. The former Blue Jay led EDC punters averaging 37.7 yards over 18 kicks.

Just a couple of months later, Beaudoin helped lead the JHS basketball team to a 22-2 record en route to defeating the undefeated Ft. Yates Warriors. In the spring of his junior year, Beaudoin placed second in the long jump at the Class A State Track and Field Meet.

"I think I was born with a ball in my hand," Beaudoin said. "I don't care what kind of ball it was -- baseball, basketball, football -- that's what I was born to do. Back in those days, if you put a ball in my hand, whatever game it was, I think I would beat you."

Beaudoin was selected to the all-state football and basketball teams during both his junior and senior years. Beaudoin was inducted into the Jamestown High School Hall of Fame in 2018.

The standout's senior year, however, threw a bit of a wrench into post-high school dreams.

In the spring of 1972, Beaudoin was running the 4X440-yard relay in Valley City. The sleet and misting invoked a pop of Beaudoin's hamstring and the muscle eventually ended up in a ball at the base of his kneecap.

After the unfortunate mishap, Beaudoin said his athletic talent wasn't quite at the same level, but the persistence was still there.

The standout Blue Jay joined fellow North Dakota athletes Kirby Kuklenski (Wahpeton) and Mark Slater (Minot Ryan) as freshmen at the University of Minnesota where he was a four-year starter for the Gophers. As a running back, he was the leading freshman ground gainer in the Big Ten, averaging five yards per carry and scoring four touchdowns.

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On defense, Beaudoin was the second-leading tackler all three years and recorded four interceptions. Beaudoin was named to the 1975 All-Big Ten Football Team being only one of only a handful of players in Gophers' history with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

"From high school on, it was grit," Beaudoin said. "I was the first one in the training room, I was the last one on the field because it took so much just to try to stay healthy that I did whatever I needed to do to get back on the field."

The NFL noticed the Blue Jay alum's perseverance.

After his four seasons in Minnesota, Beaudoin was drafted by the New England Patriots as a safety in the ninth round of the 1976 NFL draft. Beaudoin remained on the Patriot roster for five years. During the 1976-77 season, he was a leading team player averaging over 25 yards per return on kickoffs and second-leading special team tackles.

In 1978, Beaudoin was the third leading tackler on defense and second in interceptions with three. Beaudoin made a pair of interceptions in the Patriots' 33-24 win over the Miami Dolphins that propelled the team into the playoffs. The Patriots qualified for the AFC Divisional Playoffs in the 1976 and 1978 seasons.

"As you get older you realize how much you miss it," Beaudoin said. "(The best part) was competing and the friendships you build through fighting the battles with these guys. Every Sunday you build some really special friendships that you will never lose."

In 1980, Beaudoin played for the Miami Dolphins, followed by the San Diego Chargers in 1981. He joined the Tampa Bay Bandits of the new USFL in 1982 and played until the league came to an end in 1985. He retired from football following the 1985 season.

"I think it teaches you every life lesson you will need to succeed in any endeavor you choose to do," Beaudoin said of athletics. "It teaches you so much that you are going to need the rest of your life. Sports are needed, they teach you things that a lot of other things won't."

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Beaudoin will receive the Cliff Cushman Award and be enshrined next Saturday along with Jeff Boschee, Whitney Carlson Bruins and Mike Peluso.

Along with the awards program, the induction ceremony will include a banquet and auction. Tickets are $35.

More information can be obtained by contacting the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame at 701-252-4835 or at the following email addresses: pfosse@daktel.com or jjackson@daktel.com.

doug beaudoin.jpg
Doug Beaudoin, pictured, who'd go on to play for the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers, all of the National Football League, will be inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame with Jeff Boschee, Whitney Carlson and Mike Peluso on June 26, 2021, in Jamestown. Photo courtesy JHS Athletics Dept.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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