Year-end awards from the North Dakota AP Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association conclude today with the release of the High School Male and Female winners.
Let’s start on the male side. The Jamestown basketball team has been named the High School Male Team of the Year. The Blue Jays became the fourth team in Class “A” boys basketball to finish the season unbeaten. After topping Fargo Davies 66-49 in the state title game, Jamestown joined Wahpeton (1941), Fargo South (1989) and Fargo North (2002) as the only Class “A” undefeated state championship teams.
Other finalists included Thompson football and Thompson basketball.
Jamestown head basketball coach Jacoby Lloyd was named the High School Male Coach of the Year. In only his second season, Lloyd guided the Blue Jays to the school’s first state championship since 1993. Lloyd took over the program that had a 2-19 record in the 2016-17 season and two years later won a state championship and finished the year 27-0.
Other finalists included Minot High swimming coach Jake Solper and Thompson basketball coach Brandy George.
Three sport standout Cadyn Schwabe of Thompson was named the High School Male Athlete of the Year. Schwabe was first-team all-state quarterback, an all-state baseball player and the MVP in the Class “B” state basketball tournament that Thompson won. Schwabe plans to play baseball at Des Moines Area Community College next year.
Other finalists included Bishop Ryan three-sport standout Ben Bohl and Bo Belquist of New Rockford-Sheyenne.
Moving to the female side, the Bismarck Century basketball team has been named the High School Female Team of the Year. The Patriots claimed their second straight state title with a perfect 27-0 record. Century knocked off Devils Lake 69-61 in the championship game.
Other finalists included Dickinson gymnastics, Fargo Davies track and field and Thompson volleyball.
Bismarck Century two sport standout Lauren Ware was named the High School Female Athlete of the Year. With one year left at Century, Ware has already won three North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year awards, two in basketball and one in volleyball. The 6-5 Ware has won five state titles, two in basketball and three in volleyball.
Other finalists included Rugby’s three sport standout Maria Blessum and Taylor Zak of Thompson.
Devils Lake basketball coach Justin Klein has been named the High School Female Coach of the Year. Klein guided the Firebirds to a 25-2 record, nearly winning the school’s first girls state basketball championship since 1987.
Other finalists included Thompson volleyball coach Lisa Strand and Fargo Davies track and field coach Rory Biel.