The basketball season is getting under way. Fans here in Jamestown will be cheering for the Jays and Jimmies while the residents of the surrounding communities rally behind their own home teams.
But back 101 years ago the residents of Jamestown had another team to cheer for.
In 1909 you could have been in the stands applauding the efforts of the Jamestown Cynosures.
Thatâ€™s pronounced something along the lines of â€œsign o sure.â€ It was the team name of the Company H, the Jamestown unit, of the North Dakota National Guard. The team played a schedule against other guard units and even college teams from around the state as a fund raising effort for the company of soldiers.
The basketball squad wasnâ€™t the only fund raising effort of the local militia. They even sponsored drama and comedy productions. They also sponsored the first air show in the community which lost them a bunch of money.
And they werenâ€™t the only basketball team playing in Jamestown.
The Jamestown High School boyâ€™s team was having a good season in 1909. They clobbered Bismarck 81 to 5. Things were a little different with the sports coverage back 101 years ago. The write up of the big game listed the chaperones that accompanied the team to Bismarck.
Also listed were the area members of the North Dakota Legislature, in session at the time, that attended the game and which of them bought the team supper afterwards.
The Jamestown High School girlâ€™s team edged Valley City that same season. The write up in the paper included a notation the home team Jamestown girls treated their visitors to cookies and refreshments after the game.
You donâ€™t see that type of sportsmanship anymore.
And it seems the Jamestown High School sports team didnâ€™t have a nickname back then. All the articles I came across simply called the squads the â€œJamestown High Schoolâ€ team.
Maybe they didnâ€™t think they could match Cynosures.
And for those of you that are wondering, Cynosures is the French name for the constellation Ursa Minor. Thatâ€™s more commonly known as the Little Dipper and contains the North Star.
Which, when you come to think of it, makes Cynosure not such a bad team name.
After all, could you imagine sitting in the stands cheering for the Jamestown Little Dippers.