​Prep Flashbacks: 1987-1991

Editor’s Note: “Prep Flashbacks” is the first of a series of seven columns highlighting the boys’ teams and players that Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald has covered as a prep photojournalist since 1987. The column will run once a month.

After graduating from Central State University in 1987, I began my career as a prep sports columnist at Insight News. In 1996, I moved on to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

This week’s column features one event or accomplishment from each of the first five years of my career (1987-91).

Highlights include a City Conference championship football team; a historic Twin City boys basketball game; two track and field greats; two track phenoms who captured a state track and field title by themselves; and a boys basketball team that represented the Minneapolis City Conference in a boys’ basketball tournament.

1987: St. Paul Central wins the City Conference football championship under Hall of Fame coach Floyd Smaller with players Jody HawkinsTroy DennisJeff LootsJoe LootsAndra ThompsonMark BarberAndy BischoffAlonzo ChessAndre BoykinJohn Adams, and Doug Hughes leading the way.

1988: St. Paul Central’s boys’ basketball team, coached by Dan Brink and led by Juriad HughesDavid HollmanAndra’ ThompsonJohn AdamsCharles ForemanMike Shypulski, and Christian Hayes defeated top-ranked and undefeated Minneapolis North, coached by Tony Queen, and led by Derek RuebenJohn BakerJay HallMarc RileyDedric Hendrickson, and Makram El-Amin, 60-51 in the Twin City Championship.

1989: At the state track meet that year, Leonard Jones (Minneapolis Patrick Henry) set a triple jump record with a leap of 48’ 9 3/4.” Tyrone Minor (St. Paul Central) responded with a 49’ 9” jump that won him the medal but not the record because officials declared that the leap was wind-aided. Minor also won the long jump, leading the Minutemen, coached by Floyd Smaller, to the state championship.

1990Leonard Jones wins the long jump, high jump, and triple jump, and teammate Martez Williams placed third in the long jump and second in the triple jump, leading Minneapolis Patrick Henry, coached by Jim Cook, to Class AA state track and field championship.

1991: Minneapolis Roosevelt boys basketball team finished second in the Class AA boys’ basketball tournament behind the coaching of Frank Hentges and the outstanding play of Donald “Tex” PhillipsWayne Charles, and Steve McArthur. The Teddies also captured their second City Conference championship.