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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Area men honored at State Tournament

Thursday, March 15, 2007

KCHE's O'Connor earns Media Award

DES MOINES - Several area sports personalities of the past and present are among the many people who received awards and honors at the Iowa State Boys Basketball Tournament in Des Moines in March.

At halftime of the Friday night 1A Championship game, Cherokee KCHE Radio's John 'Connor received a Media Award.

(Photo)
KCHE's John O'Connor, working at the ballpark.
A veteran of over 35 years in broadcast journalism, John started his career at KCOB in Newton after graduating from the Brown Institute of Broadcasting. In 1973, he and his brother Mike purchased KCOG AM/FM in Centerville, and for three years he aired Centerville and area athletic events and Indian Hills Community College sports.

In 1976, the brothers purchased KCHE AM/FM in Cherokee, where as general manager, John continued to take an active role in airing Cherokee and area sports, including Sioux Valley Match Play Golf Tournaments at the Cherokee Golf & Country Club. John has continued to serve the KCHE area as sports director, even after selling the station to Jeff Fuller in 2001.

A familiar voice and face at state events, in the last four years he has provided live state playoff/tournament action in seven prep sports.

After the media awards were presented on Friday night, the 1982 State Champion Paullina Panthers were honored on the 25th anniversary of their accomplishmen.

Saturday night, at halftime of the Class 4A champonship game, an Aurelia native was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association's Hall of Fame as a coach.

Tom Estes, a 1969 graduate of Aurelia, where he played for Hall of Fame coach Duane Buttenob (and, FYI, gave the Chronicle Times' "Biittner" his nickname), "Fuzzy" went on to play basketball on Northwestern College teams which qualified for the 1971 and 1972 national tournaments. In 1973, he was named to the group of small college All-Stars that played against the University All-Stars.

After graduation, Estes began a 20-year basketball coaching stint at Little Rock and Sioux Center. He coached 10 seasons at each school, totaling 308 wins against 140 setbacks. Seven times, his teams made it to the District finals, and six times to the substate championship. In 1985, his Little Rock team beat his mentor Buttenob's Aurelia team in a substate game.

Estes produced two State Tournament teams at each school, and had three top four finishes. He was named District Coach of the Year several times, and in 1982 was voted the Class 1A Iowa Coach of the Year. In 1983, he was selected to coach in the IBCA All-Star game.

Since 1996, he has directed the Sioux Center golfers to four state meet appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2001, plus two other top four finishes.He and second wife Doris have raised three children - Jennifer, Jordan and Jillian. They continue to make their home in Sioux Center.



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