DES MOINES - Four members of the media and seven officials will be honored by the Iowa High School Athletic Association at the Boys' State Basketball Tournament next week at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The media presentations will occur during the intermissions of the Class 1A championship, Friday night, with the officials being honored at the halftime of the Class 2A championship, also on Friday, March 12.
Media Award Winners
Mike Baumgartner - Dubuque - A 1967 graduate of Marshalltown, Baumgartner started his broadcast career while in high school working two years at KSO in Des Moines. Upon graduation he became the Sports Director at KFJB in Marshalltown, a post he held until 1971 when he embarked on a 20 year career at KOEL in Oelwein as Sports Director and Operations Manager. For 20 years he was a race car track announcer at various venues in northeast Iowa. In 2004 he returned to radio as Program Director at The River 101.1 WVRE-FM in Dubuque.
Kent Harshbarger - Mediapolis - A teacher, counselor, coach and athletics director at Mediapolis High School, Harshbarger uniquely served the district also in the positions of sports reporter and editor of the Mediapolis News. He covered the community's highly successful activities program and city affairs from 1990 until 2006. He is currently an Enrollment Services Specialist at Southeast Community College in West Burlington. He and his wife Karen have a daughter and reside in Mediapolis.
Donald Nielson - Avoca - Nielson acquired photography and printing press skills in high school while working for the Coon Rapids Enterprise. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion in 1971, working as a news photographer for the local paper and commuting to Hawarden for additional work. In 1974 he purchased the Avoca Journal-Herald and has served as publisher since. Sixteen years ago he started the Oakland Journal. He covers community events and AHST sports, missing only one football game in 35 consecutive years.
Lori Wiser - Ocheyedan - Her high school journalism experience in Woodbine included being a reporter, feature writer and photographer for the Woodbine Twiner. While earning her degree from Central College in 1984, she was a reporter for the Central College Ray. In 1988 she took her present position as sports editor, photographer and assignment reporter with The Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News. She has been active in the Iowa Newspaper Association and has been a multiple winner for writing and photography. In recent years she has had to scale back her work awaiting a heart transplant.
Officials' Hall of Fame
Dennis Bradshaw - A native of Dayton he played basketball and baseball and earned his degree from Buena Vista College. He started his teaching and coaching career at Ar-We-Va High School. After retiring his coaching in 1976, he stayed connected with sports by joining a football crew as an umpire. The group worked all levels from junior high through junior college games. He ended his officiating career in 2000 in the Iowa Shrine Bowl. He was selected for the IHSAA playoffs 16 years and worked a total of 23 playoff games, including three championships and several semifinal round contests. He retired as a social studies teacher in 2005. He and his wife Connie reside in Carroll.
Edward Conway - A native of Brooklyn, NY, Conway came to Iowa in 1971. When his oldest son was playing club soccer in 1982, there was a shortage of officials so he volunteered and quickly became registered with the IHSAA and IGHSAU. Three years later he worked his first boy's interscholastic match in Council Bluffs. He has officiated in the IHSAA State Tournament for 14 years with two title matches and 12 years with the IGHSAU including one title match. He and his wife Kathleen have two sons and reside in Council Bluffs. He has his own communications company.
Ward Hunter - Hunter was a 1980 Ogden High School graduate where he played football and was a first team All-State player in 1979 and a member of the Shrine Bowl in 1980. While in college he wanted to get back into the game of football and joined a crew, and later took up officiating wrestling. He was on the gridiron for 24 seasons, retiring in 2006. Twenty-one seasons he was selected for the state playoffs and 30 post season games included three championship contests and five semifinal round match-ups. He and his wife Diane reside in Ogden where he is a district sales manager for LG Seeds.
Michael Mumma - At Merrill, he was a three sport star and a member of their 1964 State Champion golf team. He sandwiched a three year tour in Viet Nam earning a Bronze Star, around his college work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stevens Point. He started officiating football in college, and after law school and locating in Jefferson, he returned to the gridiron. He worked 28 seasons before retiring in 2003. He was chosen for the playoffs 12 consecutive years and earned three title games. He and his wife Margaret live in Jefferson where he maintains his law practice.
Jerry Nikkel - Already a Hall-of-Fame Basketball Coach, Mr. Nikkel is one of three IHSAA Hall of Fame coaches to be selected for the Officials' Hall of Fame, joining wrestling greats Bob Siddens and Marv Reiland. He began officiating football in 1969 and has worked the playoffs each year since 1983. In that 27-year span he has appeared in 48 post-season games including four championship contests. As a boys' basketball coach he directed Pella Christian and Marshalltown into the State Tournament and had a 29-year career mark of 439-190. He currently is the head women's basketball coach at Central College. He and his wife Judy reside in Pella.
Ron Tryon - Starting in high school and working youth contests and junior high games he waited until 1979 he began a high school officiating schedule in earnest. All told, youth games through varsity he worked over 535 football contests and an estimated 300 softball and 150 baseball games. He was chosen for the football playoffs 24 years and worked a total of 49 games including six championships and eight semifinal round contests. In baseball and softball he has umpired sectional and district play. He is retired from Farm Bureau Insurance. He and his wife Pam have raised three children and reside in Adel.
David Wyckoff - A four sport star at Bedford, he became a three sport official after retiring as head basketball coach at Diagonal in 1973. He became the principal at Ar-We-Va in 1973, retired 30 years later. Already a baseball official, he added basketball and football. During a 21-year career as a football referee he was selected 19 times for the playoffs working 23 games including two championship games. In 23 years as a basketball official he was chosen for sectional and district games and worked numerous district and sub-state games in baseball. He and his wife Betty make their home in Bella Vista, AR.