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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Media, officials awards at IHSAA State Basketball

Thursday, March 1, 2012


*Matt Coss, Muscatine - As a prep he played basketball and was a three-year varsity tennis player while also doing football radio play-by-play at Muscatine High School. In 2000 he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, where he worked on the school newspaper serving as sports editor for two years. For one year he was sports editor of the Creston News-Advertiser and for three years he was a reporter and sports editor at the Mason City Globe Gazette. From 2004-2009 at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier he was a reporter covering prep teams and UNI basketball and baseball. In 2009 he became the sports editor of the Muscatine Journal. He has covered a state tournament in each Iowa high school sanctioned sport and has won 18 Iowa Newspaper Association awards. The sports section of the Journal has been ranked as one of top ten in the country for its circulation size by the Associated Press. He and his wife, Melissa, live in Muscatine.

*Jerry Kiwala, Cedar Rapids - A graduate and all around athlete at West Liberty where he played in the 1978 State Basketball Tournament, he later played quarterback while attending Simpson College. He completed his degree from the University of Iowa in communications in 1985. Early in his career he worked play-by-play, color commentary and on-air personality for KRUI, KCJJ, and KKRQ all in Iowa City and KWPC-AM/KFMH-FM in Mus-catine. He spent 11 years at WMT as sports editor, on-air personality and working with former media award win-ners Frosty Mitchell and Ron Gonder on area sports as well as broadcasts of state basketball, track and football. He also worked for KMRY radio in Cedar Rapids as an account executive and broadcaster and since 2004 has worked with Mediacom on their football and basketball broadcasts. He was a basketball official for 18 years and since 2007 has been a para-educator in the Cedar Rapids Schools. He has his wife, Debra, have raised two sons, Brock an

d Adam.

*W.E. "Ed" Littler, Adair - For all but three of 65 years, people in Adair and Casey have enjoyed his coverage school sports in the Adair News. Two of those years were military service with the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and the third was last fall when he was battling cancer. Among the generations he has covered are the activities of his son, five grandsons, and a granddaughter. He has been active and honored by the com-munity and county for his service as a president or board member, including a Citizen-of-the-Year Award in Adair, the Master Editor-Publisher Award from the Iowa Newspaper Association and 2011 Grand Marshall of Jesse James/Chuck Wagon Days parade as the community's oldest business person. He has one son, William E. Littler III, current editor and publisher of the Adair News; two daughters Mary Beth Petty and Diane Geary, all of Adair, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

*Jerry & Terry Mertens, Preston - For nearly 40 years they served as editors and publishers of the Preston Times. Their interest in journalism started in high school. Jerry, a graduate of Cedar Rapids Jefferson, became involved in printing while a student and later sandwiched an apprentice program around two years of military ser-vice in Vietnam. Terry became involved in business education classes at Cedar Rapids Washington and was a member of Future Business Leaders of America working in sales, advertising and bookkeeping. They acquired in 1972 and sold in 2010. They shared coverage of Preston and East Central schools with Terry covering fine arts events and Jerry doing the sports. Active in the community fund raisers and events, Jerry was a city council member and involved in the development of a new industrial park and housing tract, along with a new city hall, police station and library. He has been a longtime ambulance driver and firefighter.

*Ed Sidey, Greenfield - Before he passed away in 2008, a fourth generation journalist set the bar for the cover-age of school activities very high. A native of Greenfield he learned the newspaper business from his father and grandfather. Following graduation from Greenfield High School he served in the U.S. Army in Europe during the World War II. After the war he attended Iowa State College and earned his B.S. degree in journalism. After work-ing at newspapers in Pierre, SD and the Omaha World Herald, he returned to Greenfield in 1955 to take over the Adair County Free Press, serving as editor and publisher for 53 years. He was a two-time president of the Iowa Newspaper Association and earned their award as Master Editor and Publisher in 1981. He was active community and county organizations as a school board member, development corporation and numerous groups and committees. The Sidey family will be represented by his son Kenneth and grandson Kirk.


*Gary Alfrey, Waterloo - Two of his high school coaches Dick Dotson and Ron Sturch recruited him to officiate and helped him get started. That nudge from two hall-of-fame officials was a big incentive for him to work hard. A 1971 West Waterloo graduate he ran on a Class 4A State Championship Cross Country team his senior season. He later earned his degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1978. He spent 11 years officiating basketball before concentrating on football. Since 1975 he has officiated football and he has been on crews that have been selected to work the football playoffs for 23 years including the last 22 in succession. In that time he has worked 56 playoff games, including 13 semifinal round contests and nine state championships. Since 2007 he has also officiated Division III football. In 2009 he was named the Iowa High School Football Official of the Year by the NFHS. He and his wife, Amy, live in Waterloo and have raised daughters Jenny and Kayla

*Steve McCann, Creston - A native and 1967 graduate of Creston he played basketball for the Panthers. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE in 1971. He registered with the IHSAA in 1972 and worked his first state meet level games in 1978. He has officiated multiple sports at the state tournament level, working with hall of fame officials Paul Somers and Ron Clinton. The trio worked 25 years in the football playoffs with a total of 52 games including 12 semifinals and five championships. He also officiated several years in pre-state tourna-ment games in basketball and baseball and appeared in four state basketball tournaments and three in baseball. In addition he has umpired 12 state softball tournaments with eight championship games. A former coordinator of Adult Education at Southwestern College in Creston, he farmed for 10 years and since 1989 has been the owner of Family Shoe Store in Creston. He and his wife, Jane, reside in Creston where they have raised a

son Kyle and daughters Kristen and Kari.

*Ken Robbins, Belmond - A multiple sport official, he was an all conference athlete at Belmond-Klemme, gra-duating in 1972. After attending a professional baseball umpiring school in Florida started his officiating career, he began working high school baseball games in 1986 and adding basketball later that year. He started in volley-ball in 1995. His tournament résumé in the three sports includes pre-state tournament games in boys and girls basketball and baseball since 1995 and volleyball since 1998. He has appeared in 14 boys' state basketball tour-naments, 15 state baseball tournaments, 17 girls' basketball tournaments and 9 state volleyball tourneys. He has worked one volleyball championship, six girls' state basketball title games and five state baseball championships. In 2006 he was named Iowa Girls' Basketball Official of the Year by the NFHS and in 2010 he was tabbed as the Iowa Baseball Official of the Year by the NFHS. He is a member of Iowa Girls' Coaches Associat

ion Basketball Officials' Hall of Fame. Retired from Eaton Corporation in Belmond, he and his wife, Rene, raised two sons and two daughters.

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