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Jasper County’s

25 Greatest Sports Figures of All Time

As nominated and selected by the readers of the Newton Daily News and Jasper County Tribune

Introducing your 25 greatest sports figures of all time Well, here you have them. Your 25 greatest sports figures of all time in Jasper County as selected by you, our readers. As the guy who handled every nomination and every voting ballot that came in — there were hundreds of them — I can tell you it’s a very impressive list. So impressive, in fact, By Bob Eschliman Daily News Editor we decided to tell you who the next 10 top sports figures were. We didn’t stop there, either. We went ahead and compiled a complete list of all of the sports figures who received votes from you, the readers. That list begins on Page 2, and continues throughout the entire publication. But let’s talk about that Top 25. Among the Top 25 are four women. Every current school district in Jasper County is represented within the list, as well.

Almost every major sports discipline is represented within the Top 25, as well. And there are even a few who you wouldn’t automatically think of when discussing a topic like “the greatest 25 sports figures of all time.” I think that’s what made this project so much fun for yours truly, sports editor Jocelyn Sheets and sports writer Dustin Turner. We got a sampling of the very rich and lasting sports legacy of Jasper County. For three people who love to tell other people’s stories, this has been like the mother lode. The top of the list — your Top 5 — includes two former Newton Senior High School varsity football coaches, an NHS track and football standout, a sports journalist and a world-record outdoorsman. After that, you’ve got the guy who gave NHS its Cardinal mascot. ADHD Moment: Can you imagine what it would be like today if they had remained the Little Washers? After that, the list continues with a former University of Iowa men’s basketball coach, a former U of I baseball

coach, a former Division I athletic director, a former head of the NCAA and a former Executive Director of the United States Olympic Committee. All in one person — who hailed from one of the smallest communities in Jasper County. Next up is a bowler who rolled perfect “300” games at pretty much every bowling alley that ever existed in the county. After that, we have a guy who holds records in both football and track and field at the University of Northern Iowa. Then we’ve got a local football standout who made a big name for himself playing college football. Now, he’s a starter for a team in the NFL. That’s just your Top 10. The next 10 includes two former NFL players, one of which is considered one of the greats of all time for the most storied franchise in league history. It also includes an athlete who was chronicled more than 30 years ago in Sports Illustrated, as well as an athlete who has won marathons. There’s a Golden Gloves champion, a softball hall of famer and a basketball

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hall of famer. It even includes a former three-sport star for Newton Senior High School and a former Newton Nite Hawks player. The final five in the Top 25 starts off with a basketball coach who had nearly 750 victories in the high school and collegiate ranks. After that, there’s a member of the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame, a doctor, another basketball hall of famer and an Olympic gold medalist. That’s a pretty impressive list. But what makes this group special is that every single one of them has distinct Jasper County connections. Not bad for our small corner of the world, huh? We can’t take credit for this list. Only you can. You took the time to nominate them. You took the time — and for some of you, the expense — to vote for them. Sure, we had the difficult task of tracking them down — hopefully without giving away too much — to write the stories contained herein. But you all deserve the credit for picking some very fine sports figures.

Daily News

25 Greatest Sports Figures

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Others Who Received Votes 1980 NHS State Football Champions Nick Ackerman Colfax-Mingo

Larry Altemeier Newton

Darin Arkema Lynnville-Sully

Tony Arrowood Newton

Deb Bagnall Newton

Doug Barton Newton

Bill Bassett Newton

Jesse Bates Newton

Sam Bilmeyer Newton

Lew Blight Newton

Howard Bowie Newton

Tom Bowie Newton

Dustin Brisel Newton

Ken Brown

1 Frank Gilson

Former head football coach, Newton Senior High School

Frank Gilson was born in Burlington and grew up in Elkader. He graduated from Simpson College in 1960 and began teaching and coaching football at Southeast Polk. Frank moved to Newton and he turned around a struggling football program into a consistent winner with the veer style of offense. He became an iconic figure within the Newton community as the town offered it’s full support of his Cardinal football teams in the 1970s and 1980s by packing the stands, both at H.A. Lynn Stadium and on the road. Frank guided the Cardinals from 1974-1985, amassing a record of 82 wins against 27 losses. Newton went undefeated and won the 1980 Class 4A state football championship under him. Frank was named IFCA Coach of the Year in 1980. Earlier, in 1977, the Cardinals were state runner-up. Frank passed away Sept. 27, 1985, at the age of 47 due to heart failure two hours after a tough 28-24 loss at Urbandale. Dick Stiles was named interim head coach for the rest of the 1985 season. He was inducted into the Simpson College Hall of Fame in 1984.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2 Treye Jackson

Football & track standout, Newton Senior High School

Treye Jackson, a sprinter for NHS in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was one of the fastest runners in the history of Iowa high school athletics. His time of 10.3 seconds in the 100-meter dash in 1980 is still third all-time in the state behind former NFL player Tim Dwight and former NBA player Adam Haluska. His automatically timed 100 time of 10.70 seconds is tied for ninth in Iowa history. Treye ran a 21.2-second 200 in 1980 as well. That time is tied for fourth all-time in Iowa prep sports history. He also has an automatically-timed finish of 48.50 seconds in the 400, which has him tied for 41st in state history. He remains the only Iowa athlete to have won the 100, 200 and 400 state titles on the same day. Treye was also an accomplished football player for the Cardinals. He was one of the key offensive cogs for the Cardinals’ 1980 Class 4A state championship run. His 111 rushing yards in the title game agaisnt Bettendorf fueled a Newton offense that ended up victorious, 2814. Treye accumulated 1,361 yards on the ground that season and punched in 16 touchdowns. He later played collegiately at the University of Iowa and later at the University of Wyoming. He had a brief stint of running track and playing football in Australia before returning home to Newton, where he still lives today.


Rick Brown Newton

Scott Bruxvort Prairie City-Monroe

Gene Buckley Newton

Mike Butler Newton

John Calhoun Newton

Joe Carmichael Newton

Jack Chadwick Newton

Mike Chapman Newton

Darry Clark Newton

Brad Clement Newton

Bill Clements Newton

Grace Coen Newton

Ron Corbett Newton

Frank Cox Newton

Jim Crandall Newton

Calvin Crook Newton

3 John Jenkins

Former head football coach, Newton Senior High School

John Jenkins is the all-time winningest football coach in Newton Senior High School history. A basketball standout from Lees Summit, Mo., Jenkins was an All-American and team captain on the football team at William Penn University. After college, he coached basketball at Pomeroy High School. He came to Newton in 1980, where he began coaching at Central Junior High School. The next year, he was the sophomore coach at NHS before becoming an assistant varsity coach under Frank Gilson, another member of our Top 25, in 1984. Following the tragic death of Gilson in 1985, Jenkins was selected to take over the rejuvenated Cardinal football program. Jenkins led the team until 2001, a span that saw NHS reach the playoffs every year except for his first. He also is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Iowa Chapter of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame. Jenkins coached the Cardinals to a record of 143-41 over his 17 years as the head coach. He also developed the CFLA — “Character First, Last, Always” — program in the football program. All three of his sons — Jason, Jake and James — went through the Cardinal football program. Jake and James also followed in their father’s footsteps, attending William Penn University and playing football for the Statesmen.

4 Ed Peck

Former sports editor, Newton Daily News

For 53 years, long-time Daily News sports editor Ed Peck recorded the feats of Jasper County athletes. The World War II veteran became the Daily News sports editor at the age of 22 in August of 1947. He retired in July of 1996, but never really gave up writing about Jasper County athletics. The night he passed away, Jan. 12, 2000, Ed had just completed two stories about the ColfaxMingo boys and girls basketball teams. Two months later, he was inducted into the American Football Association Minor League Pro Football Hall of Fame for his coverage of the Newton Nite Hawks, a semi-pro football team in Newton from 1974 until 1978. Former athletes, coaches and athletic directors all remember Ed’s positive stories about their teams, whether they were undefeated or winless. In 1986, he was presented the News Media Award by the IHSAA. He was also honored by the Iowa Football Coaches Association. Peck met his wife, Helen, while both worked the the Daily News. They covered thousands of sporting events together.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Greatest Sports Figures

5 Jack Penny

World-record fisherman, outdoors writer

Jack Penny of Newton is one of the most well-traveled pike fishermen in the country. He has fished all over North America. His conquests include Canada, Alaska and the Yukon. Jack describes pike fishing as his passion. He has not only fished around the world for his own benefit and pleasure, he has forged a successful career as a writer since leaving the working world and committing to fishing full-time. Jack has written several articles for the Esox Angler over the past 10 years including some of the magazine’s most read stories such as “The Giant Pike of the Last Frontier” in which Penny details the differences bewteen many different types of pike, where they live and how to catch them, and he wrote a popular piece called “River Pike Paradise” in which he tells a story about he and one of his fishing buddies on a trip with several useful bits of knowledge from experience spelled out to the readers. Fishing has been Jack’s passion for quite some time, and he has discussed how much he enjoys sharing he secrets and interests with people who have similar interests in outdoor sports. Currently, he posts articles and anecdotes about fishing on his website, Jack has also written a popular book titled “Pro Tactics: Northern Pike.” He has described his desire to fish for pike over alternatives as a response to the fish’s aggressive nature. He has written, “I love the challenge that a true trophy presents.”

6 H.A. ‘Pop’ Lynn

Former principal, Newton Senior High School

The football stadium, built in 1942, may have been named for him in 1966, but Harold A. Lynn — or “Pop” Lynn, as he was known — never coached a single game there. He made his biggest impact in the hallways of Newton Senior High School, where he began his lengthy and legendary career as principal in 1928. Over the decades he served in that role — he was NHS principal until 1967 — he touched the lives of thousands of Cardinals. But Pop’s biggest sports impact on Newton would be on the jerseys NHS athletes wear. Because, were it not for him, it’s hard to imagine what they might look like today. That’s because, were it not for Pop, there might not have been Newton Cardinals at all. Following a trip to Saint Louis, Mo., to see a Cardinals’ Major League Baseball game with a group of students, he suggested a new mascot for NHS. Both the faculty and the students voted overwhelmingly to approve the idea. So, the Li’l Washers became Cardinals. The rest, as they say, was history.

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Others Who Received Votes Tim Crook Newton

Kevin Custer Newton

Matt Denniston Newton

Warren DePrenger Newton

Randy DeReus Colfax

Ivan Diamond Newton

Brennen Dodd Newton

Dave Doran Newton

Larry Duncan Monroe

Len Dunham Newton

Dan Dunlavy Newton

Dr. Pat Edwards Newton

Ole Eidahl Newton

Ed Ergenbright Newton

Reid Evans Newton

7 Dick Schultz

Former head NCAA, U.S. Olympic Committee from Kellogg

A native of Kellogg, Dick Schultz enrolled at Central College in Pella at age 16 and played football for the Dutch, oftentimes competing against battle-hardened World War II veterans 10 to 12 years older than him. Dick earned 10 varsity letters at Central: four in baseball and three each in football and basketball. He began a career as a teacher and coach at Humboldt High School in 1950, holding that job until 1960. He attended graduate school at the University of Iowa in 1962. That led to a stint as Iowa’s head baseball coach from 1964 to 1970. Then, from 1970 to 1974, he was the Hawkeyes’ men’s basketball coach. After serving as an assistant to the U of I president until 1976, he became the director of athletics and physical education at Cornell University. In 1981, he became the athletic director at the University of Virginia. In 1987, until 1994, Dick served as executive director of the NCAA. From 1990 to 1993, he served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. From 1995 to 2000, he served as executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He still resides in Colorado Springs.

8 Fred Brown

Long-time Jasper County Bowlers Association Secretary

Fred Brown was one of the most widely known bowlers of Japer County. A Newton native, he graduated from Colfax High School and then enlisted in the military, serving in Korea. Fred was president of Babe Ruth Baseball in Newton and coached and managed Little League baseball teams for 13 years. But his biggest contribution to Jasper County athletics was his bowling skill. A 10-time champion of the Jasper County Bowling Association’s annual tournament, he was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 1984. He remained an active member of its Board of Directors, a post he took in 1965, until his passing earlier this year. Fred served as Director, President, and was Secretary for 25 years. In 1983, he bowled the first-ever perfect “300” game at Newton’s Cardinal Lanes. In 1959, his first year of bowling, he bowled the first-ever 700 series at Triangle Lanes in Colfax. Fred did the same in 1967 at Newton’s former T&M Center Lanes. In 1985, he bowled the first-ever 800 series at T&M Center Lanes during the Jasper County Men’s Open tournament. He was the Iowa State Mixed Doubles champion and the American Legion State Singles champion in 1990.

Jim Eversman Newton

Taylor Field Newton

Gary Fields Newton

Jim Foster Newton

Clyde Gardner Newton

Bonnie Geerling Newton

Fred George Newton

Julie Gibson Newton

Jeff Girdner Newton

Bill Green Newton

Dick Greene Newton

Tom Griffin Newton

Gary Grimes Newton

Stephanie Grimes Newton

Mike Gruver Lynnville-Sully

Dave Gullett Newton

25 Greatest Sports Figures

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Others Who Received Votes Hunter Gunderson Baxter

Les Haggard Newton

Gordon Hansel Newton

Pat Hansen Newton

Cleo Hardenbrook Newton/Colfax

John Henry Newton

Jack Herwehe Knoxville

Pat Hindman Newton

Robby Hoegh Lynnville-Sully

Natalie Hoffmeier Newton

Robert Howe Newton

David Huggins Newton

Tim Hutchins Newton

Donnie Ingle Newton

Max Jay

9 Jason McCleary

Football & track standout, Newton Senior High School & UNI

In 1989, Jason McCleary was given All-State honors following the Cardinals’ undefeated football season. The following spring, he recorded the 29th fastest Iowa high school time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles, 14.47 seconds. After high school, he went to the University of Northern Iowa, where he ranks fifth all-time in career interceptions with 12. He also ranks in the Top 10 all-time in career kickoff return average with 25.38 yards per return. The Panthers were 39-12 and won the Gateway Football Conference championship all four years Jason was at UNI. He was an honorable mention All-American and First Team All-Gateway Conference defensive back as a senior. He was an honorable mention All-American as a return specialist, and Second Team All-Gateway Conference defensive back, as a junior. On the track, Jason is part of a quartet of Panthers who currently hold the university’s all-time record for the shuttle hurdle relay, 56.95 seconds. He also holds the third-fastest time at UNI in the indoor 55-meter hurdles event with a time of 7.32 seconds. After college, he went on to play indoor football with the Iowa Barnstormers of Arena Football 2 and the Rapid City Red Dogs and the Colorado Venom of the National Indoor Football League. He also served as a high school football coach in Colorado.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

10 Brandon Myers

Football standout, PCM High School & NFL

Brandon Myers currently plays tight end for the New York Giants in his fifth season in the NFL. The 28-year-old was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2009 after completing a successful career as a tight end for the University of Iowa. Before all that, Brandon was a standout athlete for Prairie City-Monroe, leading the Mustangs to their first-ever state basketball championship in 2004. He was named First Team Class 2A All-State by the Des Moines Register and captain of Class 2A All-Tournament Team after averaging 30 points and 14.3 rebounds. He completed his prep basketball career with 2,198 points to become 26th player in Iowa prep history to score more than 2,000 career points. The Mustangs advanced to the state tournament all four years of his high school career. On the football field for PCM, Brandon finished his high school career holding nine school records: receptions in a season (33) and career (82); touchdowns in a game (5), season (19) and career (29); points in a game (30), season (116) and career (186); and rushing touchdowns in a game (5). He also recorded 992 career rushing yards and 1,237 career receiving yards. At Iowa, Myers was a First Team All-Big Ten selection by conference coaches, and an honorable mentio All-Big Ten tight end by conference media as a senior in 2008. In his senior season as a Hawkeye, Myers had a career-high 34 receptions and 441 yards.


Sonny Johnson Newton

Zach Johnson Newton

Todd Jones Prairie City-Monroe

Bill Kendall Newton

Stan Kirchhoff Newton

Larry Langrebe Newton

Derrick Law Newton

Terry Logue Newton

Steve Loupee Newton

Charles Lust Newton

Hollis Lust Newton

Robert Lust Jr. Newton

Kylie McAnally Newton

Zach McCallister Prairie City-Monroe

Nile McCoy Newton

Casey McDermott Newton

11 Tom Altemeier

Multi-sport standout, Newton Senior High School

Tom Altemeier was one of the most diverse, accomplished and heralded athletes Newton Senior High School has seen in its entirety. He was a two-time All-State basketball player and an All-State football player. He was the captain, MVP and Best Offensive Player (as voted by his teammates) on the Cardinals’ 1962-63 state championship basketball team. Tom also set the school record for points in a single game with 36 in the Cardinals’ win over Grinnell in substate play that season. He was one of the leaders on the magical 26-0 season that ended with a state championship under the leadership of head coach Lewis “Buzz” Levick. In addition to his athletic achievements, Tom excelled in the classroom as the class valedictorian. He attended Lutheran College in Decorah and was an All-Iowa Conference and AllAmerican football player. He also played a year of basketball while at Luther. Despite having the opportunity to play professional football after being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, he decided to end his athletic career and continue his academic one. He ended up graduating from the University of Iowa School of Medicine. Dr. Altemeier opened a private practice in Iowa Falls before leaving Iowa for Minnesota. He practiced medicine in Minneapolis for several years before being named the medical director for Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. He passed away in 1993.

12 Libby Hysell

Softball standout, Colfax-Mingo High School

Libby Hysell starred for Colfax-Mingo’s softball team from 1994 to 1999, earning First Team All-State honors as a pitcher her senior season, compiling a career mark of 88-67. She earned all-conference honors five years in a row, the last four years were first-team honors. She was named Third Team All-State twice and Second Team as a junior. In her senior season, 1999, Libby won the Class 1A Female Athlete of the Year Award and the Bernie Saggau Award. She was inducted into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Softball Hall of Fame in July 2013. She played collegiately at Central College, where she had an equally memorable career. She was a four-time NCAA tournament participant and capped her career with a national title in 2003 after finishing second in 2001. Libby was a part of three conference title winners. Her college career earned run average of 0.70 is a school record at Central and she’s also first in career shutouts with 33. Her 70-16 career record includes four nohitters and she ranks second in career strikeouts with 582. A three-time all-conference, all-region and all-America honoree, she was named the team and league MVP in 2003. Libby was tabbed as the NFCA player of the year, then flew to New York City where she received the Honda Award as the Division III female athlete of the year. She is married with two children and lives in Grimes, where she operates a daycare.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Greatest Sports Figures

13 Mona Van Steenbergen

14 Joe Laws

Mona Van Steenbergen was the leading scorer on what was perhaps the best Prairie City High School girls’ basketball team ever. That year, Prairie City won its first and only district championship after having fought off Colfax for the Rock Lake Conference title. Both fast and agile, she was the leading scorer for Prairie City in 1948. That year, the team fell in the first round of the Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament. Many an old-timer in Prairie City will probably tell you the team should have been playing for a state title. The team’s story was told in a feature article written for a March, 1978, issue of Sports Illustrated. Mona is a member of the Iowa Girls’ High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

Joe Laws grew up in Colfax, where he played football and baseball and ran track in high school. He was captain of the football team his senior season, which saw him return a punt 92 yards for a touchdown against Des Moines Lincoln. He went on to play at the University of Iowa, as a cornerback, halfback and quarterback. To say the least, he was a gifted football player, and his talent and work ethic were enough to earn him a spot with the Green Bay Packers. Joe played running back for the Packers beginning in 1934. In 1941, he began playing on both sides of the ball. In all, he played in 120 NFL games from 1934 to 1945, starting in 58. During that span, the Men of Titletown claimed three World Championships — the predecessor of the Super Bowl. The club inducted Joe into its Hall of Fame in 1972, seven years before he passed away. He racked up 1,932 rushing yards with nine touchdowns to go along with 1,041 receving yards and nine touchdowns on 79 catches. He picked off 18 passes in his six years playing cornerback, including a standout year of seven interceptions in 1941.

Basketball standout, Prairie City High School

Football standout, Colfax High School & NFL

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Others Who Received Votes Reid McDermott Newton

Chase Madison Newton

Norman Madson Monroe

Reagan Maher Newton

Marten Maple Colfax

Dan Markman Newton

Mike Means Newton

Steve Means Newton

Doug Meredith Newton

Doug Messick Newton

Jeremy Meyer Newton

Bud Millikan Newton

Galen Modlin Newton

Steve Morris Newton

Derek Mountsier Newton

15 Charles ‘Bud’ Davis

16 Larry Lust

Larry Nichols

In many ways, boxing saved Charles “Bud” Davis’ life. The Newton native grew up in a family of nine kids, and was “a hellion,” as he put it. His father passed away when he was 10, and got into a lot of fights before joining the YMCA boxing program at the age of 14. It got him off the streets, even if it didn’t completely keep him out of trouble. With just a GED, Bud joined the Army, with which he served during the Korean War. He was just 17 years old. When he returned, 10 years later, boxing was still there. He continued to box for the next eight years, winning the state Golden Gloves title four times, as well as the state AAU championship. He boxed in Des Moines, Davenport, Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis, winning titles in both the welterweight and middle-weight divisions. While official records aren’t kept, Bud was said to have only lost three times in his boxing career. When he retired, he did so with opportunities to continue moving up the ladder with offers of boxing professionally, or as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team.

Larry Lust was a multi-sport athlete for Newton Senior High School in the 1960s. He earned 12 varsity letters as a member of the Cardinal football, basketball and baseball squads, earning All-State honors in all three sports. As quarterback of the NHS football team, he held both the single-game passing record, which held up for nearly 50 years. His record was surpassed in 2011. He also is a member of the Newton Baseball Hall of Fame. Larry was a starter on Newton’s 1963 and 1964 state championship basketball teams, and was instrumental, both as a scorer and a defender, for the Lewis “Buzz” Levick-coached Cardinals. He finished his career at NHS with 825 points scored. He earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Iowa, but injuries forced him to drop out of the sport. So, he transferred to the State College of Iowa, now known as the University of Northern Iowa, where played basketball instead. After college, Larry went on to coach high school basketball at West Union for two years before returning to Newton. Since his retirement, he has spent his time following as many sports as he can. In 2012, he became just the third Newton basketball player to be inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The entire 1963 Cardinal team was recognized earlier this year by the IHSAA.


Golden Gloves Boxing Champion from Newton

Basketball standout, Newton Senior High School


Jodi Nikkel Carrie Norman Lynnville-Sully

David Norvell Newton

Bucky O’Connor Newton

Meta Obersteller Newton

Ruth Obersteller Newton

John Patterson Newton

Randy Patterson Newton

Bill Perenoud Newton

Leah Peterson Baxter

Harold “Puss” Poulson Newton

Bill Reed Newton

Richard Reinhart Newton

Bradley Ritter Baxter

Megan Ritter Baxter

25 Greatest Sports Figures

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Others Who Received Votes Todd Rose Newton

Tyler Rousch Newton

Jerry Salmon Newton

Dave Sandquist Newton

Fred Schermerhorn Newton

John Schermerhorn Newton

Jeff Schnoebelen Newton

Tony Schutty Newton

Todd Scott Newton

Matt Scotton Newton

Jerry Sears Newton

Steve Sellars Newton

Shawn Shaffer Newton

Tom Sharp Newton

Katie Shearn

Thursday, October 31, 2013

17 Robyn Friedman

18 Dick Stiles

Robyn Friedman is a native of Newton who went on to great success in distance running. She earned nine All-American honors while on the track and field and cross country teams at Wartburg College in Waverly. Throughout 14 Iowa Conference Championship races, she never once lost a race, which is an achievement unequaled by any other female runner from Wartburg. Robyn was on the college’s first four women’s cross country Iowa Conference Championship teams. She also was a part of Wartburg’s first place-finishing team at the NCAA Division III championships. She was an Academic All-American in 1993 and 1994. Since her time at Wartburg, she has set some impressive personal bests, running in Olympic-level distance events. In July of 2008, in a 10 km road-course race, Friedman ran a time of 34 minutes, 58 seconds in Ames. Robyn’s best time in a 15 km race was 52:52 in Portland earlier that same year. She completed a 20 km road-course race in May of 2009 in a time of 1:11:10 in Des Moines. Her two best half-marathon times were less than one minute apart. She ran a time of 1:16:36 in Austin, Texas, in February of 2004. In Houston, in January of 2008, she ran a time of 1:17.23. She ran a personal best in the Boston Marathon in 2008 with a time of 2:35.02. Robyn has a degree in physical therapy from the University of Iowa. She practices at Skiff Medical Center.

Dick Stiles coached at Newton for 30 years, working under four different head coaches, and is often credited as the man who developed the Cardinals’ dominant offensive lines over the years. He was known for teaching fundamentals, which made each lineman — even those with average athletic prowess — able to fill an important role on the offense. He also worked to instill a strong work ethic in the players. Dick played a vital role himself during the program’s darkest hour. After legendary coach Frank Gilson died of a heart attack hours after a hard loss in 1985, he stepped in and led the team as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. During his 30 years with the program, however, Newton advanced to the playoffs 22 times, and won 12 Central Iowa Conference championships. He was there when the Cardinals won the 1980 state championship, but also roamed the sidelines for three state runner-up finishes, as well.

19 Stan Allspach

20 Jeff Criswell

Football was his game at Baxter High School in the 1960s, and it’s still Stan Allspach’s game today. Now in his 14th year as a member of the William Penn University coaching staff, he was the star quarterback in his hometown in the mid1960s. From Baxter, he went on to play for the Statemen, setting school records for: most touchdown passes in a season (10) and a career (31), longest touchdown pass play (74 yards), and tied for the most touchdown passes in a game, (3). Those records have since been broken, but Stan guided William Penn from a one-win season to a 6-3 mark and its first winning season in seven years his senior year. After college, he began a successful coaching career at Davis County in Bloomfield. He then returned to coach his hometown Bulldogs in 1973. He coached and was athletic directer at Collins-Maxwell/Baxter. He also was a football and basketball official. While coaching at the high school level, Stan continued to play football at the minor-league level, first for the Des Moines Vikings and then the Newton Nite Hawks. He was inducted into the Minor League Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. Stan is a member of the William Penn University Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Collins-Maxwell/Baxter Hall of Fame.

Jeff Criswell was football standout at Lynnville-Sully High School, earning All-State honors as the Hawks’ quarterback. He also was an All-State wrestler for Lynnville-Sully. He played football for the Hawks for all four years, then went to Gracreland University to play football in 1984. He played a solid four years for the Sting before attempting a professional career in the NFL. Jeff was undrafted, but was invited as a free agent to try out with the Indianapolis Colts. Standing at a stout 6-feet, 7-inches in height and playing at a weight of 265 pounds made him an ideal fit for the tackle position. He played in just a handful of games for the Colts that first season. The next season, he signed with the New York Jets. He played in 15 and started 12 games in 1988. The next three seasons saw Jeff in the starting lineup every week. He became installed as one of the most reliable starters for the Jets, which was a playoff team in 1991. He would eventually play in 108 games for the Jets, starting in 104 of them. He left the Jets after seven seasons to join the Kansas City Chiefs as a backup left tackle. Jeff started in just nine games from 1995 to 1996, but was installed as the team’s starting left tackle in 1997. Criswell started every game that season and 14 games in 1998 before retiring.

Long-distance, marathon runner from Newton

Former football coach, Newton Senior High School


Kevin Shipley Newton

Marla Shuey Colfax

Gary Simpson Newton

Jennifer Skinner Newton

Doug Smith Newton

Sue Smith Newton

Ted Snook Newton

Roger Sparks Newton

Mark Stiles Newton

Scott Stiles Newton

Burt Strike Newton

Chris Supino Newton

Gary Swanson Newton

Alice Terpstra Lynnville

Nate Teut Newton

Tom Tisdale Newton

Multi-sport standout, Baxter High School

Football standout, Lynnville-Sully High School & NFL

Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Greatest Sports Figures

21 Buzz Levick

22 Archie Ergenbright

Lewis “Buzz” Levick is a legend in the ranks of men’s basketball coaches, having compiled a 510-226 record from 1965 to 1993 at Wartburg College. But, it was his short stint as the head coach at Newton Senior High School that has earned him a place in the hearts and minds of Jasper County sports fans. The Drake University grad started his coaching career at Rinard in Calhoun County, west of Fort Dodge. The high school there had only 33 students; he coached both boys’ and girls’ basketball. After stops in LeGrand and Tama, he came to Newton, where he guided the Cardinals to back-to-back state championships in the old, single-class system. The 1963 Cardinal team went 26-0, beating Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, 66-58, in the title game. The 1964 team went 22-3 and beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 44-39, in the championship game. He left the coaching ranks for a year after that, having compiled a record of 237-101 over the previous 15 years. At Wartburg, Levick’s teams won 14 Iowa Conference championships, and made it to the postseason 13 times. He was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year nine times. At the time of his retirement in 1993, he was ranked as the 28th winningest men’s collegiate coach. He always said, however, the most important stat to him was the fact more than 98 percent of his Wartburg lettermen earned their college degrees.

Archie Ergenbright, a Newton native, had a racing career spanning more than 40 years. He began racing go-carts in 1960 then went to stock cars in 1966. He was crowned stock car champion at Newton Speedway while also competing at tracks in Oskaloosa and Stuart. In 1982, Archie began racing compact modifieds, a new division at Knoxville Raceway that evolved into the 360 sprint class. He was named Knoxville’s Sportsman of the Year in 1988. His final race as a driver was in the fall of 1995. In 2006, he was inducted into the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame. He returned to Knoxville for the next five years working with driver David Hesmer, winning three track titles, two runner-up finishes and the 1997 360 Knoxville Nationals title. Archie NHS’s starting right halfback on offense and safety on defense. He was chosen as the senior athlete of the year in 1959 for football. During his time at NHS he was also co-captain of the track team, running the halfmile. He anchored the two-mile and distance medley teams and placed third at the state meet. Archie began coaching younger players in 1974, when his son Ed, the current NHS head coach, was in sixth grade. He is currently the head coach of the fifth and sixth grade tackle football team. He became the announcer for NHS home wrestling meets in 1978. In 2008, he became the coordinator of the NHS Peer Helper Room and Credit Recovery program.

Former basketball coach, NHS & Wartburg College

Motorsports, Men’s Fastpitch Softball from Newton

Page 7

Others Who Received Votes Ron Toppenberg Newton

Miles Trachel Newton

Mike Trettin Lynnville-Sully

Tim Trier Knoxville

Lee Troen Newton

Gary Van Gorp Newton

Suzy Van Wyngarden Lynnville-Sully

Kent Van Zee Newton

Lance VanderZyl Newton

Trey Vanderlaan Newton

Dave Vermillion Newton

Kendra Versendaal Prairie City-Monroe

Al Waddell Newton

Doree Ward Newton

Bill Webster Newton

23 Dr. Tom Jessen

24 Jessica Nikkel

At No. 23 on the list is one of the most widely respected and by all accounts dedicated supporters of Newton athletics — Dr. Thomas Jessen. He spent many years on the sideline of both home and road games for Newton Senior High School’s football team. He would treat players during the game, and he also would host a Saturday clinic to see students with injuries and ailments. Former player credit Dr. Jessen for his committment to the Cardinal football program, as well as all of Newton’s athletes. He was also an athletic competitor in his own right, participating in the annual RAGBRAI race for close to 30 years. He was also known to make house-calls to students who were unable to come visit his office. He was a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Jessen completed his residency at the Spectrun Health Butterworth campus in Grand Rapids, Mich. He practiced for a brief time in Coralville, before moving to Newton and establishing a familty practice in 1973. He also practiced most recently at Skiff Hospital before retiring in June of 2010. He passed away shorty thereafter.

Jessica Nikkel was a key component of the Lynnville-Sully basketball teams that won 79 straight games and three consecutive Class 1A state titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Standing 6-4, she was a three-time First Team All-State selection, averaging a doubledouble for her high school career. She also was Iowa’s five-player career leader in blocked shots. Jessica got her first real playing experience at the varsity level in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament in 1996, as a freshman. She was the back-up to the Hawks’ leading scorer that season, Gena Fiihr. The Hawks won in Jessica’s first game, but lost in the championship to defending champion Winfield-Mount Union. They lost the second game of her sophomore season to TriCounty of Thornburg, but never lost again. The final tally during her four years at Lynnville-Sully was: 103 wins, two losses. The Hawks had, at the time she stepped off the court, the second-longest winning streak. Jessica averaged 10 rebounds per game each of her three final seasons. She also averaged 16 points per game as a sophomore, 21 as a junior and 20.8 as a senior. She also finished with 497 blocks in her career. She went on to play for Grand View, ranking first in career blocks, third in scoring and fifth in field goal percentage. She also holds the school record with 12 blocks in a single game. Jessica is a member of the IGHSAU Basketball Hall of Fame.

Long-time team physician for Newton Senior High School

Basketball standout, Lynnville-Sully High School

Shawn Welcher Newton

Dave Wickett Newton

Clyde Wiley Newton

Denny Williams Newton

Gary Williams Newton

Jim Williams Newton

Laura Williamson Newton

Ron Wiley Newton

Avery Wilson Newton

Ed Wilson Newton

Tim Wilson Colfax

Tom Wilson Monroe

Kyle Wood Newton

Tyler Wood Newton

Chris Wormley Newton

Gary Yoder Newton

25 Greatest Sports Figures

Page 8

25 Jay Clark Jr.

Gold Medalist, U.S. Olympics from Newton

Jay Clark Jr, born in Newton, and attended Grinnell College before advancing to Harvard Law School. He then began practicing law in Worcester, Mass. He was an excellent shooter, which led to his selection to the United States men’s team at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. He helped the Americans win a gold medal in the team clay pigeons event. It was the third appearance of the event in the Summer Olympics. There were 48 shooters from eight nations competing. Westy Hogan Trapshoot at Atlantic City in 1913. The maximum team points to receive was 600 But, Jay was far better known in Massachusetts and the American team put up 547 points. Of that, as a race car driver. He competed in hill climbs 84 points were attributed to Jay, who had won the and dirt track races all over New England.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Others Who Received Votes Matt Young Newton

All the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters and family and friends who take the time to get student-athletes to and from practices and games, who cheer them on in the stands, and who support them regardless of whether they win or lose

Jasper County’s ‘next 10’ greatest sports figures of all time 26

Chuck Jarnigan

Basketball standout at Newton Senior High School.


Football standout at Newton Senior High School.

Patterson 30 Sarah 31 Head coach of the Aquagirls swimming team shared by Newton, Colfax-Mingo and Pella (public and Christian).

Erpelding 34 Kevin Wrestling standout at Baxter High School.

Chad Guthrie

Tom Starr

Former ISU sports information director. Has been executive director of several college football bowl games. Hails from Newton.


Brooks Simpson


Derek Schermerhorn

Wrestling standout at Newton Senior High School. Went on to compete at the University of Iowa.

Baseball standout at Newton Senior High School. Went on to play professionally, most recently with the Sioux City Explorers.

Thank you to the readers of the Newton Daily News and Jasper County Tribune for taking the time to contribute to this project. A special thank you to the advertising sponsors of this special keepsake, as well


Don Mackerman

Well-renowned trap shooter in Jasper County. Hails from Newton.

Kostes 33 Dino Martial arts expert holding a black belt in taekwondo. Hails from Colfax.

Clement 35 Dave Football standout at Newton Senior High School.

Congratulations to the top 25 Sports Figures. We tip our hats to you! 100 N. 2nd Ave. W., Newton

(641) 792-3010

Skiff’s own champion! Skiff is proud to have physical therapist Robyn Friedman named one of Jasper County’s 25 Greatest Sports Figures for her many accomplishments as an elite runner.

People won’t remember what you did … People won’t remember what you said … BUT, people will always remember the way you made them feel. Thank you to all of the great athletes of the Jasper County area. You have become friends & mentors to the students, family and friends who have followed you.

(641) 78-SKIFF (787-5433) 204 N. 4th Ave E. • Newton, IA 50208

110 N. 5th Ave. W. • Newton, IA 50208 • 641-792-0115


Jasper County's 25 Greatest Sports Figures of All Time


Jasper County's 25 Greatest Sports Figures of All Time