Boone Iowa — Five men with area ties will be honored during the finals of the Iowa football playoffs on Thursday and now Monday with the postponement of Friday’s games at the UNI Dome. Two are news media award winners. The other three are coaches.
The news media award winners will be recognized at halftime of the 3A championship on Thursday. They include Ron Sturgis a graduate of Ocheyedan High School and Mike Oeffner of Harlan who graduated from South O’Brien High School.
Two of the three coaches will be honored at halftime of the 3A championship game Thursday as well. The third, the Coaching with Character Award winner will be honored at the halftime of the Class 4A Championship Game now rescheduled for Monday. The coaches include Jay Rozeboom head football coach at West Lyon and retired Aurelia coach Myron Radke. The Coaching with Character recipient is Mike Dirksen, retired coach at Newman Catholic who is a LeMars native.
Ron Sturgis of Manson is a graduate of Ocheyedan High School. He started working for the Ocheyedan Press when he was 15 and continued there in the summer of his college years at South Dakota State University. He served with the United States Army and when discharged in 1972 he began working for the Calhoun County Journal-Herald in Manson, where he remains 43 years later. He was named editor in 1986 and does the full gamut of small town newspaper duties for a publication known for its wide-use of photography in covering school, community and county events. He has been named a Master Columnist by the Iowa Newspaper Association and has won recognition from the FFA, the Iowa Health Care Association and the Iowa Community Betterment Governor’s Award. His wife Nancy passed away in 2009. They raised two sons Jason and Josh and a daughter Ashley.
Mike Oefneer of Harlan was a multiple sport athlete at South O’Brien High School in Paullina. He graduated in 1995 and went on to receive his BA degree from Morningside College in Sioux City in 1999. Following his degree, he found a home when he assumed the position of sports editor at the Harlan News-Advertiser and the Harlan Tribune. Virtually a one-person department he turns out a volume of in-depth game reporting coverage, features and photography while covering the 19 sports varsity sports program at Harlan Community, along with the neighboring schools of AHSTW, Avoca, Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton and IKM-Manning. Given the success of Harlan and the neighboring schools in the papers coverage area, he has been a fixture and numerous state tournaments. He has been recognized by the Iowa Newspaper Association for his writing and photography.
Jay Rozeboom head football coach at West Lyon has guided the Wildcats to a 235-43 mark and 23 playoff appearances in his 25 years. His teams won titles in 1998, 1999, 2010 and 2013, which have spanned three different classes. He also coached three runner-up teams.
Mike Dirksen, retired coach at Newman Catholic, Mason City has been named the 2015 Walt Fiegel Coaching with Character Award winner, which will be presented at the halftime of the Class 4A Championship Game on Friday, November 20th.
Dirksen, a LeMars native, retired after the 2014 season with a 33-year career record of 218-118 including a 207-102 mark with the Knights in 31 seasons. He took 13 Newman teams to the playoffs with his 2009 club finishing as runner-up.