hawkkeye logoIOWA CITY, Iowa – – Jim Zabel, who broadcast University of Iowa athletic events for 50 years, passed away Thursday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.  He was 91.  Information regarding a memorial service in Des Moines will be released when finalized.

Zabel was employed by WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa, and later was part of the UI’s original broadcast team for Learfield Sports Properties.  Zabel was currently serving as co-host of the Jim & Jim weekly radio show on WHO radio.

“The Hawkeyes lost a precious part of their history with the passing of Jim Zabel,” said UI director of athletics Gary Barta.  “First and foremost to Jim’s immediate family, we’re so sorry for your loss.  To the greater family, the Hawkeye family, Jim touched three or four generations of Hawkeye fans, and we’re going to miss him.  He had a passion for life, a passion for broadcasting, particularly at WHO, and clearly a passion for the Hawkeyes.  His slogan ‘I love it, I love it, I love it’– that wasn’t just a slogan, that’s how he lived his life.  There’s no question we’re going to miss him.”

“Jim was both a mentor and a friend,” said current Iowa play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin, “Guys like Jim, Bob Brooks and Ron Gonder, are special people; they have helped a lot of young broadcasters along their career paths.  If Z taught me anything, it was to always inject a little humor in the broadcast because every game performance is not going to be sparkling. A loss is a loss, but you can keep it entertaining.

“Jim obviously had a great eye for analytical talent,” said Dolphin. “I am so blessed, as are the listeners, to have Ed Podolak and Bobby Hansen in the booth each game day.  Jim hired both.  He loved his Hawkeyes and he loved the broadcast booth.”

Zabel was a native of Davenport, Iowa.  He earned his journalism degree from Iowa in 1944 and immediately began his broadcasting career at WHO radio and television. His broadcasts of over 6,000 sporting events included every Iowa football and basketball game for 50 years.

Zabel’s career at WHO also included 52 years of coverage of the Iowa high school girls and boys state basketball tournaments, the Drake Relays for 60 years and select basketball games for both Drake University and Iowa State University for 20 years.

Zabel earned the Marconi Award as the Personality of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters in 1993.  He is a member of the Des Moines Register, Iowa Broadcasters, and Des Moines Sports Halls of Fame.  He is a member of the Kinnick Stadium media “Wall of Fame” and was recognized by the UI as an honorary letterman.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my longtime friend and broadcast icon, Jim Zabel,” said Ed Podolak, who teamed with Zabel to broadcast UI football games in 1981. “He brought the Hawkeyes to me via radio on my parent’s farm in Cass County as I grew up, and later offered me the opportunity to join him in the Hawkeye broadcast booth. I will forever cherish our times together.”

“I grew up listening to Jim broadcast Hawkeye basketball and remember how he painted the picture through the radio,” said Bob Hansen, who initially joined Zabel for Iowa basketball broadcasts in 1992.  “He solidified my love for the Hawkeyes.  It was an honor to work with Jim, and I will always treasure the time we spent together.  The stories and memories of the Iowa coaches and players that Jim shared left an indelible mark with me.  He enjoyed every minute of his life.”

Jim is survived by his wife, Jill, his daughter, Jane Paul and husband Jeff, grandchildren Annie Gibson and her husband Brian, and A.J. and Charlie Paul, stepchildren Jennifer Greaux and husband Ken, and Jeff Williams, three great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and his sister, Joan Humm.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Jan, and his daughter, Diane Webster.





Sports Schedule For Saturday May 25th

Soccer ball picAs we head into the holiday weekend a number of softball and baseball tourneys are on the schedule along with the substate soccer finals and day two of the Iowa boys golf tournaments.

Soccer Substate Finals Class 1A

10am MOC Floyd Valley vs Garner Hayfield


Class 2A

Noon Storm Lake at Spencer



Kingsley Pierson at Central Lyon tourney

Spalding at Kee Lansing tourney

Trinity and Remsen St Mary’s at Remsen Union tourney

South O’Brien, Sioux Central and Storm Lake at Peterson Tourney



Softball tourneys

At Mapleton and Kingsley Pierson

Chris Sietstra of Boyden Hull Rock Valley to Continue Baseball Career at Northwestern

Northwesstern logoChris Sietstra of Boyden has signed a letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Northwestern beginning this fall.
Sietstra, the son of Loren and Carla, is a 6-2 pitcher/utility player from Boyden-Hull High School. Sietstra was 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA last season in 36.67 innings and had 20 hits for the Nighthawks, who finished 13-15. He has earned three varsity letters during his baseball career.

Sietstra has been a two-time Academic All-Conference baseball player and is a Governor’s Scholar. He plans to major in Pre-Medicine while at Northwestern.

“Chris is a great addition not only to our baseball team, but also to the Northwestern community,” said head coach Brian Wede. “Chris has the ability to play multiple positions on the diamond as well as being a talented pitcher. We look forward to seeing his versatility next season.”

Northwestern’s baseball team went 31-19 in 2013 winning both the GPAC Regular Season Championship and the GPAC Tournament Championship. Northwestern has won five GPAC titles in the last seven seasons and the Red Raiders lead the State of Iowa’s 25 four-year programs in wins the last four seasons with 124.

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report For Northwest Iowa

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

For lake locations, maps and other information, go to



Nelson Park Lake

Anglers should fish for bluegill along the face of the dam with a small black hair jig and a small piece of bait.


Brushy Creek Lake

Water clarity is excellent.  Anglers should do well for crappie and bluegill as they move into the shallows.  Bass fishing has been good in the near shore areas and near structure.


Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Fishing has picked up and water clarity has improved. Channel Catfish – Excellent: Anglers are catching good numbers of 18 to 22-inch channel catfish from shore.  Nightcrawlers and cut bait are working well.  Crappie – Fair: Last week anglers did very well for crappie in the state marina, but fishing has slowed some since.  Walleye – Good: The walleye bite has picked up.  Many anglers are catching limits.  Try trolling crankbaits around the dredge cuts or jigging a minnows in 5 to 8 feet of water in the east basin.  Shore anglers using a nightcrawler on the bottom have been catching walleye and catfish. Boaters should use caution on Storm Lake.  The hydraulic dredge is in operation in the east basin of the lake.  There is a pipeline running from the dredge to the shoreline and may rise to the surface at times.  Anglers are allowed 3 walleye per day, all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released, and only one fish over 22 inches may be kept.


North Twin Lake

Water levels are getting close to crest.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Some anglers are catching catfish from shore.  Try using nightcrawlers on the bottom.


Black Hawk Lake

Black Hawk Lake was renovated last fall.  Although fish have been restocked, there are no catchable size fish in the lake.  Water clarity is excellent.  The lake is around 16 to 18 inches below crest.


Arrowhead Lake

Water clarity is good.  Water levels are around two feet low.  Bluegill – Fair: A few larger males are starting to move onto the beds.  Expect more to move into the shallows over the next few weeks.  Use a 1/32 ounce black feather jig.  It helps to put a small piece of nightcrawler on the jig.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Largemouth bass are biting on small hair jigs near shore and around downed trees. They are biting aggressively, but are on the small side.  Most are 8 to 12 inches. Crappie – Slow: A few crappies can be picked up while targeting bluegill.  Try drifting and jigging for crappie.


Black Hawk Pits

Water clarity is excellent.  Water levels are around two feet low.  Largemouth Bass – Slow: Some nice largemouth bass can be caught using minnows or casting twisters.  Walleye – Slow: A few smaller walleye have been caught with fire tiger colored twisters.  The water is very clear so anglers may have to try fishing in the early morning, late evening, or at night.


For more information on lakes and rivers in the Black Hawk District contact the Black Hawk Office in Lake View at 712-657-2638.


Beeds Lake

Water temperature is around 61 degrees.  Sucker – Fair: There are lots of white suckers in Beeds Lake. A worm and sinker on the bottom should entice them to bite.  Channel Catfish – Good: No reports, yet, but catfish should be feeding in the shallower west end. Try fishing along the causeway when the wind is from the south or southwest.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and should be biting well.  Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching some crappies near the cuts of the causeway.


Upper Pine Lake

Crappies, bluegill and largemouth bass are biting on Pine Creek (between the lakes), mostly on grub-type baits.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are staged in 4 to 5 feet of water and are close to spawning. A bobber and small jig with a piece of worm should work.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are near shore and are close to spawning.  Crappie – Fair: Some crappies are being caught near structure.


Lake Smith

Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are near the shorelines and should be biting well. There are some 19 to 20-inch bass.


Clear Lake

The lake is 4.5 inches below crest. Water temperature is 68-70 degrees.  Channel Catfish – Good: Catfishing is good right now as they are close to prespawn mode. If you find the fish, action is fast and aggressive. Try with some cutbait, worms, or stinkbait on a windward shoreline or near some of the water sources coming in. Anglers are picking some catfish up when fishing for yellow bass with cutbait.  Crappie – Good: Crappies are scattered but fishing near some of the rock points are reefs might be a good choice.  Walleye – Good: Anglers have been catching better numbers over the last few days with the warmer weather and water. A few bigger fish have been caught but most are a mix of sublegals and small legal walleyes. Most are caught on jig and a minnow. Some are catching walleyes drifting or trolling.  Muskellunge – Fair: Anglers are catching some muskies, while fishing for walleye with minnows.  Yellow Bass – Good: Waders near the island are picking up large numbers of yellows. The spawn is started and should be good through Memorial Day weekend. Most anglers are using bobbers and minnows or a small jig with a piece of crawler on bottom.


Lake Cornelia

Fishing has been good. Lots of fish being caught. Channel Catfish – Good: Cats should be biting on cutbait or stinkbait on a warmer day.  Bluegill – Good: Bluegills are keeper size.   Crappie – Fair: Crappies are around 8 inches.  Yellow Bass – Good: Yellow bass are small 7-7.25 inches.


Little Wall Lake

Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are also biting along the shorelines.  Crappie – Good: Anglers are catching 7-8 inch crappies and bluegills off the north fishing jetty and other shorelines.


Crystal Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Northerns have been caught up to the mid 30-inch range. Anglers may have success using presentations such as weedless spoons or bobbers with chubs.  Bluegill – Slow: Great population of 7-9 inch bluegills in the lake.  Largemouth Bass – Excellent: Anglers have reported catching lots of largemouth.  Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching some 16-17 inch walleyes.


Bluebill Lake

Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting well along shorelines. Please remember the 15-inch minimum length limit on bass.  Crappie – Fair: Some crappie are being reported.


Fin and Feather Lake

There has been some activity for panfish.  Bluegill – Fair:   Crappie – Fair:


Interstate Park Lake

There was a partial fish kill this winter but anglers have been reporting catching a variety of fish this past week.  Bluegill – Fair:   Largemouth Bass – Fair:   Crappie – Fair:   Yellow Perch – Fair:


Iowa River (Iowa Falls to Marshalltown)

Water level in the Iowa River is on the rise from recent rains. There is some activity below Steamboat Rock for walleye and northern pike.


Shell Rock River (above Greene)

Water levels are high. Northern Pike – Slow: A few northern pike are being caught with a chub and bobber, or slow artificial presentations. Between Northwood and Nora Springs below dams, backwater areas and anywhere a creek feeds into the river.  Walleye – Slow: A few small walleye being caught on jig/twister.


Winnebago River

Northern Pike – Slow: Northern pike are being caught in Fertile by the dam and the park point east of the dam.  Anglers are using a slow retrieval with Mepps number 4 and 5 spinner baits or a Rapala three inch Countdown Minnow. Some pike are also hitting chubs presented below bobbers.  Channel Catfish – Slow: Anglers should try below the dams or in backwater areas using cutbait, stinkbait, or minnows.


East Fork Des Moines (Algona to Humboldt)

The East Fork is running high right now. Walleye – Fair: Reports are few, but anglers were doing well in the Plum Creek area.


For lake updates and fishing information in the north central area contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.


Big Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Good: The grade is providing some good bullhead action and don’t overlook the north side.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Target rock piles start shallow and work deep.   Largemouth Bass – Good: Start looking around the rushes for prespawn bass.  Walleye – Slow: With the clear water fishing has been tough but the night bite seems to be a bit better than during the day.  Slip bobbering, trolling crankbaits, spinners, and Lindy rigs all have produced a few fish.


East Okoboji Lake

Walleye – Slow: With the cool water, fishing has been slow but a few fish are being caught.  Try trolling crankbaits, spinners, or Lindy rigs along drop offs and mudflats.


West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill, crappie, and bass fishing has been good in the canals. Try small jigs under a bobber for the bluegill and crappie.   Walleye – Slow: The clear water has made the fishing tough during the day but the night bite is a bit better.


Big Sioux River

Channel Catfish – Slow: With the warming water the cats are starting to bite.  Try cut bait or crawlers in deeper holes and log jams.


Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Slow: Try cut bait and crawlers in deep holes and around log jams.  Walleye – Fair: Try throwing twister tails or fishing small chubs in deeper holes.


Sports Schedule For Friday May 24th

baseballHeading into the Memorial Day Weekend it’s a busy sports schedule for this Friday  The Sheldon baseball team looks to make up a postponement from Wednesday with Spirit Lake in town while the softball team has a scheduled stop in Boyden to go against Boyden Hull Rock Valley in a conference match up.


Spirit Lake at Sheldon. Broadcast on KIWA FM 105.3. Pregame at 7:20 for 7:30 first pitch.

G-LR at Harris Lake Park

Western at Central Lyon

Akron Westfield at West Lyon

Okoboji at Alta Aurelia

MOC Floyd Valley at Spencer

Gehlen at West Sioux

Sioux City West at Hinton

HMS at South O’Brien

MMC at Remsen Union

Sheldon at Boyden Hull Rock Valley

MOC Floyd Valley at Spencer

Akron Westfield at West Lyon

Sibley Ocheyedan at Storm Lake

Western at G-LR-CL

Spalding at Hinton

Gehlen at West Sioux

HMS at South O’Brien

MMC at Remsen Union

First Softball Poll Out Seven Area Teams in Poll

softballThe first softball poll of the year is out and seven area teams find themselves in the opening poll of the year. The highest rated area team is Akron Westfield from the War Eagle Conference coming in at number five in Class 1A.



Class 5A

1. Pleasant Valley 34-7
2. Ottumwa 35-10
3. Muscatine 34-6
4 Ankeny 39-6
5. Waukee 33-9
6. Dowling Catholic 27-16
7. West Des Moines Valley 30-8
8. Dubuque Senior 34-7
9. Johnston 23-14
10. Bettendorf 28-9

Class 4A

1. Dallas Center-Grimes 35-6
2. Winterset 30-15
3. Indianola 31-11
4 Ballard 35-9
5. Washington 32-10
6. LeMars 28-10
7. Cedar Rapids Xavier 24-17
8. West Delaware 31-11
9. Solon 37-7
10. Carlisle 34-9
11. Clear Creek-Amana 43-2
12. North Scott 25-17
13. Keokuk 25-15
14. Sioux City Bishop Heelan 31-9
15. Harlan 31-10


Class 3A

1. Mid-Prairie 31-13
2. Bondurant-Farrar 37-8
3. West Burlington-Notre Dame 34-6
4 East Marshall 32-6
5. Davenport Assumption 24-22
6. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 29-11
7. Monticello 35-6
8. Iowa Falls-Alden 26-8
9. Center Point-Urbana 22-10
10. Clarke 28-6
11. Crestwood 21-8
12. MOC-Floyd Valley 23-6
13. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 23-9
14. Interstate-35 21-12
15. Northeast 26-11

Class 2A

1. Treynor 28-5
2. Durant 33-6
3. North Union 30-5
4 Sumner-Fredericksburg 33-12
5. Jesup 32-8
6. Westwood 30-11
7. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 23-10
8. Woodbury Central 21-8
9. Alburnett 29-13
10. Iowa City Regina 16-21
11. BCLUW 27-12
12. Des Moines Christian 29-7
13. AGWSR 26-9
14. Emmetsburg 33-11
15. George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 26-13

Class 1A

1. Don Bosco 30-7
2. Lisbon 28-12
3. Newell-Fonda 35-9
4 Martensdale-St. Marys 41-2
5. Akron-Westfield 35-2
6. Wayne 31-6
7. Marquette Catholic 22-17
8. Twin Cedars 23-15
9. Clarksville 19-10
10. Charter Oak-Ute 28-14
11. Remsen St. Mary’s 26-9
12. Janesville 21-11
13. Sigourney 21-7
14. Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton 20-6
15. New London 23-17