The title of this column may be a little misleading, because in the glamorous old movie tradition of journalists, every reporter was after that “big scoop” that they could break and print first that would give them the leg up on a fabulous career.
This isn’t about that kind of scoop.
If you were settling in with a bowl of popcorn, sorry about that. (But the popcorn still sounds great!)
Actually, I wanted to tell you about a new organization in the state that you will be hearing about, from the perspective of one of the founding members.
For as long as I’ve been writing for The Reporter and The Democrat in the Sports Department, I’ve participated in the Iowa Newspaper Association’s All State Programs, which honor football, boys and girls basketball and baseball players across the state. Nominations were made by sportswriters and coaches and those nominations were then voted on during meetings at the conclusion of each of the seasons by sportswriters and the INA’s All State Teams were selected.
For many years, I would journey to Des Moines to participate in those meetings, and about 10-12 years ago, I?was asked to join the All State Committee, which oversaw this program. Our group would meet yearly to discuss the programs, make any necessary changes, and help conduct the in-person meetings.
Last Summer, a decision was made to change the way that the INA?All State Team would be selected. Instead of having an in-person meeting, nominations and voting would all be done online, with eligible candidated being limited to players named to All-District Teams.
Unfortunately, incorrect information was shared with the INA and some lists contained names of players who had graduated. and some deserving players were not acknowledged at all. The All State Teams for Football were not up to past standards, and even after a January 2018 meeting of the All State Committee to come up with corrective measures, the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Board of Directors voted to discontinue the All State Program.
Needless to say, members of the old All State Committee were 1.) Shocked, 2.) Disappointed, 3.) Angry and 4,) Determined that the deserving student athletes in our state continue to receive the recognition they so justly deserved.
A core group of six former committee members, including yours truly, began talking and came up with a new organization, the Iowa Print Sports Writers’s Association, or IPSWA. Our mission is to continue the tradition of selecting All State Honor teams for High School Football, Boys and Girls Basketball and Baseball.
With a very short timeframe, IPSWA?organized a 10-member Board of Directors, consisting of sports writers from several publications across the state. We threw some cash in a kitty to purchase some meeting supplies, and this past Saturday, IPSWA held its first All State Meeting for Girls Basketball and selected All State Teams in each of the five classes of Girls Basketball. A similar meeting is slated for this Saturday in Des Moines to select All State Teams for Boys Basketball.
Working closely with the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association, we are in contact with Baseball and Football coaches and are looking forward to joining the coaches in making sure that the hard-working student athletes of our state receive the recognition that they so justly deserve.