Northwestern College will honor a pair of N’West Iowa coaches on Saturday, Oct. 1, during its Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony.
Wade Vander Maten of Rock Valley will be named the Raider Athletics Association Coach of the Year. Vander Maten, who graduated from Northwestern in 2008, teaches fourth grade at Rock Valley Elementary and is the head high school boys basketball coach. He led the Rockets to the Class 2A state championship in 2022. He battled through a heart ailment and returned to the bench to help that team achieve success. Vander Maten, whose Rock Valley teams have compiled a 166-73 record in 10 years, graduated from Boyden-Hull High School in 2004.
Levi Letsche will be the winner of this year’s Barnabas Award, which recognizes Raiders who encouraged others to strive for their best performance athletically, academically and personally, and who used their sport as a way to bring others to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Letsche graduated from Northwestern in 2017 and was a four-year starting center on the football team. He earned All-Great Plains Athletic Conference honors his last two years after receiving honorable mention as a sophomore. A 2013 graduate of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School, he teaches math at Sheldon High School and is an assistant coach for the Red Raiders’ offensive line. Letsche earned a master’s degree in education from Northwestern in 2020.
The three new members of the Red Raider Athletic Hall of Fame will be wrestler Tom Eaton (Class of 2009), track and field athlete Matt Huesman (2014) and volleyball player Kaitlin Floerchinger (2015).
The runners have made it nearly to the midpoint of this year’s cross country reason and the Iowa Association of Track Coaches individual rankings are starting to become a bit more stable.
Sibley-Ocheyedan senior Madison Brouwer continues to be the highest ranked N’West Iowa runner, sitting second in Class 1A. Senior teammate Madison Marco ranks ninth. No N’West Iowa runners made the Class 1A boys list.
George-Little Rock/Central Lyon junior Mary Schiever is 22nd on the girls list in Class 2A. Okoboji sophomore Evan Osler is ranked sixth among Class 2A boys. Two of his teammates, senior Dylan Jones and sophomore Trigg Heimdal, are ranked 12th and 26.
MOC-Floyd Valley senior Isaiah Hulshof is ranked 10th among Class 3A boys. MOC-Floyd Valley sophomore Trevor Mirande is 18th. Sioux Center senior Easton Van Den Berg is 30th. No N’West Iowa girls made the Class 3A list.