CEDAR FALLS—Iowa Information sports editor Scott Byers was honored for his 21 years of covering high school sports today (Thursday, Nov. 21) at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
During halftime of the Class 3A state football championship game, Byers was presented with one of three IHSAA Sports Media awards by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
People who win this award are known to “consistently display dedication, service and passion for Iowa high school activities in their communities.”
The IHSAA has given out sports media awards since 1970 and award winners are nominated by members schools.
Byers, a Henderson native, is the first Iowa Information employee to earn this honor while on staff.
He has been the company’s sports editor since 1998 and oversees a three-person department that covers 17 high schools and two colleges.
Together, Byers and his fellow sports writers — and members of the news team on Friday nights — write stories that are featured The N’West Iowa REVIEW, The Sheldon Mail-Sun, Sioux Center News and Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner newspapers as well as the semi-regularly published magazine The Sports Leader.
Under his guidance, the sports pages of The REVIEW, in particular, have consistently won state and national awards.
One of the most recent honors for The REVIEW was being named best sports section in its class during the 2019 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Editorial Contest.
Iowa Information president Jeff Wagner praised the IHSAA's decision to honor Byers, who was one of the strongest critics of the organization's outgoing TV rights deal that prevented boys' postseason activities from being broadcast in the western part of the state.
"For the IHSAA to honor Scott, it says a lot about the quality of his work especially because he was one of the biggest advocates for N’West Iowa and one of the biggest thorns in their side during that situation," Wagner said.
Wagner went on to praise Byers' work.
“Every week, Scott talks to countless coaches for the articles he writes and through his column, he continues to track the careers of standout athletes from this region while also finding timely and hyper-local sports-related tidbits to share with readers,” he said.
Wagner, who is one of four family members with controlling interest in the company, also thanked Byers for the work he does day in and day out.
"On behalf of the Wagner family, I want to extend my gratitude to Scott for his years of excellent service and again congratulate him on this honor," he said.
Iowa Information managing editor Ty Rushing echoed Wagner's sentiments.
“Point blank period our company wouldn’t be our company without Scott and his contributions,” Rushing said.
“Scott is a machine and I don’t know how he does what he does every week and makes it look almost effortless, but I’m thankful we have him and I know our readers are too.”
Before coming to work at Iowa Information, which is based in Sheldon but also has a bureau in the Iowa Great Lakes and offices in Hawarden and Sioux Center, Byers spent time working for a news publishing company in Nebraska.
The 1992 graduate of Morningside College in Sioux City originally had his sights on becoming a TV broadcaster before transitioning to print.
Safe to say that decision worked out for him.