Former West High athletic director Marv Reiland was the recipient of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s highest award Saturday night. It was somewhat lost in the shuffle of West’s extraordinary back-to-back undefeated state championships, but it shouldn’t be.
Marv and his wife, Marlys, were presented with the award at halftime of the 4A championship game, wonderful timing on the part of the IHSAA as it turns out, and were able to bask in a standing ovation from grateful West High fans.
“It did work out really great,” Reiland said. “Marlys said, ‘If we’d gotten beat Wednesday night there wouldn’t have been anybody here.’ That was neat, and I was glad the kids finally got it going and played so well, so it made for a really nice weekend.”
The Award of Merit is now named after the association’s former executive director, Bernie Saggau. It is, according to the IHSAA: “The highest and most prestigious award the Iowa High School Athletic Association presents. The award is given annually to those deemed worthy via their service to interscholastic athletics and their strong support of the purpose and values of the interscholastic program.”
“I told (current IHSAA executive director) Rick Wulkow I was so honored and humbled because I’ve known Bernie Saggau and I know what that award stands for, so I was very honored to receive it,” Reiland said. “Dave (Harty) and Bernie were kind of my idols and my role models and mentors. To be able to lead the Grand March for the wrestling tournament and then get the Bernie Saggau award about two weeks later, it doesn’t get any better than that. Those were two very meaningful things for me.
“Sometimes you look back and say all the time and effort and long hours and things you put in are worth it for kids.”
Marv Reiland was an all-American wrestler at UNI. He coached four state championship wrestling teams at Eagle Grove and two runner-up teams. He served the sport as President of the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association and was on the wrestling advisory committee.
He came to West High as athletic director in 1990 and served 22 years. During his tenure, West won 43 state championships and 140 conference titles. He was selected national athletic director of the year in 2008. He also is a long-time wrestling official.
* CLIPPERS HIRE BASEBALL COACH: Brent Henry has been hired as baseball coach at Clear Creek Amana. Henry teaches at Linn-Mar and was an assistant coach at Linn-Mar last year after serving one season as the interim coach at Cedar Rapids Washington. He is a Cornell College graduate.
* CLARIFICATION ON BEARS ALL-STATERS: West Branch has had at least five other boys all-state basketball players since 1984. Marv Cook was selected in 1984 and still holds the school rebounding record. Rick Fountain was honored in 1988, J.D. Grimm in 1992, Matt Wheeler in 1996, Kip Pedersen in 2000, and in 2011 Clay Cook was so honored. The question came up after senior Rylan Murry was named to the Class 2A first team by the Iowa Newspaper Association.
* WEST SOCCER FIELD TO OPEN ON TIME: West’s new soccer field, which was not quite ready for prime time last spring, is ready to go this year. Athletic Director Scott Kibby said the school is planning a Grand Opening on April 8 with a boy/girl varsity doubleheader.
He said that the old field at Northwest Junior High is available as a backup in the event the new field is too wet for play.
* ZOBECK HITS THE BIG TIME: Former West goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck has signed with FC Dallas of MLS. Zobeck was taken in the supplemental draft after a fine career at Valparaiso. As a junior at Valpo, Zobeck posted a 0.66 goals-against average, the best season in school history, making 51 saves and recording 11 shutouts. He finished his career as the school leader in shutouts and goals-against average.
“We’re extremely happy to announce that we’re signing Kyle Zobeck to a contract with FC Dallas,” coach Schellas Hyndman said on the team’s website. “He was a player who we followed at Valparaiso, and we were fortunate that he was still available in the supplemental draft. We brought him in and we’ve been really pleased with his progress, his abilities and also his character. I think he will be a good keeper for FC Dallas and will make our goalkeeping group even better.”
Dallas has a match Sunday that will be televised on ESPN2.