Editor's Note: Dave Paxton is a native of Montour and a 1972 graduate of South Tama High School. His parents are Jay and the late Betty Paxton.
Dave Paxton, editor and publisher of the Albia Newspapers, was honored by the Iowa Football Coaches Association Friday in Iowa City, receiving the group's Distinguished Service Award.
Five other men also received the award, including University of Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, Dr. Phil Cleavinger of Newton for serving as his son's side-line physician in St. Ansgar High School for 14 years; Gary Miller, Waverly-Shell Rock High School for keeping statistics since 1958 and creating the school's first weight room among many other things; Phil Steffenson, serving 30 years as a side-line official for the North Iowa (Buffalo Center-Rake) football team; and Kevin Hallquist of Stanton for serving first as a player then as a volunteer in many aspects of the football program over the course of 30 years
Dave Paxton receives the Iowa Football Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award from University of Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz at Friday’s spring clinic at the University of Iowa. Ferentz was also a recipient of the award. Paxton is editor and publisher of Albia newspapers.
Albia Coach Jerry Staton, a member of the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, presented the award to Paxton and said he always reports football games in a fair way. "He's not a rah, rah guy, but we never have to worry about our guys getting beat up in the newspaper after a game," said Coach Staton. His reporting is always fair and supportive of our program win or lose, to which Coach Ferentz quipped, "That's something new."
Paxton began covering football for newspapers in 1974 when he worked for the Cedar Falls Record, covering area high school games. He covered University of Northern Iowa football for two years as the university newspaper's sports editor, wrote football for the Waterloo Courier, the Charles City Press and Hampton Chronicle and Times before coming to Albia in 1982 as its publisher.
He has maintained his passion for covering high school football as Albia s sideline reporter and for many years photographer, missing only a half dozen or so games during that time. One of the Albia games he missed was for the 40th reunion of the 1971 unbeaten South Tama team.
"I can't imagine doing anything else on Friday nights in the fall," he said. "Roaming the sidelines for Albia Blue Demon football is one of the great joys in my life."
Distinguished Service Award chairman, Tony Perkins, Head Football Coach at Marion, said that his committee works from a stack of over 250 nominees each year.