By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
The Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association held their 49th Annual Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines on Saturday night. Former West Delaware head baseball coach Mike Morrison was inducted for his success in turning WD baseball into one the best and highly respected Class 3A programs in the state in his 21 seasons. Morrison described how he felt about receiving the honor in front of over 300 people in attendance:
Morrison was joined by nearly 40 people on hand to support him on his special night:
Many players and coaches have come through the program through the years and Morrison knows the success achieved couldn’t have been reached alone in a team game:
In his speech, Morrison mentioned that the 2 most important things in his life growing up were family and baseball. As he got older and started coaching it became a passionate job but he never expected to be awarded in this way:
Morrison credits several Hall of Fame coaches, that he has gotten to know over the years, for being mentors and helping to shape his coaching mentality:
The major accomplishments on the diamond with wins were always nice for Morrison but what sticks with him most are the memories from the interaction with players and those relationships with young men who grew on the field and off of it in ways that he is most proud of:
Morrison was inducted with WaMaC coaching counterpart Steve Fish of Marion, Dan Hovdon of North Fayette Valley, umpire Jeff Frese from Norway and former Ankeny pitcher Ben Sampson. Those five became the latest of the now 271 Hall of Fame members.
Other area coverage award winners or nominees included:
Western Dubuque coach Casey Bryant was awarded for being a member of the 400-win club. Starmont grad Marc Rardin the head coach at Iowa Western was a nominee for 2-year college coach of the year, Ed-Co’s Aaron Hamann and North Linn’s Travis Griffth were Class 1A Northeast District coach of the year nominees and Tom Jenk Jr. of Beckman won the Class 2A Northeast District coach of the year honor.
Pictures from Saturday night: