Each school year, the Minnesota State High School League recognizes two media members with the League’s Outstanding Media Service Award. The award recognizes the media contributions and service to the participants, the member schools and their communities.
The award has been presented since 2015. In the first two years of the award, there was one recipient. In 2017, in a reflection of the evolving media coverage, the award was split into two divisions: Print and Electronic. The recipients are traditionally honored during halftime of the Class AAA boys basketball championship game in an on-court ceremony. Recipients are known for their passion, endless enthusiasm and knack for heartfelt storytelling of the journeys of the participants, member schools and their communities.
Recipients are selected through a multi-layered process that begins with nominations from activities directors of the League’s member schools. This process begins each January and recipients are determined by the end of February.
2015 --- Dave Harris, Alexandria
2016 --- Wally Wakefield, Lillie News, Maplewood
2017 --- Print Division: Mike Bialka, Brainerd Daily Dispatch; Electronic Division: Craig Olson, Fergus Falls, www.cosports.com
2018 --- Print Division: John Sherman, Sun Newspapers; Electronic Division: Bill Bentson, KFIL Radio, Preston, www.wheelinwithweb.com
2019 --- Print Division: Tom Elliott, St. Cloud Times; Electronic Division: Jim Bartels, KNUJ Radio, New Ulm
2020 --- Print Division: Mitchell Palmer McDonald, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder; Electronic Division: Dave Lee, WCCO-AM, 45TV
2021 --- No Award Presented because of global pandemic
2022 --- Print Division: Pat Ruff, Rochester Post Bulletin; Electronic Division: Chris Fee, KROX-Crookston.
2023 --- Print Division: Ryan Bergeron, Greenbush Tribune; Electronic Division: Barry Wortel, KTOE-Mankato