State Stories


2016-17 IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award – Don Werntz

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The radio voice of high school sports in the greater Freeport area for over 40 years, the renowned play-by-play man of Big Radio, Don Werntz, was honored with his IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award on Friday, October 7, 2016 at Forreston High School.

Don, who was nominated for the award by Durand High School, was recognized at halftime of one of the season’s biggest area contests, as state-ranked Forreston and Lena-Winslow met on the football field.

Durand High School Athletic Director Pete Robertson introduced Don at halftime, before Don addressed the capacity crowd, which included his family, friends and the Lena-Winslow football team, who took a knee behind Werntz as a team during the presentation. Don wasn't there just to accept his award, he was also calling the game live on Big Radio, including the first score of the game (see below) en route to 13-7 Forreston victory.