Jerry Giese – Journal sports writer Jul 23, 2007
Marshall Tuttle has fond memories of Walt Fiegel.
The East High School linebacker/fullback was once a ballboy for the legendary football coach, who won 158 games in 26 seasons and posted a 128-79 record with the Black Raiders. Even as a youngster, Tuttle heard of stories about Fiegel, who died from a heart attack in November 2003, just a few short weeks after the season.
Tonight at halftime of the 35th Iowa Shrine Bowl at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Tuttle will be presented with the $2,000 Walt Fiegel Memorial Scholarship. He’s the first Sioux Cityan to win the scholarship, which goes to a student interested in the coaching profession, particularly football.
“It’s quite an honor,” said the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Tuttle, who will start at strong safety tonight for the North All-Stars, which has a 20-14 advantage in the series against the South heading into tonight’s 7 o’clock start.
“I know Walt because my mom was a physical education teacher with him. He’d give me and my sister an East hat. He loves kids. He’d do anything for anybody. He’d give the time of day for anyone.
“It means a lot to win it because my family knew him. A lot of families did.”
Fiegel was also active as a member of Sioux City’s Abu Bekr Shrine temple, one of four from the state. Each temple appoints a coordinator to assist in soliciting sponsors for inclusion in the game program, player sponsorships and ticket sales.
Contributions for the Shrine Bowl now total more than $1.9 million in support of the Shrine Hospital programs for children. The total includes money raised from Tuttle and the other 45 Shrine All-Stars.
Earlier this week, the players and coaching staffs traveled to the Twin Cities Children’s Hospital to visit with patients. They learned first hand the purpose of the Shrine Bowl.
“It was more than I expected,” said Tuttle. “There were kids who didn’t have all four limbs. This is not what I expected. It was surprising.
“It made me feel fortunate. You realize all the work the Shriners do and what this game is all about. We’re not there just to play the game.
“We raise money for those kids so they have the opportunity to walk or to have an arm. It’s cool to see what we raise money for.”
Temperatures this week in Ames have been anything but cool. For that reason, the two squads practiced for three hours in the morning in full gear. Partial gear was worn in the afternoon and obviously, there were plenty of water breaks.
Tuttle won third-team Class 4A All-State honors as a linebacker for the Black Raiders, getting 69 tackles and three interceptions in seven games for a squad that concluded a 6-5 season with a 31-3 loss to West Des Moines Valley in the playoff quarterfinals. He missed the first four games because he had fractured his right fibula in preseason drills.
The Morningside College recruit is learning a new position.
“I’m used to being around the ball every play,” said Tuttle. “Playing strong safety, you’re 10 to 12 yards off the ball, so your main focus is pass first, then run second. Obviously, when the play is deep, you’re covering the pass.”
East Coach Steve Zediker, another of North head coach Jim Carver’s assistants, is coaching the secondary while Sheldon Coach Matt Meendering is in charge of the linebackers.
Among North’s starting linebackers is Jarren Wiersma, a University of Sioux Falls recruit who helped lead Central Lyon/George-Little Rock to the Class 2A state championship last fall. MOC-Floyd Valley’s Paul Lundgren, a 6-5, 275-pounder, will start on the defensive line.
Wartburg College recruit Justin Phelan, who was the starting quarterback for a Le Mars team that reached the Class 3A semifinals, will start at quarterback. Josh Collins, who rushed for 1,410 yards at West, will be a starter at running back.
Other Northwest Iowans on the roster are Gabe Fuller (Aurelia), Eric Van Ginkel (Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley), Justin Wissler (East Sac), Tony Brugman (Emmetsburg), Brett Tomkins (Estherville-Lincoln Central), Brad Pedersen (Lawton-Bronson), Micah Schiller (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), Justin Shideler (Sioux Central), Preston Black (Spencer) and Seth Moser (West Lyon).
“It has been a great experience because I’ve got to meet some of the best football players from the state,” said Tuttle. “It’s been a great experience because the Shriners have taken care of us, shown what they’re about and why we play this game. I’d do this again, if I could.”