TOPEKA, Kan. – The KSHSAA is pleased to announce the selection of John Kurtz and Kyle McCaskey as the 2014 Oscar Stauffer Award recipients. Kurtz, Manhattan, has been dubbed the Sportscaster of the Year and McCaskey, Hutchinson, as the Sportswriter of the Year.
KMAN’s John Kurtz grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and graduated from Blue Valley West High School in 2007. While attending Kansas State University, Kurtz served as the sports director of the student radio station and began his career at KMAN radio as an intern during his sophomore year. Kurtz provided play-by-play for K-State football, basketball and baseball games, as well as Junction City Generals baseball games in the summer while at the student station. Kurtz graduated from Kansas State in 2011 with a degree in Electronic Journalism from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Immediately after graduation, Kurtz joined the staff of KMAN full-time and was promoted to Sports Director in the summer of 2013. He co-hosts the afternoon drive show “The Game” Monday through Friday, in addition to the K-State pregame show “Powercat Gameday” before K-State football and basketball games. Kurtz is the play-by-play voice of Manhattan High School boys basketball and a high school football game of the week. He also fills in on K-State baseball broadcasts in the spring.
Sportswriter of the Year award winner, McCaskey of The Hutchinson News, is a graduate of Mulvane High School. McCaskey was inspired to follow his dream to become a sportswriter, to prove his skeptics wrong. McCaskey attended Wichita State University, where he received degrees in communications and journalism in 2010. As an undergrad, McCaskey worked for The Sunflower News as a sports writer, covering Wichita State athletics. Following graduation, McCaskey joined the staff of The Derby Informer as a writer covering high school sports for the first time, an assignment he grew to love. McCaskey became the sports editor as well as web news manager at The Informer, until 2012 when he became a news anchor, reporter, and digital content coordinator for KFDI News in Wichita. During his time with KFDI, McCaskey continued his work as a freelance journalist and photographer for CatchItKansas.com and Vype High School Sports Magazine in the Wichita area. Kyle has previously been recognized by the Kansas Press Association for his sports column, feature and headline writing.
Upon learning of his selection for this award, McCaskey said, “In my mind, maybe one percent of this award goes to me and the other ninety-nine percent to the student athletes I cover. I love my job because I get to see passionate young adults work tirelessly to strive for their goals, some attain them, and some don’t, but what matters is they tried. I would hope the athletes I cover know that it’s humbling they let me tell their stories, and if I can offer anything to thank them, I hope it is that my writing lets them know they have made an impression on me, and I hope all of them reach their potential.” Recently, McCaskey joined the staff at The Hutchinson News where he covers sports for local high schools as well as Hutchinson Community College.
Presented annually by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, the Oscar Stauffer Awards recognize excellence in the fields of sports broadcasting and sports writing, and acknowledge meritorious service through coverage of interscholastic sports programs in Kansas. Sportscaster award applicants submit play-by-play tapes for evaluation. The Kansas Association of Broadcasters selects the honoree. Sportswriter nominations are submitted by the high schools of Kansas and the selection is made by a committee of the Kansas Coaches Association.