Author Archives: John Thayer

About John Thayer

Son. Brother. Uncle. Friend. Baseball umpire. Broadcaster.

Kevan Hueftle chasing dream of running for Team USA

kevan hueftleSometimes in life some of the things we love the most change our lives forever. It can be for better or for worse, depending how you react to the situation. A high school classmate of mine from Eustis-Farnam’s class of 2004, Kevan Hueftle, has taken a tough situation and is now working to inspire others and perhaps compete for Team USA in the Paralympics.

I had the chance to chat with Kevan on my radio show last week about his journey from where it started to where he is now.

Knowing Kevan personally, I think this is absolutely incredible and I hope someday we see him wearing the colors of Team USA and to have the success he is looking for. If you know the name, you know how competitive he is. If you don’t know the name, get to know it because he won’t quit until he reaches the success he’s looking for.

(NOTE: During the interview we lost connection, but we were able to establish it again to finish the interview so stick with it!)

I thank Kevan for taking time to join me and I hope we can continue to share updates of his journey along the way.

Good Luck, man!

Former USD kicker/punter preparing for next level

Miles Bergner is the all-time leading scorer at the University of South Dakota. He led the nation in punt average this past season. And soon, he could be playing on Sundays. There is speculation on whether or not he will be drafted next week. One of my first questions is, would he be a kicker or punter? He did both in college, but that’s more the exception than the norm.

If Bergner’s name does flash on the screen it likely would be Saturday on the 6th or 7th round. If not, he should have a chance to sign with a team and use the preseason to earn his spot. And, given the number of teams that have had their struggles, he should get the chance to prove himself.

I had a chance to chat with Miles on my radio show about his preparation for the next level and what he knows about the process.

On a personal note, I have very much enjoyed many conversations with Miles. I interviewed him before he came to USD, during his time here and I hope we have a number of opportunities to talk about his professional career. I am hoping for the best for him as he chases a dream! Good Luck, Miles!

John Brubaker to release “Stadium Status”

sitebannerAward-winning author John Brubaker is at it again with a new book set to be released on Tuesday, April 4. Brubaker’s latest book is called “Stadium Status” and ties sports and entertainment stories into building a business. The book begs the question, “How can you reach Stadium Status.” Stadium Status, of course, can mean something different to many people, depending on your type of business and location.

Earlier this week, Brubaker joined me on “On the John” to talk about what the term Stadium Status actually means and he dives into the book a little.

Hear the interview here:

You can get more information on the book and learn how to pre-order with your chance to win prizes by visiting the book website.

Wayne State baseball signs Jess Gibson

wayne stateIn sports, as fans, we get wrapped up so much into wins and losses and sometimes forget about the great stories on or off the field that doesn’t involve the scoreboard. On Monday, the Wayne State (Neb.) baseball team hit a home run with the signing of 16-year old Jess Gibson. The Wayne native was born with Cerebral Palsy and periventricular leukomalacia, a form of brain damage. He is also legally blind and wheelchair bound.

Alex Koch, who is in his 3rd season as the head coach at Wayne State, held a draft day signing event to sign Gibson to be a Wildcat.

On Wednesday I had a chance to interview Koch on my radio show about Gibson and what he means to the team. The event was made possible through Team IMPACT, an organization that helps children with chronic illness get involved with collegiate sports teams.

Here is my full interview with Coach Koch, which aired on “On the John” on ESPN Radio 1570.

My thanks to Alex Koch for taking time to do the interview and to Sports Information Director Mike Grosz for coordinating the interview time.

Rankings thought process

Sports Equipment

I always think it’s interesting to watch rankings unfold throughout the course of the season. Of course, some people will say rankings don’t mean anything. For the most part, you’re probably right. What do rankings give us? They give us something to talk about and keep us informed on what games we should be paying attention to.

I’ve been a part of polls for many years and I have always felt like I have a good philosophy when it comes to ranking teams each week. Of course I think it’s good, it’s my idea!  Continue reading

REVIEW: Tatanka Golf Club at Feather Hill

Photo Aug 09, 4 10 13 PMI had the chance this week to enjoy a round of golf at Tatanka Golf Club at Feather Hill located near Niobrara, Nebraska next to Ohiya Casino & Resort. It’s a course that I have been wanting to try but it just hasn’t worked out, until now.

They called it “media day” and invited different media members to play a round of golf. The real complaint of the day was mother nature. No rain, but the eve of a heat warning and temperatures in the 90’s with humidity upwards of 70% made hydrating extremely important.

I’m not a golf expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy playing the game so taking advantage of this chance was really fun. When I arrived I learned I would be riding with Derek Bursheim, the father of the golf pro and grouped with Brian Bursheim, the golf pro at the course and Steve Donahue, a course rater with Golf Digest. Continue reading

USD WBB team is visiting Australia

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteThe University of South Dakota women’s basketball team left Sunday for Australia. It’s a bonding trip with some basketball mixed in. The girls will play three games in Australia and get the chance to do some exploring as well. Fortunately for the team they have native Australian Jasmine Trimboli to help show the way. I had the chance to catch up with Trimboli, Caitlin Duffy and head coach Dawn Plitzuweit to talk about the trip before they departed.

See the itinerary here.

South Dakota head women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit talks about the transition do USD and Vermillion and also about the excitement of going to Australia with the team.

Senior Caitlin Duffy is excited for a once in a lifetime opportunity that will also be a basketball trip with teammates.

Jasmine Trimboli gets the chance to return to her home country and play basketball in front of family and friends. She will also help show her USD teammates a new culture.

The USD women’s basketball team will open the upcoming season on Nov. 11 at the Sanford Pentagon against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Tickets for the game will go on sale in October.