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by Chanse Hall
From the classroom to the football field, Delwyn Showalter has seen a lot throughout his years at Mount Ayr Community High School.
“I came in the fall of 1984, thought I would be here a couple years and move on and here I am,” said Showalter.
Showalter, a history teacher, athletic director and coach at Mount Ayr Community School District has decided to hang it all up after 36 years.
Coach Show, as he is referred to by many, became a coach in 1984 coaching junior high football with Brad Rumple. Showalter helped out with the high school football team as well.
“Of course I was single and had nothing else to do,” said Showalter. “Dave Still is my mentor, there is no other way to put that.” said coach Showalter. “Dave got me involved with high school.”
Showalter would help with scouting and practices that year. In 1985, Ed Defenbaugh, a science teacher and defensive coordinator for the Raiders left to become a principal in Tarkio, MO.
“Coach Still asked me to takeover the defense that year,” said Showalter. “I have been involved with coaching the defense ever since.”
Showalter hasn’t spent all his time on the gridiron though. As head basketball coach for 17 years, Showalter led the Raider basketball team to three conference titles.
“When we had our best teams we would always run into some outstanding compeititon in the post season,” said Showalter. “We had to go play Clarinda at Clarinda in the opening round one year and had a great team that year and unfortunately Clarinda beat us in overtime.”
The Raiders would also go into the post-season tournaments to play PCM when they had Brandon Meyers when they were in a stretch that saw a few state titles.
Showalter also coached middle school track, assistant baseball, high school track and coached one girls basketball game due to the basketball coach being sick.
One of the biggest accolades that Showalter has achieved was becoming the winningest football coach in Mount Ayr history along with co-head coach Derrick Lambert in August of 2019.
“To be at 135 wins, to know that it’s at the top of the list, when I think about the people who have coached football here, Dave Still, Joe McNeil, those are some of the most outstanding coaches in the state of Iowa,” said Showalter. “Of course we coached at diferent times, coach McNeil, they weren’t classed as they are now, there was no playoff system then, he would have won some state titles. It is very humbling.”
Co-head football coach Derek Lambert was still shell shocked by Showalters retirement announcement. Lambert and Showalter both spent time under coach Dave Still as well as coaching basketball together. The two have coached football together for 23 years, while being co-head coaches for 19 years.
“He’s like a big brother to me,” said Lambert. “Just meeting him for the first time and how genuine he was made me want to be a part of what was going on in Mount Ayr. I’ve leaned on him for 23 years for advice. It’s a really emotional time for me right now, seeing someone you’ve worked so closely with step away and it leaves a big hole.”
Lambert says he isn’t sure what next year will bring as to the future of the football program.
“I’ve got to do a lot of reflecting, a lot of praying and decide what my intentions are,” said Lambert. “His son Daniel, has really done a great job with our defense. He’s really well rounded as a defensive coach, but I really don’t see the program changing much. What I know and what I learned came from Delwyn.”
Coach Lambert stated the little things are going to be tough, stating something that Delwyn did well.
“He never let the little things slip,” said Lambert. “He didn’t get to that first game and say shoot we forgot this. He had a system and had the system down very well.”
Coach Show has spent his entire career in Mount Ayr but admitted he looked at other positions in passing.
“It has been a wonderful career and been a tremendous place for me to be. I am proud of being here for my entire career,” said Showalter. “I never had any desire or real thought of leaving here. Both my boys graduated from here. My wife’s a hometown girl. My grandson is going to be two years old and I hope I get a chance to watch him play sports here.”
In his time as athletic director, Showalter has upgraded the sports complex with a new press box and artificial turf field at the football field, new dugouts at the baseball and softball fields as well as new bleachers in the gym along with redoing the gym floor. Later this spring/summer the sports complex will upgrade the lights as well to cap off the upgrades.
“That took commitments from a lot of different people,” said Showalter of all the upgrades. “That was one of the things I wanted to do, was to upgrade our facilities.”
Showalter admitted that Mount Ayr had one of the best facilities he had ever seen, at a smaller school, when he arrived in 1984.
“What was new and shiny in 1984 becomes old and in some cases run down and sometimes it needs a facelift or a complete renovation,” said Showalter. “Some of it was cosmetic, while some of it was much more substantial.”
In his wildest dreams, Showalter never imagined a turf field.
“Some tremendous community support, the willingness of the board to support that turned it into a reality,” said Showalter. “I feel like once again the Mount Ayr facilities are second to none. I think that you could go to a lot of small colleges and not find as good of facilities that we have.”
As coach Showalter reflects on the past 36 years, he is also looking toward his future. He mentioned about looking forward to being a better dad, grandpa and husband saying his family sacrificed over the years because of his involvement in sports.
“I look forward to following activities of former players,” said coach Showalter. “We have a number of players that are now coaching and I would like to be able to go watch them. We have former players who are in business, doctors or lawyers and I take pride in that and would like to have the time to be able to visit with them.”
Along with his wife, the Showalters have purchased a farm and look to spend some time “piddling around on the farm.” Showalter said he is also looking forward to watching games from the outside.
“I have never watched a football game at Mount Ayr from the outside of the fence and I don’t know what it’s going to be like,” he stated with a laugh. “To be looking at the field from the outside, so I will find out. It will be a different feeling I’m sure.”
Showalter said he doesn’t have any concrete plans but is looking forward to being able to do a lot of things he hasn’t been able to do up to this point.
Showalter will finish out his career with summer sports before his time at Mount Ayr Community School District comes to a close.
This coming August, fans will once again fill the stands for Raider football. The team will hold hands and the Raiders will swarm the field to AC/DC, the players will kneel along the sideline as the colors are presented, but one thing will be different. Coach Delwyn Showalter will be on the other side of the fence for the first time in 36 years.