Sports writer Joe Randleman has joined the Story City Herald staff and will begin covering local sports this week.

Randleman has provided sports coverage for the Nevada Journal and the Tri-County Times for the past 18 years.

“I am excited to be joining the Story City Herald,” Randleman said. “I look forward to building new relationships with the Roland-Story student athletes, coaches and administrators.

“I hope to provide a great service to the Roland and Story City communities with quality sports coverage.”

Randleman’s family has roots in the Roland-Story community. His mother, Ruth (Lounsberry) Randleman, was a Roland Rocket and was part of the team that won two state softball titles at Roland High School in 1970 and 1971, both of which were summer titles.

“They had summer and fall softball back in the day,” Randleman said. “Mom was an all-state catcher. She also has a twin sister, Becky (Lounsberry) Thompson, who played on those teams in the outfield.”

Publisher Scott Anderson said he’s excited about the coverage Randleman will provide to Herald readers.

“We are always looking at ways to better the Story City Herald,” he said. “One area we felt needed more attention was high school sports coverage. Beginning this week we are bringing Joe Randleman on board to lead all Story City Herald sports coverage.”

Readers can expect more in-depth coverage now that Randleman is overseeing sports in the Story City Herald, he said.

“Joe excels at telling the other side of the story. He goes beyond reporting the stats,” Anderson said.

“Joe’s personality and passion for sports will be a major boost to sports coverage in the Story City Herald.”

Coaches and players have noticed Randleman’s passion for sports coverage, too. He was the 2016 recipient of the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association Media Award.

Randleman was nominated for the award by North Polk Head Baseball Coach Dave Middleton. It was presented to him at the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association annual banquet.

“Joe has done an outstanding job of covering our local baseball programs,” Middleton said at the time. “He is always pleasant to work with and understands the game itself. We certainly appreciate his coverage of all of our athletic teams as well. The detailed articles created by Joe pay a nice tribute to the hard work our athletes have put in.”

Anderson agreed with that description.

“Covering high school sports is more than a job to Joe, it’s a passion. Seldom do you see someone care as much as he does for high school athletes,” he said.

“It’s nice to be covering a community where my mother grew up. My grandmother (Dolores Lounsberry) still lives in Roland, right by softball fields. I’ve got a lot of fond memories of the community growing up,” Randleman said.