NIAA Hall of Fame induction has many meanings | NevadaAppeal.com

NIAA Hall of Fame induction has many meanings

Steve Ranson and Anne Smith discuss her team's second state championship against Lowry last month at Lawlor Events Center.
Thomas Ranson / LVN |

The epitome of community and sports journalism, Steve Ranson quickly grew a passion that would carry him across the state and even overseas.

From his time covering the Wells Leopards in Elko County to the Fallon Greenwave in Churchill County, he has always put his audience in the action as if the fans were with him. Whether he was covering a state championship basketball game — he even showed his continued support for Wells by attending the Leopards’ state win at Lawlor Events Center 20 years ago — or writing on the passing of a sports legend in the community, his byline could always be trusted.

His devotion and dedication to Fallon, in particular, where he finished a 30-year career at the Lahontan Valley News, will never be matched. To him, the community was his family. And his family, which included me, my younger brother David and my sister Stephanie, was so important to him that he wanted to influence us with his experience.

Because of his many years covering high school sports in the Silver State, he becomes the fifth media contributor to be inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Hall of Fame next week in Reno. It’s not only an honor for him, our family, the community and the LVN, it also is an accomplishment for high school sports and community journalism. Rare is it now to see journalists to stay active for the required 25 years to be considered for the Hall of Fame. The Record-Courier’s Dave Price is a shoo-in after his multi-decades worth of covering high school athletics. Tony Erquiaga of the Humboldt Sun, Darrell Moody of the Nevada Appeal and Anthony Mori of the Elko Daily Free Press continue to plow along, delivering high-quality sports reporting in their local markets.

I began my career in 1998 when my father asked me before Fallon played Joe Sellers’ Wooster Colts in Reno if I wanted to photograph the football game. I accepted the challenge and 19 years later, his experience, tutelage and wisdom has grown — and continues to grow — on me. I owe my career to my father for molding me into the journalist I am today, covering the Greenwave along with other community sports interests, like Josh Mauga in the NFL or Aarik Wilson in the Olympics.

During the last two years with the LVN, he helped Fallon successfully create its first high school sports Hall of Fame. The many years of covering Greenwave sports provided invaluable insight as the committee inducted its first class to the Greenwave Hall of Fame this past October. Thirty-five inductees graced the stage on a long and overdue night in Fallon where more than a century of Greenwave athletics was celebrated in front of 400 community and family members.

My father is the definition of high school sports journalism and the audience was always on the sidelines with him. Readers could always depend on him because of his knowledge and connection with the coaches and players.

His experience rubbed off with me when I started at the LVN and briefly with my siblings when my brother photographed sports and my sister helped “behind the scenes.” His family means everything to him, making it easy to treat the Fallon community as if it were his own.

Congrats to my father on this amazing accomplishment and the many, many years of putting the community first, with him on the sidelines.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at lvnsports@yahoo.com.