Vaughn wins Schultz Award

When it came down to the 2013 Henry W. Schultz Award winner, Tyler Vaughn proved to be in a class of his own.

Following an active prep athletic career filled with highlights and accomplishments, Vaughn was recently named as the top senior male athlete at Fort Dodge High, becoming the 95th all-time recipient of the accolade.

“It’s just a great honor to have since it’s throughout the whole high school,” Vaughn said. “There were a lot of other great athletes in my grade, too, so it’s never a given that you’re going to win it.

“I was truly humbled.”

Over the course of his memorable tenure at FDSH, Vaughn has been a driving force in the success of the baseball, basketball, football and track programs, combining to earn 14 letters, five all-conference honors and one all-state nomination.

“Baseball has always been my favorite sport,” said Vaughn. “I’ve always looked up to (New York Yankees star shortstop) Derek Jeter, because he’s a class act. My dad (Ted) has always been a role model for me as well.”

Vaughn, a two-time all-conference pick in baseball, started all 42 games for the CIC Northern Division outright champion Dodgers this summer, posting a .281 batting average with 36 hits, 27 runs and 19 RBI. On the mound, Vaughn went 7-4 with a 2.64 ERA in 69 innings of work.

For his career, in 101 games played, Vaughn tallied 78 hits, 52 runs and 46 RBI. He also recorded a 22-8 pitching mark in 180 innings.

As a junior, Vaughn landed on the Class 4A INA all-state second team for state runner-up Fort Dodge. Vaughn recently made the Large Schools West squad in the 2013 Iowa High School Coaches Association All-Star Series, where he picked up a complete game victory at Principal Park.

“Tyler won a lot of games the last two years, and he was definitely a leader for us on the mound,” said FDSH head coach Blake Utley. “He’s just a great athlete, great student and great all-around kid.

“I’m expecting big things from him in the future both on and off the field.”

In basketball, Vaughn delivered 189 points, 67 rebounds, 64 assists and 20 steals during his final high school campaign en route to claiming a spot on the all-CIC Northern Division’s top squad. He notched 418 points, 131 rebounds, 108 assists and 42 steals in 53 varsity outings.

“Tyler’s a kid that always did things the right way,” Dodger head coach Tom Daniel said. “He helped us get through some tough times two years ago where I’m not sure we would’ve won a game without him.

“He’s a prototype athlete that is certainly deserving of the award. We’re definitely going to miss his leadership.”

Last winter, Vaughn was diagnosed with a heart condition early in the basketball season.

“It was actually kind of scary at the start when we didn’t know what to expect,” said Vaughn. “The doctors said I might not be able to play unless I had surgery, but when they went through medically and tried to race my heart, they couldn’t even do it by a machine, and I was cleared to play.”

On the gridiron, Vaughn had one of the most productive seasons in program history a year ago. The 6-foot-3 receiver caught 67 passes – a FDSH record by 19 receptions and the second most in 4A – for 865 yards and six touchdowns.

In the last eight games, Vaughn hauled in 63 catches for 817 yards. He closed as the career leader for receptions (78) at Fort Dodge, while rating second in single-season yardage and third in total receiving yards. Against Ames, Vaughn collected 19 grabs for 232 yards – numbers that shattered the school’s old marks and rank among the best in 4A history.

For his efforts, Vaughn was tabbed to the 4A-2 all-division first team.

“Tyler obviously had a great senior year in setting receiving records for us, and he was a big part of our program,” Dodger head coach Matt Miller said. “He worked his tail off and got the most out of his ability. We were able to count on him at all times.”

This past May at the state track meet inside Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Vaughn ran on Fort Dodge’s 4A shuttle hurdle relay along with Austin Anderson, Adrean Johnson and Keegan Jones.

“Tyler was a good hard-working leader for us, especially his senior year,” said FDSH head coach John McBride. “I was really excited when he was able to get to state.”

Vaughn’s older sister, Courtney, previously earned the Florence Nordman Award (2008), which is handed out annually to the top graduating FDSH female athlete.

Away from sports, Vaughn was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Council on Youth Leadership and National Honor Society.

Vaughn will continue his baseball career as a pitcher at Iowa Central.

“It’s going to be pretty fun playing at Iowa Central,” Vaughn said. “Coach (Rick) Pederson has put a lot of athletes through to the next level.”