John Naughton

John Naughton

John Naughton covered Iowa high school and college sports for the Des Moines Register for 31 years. He retired in 2019 and is currently a Des Moines-based freelance writer. His blog, My Life, in Color, is on Substack.


Prep moneyball: Vouchers can impact sports

By: - February 2, 2023

Numbers have always been a big part of the Iowa high school sports scene. A new figure entered the playbook last week — $7,598. That’s the voucher amount projected per student in the Students First Act signed into law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The concept is families who want to choose a private school […]

Keep your ear on the ball: Beep Ball engages sight-impaired athletes

By: - June 26, 2021

AMES, Iowa — James Cheek stands in the batter’s box and awaits the pitch. As the beep-emitting ball approaches, he swings the bat and makes contact. From then on, it’s a race between the runner sprinting toward a base and fielders scrambling to grab the ball and lift it up in the air before he […]

State tournaments in a pandemic: ‘It’s made these kids stronger’

By: - August 3, 2020

Fort Dodge softball coach Andi Adams looked across the diamond last week and saw players keeping their distance, fans wearing cloth masks and teams spread out across the town’s Rogers Sports Complex. This is what playing in a state tournament during a pandemic looks like. Iowa high school softball and baseball teams were awarded state […]