Sports

Trojan tell all: Tiff Widmer

Trojan alumni from the Class of ‘86, Tiff Widmer, celebrated his 52nd birthday on Monday.
Trojan alumni from the Class of ‘86, Tiff Widmer, celebrated his 52nd birthday on Monday.

Two days ago, one of Fairfield’s community assets, Tiff Widmer, turned 52!

“I was born in Fairfield on July 8, 1967 and graduated from FHS in 1986,” explained the Jefferson County native who has left town a few times, just to find himself returning back home.

“I just love the small town feel, everyone is friendly and more relaxed.”

Tiff’s parents were Linda and Larry Widmer and although he was born in town, he spent the early part of his schooling in the Mid-Prairie system before returning to his Trojan roots when he was raised by his aunt Joanne Winter and returned to Fairfield in the sixth grade.

“I had some trouble at that school and was happy for a new start,” suggested Widmer.

After high school, Widmer decided he wanted to work in a church with a youth program, so he went to Judson College in Elgin, Illinois (now Judson University) and studied youth leadership for three years before returning to Fairfield due to financial constraints.

“I came home and started working at Wal-Mart for nearly 10 years, then Casey’s for about six before I had health issues and moved in with my mother and her new husband, Neils Neilsen, near Booneville which is near Des Moines.”

Tiff spent a year living there and working for Kum’N’ Go, but after Linda’s passing a few years back, Neils now lives with Tiff here in Fairfield.

Roughly nine years ago, Tiff went on disability due to renal failure and hasn’t worked since then, although he stays busy throughout the year.

Volunteering

Tiff played a little bit in middle school and then was manager for the football and wrestling teams in high school for three years at FHS.

“In college, I worked with the basketball and football teams’, helping with stats mostly,” said Widmer.

“When I came here, there was a need and I stepped in and started doing the scoreboard. I just learned all of the different jobs.”

Widmer does the scoreboard for varsity high school volleyball and if it doesn’t conflict, middle school as well and occasionally some middle school and JV football. During the winter season, you can find him at the scorer’s table for wrestling meets and during basketball games where he can help with book duties, if needed.

“Once in a while a fluke play will come up and you have to know the obscure rulings on some things,” said Widmer when asked of the challenges of the job.

“For instance, who do you give the points to if someone shoots a basket in the wrong end? Normally it’s the defensive player closest to where the shooter was. Usually I just make a note that it was a defensive basket.”

Tiff isn’t alone on the sidelines though, he gets help from his buddies that include Ron Hunerdosse and Tyler Weseman.

“We all communicate extremely well and we’re all friends.”

During the spring Tiff is over at Dexter maning the microphone and the scoreboard for Trojan soccer and in the summertime, he’s currently covering the softball shifts.

“My favorite is probably basketball,” added Widmer.

“The best part is watching the kids develop as they move up from middle school to JV and on to varsity. Even seeing reports on Nicole Buch and the others who are progressing in college is really neat.”

What would Tiff like to see from those Trojans wondering off into the world?

“Some of the kids going off to be teachers, hopefully some of them come back. We’ve had several that have. {I enjoy] just seeing what they do with their lives, whatever they choose.”

Thanks from Tiff

“In high school, it was Pearl Smith with football and Tom White with wrestling. They did so much more than coach sports, they coached the kids. Fairfield has always been good at finding coaches that care more about the kids than winning and losing. Teaching them sportsmanship and just how to be good men and women. Since then, Brad Repp for a lot of the same reasons. He is so supportive of the kids and we’ve had fantastic activities directors here, Jeff now and Brad Rose before.”

Trojan pride

“The real family atmosphere that these teams have. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these players are extremely supportive of the other players and the older kids help the younger ones and teach them how to be role models. I always like seeing all of the kids on the honor roll, because Fairfield is so good about education and athletics.”