For a half-century, Jim Neid has had a active role in the sports scene in St. James. On September 22, he will be immortalized for his various and varied contributions.
It's hard to imagine a sporting event in St. James that isn't accompanied by the unmistakable baritone voice of Jim Neid.
On the call, in the PA booth, on the sidelines, Neid has given 50 years worth of knowledge, passion, and love to athletics in St. James
"The best part of being involved with sports in St. James are the familiar faces and people you encounter," said the longtime St. James native.
Neid's ramified involvement in the world of sports stems from having the thrill of sports robbed from him due to injury.
As a sophomore baseball player, Neid suffered a debilitating hip injury that would sideline him permanently from sports.
A hip injury that limited his participation from sports, but never dimmed his love for it.
"The worst thing about my injury was being unable to enjoy the sports that my friends were playing in and not being a part of the team."
Sports have always captivated Jim. He was a north pole, and sports was a south pole, and the attraction has been instantaneous since he was a kid.
Neid's love for sports, the feeling and the thrill that it brought him, compelled him to find other ways to be around it.
In 1965, he became a manager for baseball, track, and softball - learning the ins-and-outs of each sport.
By the time he graduated, he had delved into the coaching world, becoming certified and working as a volunteer wrestling coach for Worthington before heading back to St. James to coach there after the spring of '71.
Perhaps, Neid was a good luck charm as his first year being on legendary coach Paul Krueger's staff, St. James wrestling won a state title in '72.
Neid, however, has always been multifarious in his endeavors. He was a police officer, a high-ranking official in the JC's, an owner of two establishments (Cellar Bar and Boston Hotel) and a long-standing member of Lions and Eagles organizations.
But his involvements in sports, even though his most arduous and well-traveled years, has been a constant.
He's been a fundraiser, contributor, and benefactor for St. James athletics and various summer programs in town.
In the 80's, Neid would utilize his rich voice and his ardent knowledge of sports and parlay into his most identifiable role as Jim Neid, the radio guy.
"One of the salespeople at Cellar Bar told me I had a voice for radio and I should look into broadcasting."
Initially, his voice was used to welcome people to the games as the PA announcer for football, and basketball in the '80s.
But in 1984, Neid used his charismatic gift-of-gab and sports acumen to transition to a play-by-play announcer for wrestling.
Calling every hold and grapple.
Relaying the emotion of the wrestlers.
Every word he says, painting a vivid picture for his viewers - putting them in the moment, and in the bleachers of each match.
His work in the radio booth has allowed Neid to become a trusted voice of sports, and an authority on athletics.
"To be the voice that people feel comfortable listening to, trusting, and accepting has made doing this important.
Play-by-play announcing exemplifies Jim Neid, the job requires a workmanlike attitude, the charm and charisma necessary occasionally asked to turn a phrase or come with a catchy saying, and ultimately the knowledge to be consistent and reliable.
But, the ultimate motivating factor for Neid is his investment. His investment in sports as a whole, the community he serves, and the work that he does.
He won MSHSWCA's Broadcaster of the Year in 1994 and 2005; he's a charter member of St. James Wrestling Hall of Fame, and recently provided a scholarship in his name that assists a St. James student that is par excellence in athletics and academics.
In 2017, Neid received the KNUJ/HyVee Hometown Hero award - and he's continued to pour his soul into the community.
In 2018, the St. James Athletic Hall of Fame will induct Jim Neid for his fifty years on contributions to the community.
But Neid will continue to be a fixture in the broadcast booth, radio studio, and sidelines.
Currently, Neid lends his voice to wrestling, softball, wrestling, and baseball - while hosting two radio shows, and remaining a committed contributor to area sports.
"I plan to do this until I can't do it any longer," he joked. "It's been the most rewarding job ever."
Simply put, what would a St. James athletics event without the infectious love of sports and community that radiates from Jim Neid, the radio guy.