Bentson recipient of MSHSL's Media Award

MSHSL communications coordinator Tim Leighton, middle, at the Target Center with Media Award recipients Bill Bentson, left, and John Sherman. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Bluff Country Newspaper Group sports reporter Bill Bentson and John Sherman of Sun Newspapers were honored on March 24 at the Minnesota state boys basketball tournament with the Minnesota State High School League’s Outstanding Media Service Award.

For more than four decades, Bentson, a longtime freelance writer for Bluff Country Newspaper Group, radio announcer with KFIL and creator of his own website, and John Sherman, a sports reporter and photographer for the Sun Newspapers since 1972, have covered high school activities for their respective news-gathering organizations with passion and commitment. In return, they have been left with trademark smiles and a lifetime of memories.

Sherman is the recipient in the print division and Bentson is the recipient in the electronic division.

Bentson has been involved with the coverage of high school athletics since 1975. His commitment, though, started much earlier than that. He started his first reporter notebook in 1957 when he was a junior high student in Mankato.

"I've never had a bad day at the office when I am covering high school athletics," said Bentson, who also served as a high school principal for 28 years at four different schools. "High school athletics is my love. I will stay involved forever."

Traveling to cover high school events is a labor of love for Bentson. He recently retired his 2003 Ford Ranger that had 360,000 miles on it. He predicts that he has logged at least 1 million miles in his career covering high school athletics. Benston began writing for newspapers in the 1970s, and then began working in radio in 1992. Ten years ago, he launched his high school activities website, He is grateful to his wife, Carol, for her support in his coverage of high school activities.

"I am so humbled by this honor," Bentson said. "I don't plan to slow down, either. I need to win the lottery, so I can build a gym close to home. I've always said I will die in a gym."