Meet the new assistant regional sports editor

CJ Eilers joins Mid-America Publishing to cover the schools in south Butler County, Grundy County and south Hardin County. (Staff photo)
CJ Eilers
Mid-America Publishing

​It may not look like it outside right now folks, but spring is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited for what the change in weather will bring. 

​My name is CJ Eilers and I have the pleasure of introducing myself as an Assistant Regional Sports Editor for Mid-America Publishing and its publications in Eldora, Grundy Center and Parkersburg. 

​Fortunately, I’m no stranger to the schools in this part of Iowa. I previously covered high school athletics at North Tama and fellow NICL member Union. Heck, I was just at Dike-New Hartford and Grundy Center only weeks ago for Union boys basketball’s postseason run. It’s always been a positive experience to visit these and surrounding schools, which only makes me that more eager to get this show on the road. 

​I originally hail from Ankeny, where I graduated in 2010 before the district split years later. While on a college visit to Des Moines Area Community College, we came across the campus newspaper. My tour guide brushed it off quickly, but I was immediately intrigued despite never writing for my high school’s paper. I ended up writing articles for the paper that very first semester and worked my way up to Editor-In-Chief my second year. 

​Those two years sparked my interest in writing and telling stories, which led me to pursue Journalism at Iowa State that next fall. I soon got involved with their school paper, specifically their entertainment section. My position had me write about the local Ames music festival, on campus events, area musicians and even some national acts for VEISHEA. I received my degree in December of 2014.

​My first professional job actually was with this very same company, working as a News Editor down in Sigourney. I spent two years down there developing my skills before accepting a position to run newspapers in Dysart and Traer, which led me to be introduced to the communities this readership lives in. My skills expanded into the sports world, something I’m proud of because both publications hadn’t covered high school sports in a long time. 

And my previous stop saw me work in Vinton covering their community and county. I worked through the pandemic, which impacted me deeply like so many people in our world. This led me to be more honest with my goals and interests. Ultimately, I decided to return to school to study Photography at Hawkeye Community College while continuing to cover high school athletes at Benton, Center Point-Urbana, Union and Vinton-Shellsburg. 

I’m here today as your next sportswriter because all these experiences made me a better journalist. While I want to cover games and meets, I know as a writer I’m capable of doing more than that. I wish to bring your communities more stories focused on area athletes and their coaches. After all, that’s what local newspapers are best at doing. If sports photography is something you enjoy, I’ve got you covered. Wait and see.

Jake Ryder and I have known and worked alongside each other for five years, and I know there’s no one better at covering these athletes than him. I’m grateful for the opportunity he and Mid-America Publishing have given me to help cover local sports. We’ll work together to improve coverage across this area, which always has teams competing for conference titles and state berths every single season. I’m pumped for this new journey. 

In my free time, I enjoy visiting my family back in Ankeny, checking out new food places, and hiking in parks. My biggest hobby is photography, which I explore with my side business that provides high school senior photography and sports posters/banners. My studies at Hawkeye have greatly improved my skills, and I will be graduating in May. I’m a Cyclone men's basketball fan and I hope they are still in the NCAA tournament by the time everyone reads this piece. But yes, I will cheer on the Hawks when they aren’t playing ISU. 

And since I always get this question, my favorite sports to cover are basketball, track and field, and volleyball. But I’ll do my best regardless of sport. 

If you see me at an event this spring, please feel free to come say hi. My philosophy as a writer is if you want your work to be read, you have to be seen yourself. What I’m looking forward to most with this job isn’t covering state championships or individual titles. It’s getting to know these athletes, their coaches and their families, then bringing their stories to life. That’s why I enjoy what I do and continue in this field. 

Fingers (and toes) crossed for a warm spring and best of luck to all athletes competing. 



The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
Fax: 1-800-340-0805

Mid-America Publishing

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