Mark Schafer, the newly minted sports editor of the Daily Times Herald, works at his desk on a recent day.
Mark Schafer, the newly minted sports editor of the Daily Times Herald, works at his desk on a recent day.

June 3, 2016

The Daily Times Herald welcomes Mark Schafer, 26, a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to its award-winning staff as sports editor.

He replaces Brett Christie, who covered prep sports for the Times Herald for about three years and recently departed to continue his career in Chicago.

Schafer is a 2013 graduate from Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism.

Since then, he helmed the sports departments of the Boone News-Republican and Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune newspapers before joining Herald Publishing — the Times Herald’s parent company — as a sports reporter for the Adair County Free Press in January.

Schafer’s first trip to Carroll was to cover a volleyball tournament while he worked at the Storm Lake newspaper.

His second trip was for a date.

He had met Kyla Whaley, a Carroll middle and elementary school band director since 2012, at an online dating website. Their first face-to-face meeting was at Pizza Hut in town in 2014.

“It was like meeting an old friend for the first time,” Schafer recalled.

They talked with ease and shared some pizza slices of cheese and are now engaged to be married in August at the Willow Creek Glass Chapel near Shelby.

Whaley is a Mount Pleasant native who attended Simpson College in Indianola.

Schafer got his start as a sports journalist while in elementary school, where he chronicled his flag football and little league games in a journal.

“They were very biased,” he said of his stories.

He discovered a love of newspaper writing — and of even-handed reporting — while in college.