Cy-Hawk Battle Brings Community Together for the Win


The Cy-Hawk battle in Panora on Lake Panorama’s Boulder Beach was fierce. Both teams entered the game unbeaten. The beach was packed. That’s how it is with the biggest athletic event in the state of Iowa, it’s more than just a game. It brings a community together. In the end, Panora won. 

“Panora scored big,” said Maureen Lubeck, one of several volunteers on the local RVTV committee made up of  Panora Chamber members, who helped organize WHO-TV Channel 13’s RVTV in Panora on Monday, Sept. 4. 

RVTV is a week-long tour of tailgating stops in various towns around the state leading up to the annual Cy-Hawk football game featuring Iowa State and Iowa. The RVTV tour kicked off this year with the stop in Panora.

It was one of the most anticipated events for the community since the town’s annual Panorama Days held each August. It was a big time game. And Panora showed up to play. 

The rivalry between the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes divided people across the beach, but it was all in good taste. The crowd featured a mixture of people, mixture of ages, and everybody just came together to root for their own team. 

There were activities for adults and children in a family-friendly event with sand volleyball, tug of war, human foosball, and a dunk tank. Several games of bag toss were played. 

Tori’s Angels and Deardorff Highland Cattle were selling food throughout the day. The Funky Zebras  Panora were selling Iowa and Iowa State gear. Co-owner Karla Bristle might have had one of the youngest fans there with new grandson Brooks in attendance. Brooks, who was born on August 24, visited with his parents Ryan and Chrissy, each of them dressed to cheer for the Cyclones. 

Local celebrities mingled with the crowd, posed for photos and signed autographs. Sporting their cardinal and gold were former Cyclone players Jordan Carstens of Bagley, a 1999 graduate of Panorama high school, and Todd Blythe of Ankeny, who enjoys visiting his family at Lake Panorama. Both Carstens and Blythe play rounds of golf at Lake Panorama National.

Blythe ran into college friend Emily Reynolds wearing Iowa gear Monday. 

“We are no longer friends,” he kidded her. 

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard visited with fans and encouraged those like John McDermott, who was dressed in a Hawkeye shirt and hat to change sides. 

“What is this?” Pollard said, pointing to McDermott’s black and yellow sweatshirt. 

Devan Moylan, a 2003 graduate of Panorama, who played for the Hawkeyes and head coach Kirk Ferentz, rallied the Iowa crowd. Moylan, who lives in Denver where he works as a Software Engineer for Elwoodz, returned home for the Labor Day event. 

“I loved playing in this game,” Moylan said of the in-state rivalry. “The environment our fans create, especially for this rivalry, is what makes playing at Iowa unique and special.” 

Andy Piro, executive director of development and Matt Henderson, senior associate AD, both from the University of Iowa, also attended the event and brought with them some Hawkeye giveaways. 

Footballs autographed -- one by Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and another by Cyclone head coach Matt Campbell -- both went home with joyous fans. 

Local celebrity Kent Stephenson, who coached at Iowa from 1974-76 and later spent 17 years as an assistant coach in the National Football League, wore a Santa beard and delivered gifts throughout the beach, including footballs, hats and T-shirts. 

The  Panorama Junior Class After Prom fundraising committee kept the fans pumped up throughout the day as they challenged rivals to make a donation in return for playing each school’s fight song. 

“We have a 10 dollar donation for the Iowa State fight song,” said Jaime Waddle, who helped with the fundraiser. 

The juniors also sold spirit beads and had raffle items, including Iowa and Iowa State baskets, a grill and a Yeti cooler. 

Arguably the most popular people on the beach Monday were the school mascots as both Cy and Herky made an appearance at Lake Panorama. The fun-loving pair went for a boat ride, danced with the Ghostriders during a live music performance in the shelter house, played tug-of-war with kids on the beach, joined a sand volleyball game, and posed for photo after photo with fans of all ages. Cy joked with Iowa State fans Shawn Holloway and wife Angie, kidding the Panorama Schools Superintendent about his bald head. 

Iowa and Iowa State fans gathered around WHO TV news anchors Keith Murphy and Ed Wilson during live broadcasts from the beach at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Staffer John Sears, whose family joined him on the beach that day, went tubing on the lake during one of his segments.

“This is the most fun we’ve had,” Sears said. “You guys have done a great job.” 

Brad Halterman, Lake Panorama Association Projects Manager, who volunteered on the RVTV committee helped the Channel 13 crew pack up that night. 

“They told me this was the best RVTV they had done,” Halterman said. “They had a blast.” 

The sentiments have been echoed throughout the community. 

“Everyone I talk to is just beaming about how great the day was,” said Chris Arganbright, a RVTV committee member. “I think we all wondered how it was going to go. Far exceeded our expectations.” 

“I’ve heard nothing but positive comments,” added Jaime Waddle. “Several are asking if we are going to make this an annual event.”