Now featuring 135 members, the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor is mostly a combination of graduates who stayed local to make a difference and those who ventured well beyond to pursue their dreams. Last Friday night, both avenues were center stage with the Sidney City Schools as the common catalyst.
One of the “locals” honored last week has been on these pages hundreds of times as the now retired and still well respected SHS head boys soccer coach of almost 30 years. Eric “Rug” Harlamert, a 1976 Sidney graduate, was also an innovative math teacher and even found time to help out with baseball for some two decades. His obvious dedication was amplified by the motivation and pride of working in his hometown at his alma mater. “This has been my dream job,” he often says. “I’m a Yellow Jacket.”
How did he get into coaching? “Soccer was both new and foreign to Sidney, and Athletic Director John Wolfinger needed coaches. John called me. I said I knew nothing about soccer. He said I could study and learn, and that’s what I did.”
How did the nickname “Rug” evolve? It all began on the baseball field in the early 1980’s when ace pitcher Eric Jaques playfully called Harlamert “Rughead” to reflect the natural appearance of his hair. That was shortened to “Rug” and it has endured.
Harlamert was joined by a trio of outstanding fellow SHS graduates in receiving “the highest honor bestowed by the Sidney City Schools.” “Rug” is in splendid company.
The late Rob Joslin (1971) was a major national player in the soybean industry Warren Davidson (1988) is now a Congressman after a path that included West Point and private business. Erin Johnson (2000) runs one of the world’s premier TV brands as Executive Producer of “Entertainment Tonight” which is shown in well over 100 countries.
When I attend each Hall of Honor induction, I exit the ceremony prouder than ever to be a product of the Sidney City Schools. Friday, April 22, 2022 actually exceeded that regular expectation. Due to COVID postponements, another induction will take place in late October. Though almost six months away, I can’t wait and hope many of you will join me in the audience. The experience can be profound.