Sports Extra with Dave Ross: 1974: Meeting a future Sidney football coach


Back in 1974 I went to a Sidney freshmen football game at Graham, outside St. Paris, and was introduced to their varsity head coach Dave Gates. His team was unbeaten and I asked him about their recent shortened 89-0 win over hapless Bethel, which was headed for a winless season and an aggregate 544-0 scoring deficit that drew national infamy.

“They kicked off to start the second half. We had all freshmen on the field who were told not to block on the return,” Gates indicated. “We scored anyway.” This was my first encounter with the coach but definitely not the last. He was hired as Sidney’s new head coach a few months later. Gates still lives in the Sidney area and we recently enjoyed visiting at a YMCA event.


On the Saturday after he resigned as Sidney head football coach, how did Adam Donenges spend his evening? He helped park cars at a playoff game to benefit SHS football. I really admire that.

Snowed out

It’s very rare for high school football games to be cancelled but many succumbed to a snowstorm on the ninth weekend of the 1966 season which fell in early November. Sidney’s Saturday night affair at Lima Central Catholic was among the casualties.

Doctor and coach

Jordan Goffena, a 2008 Sidney graduate, was an outstanding multi-event track performer at both SHS and Miami University. He’s now back in Oxford in a unique and emerging role with the Miami athletic department. A former traditional track assistant coach at Miami and elsewhere, Dr. Jordan Goffena was hired two months ago as Mental Performance Coach for all MU sports.

He is in charge of student-athletes mental approach both academically and competitively. Google “Jordan Goffena” for insight on this young man’s career journey including his master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. I’m anxious to talk to him after he’s been on the job a bit longer.

Script Ohio

I’ve only met Ohio State football historian Jack Park once but will never forget his presentation following a golf outing near Cincinnati. The real stunner for me was that the Script Ohio marching band tradition is a Michigan invention. That’s also good google material.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross authored a book on the first century of Sidney High School football.

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