Sports Extra with Dave Ross: A century ago with Sidney football

The 1922 season of Sidney football still makes for some great stories. That’s 100 years ago. Back then we were finishing the high school football regular season on Thanksgiving day or weekend. Game fields did not yet have lights. Sidney was independent, still a handful of years away from the advent of the old Miami Valley League.

The local 1922 gridiron campaign began with a hotly contested affair at Lima Central, which later became the core of Lima Senior. Not yet known as Yellow Jackets, the “orange and black” of Sidney thought they lost by a single touchdown but received word after the season that a disputed Lima TD had been ruled legal by a governing body, resulting in a final score of 12-0. That play involved a somewhat concealed Lima receiver catching a TD pass.

An early season highlight came in game three when our winless squad ventured to Xenia and their 16 game winning streak with the most recent dozen by shutout. Surprise…Jack Stockstill tallied the game’s lone TD and the young men of mentor Si Warfield prevailed 7-0.

At the end of the schedule, the locals stood 4-4-0 and had a shot at a winning season with encounters remaining at Bradford and at Sidney’s Julia Lamb Playground with the University of Dayton Prep School. However, both were cancelled and substitute opponents were sought with only one secured. SHS would finish the revised 1922 slate with a train trip to Hamilton for a match with powerful Hamilton Public.

Back in 1996 I was researching that Hamilton encounter for my book on Sidney High football history. Did we have a winning season? This publication covered the team’s departure on the old Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton line but I could never find a score in any of the four local papers, and there was no school yearbook to consult. What’s up with this? I contacted a colleague at the Hamilton newspaper and explained my situation.

About a week later, he called with the result. The contest had been played and dominated by the home team. Sidney lost 72-6 and that score was never reported and/or published in Sidney from what I could find. The “orange and black” finished with a record of 4-5-0.

Some other last names from the Sidney roster made it into print a century ago including Wheeler, Taylor, McVay (Captain), Niswonger (252 lbs), Miller, Cowan, Payne, Aldrich, and Seving.


Todd Taylor, a 1990 Sidney High grad, is the Senior Vice-President of the two NBA franchises in Indianapolis, including both the Pacers and the female counterpart Indiana Fever. Next spring the Fever will have the first overall pick in the WNBA draft.

I asked Taylor if having the top rookie would dramatically spike home attendance. “While we can see that happening eventually, other similar WNBA situations suggest that once the player arrives and the team starts to win regularly is when attendance takes off,” he recently offered.

It’s critical to remember that the Fever got access to the top pick by not being a regular winner. On the other hand, one player can make a huge difference when only five play at a time.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is the original historian of Sidney High School football. Current duties are handled by SHS faculty member and Associate Athletic Director Brett Bickel, who is carrying the torch quite nicely.