The Sidney Holy Angels Titans and Piqua Catholic Crusaders met in high school football twice during the 1936 season, with the Titans winning twice, 6-0 and 20-7.
SHA had a strong campaign, losing only to Bradford, usually a powerhouse in those days. Despite regular success, the Titans disbanded football after 1936 due primarily to perennially low roster size. Holy Angels often dipped into the eighth grade to have enough bodies to practice and fill out a roster. The state athletic association permitted this for its smallest members.
Piqua Catholic had similar problems, later briefly opting for six man football which was somewhat widely played back then. It was very popular in Logan County before consolidations created larger schools.
During the 1936-70 period, both schools changed nicknames resulting in the Holy Angels Wings and Piqua Catholic Cavaliers.
Holy Angels and Piqua Catholic would next meet on the gridiron in 1970, not as opponents but as allies as the two had been merged into the Lehman Catholic High School Cavaliers based in Sidney. While some Holy Angels entries tried their hand at football, the first several Lehman squads were essentially the vintage of Piqua Catholic including holdover veteran head coach Bob Heil.
There was a Holy Angels contribution on the first Lehman football staff. Right out of college, 1966 grad Ken Schlater was joining the Lehman teaching and basketball staffs, and also answered the call to help out with football. He still loves to share stories about that experience.
The first Lehman squad enjoyed a fine 7-2-1 inaugural season including a pair of Saturday night Tri-County League wins at Sidney’s Julia Lamb Stadium over Bradford and Parkway.
The majority of the home slate stayed in Piqua. The 6-6 tie came in the mud on the final Saturday night of the season at Piqua’s Wertz Stadium against Versailles which featured a fine tackle who would later figure prominently in Lehman’s football heritage and success.
For the past decade and a half, Lehman’s head football coach and athletic director has been Dick Roll, Versailles class of 1971.
Congratulations Lehman on your golden anniversary!!!
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross authored a book on the first century of SHS football that is available at the Ross Historical Center in downtown Sidney. All proceeds benefit the Shelby County Historical Society.