I sat behind the north goal post at last Friday’s Sidney football game with New Richmond and discovered some tidbits for this column.
Early in the evening I visited with Tom Hathaway who was sent by the OHSAA to evaluate whether pandemic protocols were being followed. I know Tom from his days as Sports Information Director at the University of Cincinnati and later as Miamisburg’s Athletic Director.
There were over 300 high school football games in Ohio last Friday and personnel like Hathaway were dispatched to 100 of them. We briefly discussed his current duties before former “often undiplomatic” Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins became the prime topic. “Huggs and I got along well. One problem might surprise you. He often spoke so softly in interviews that tape recorders didn’t pick him up,” the Cincinnati resident revealed.
I also spent time with retired Sidney boys basketball coach Tom Clark which is always insightful and entertaining. We reminisced about the recently passed Dave Zeller, age 81, who coached that same sport at Piqua, Graham, and Edison State. Clark would attend Zeller’s Piqua viewing the next day.
Following a stellar playing career at Tecumseh HS and Miami University, “Z” played the 1961-62 season with the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals where he was the backup point guard behind the great Oscar Robertson. I once asked him what he and the “Big O” were paid for that season and he responded, “I got NBA minimum. $6000. Including what was the NBA’s first attendance clause, Oscar got about $60,000 which was huge money back then.”
Wayne Embry was also at the funeral home. Big Wayne was Dave’s teammate in high school, college, and the pros, and went on to a Hall of Fame career as an NBA executive.
Clark had his own Zeller-Robertson story as told by Zeller. Apparently Oscar wasn’t playing well one night and “Z” was sent in for him. Robertson promptly told Zeller to go back and sit down because the “Big O” wasn’t coming out. That’s precisely what happened.
One final note from the hastily scheduled New Richmond game. The stadium message board always posts scores from Sidney’s league and around the area. Last Friday, updates from New Richmond’s league were also included as a courtesy to the visitors. Classy.
Snodgrass OHSAA update
It’s now been over two months since Jerry Snodgrass was removed as Executive Director of the OHSAA. I’m pleased to call him a friend and heard from him recently. The Upper Sandusky native indicated that his notification came via text message while attending his grandson’s baseball game. Jerry says his current goal is to restore his reputation. I’ll leave it at that.
Fort Loramie replay
Fort Loramie’s Thursday football game with Covington will be replayed on WKEF-TV/Dayton ABC 22 on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
I received several nice notes on last week’s “We Are Marshall” column including one that brought a smile. Referee Stan Evans again thanked us for delivering his game shoes from Sidney to his Huntington hotel on game day.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has followed Sidney football since 1962 and is the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee.