Sidney’s first football meeting with West Carrollton came in 1975 with the advent of the Miami Central Conference. The initial four encounters featured a trio of classics including the first two whose verdicts came by a late field goal in the season finale.
Sidney was coached by newcomer Dave Gates who succeeded Dave Haines (1960-74) after building a dynasty at Graham Local. West Carrollton was advancing quickly under the leadership of Lonnie Norris whose brother, Dan, coached boys basketball at Versailles.
The 1975 contest at Sidney’s Julia Lamb Stadium was decided when Sidney’s Jeff Manchester booted a 29-yard field goal midway through the final stanza for a 10-7 win and a 5-5-0 record after a 1-4-0 start. A year later it looked like another Sidney win before the Pirates’ Mark Westfall toed a 40-yard fielder on the game’s last play for a 29-28 finish. However, there was no celebration as the kicker laid on the WC turf with a broken leg on a late hit.
In 1977 back at Sidney, the visitors took a 21-3 decision. Then came 1978 and a very critical game between the two in the MCC opener in the second week of the schedule, as both were seen as the main challengers to dominant Northmont for league supremacy.
Sidney led 14-6 when the home team got the ball one final time, needing to go the distance and add a two pointer to secure a tie which happened with just 14 seconds left. Both squads then won the rest of their games except for a loss to outright league champ Northmont to finish 8-1-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the MCC..
1978 was the last season for Dave Gates as Yellow Jackets head coach. Lonnie Norris returned in 1979 for his final campaign which was blemished only by a tie with Northmont that didn’t deny the Pirates the outright conference crown. His final two teams went 17-1-2.
One of last week’s SDN “125 Years Ago” columns from 1895 mentioned the hiring of John G. Kauffman from a field of six as the new Sidney HS principal. A year later he established and coached the school’s first football team. Kauffman was even known to enter the lineup when he ran short of players.
The San Diego Padres are playoff bound and the young son of Padres reliever and North Star native Craig Stammen has a favorite player other than his father. Craig reported recently that 2 1/2 year old Chase Stammen often calls the name “Tatis” (Tah-teese’) as he traverses the family’s in-season residence across the bay from Petco Park.
MVP candidate Fernando Tatis, Jr. is obviously his favorite player. After all, dad only pitches an irregular schedule while Tatis is a daily fixture at shortstop.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross authored a book on the first century of SHS football that is on sale at the Ross Historical Center in downtown Sidney. All proceeds benefit the Shelby County Historical Society.