Last Friday I watched New Bremen’s dominating state championship football conquest on TV in Chickasaw, which is in the Marion Local school district and just west of New Bremen. Those who joined us for all or part of the contest were Marion fans whose favorite team had been eliminated by Bremen two weeks earlier in a dandy regional final.
Consistent with past practice within both the Midwest Athletic Conference and region, everybody rallied together to support the New Bremen Cardinals whose story was made more compelling by winless campaigns just six and seven seasons earlier. Stories like that resonate quite well across fan bases.
Ten MAC members play football and now nine of them have won it all as Fort Recovery, Anna, and New Bremen have recently been added to an already impressive list. Only Parkway has not claimed an OHSAA gridiron title.
As I viewed the trophy presentation, I smiled as I recalled New Bremen’s brief football relationship with Sidney in the early portion of the previous century when NB fielded a team for a number of years before going on hiatus. The attached Sidney Daily News article from 1905 details Bremen’s use of an ineligible player and subsequent forfeit. I love the writing style from that period.
The NB-Sidney series actually continued irregularly through 1913 when the squads met twice, much to the chagrin of the Sidney Daily News in terms of benefit to Sidney High School. “To lose to them (NB) is a disgrace and to win is no credit whatsoever. Their field is nothing more that a farmer’s hog lot.”
The opinionated writer would be amazed that the current New Bremen stadium is one of the best around and served as a model for Sidney Memorial Stadium which opened in 2004. He’d also be shocked that the fine New Bremen venue is now home to a state football champion.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross authored a 438 page book on the first century of SHS football that is available at the Ross Historical Center in downtown Sidney.