There has to be a high comfort level for all passengers when Fort Loramie girls basketball assistant coach Phil Barhorst turns the team bus onto Campbell Road toward another tournament game at Sidney High School. This scenario was repeated three more times over the past two weeks as the Redskins again ran the table in Sidney to move on to the district finals.
Head coach Carla Siegel has taken her squads to Sidney each February in all of her 22 seasons at the helm. They’ve advanced in 19 of those 22 with a combined record of 61-3.
Delphos St. John’s
In the very visible sports of football and both genders of basketball, Delphos St. John’s was once labeled as a juggernaut with six state football titles, three in boys hoops and five more on the girls side. The football team won 57 straight games from 1996-2001. However, that list of state crowns hasn’t expanded since 2010 football.
The current school year reveals little success in these sports in the admittedly tough Midwest Athletic Conference. DSJ football went 1-5, boys basketball 0-9, and girls basketball 4-5. Results outside the league were somewhat better.
Enrollment at the private school has some stability with roughly 50 students per class, slightly more than Lehman Catholic in Sidney. The public school in that area, Delphos Jefferson, is struggling badly in football with only slightly better results in boys basketball. They’re very strong in girls hoops.
I referenced Withrow Court at Miami University a few weeks back and got an interesting response from a transplanted reader in Arizona. Back in 1970 he was in graduate school at Miami during a period of national campus unrest that followed the Kent State protester killings. His campus job was to help guard Withrow Court and he recalled no incidents.
Back in 1973 my parents settled into a part-time residence near Miami, Florida. The first time I joined them, my dad had found something new that he was sure I’d enjoy. During the evenings WIOD-am would air a call-in talk show only about sports. I really liked it and especially the host who would eventually leave Miami to become one of the great radio/TV interviewers anywhere on almost any subject.
When the iconic Larry King passed away last month, my thoughts went back to his groundbreaking sportstalk days on WIOD. He was a master at turning interviews into comfortable conversations.
We did meet again
Back in the spring of 1976, my duties with the Urbana College athletic department included keeping the baseball scorebook. One Saturday we ventured to Malone College in Canton. I located my Malone counterpart to swap lineups, a pleasant student named Greg Johnson. The next time we crossed paths, he was the principal of Sidney High School. However, it took us several more years to realize our previous connection.
State tourneys to UD
As I worked on this column on Tuesday, an e-mail arrived from the OHSAA advising that the 2021 boys and girls state basketball tournaments will both be played next month at the University of Dayton Arena. Look for both events to remain in Dayton where the university and city are both anxious to embrace them just like the “First Four” of the NCAA tourney. The girls are already under contract to return to UD.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has covered high school sports for 46 years and is the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee.