As girls sports were delivering a more dominant footprint on the athletic scene, the Sidney Yellow Jackets became charter members of the Miami Central Conference in 1975. With the new league came a new girls fall sport as field hockey joined cross country, tennis, and volleyball. Viewed in some circles as an up and coming activity, the MCC’s ten members all offered field hockey in that first year. Girls basketball coach and faculty member Diedre Douglas plied her limited background and became head coach.
Sidney’s field hockey saga was repeated throughout the MCC. First, numbers were a huge problem. With 11 on a team, at least 25 are needed to practice and scrimmage properly. Including Sidney, many teams had trouble finding even the initial 11. Coaches and officials were hard to locate. Within a few years, schools began to drop the sport. Sidney had a winning campaign in 1977 but disbanded its team after just two more seasons.
Another sport requiring 11 players on a side arrived and eventually prospered during the next decade and beyond as girls soccer joined the autumn female athletic lineup. Over the years, schools of all sizes have gotten involved, and the universal sport has become immensely popular with both genders.
Fast forward to 2020 and field hockey barely survives with only 38 statewide teams. Just two hail from the Miami Valley region, Oakwood and neighboring Fairmont, both south of Dayton. The field hockey constituency is largely affluent suburban schools, both public and private. The 2020 champion is Columbus Bishop Watterson.
As widely assumed, the Ohio High School Athletic Association confirmed on Monday that the next three boys and girls state basketball tournaments will return to the University of Dayton Arena where they enjoyed a successful stay back in March.
Given that Columbus and Ohio State have a hard time booking facilities well in advance and aren’t that interested to begin with, these events belong at the UD Arena where they’ll annually join the “First Four” start of NCAA “March Madness.”
1976 Sidney graduate Bryan Deal coached Yellow Jacket football from 1984-87 with winning seasons the final two years. He won a football state title at Dublin Scioto in 1995. In 2019 his golfers at Fox Chapel HS won a Pennsylvania state crown. Another state championship eluded him in 1988 when Sidney girls softball lost in the state finals.
Now that’s variety.
I recently signed up for a Cincinnati Reds online newsletter, understanding that some advertising would be included in the relationship. On Monday afternoon, this 67 year old bachelor received a solicitation to hold my wedding at Great American Ballpark. Do they know something that I don’t?
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee. He’s done both writing and broadcasting since 1975.