The Sidney Yellow Jackets had gotten accustomed to playing football against Greenville on the final night of the season as the two battled for the Little Brown Jug. On that same night, Troy had been hooking up with Piqua in that mega-rivalry.
It was thought that these matchups were a logical way to finish the regular season, and would draw good crowds. There was history behind this as those two encounters both debuted in 1899 and traditionally ended seasons on Thanksgiving Day back in some of the early years.
Troy/Piqua has been continuous beginning in 1911. It involves the two largest towns in Miami County and often has big rewards for the winner regarding playoff qualification and league championship. In terms of competition, each school has enjoyed periods of success but the overall result is essentially a split, making for one of the great high school rivalries in the country.
Sidney/Greenville is a nice relationship but has several gaps and doesn’t usually influence championships. Piqua is Sidney’s bigger rival but Piqua also has Troy. Sidney dominated Greenville in 2020 and will be favored to do so again this season.
When the Yellow Jackets won at Greenville on a wet October Thursday night in 1968, they clinched their first league title since 1937. A celebration was held at Julia Lamb Stadium when the team returned to Sidney. It was broadcast “live” on local radio.
Now the thought is to move these rivalries to much earlier in the season on a holiday weekend. Here in 2021, a recent change in the Miami Valley League schedule has both contests on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3. Sidney was previously set to host Vandalia-Butler in that slot.
This is also the reunion game for Sidney’s “30 & 0” football teams of 1968-70. Organizers are quite pleased with this change in opponents. The Jackets never played Vandalia-Butler until 1975 but they have a much longer history with Greenville that includes the Little Brown Jug traveling trophy which began in 1956. The schools met annually during “30 & 0.”
I can already envision a photo of the Little Brown jug with MVP’s from the three unblemished squads: Steve Williams (68), John Wiggins (69), and Mike Flanagan (70).
The SHS Alumni Band will perform on that night and some 1968-70 band members are already set to march. Cheerleaders from that era have been encouraged to attend and participate in the festivities. If former “Block ‘S’” members wish to get together, they certainly can.
When the game ends on Sept. 3, the stadium will host a public reception in and around the Goffena Center. Concessions and restrooms will remain open.
Upon further review
Since major league baseball initiated video replay, I’ve been amazed at the number of safe/out calls at first base that get reviewed and reversed. Sight and sound are both available for umpires to determine force plays at first base as they happen, and there’s a 50 percent chance a guess will be correct. The calls usually aren’t that tough.
Sports Extra appears each Friday and is inspired by a radio show of the same name hosted by the author in the 1980’s.