Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Lima Shawnee was once solid in football

Sports Extra - With Dave Ross

When I saw that Lima Shawnee had beaten Lima Central Catholic in one of last week’s gridiron openers, I wondered if Shawnee might have finally turned the corner back toward success.

Sidney and Shawnee were both members of the old Miami Valley League when the duo met at midseason in 1968, 1969, and 1970. Both were 5-0-0 and Sidney captured all three as part of the “30 and 0” streak. The Indians were still strong when the Yellow Jackets prevailed 12-7 in 1974 en route to a 9-1-0 Sidney campaign. It was the final game of the series and marked the beginning of much futility for Shawnee.

Since 1974 the Indians have experienced few winning seasons except for consecutive 7-3-0 marks from 2006 to 2009. Many times the win total was two or below. Given where they were 50 years ago, it’s been surprising to see where it’s gone.

A safe record

Sidney’s Bill Bynum set a school record back in 1957 that can’t be broken. He returned a Piqua kickoff 105 yards for a TD. Such a play has been illegal since 1970 when any kickoff reaching the end zone became an automatic touchback.

Team prayer

During his 15 year run as Sidney head coach (1960-74), Dave Haines often utilized the following team prayer, “Lord let us be humble and close as a team as we huddle together tonight. Let us feel the power that flows from faith and give us courage and strength as we play. When the game is played and we’ve met our test, Lord help us to know that we’ve done our best.”

I embraced it and continue to use it. The prayer doesn’t pray for victory but rather for effort and commitment. Former Haines assistants Tom Hollman and Earnie Jones employed it when they became head coaches.

I never asked Dave where he got it, and it’s now too late. I asked his son Kris if he knew and he believes his dad simply found or received the prayer., liked it, and used it

‘30 and 0’ reunion

Next week is the reunion of the unblemished Haines teams of 1968, 1969, and 1970. The public is invited to the varsity football game with Greenville on Friday night which will be followed by an open reception in and around the Goffena area of Sidney Memorial Stadium.

A total reunion group of 25-30 players and coaches are set to attend including all three MVP’s, Steve Williams (1968), John Wiggins (1969), and Mike Flanagan (1970). Nineteen members are deceased and will be remembered at a private team memorial at Julia Lamb on Thursday.

One more public event was set for Wednesday evening at Julia Lamb but has been cancelled. I was to have teamed with the Shelby County Historical Society to host a look back to “30 and 0,” but my health got in the way.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is the historian of SHS football. He’s worked in local sports media for 46 years.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is the historian of SHS football. He’s worked in local sports media for 46 years.