“Seniors Tom Cramer, Tom Callahan, and a few others were the major cut-ups who always kept us loose after the team meal leading up to game time,” said 1968 and 1969 Sidney High School (SHS) football star John Wiggins.
Speaking of his ’68 teammates, Wiggins said, “We were a close-knit, well-coached, highly motivated group. Coach Dave Haines fed us well. We had an appetite for winning.”
Wiggins is featured at halftime Friday night on the ScoresBroadcast and WMVR presentations of the Sidney-Greenville football game, at which members of the “30-0” SHS teams in 1968, 1969 and 1970 will be recognized.
Listeners can tune in for the start of broadcast coverage at 6:25 p.m. Kick-off is at 7. Dave Ross, coordinator of the 50-year anniversary event that spotlights the 30-0 era, details the week’s special activities during the pre-game segment online and on radio. The reunion began on Thursday at the unique and former site of the Yellow Jackets home football games, Julia Lamb Stadium.
During this evening’s audio stream, Wiggins recalls the perfect, “but nerve-racking,” extra-point kick by Ross which lifted Sidney’s 1969 squad past Lima Shawnee, 13-12, in contest number 16 of the 30-game win streak.
Among other topics, Wiggins describes the thrilling seven-point victory in 1968 over a high-powered Bellefontaine team paced by Jesse Williams and Gail Clark and provides a “word picture,” of the swarm of Yellow Jackets who play after play cleared the way for his two-game, nine-touchdown explosion the next year versus St. Mary’s and Lima Central Catholic.
A wide receiver at Miami University in Oxford, where he averaged 14 yards per catch, Wiggins occasionally had a key blocking assignment near the line of scrimmage.
“On one run play, my tight end failed to get a piece of Kent State star and Steeler great, Jack Lambert, who then had a clear shot at me,” laughed Wiggins. “The eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer was 6-4, 225. I was 5-9, 160. I was nearly split into two halves, about 80 pounds each.”
As you might expect, those three unbeaten Sidney squads had their way with Greenville, winning 40-0, 42-12, and 54-0.
However, tonight’s game at Sidney Memorial Stadium and 30-0 Field may be a close, high scoring scrap as the two clubs battle for their first victory and for the Little Brown Jug.
Eleven-year head coach Adams Doenges of Sidney is hoping to spread the field and produce some big-yardage plays. Bart Schmitz, third year head coach of Greenville, will settle for several yards per rush from his potent ground attack.
Sidney romped in a 56-0 blowout last year. Greenville eked out a 19-14 triumph in 2019.