Sports Extra with Dave Ross: OHSAA football’s big boys are coming to Sidney


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



Sidney Memorial Stadium opened in 2004 and has hosted numerous OHSAA football playoff games in November. Most have involved smaller schools who bring big and enthusiastic crowds along with spirited play and great competition. SMS has never hosted a playoff game in the big school division. However, that changes on Friday night when Springfield meets legendary Cincinnati Moeller in a state semifinal.

Sidney wasn’t being avoided. It was a matter of SMS simply not being a logical destination for the top enrollment schools. I can’t remember more than a couple times in almost two decades that I saw a D-I matchup and said, “That could and should come to Sidney.”

There is now a factor in Sidney’s favor that has only been present for a few years. Many of these heavyweight bouts historically went to Dayton’s Welcome Stadium which would have made sense for Springfield-Moeller. However, the OHSAA won’t let the Dayton Public Schools host at Welcome due to multiple recent scandals involving teams and administrators. One of these included fixing a game to get an additional DPS team into the playoffs.

One aspect of large school playoffs at the state semifinal level is the superior talent on display. Many potential D-I college players will be in Sidney on Friday. Moeller has both a tight end and wide receiver pledged to Kentucky’s highly regarded 2022 recruiting class.

Sidney Memorial Stadium seats 7,000. If you want to see some big time high school football, check it out.

Hoying with a bang

Baseball should end by Thanksgiving, shouldn’t it? South Korea’s major league (KBO) accomplished that with only a week to spare. The KT Wiz won the Korean Series with a four game sweep over the Doosan Bears. The MVP of the decisive contest was Fort Loramie right fielder Jared Hoying who had four hits including a homer along with three RBI in the clincher. He even did a “bat flip” following the home run for the first time in his career. “I was pumped,” he told me.

Hoying will turn 33 next May and will soon be sifting through his options for 2022 which may not include the KBO. According to published online reports, Jared is currently having a sticky tax issue with the South Korean government. The ensuing mess has delayed his return home.

Times have changed

Ohio State throws the football with great regularity and success to a variety of talented receivers. Contrast that with the Woody Hayes era as head coach, a very different time in college football. In 1973 tight end and future assistant coach Fred Pagac led the team in receptions with nine.

An even more interesting example is 1962 when the team leader made eight catches. He was future NFL wide receiver legend Paul Warfield.

Andre Gordon

Sidney product Andre Gordon is back on the hardwood with the Texas A&M Aggies and appeared in the Maui Invitational earlier this week in Las Vegas (due to COVID). He made his first trio of three point attempts in Monday’s opener. As in the past, some of his games are shown via the ESPN family while many more are on the SEC Network.

What is an “Aggie?” It’s actually a nickname from “agriculture” which is the “A” in the school’s name.

New Knoxville

I still get an immediate smile when thinking of New Knoxville’s recent girls volleyball state title. The coach tragically lost her husband along the way and the team, school, community, and surrounding area all rallied to the cause…. a truly great story.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is Past President of the Ohio Sportscasters Association, Past President of the Shelby County Historical Society and is now the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is Past President of the Ohio Sportscasters Association, Past President of the Shelby County Historical Society and is now the senior member of the OHSAA Media Advisory Committee.