Last Saturday night the junior varsity officials were doing a quiet and largely anonymous job as the Fort Loramie boys hosted neighboring Minster. That’s ideally how it should be. However, one was recognized by some attendees since his photo had just appeared on the front page of this publication. He had recently been sworn in as a new Sidney City Councilman.
This was Scott Roddy who came to Sidney as the SHS football coach and remained thereafter as a positive local influence. Scott and his family arrived from Bucyrus in 1993 and he coached Yellow Jacket football for only a handful of seasons during an era when it was more difficult to make the playoffs. His 1996 squad went 7-3 and came close to postseason but needed a win over either Piqua or Troy to make it happen.
After Scott’s Friday nights on the sidelines, the Roddys stayed put in Sidney where Scott became an EMT on an area life squad and was recognized for saving at least one life in heroic fashion. I’d then see him regularly once he got involved in scholastic sports officiating. Now he’s stepped forward to fill a vacancy on City Council. I’m sure there’s more to his story but I’m simply sharing what I’ve witnessed to reveal a former football coach who stayed put and made a difference.
Bowser the blocker
I’ve followed media accounts of Sidney’s Isaiah Bowser’s announcement that he’ll return for a final season in 2022 as the featured running back at Central Florida. One mentioned something I hadn’t considered. While Bowser’s power running is cited as a positive by all sources, one also opined that he has additional unsung value as a pass blocker.
When Isaiah is on the field, he’s almost always the only running back in a pass oriented spread offense. In other words, he’s the last line of defense in protecting the quarterback on passing plays and is adept at doing so. He’s more than a hard charging runner.
When Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU, his defensive line coach Mike Elston opted to stay in South Bend with new head coach Marcus Freeman. Elston came to Notre Dame from Cincinnati with Kelly in 2010.
The St. Marys native remains one of the premier high school players I’ve ever seen, similar in many ways to Sidney’s Mike Flanagan (1968-70). Our Sidney Yellow Jackets got a few opening night doses of the outstanding runner, receiver, defender, and punter who became a stellar linebacker at Michigan from 1993-96. He rarely came off the field for a high school coach, Skip Baughman, who preferred full two platoon football. Mike led the St. Marys Roughriders to a pair of state football titles.
Elston is now 47 and would be a logical candidate to become Michigan’s head coach when that job opens again. Maybe that’s happened by the time you read this. One thing is for sure and it concerns his age. If Elston wants to become a head coach, he should make that happen soon. However, we’re now in an era where key big time assistants make big money.
Late Thursday bulletin: Mike Elston is headed to Michigan as defensive line coach.
For many reasons, most often a lack of playing time, Division I college athletes are keeping the “transfer portal” quite busy. While in Findlay a couple weeks back, I asked Oilers men’s basketball coach Charlie Ernst if the same is true in Division II where he runs a top program. “Absolutely. Transferring has become a way of life at all levels of college sports,” he revealed.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross authored a 438-page book on the first century of Sidney High School football, available at the Ross Historical Center in downtown Sidney.