Sports Extra with Dave Ross: ‘Mary K’ stands the test of time


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



Former longtime Sidney swimming coach and teacher Mary Jannides, center left, stands with family members while being honored at halftime of a boys basketball game against Greenville last Friday in Sidney. Jannides recently retired after over 40 years coaching the school's swimming teams and was honored for her service to the district.

Former longtime Sidney swimming coach and teacher Mary Jannides, center left, stands with family members while being honored at halftime of a boys basketball game against Greenville last Friday in Sidney. Jannides recently retired after over 40 years coaching the school's swimming teams and was honored for her service to the district.


Mary Kookootsedes graduated from Sidney High School in 1955, returning four years later as a social studies teacher and beginning a special professional relationship with the Sidney City Schools that would span eight different decades. Nicknamed “Mary K,” her legal last name was shortened by four letters when she married the late Spiros Jannides and raised their family in Sidney.

The Kookootsedes family was synonymous with their Purity Confectionery (and eventually restaurant and catering) where the Boston Nut Sundae with Chicago nougat reigned supreme. Mary’s son Michael is the current proprietor of the legendary Spot Restaurant, downtown just like the Purity used to be. Michael’s catering ventures sometimes include the Boston Nut specialty, especially for Sidney High class reunions of the Purity era.

Last Friday night Mary’s now concluded 40+ years as the original and only SHS swim coach were saluted at the boys basketball halftime with Greenville, resulting in an enthusiastic and unanimous standing ovation that included the visitors from Darke County, a classy gesture on their part. She also had a parallel swim coaching career through the local YMCA and has promoted parks and recreation via the city of Sidney. Additionally, Jannides coached both genders of SHS tennis over some 25 years. Her plate was always full.

In 1960 our high school moved to the current Campbell Road location and Mary, as cheerleader adviser, instituted the girls “Block S” cheer group that regularly had over 100 members during its decade plus duration. After she retired from full time teaching, Jannides became a substitute teacher who kept on coaching. In the end, the pool outlasted the classroom by one year. After the 2020-21 school year she was finally fully retired from education.

I was honored to be in attendance seven nights ago as we saluted one of the greatest Yellow Jackets of them all. “Mary K” Jannides makes us proud. People like her both define and enhance their school system.

Former longtime Sidney swimming coach and teacher Mary Jannides, center left, stands with family members while being honored at halftime of a boys basketball game against Greenville last Friday in Sidney. Jannides recently retired after over 40 years coaching the school’s swimming teams and was honored for her service to the district.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/02/web1_BPB_4085-Edit.jpgFormer longtime Sidney swimming coach and teacher Mary Jannides, center left, stands with family members while being honored at halftime of a boys basketball game against Greenville last Friday in Sidney. Jannides recently retired after over 40 years coaching the school’s swimming teams and was honored for her service to the district.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is a 1972 graduate of Sidney High School. He’s consumed many Boston Nut Sundaes from both the Purity and Spot. The first ones were served by Mary’s dad, Johnny Kookootsedes himself.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is a 1972 graduate of Sidney High School. He’s consumed many Boston Nut Sundaes from both the Purity and Spot. The first ones were served by Mary’s dad, Johnny Kookootsedes himself.