1977 was the year of Shelby County’s first state basketball title as the Fort Loramie boys brought home the hardware from St. John’s Arena in Columbus. Many more have followed involving both genders and the majority of the Shelby County Athletic League.
I was in my first season of radio play-by-play and recall the hoopla of only the second team in league history making it to the final four. The Jackson Center boys had gone in 1963 and lost a heartbreaker in the finals.
I worked all eight Loramie tournament encounters in 1977 including a pair at Springfield Northwestern, four at the UD Arena, and then the decisive duo in Columbus. For both state games I was paired with Shelby County basketball historian Bob Wise and we split the call of each. Bob was the opener and I brought it home after halftime.
Back in those days, our radio commercials were read “live” at the game site and that was one of my duties. Perhaps I set a state tournament record during the 1977 finals by reading 48 spots. Shortly after that we switched to recorded messages.
At age 23, broadcasting a state championship back to Shelby County from the home of the Buckeyes was an incredible experience. At age 68, that memory remains oh so special.
I had a very nice email exchange about 10 days ago with University of Tennessee band director Dr. Michael Stewart, Sidney High class of 1994. He had just created many positive vibes by forwarding a selfie of himself with fellow Yellow Jacket alum Andre Gordon (2019), now a basketballer for Texas A&M, before the Southeastern Conference men’s championship game in Tampa.
The photo ran in the SDN and went all over the globe via the internet. The band director said Gordon was kidded by teammates when they were introduced to a second person from Sidney. “Are there more than two of you?” was the common theme.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has been involved in multiple forms of sports media since 1975.