Just over 40 years ago, these pages periodically reported on the fine college career of Florida State quarterback Rick Stockstill, who was born in Sidney on Dec. 23, 1957, but moved away shortly thereafter.
Since FSU, he’s had a long football coaching tenure including his current 17 seasons as head man at Middle Tennessee of Conference USA, with a record of 104-99 and nine bowl appearances.
This past Saturday, his Blue Raiders (now 3-1) journeyed to south Florida to score a big upset and defeat the top-25 ranked Miami Hurricanes 45-31. Not quite per usual, his father Joel and son Brent were both involved. Despite advancing age, Joel normally paces the sidelines but suffered a recent hip fracture while trying to get out of the way of oncoming players. Last Saturday, he cheered from a hospital bed. Brent is the MTSU quarterbacks coach after recently playing that position with distinction under his dad.
Joel Stockstill was a 1955 Sidney High graduate and played football for Wayne Gibson with the Yellow Jackets. He also had a long coaching career and lured several Sidney grads when he was an assistant at Georgetown (KY) in the late 1960’s.
Joel’s parents stayed in Sidney and I got to know his father quite well. I played in the same Shelby Oaks Wednesday night golf league with Wilson Stockstill about 40 years ago. He was on the 1925 SHS squad that had to forfeit a game at Wapakoneta when a Sidney football mom struck the opposing coach with a purse that contained a horseshoe, knocking him cold as the teams exited the field at halftime. Wilson Stockstill was an eyewitness and told me the story at least twice.
Ironically, that angry football mom is still remembered by the annual team sportsmanship award which has been a Sidney tradition since it was instituted and named for her in 1955.
Stammen loves Coors
No, I’m not indicating a beer preference for a major league pitcher who hails from the North Star area of Darke County. Rather, I’m saying that San Diego reliever Craig Stammen has enjoyed great success pitching against the Colorado Rockies in Denver’s Coors Field, which is not noted for being “pitching friendly.”
With a pair of scoreless innings last weekend, the Versailles grad cemented his status with the best earned run average in that ballpark by any pitcher with at least 20 appearances. His impressive 1.22 ERA spans 25 outings and 37 innings. The 38-year-old Stammen says his previously injured right (pitching) shoulder now “feels great.”
Sports Extra appears each Friday. The first Dave Ross byline appeared in the SDN in 1975.