Fifty-seven years ago this month, Wagner Ford in downtown Sidney trumpeted the arrival of the 1966 models in its showroom, and also sponsored the 1965 “Punt, Pass, and Kick” including the awards presentation at the dealership.
Two of the winners later became local football legends, and will have their numbers retired by the Sidney Yellow Jackets on Friday October 21 when the current squad closes out the 2022 campaign with Xenia.
Despite not playing together at Sidney, the duo has extensive bonds beyond that 1965 event. Mike Flanagan (32) was an incredible three year performer as a receiver, defensive back, punter, kick holder, and more for the perfect seasons of 1968-70. Flanagan moved on to Indiana where he both caught and threw touchdown passes against Ohio State.
Kris Haines (13) played from 1972-74 and was a prolific running back on the 9-1 1974 team. He became a receiver at Notre Dame and was the favorite target of quarterback Joe Montana. The Irish won a pair of Cotton Bowl games and the 1977 national title during that period, and both players are in the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. Haines then played professionally including the NFL.
Both men were elated when selected for this recognition, and each was delighted to be enshrined with the other. Kris still says, “Mike was my hero growing up,” while Mike adds that “no one has spread our hometown’s name more than Kris.” Dave Haines, father of Kris, coached both with the Yellow Jackets. The two numbers will join Dick Flanagan’s 27 (1940-43) in the flagpole area of Sidney Memorial Stadium. Yes, Dick is Mike’s dad.
Mike and Kris will be introduced on the field after next Friday’s first period. A one hour “meet and greet” at the Goffena Facility in the stadium will precede the 7 p.m. kickoff. Photos will be taken at the number display at 6:40.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has been involved with Sidney High School football for over 60 years as a fan, player, and media member.