Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Echoes of 32 and 13

Sports Extra - With Dave Ross

I was still smiling while having breakfast this past Sunday morning. What a weekend it had been. I was honored to be on the microphone when the football numbers of Mike Flanagan (32, 1968-70) and Kris Haines (13, 1972-74) were retired at Friday night’s season finale at Sidney Memorial Stadium. I’ve detailed their gridiron exploits the past few weeks, so I’ll opt here for a brief trio of additional personal memories.

Back in 1972, Mike was a wide receiver for Indiana when the Hoosiers played at Ohio State in the fabled “horseshoe” stadium where I was sitting with my dad in the lower upper deck near midfield. Early in the game Mike was flanked right, got off the line quickly, beat his defender, and caught a long touchdown, just like he had in our game at Piqua only two years earlier. We had a perfect view and got very excited as the play unfolded. This was my teammate and our friend in front of over 80,000 fans including me and my dad. This memory still gives me chills.

In 1978, Notre Dame was the defending national champion and played Navy on Lake Erie in the home of the Cleveland Browns. The passing combination of Joe Montana to Kris Haines was well established and collaborated on the game’s first score to launch the Irish victory. I was there with friends to see my high school coach’s son hit paydirt on a big stage.

One more Haines story reveals advances in technology in the past 45 years. Notre Dame beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl to win the 1977 national title, and Kris returned home for a few days before going back to campus. He and his family wanted to watch the game again but that was easier said than done almost a half century ago.

I lived with my brother at the time and he had just purchased one of the first video cassette recorders (VCR) in Sidney. Bill recorded the game and the Haines family joined us to experience it once again.

Hall of Honor

Haines was inducted into the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor the night after the number retirement, joined by Maggi Williams and Amy Zorn, both from the class of 1973, in front of a good crowd. I went to SHS with all three and know them well, especially the gals who both have made their homes here as neighbors in north Sidney.

Maggi made Sidney High into a career as a teacher, ultra successful girls basketball coach, and Associate Athletic Director. It was great to see a number of fine folks return who had worked with her. Former Athletic Directors Scott Stemple and Jeff Courter made the trip along with longtime assistant coach Dennis Bluck.

In addition to her many academic accolades, athletics have also been a part of Amy Zorn’s journey as she authored a book on coaches who have won state basketball titles from our area. Her brother Tim and I were football teammates in 1969 and he’s still my teammate some 53 years later. As always, I enjoyed catching up with him as he spent a weekend back home.

At every Hall of Honor induction, my goal is to depart the event feeling prouder than ever of my ongoing involvement with the Sidney City Schools. Including Friday’s festivities, that goal was met last weekend. Yes, I’m still smiling almost a week later.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is a 1972 graduate of Sidney High School.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross is a 1972 graduate of Sidney High School.