Piqua to honor 5 former football greats

Piqua High School will celebrate five of its most decorated football alums — all played in the NFL — at halftime of today’s 7 p.m. season opener against Toledo St. John’s at Alexander Stadium.

Craig Clemons (1968 graduate), Dave Gallagher (’70), Matt Finkes (’93), Quinn Pitcock (2002) and Brandon Saine (’07) will be honored. There also will be a dinner and program Saturday night at Edison State Community College.

Piqua athletic director Chip Hare said four longtime boosters of the Indians football program are most responsible for bringing these landmark football players together: Former superintendent Duane Bachman, former AD Ed Purk, current school board member Bob Luby and former head coach Chuck Asher.

“This community really embraces our storied football program,” Hare said. “They certainly appreciate and remember these five gentlemen and what they’ve meant to Piqua football and the Piqua community. It’s a great opportunity for us to reunite.”

All five were multiple-sport standouts with the Indians and extended that success to college and later the NFL.

Three starred in football at Ohio State — Finkes (defensive end), Pitcock (defensive tackle) and Saine (running back). Clemons was an All-American defensive back at Iowa and Gallagher an All-American offensive lineman at Michigan.

Saine led Piqua to the 2006 Division II state championship and also was the state’s Mr. Football that season.

After today’s game, the five will greet the public during an open house at the high school commons. They’ll sign autographs and pose for photos.

On Saturday, a cash bar will begin at 6 p.m. at Edison. A buffet dinner will follow at 7 and the program will begin at 8. The former players will share their playing experiences and answer questions from attendees.

“It’ll be fun to see all these generations come together to celebrate these successes,” Hare said. “The fact that we’ve had five guys who played in the NFL for a small school of our size, that’s pretty special.”

Piqua is located north of Troy and south of Sidney off Interstate 75. The Indians are members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.