Sidney football: Top 7 players in Yellow Jackets history

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Yellowjackets pick up their first win of the season on the road against the Patriots.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

There have been longer win streaks, but few more celebrated than Sidney’s 30-0 run during the 1968-70 high school football seasons. It began with a 42-0 blanking of Saint Marys in September of 1968 and concluded with a 27-0 number on Lima Bath in November of 1970.

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Sidney’s Julia Lamb Stadium was the place to be on fall Friday nights during those seasons. Anchored in a natural bowl setting just a screen pass away from the school, Julia Lamb was rocking in that era. And why not? Season tickets were must-have items as the Yellow Jackets captured successive Miami Valley League titles.

Among Sidney’s opponents were the three Lima’s: Shawnee, Catholic and Bath. Saint Marys was the opener – sound familiar? There even was a defeat of Dayton Colonel White. Besides Lima Shawnee, other MVL rivals were Piqua, Greenville, Urbana and Bellefontaine.

The only thing missing on the schedule was Troy. The annual rivalry that began in the 1920s ended after the Trojans bolted the MVL for the upstart Western Ohio League. No matter, Sidney and Troy would become regular scrimmage opponents. Admission should have been charged in that August 1970 Sidney/Troy preseason matchup. Both teams were 10-0 that year.

There is no greater promoter of Sidney football than Dave Ross. Among his many acclaimed efforts is writing a book about the first century of Yellow Jackets football. He also was a key player in the success of Sidney Memorial Stadium/30&0 Field and its sprawling athletic complex.

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No wonder there’s a Ross Historical Center anchored in downtown Sidney.

Dave is who we turned to about all things concerning Sidney football. He delivered like the dedicated champion of Sidney his community has come to expect.

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This is the 30&0 anniversary logo commemorating the Sidney High School football teams that posted consecutive 10-0 records during the 1968-70 seasons. The teams will be honored during Sidney’s bicentennial on Labor Day weekend, 2020. CONTRIBUTED

This is the 30&0 anniversary logo commemorating the Sidney High School football teams that posted consecutive 10-0 records during the 1968-70 seasons. The teams will be honored during Sidney’s bicentennial on Labor Day weekend, 2020. CONTRIBUTED

caption arrowCaption
This is the 30&0 anniversary logo commemorating the Sidney High School football teams that posted consecutive 10-0 records during the 1968-70 seasons. The teams will be honored during Sidney’s bicentennial on Labor Day weekend, 2020. CONTRIBUTED

In his words, here’s who Dave considers the all-time seven best football players at Sidney High School, plus a few bonuses. He contributed the following text, the 16th in a continuing series. Have something to say about this alphabetical list? Email your comments to sports@coxohio.com.

This also is a request for scanned photos of any of these great players, coaches and community icons to be sent to the above email address.

Location: Sidney, Shelby County.

Type: Public.

Affiliation: Greater Western Ohio Conference, American North Division.

Division: D-II, Region: 8; no change from last season.

Coach: Adam Doenges.

2017 season opener: St. Marys Memorial at Sidney Memorial Stadium, Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m.

1. Dick Flanagan, RB/DB, Class of 1943: "Captain Dick" was the state's leading scorer in 1943 with 133 points (eight games), including the enduring school record of 45 points against Miamisburg. Ran, caught, tackled, punted, passed and kicked for the Yellow Jackets over four seasons. His jersey number 27 is Sidney's only retired number.

Also a great back at Ohio State University, rushed for 406 yards and blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Les Horvath during the 9-0-0 season in 1944 for the second-ranked Buckeyes. NFL linebacker with Bears, Lions and Steelers over eight seasons and had eight interceptions.

Knocked down Otto Graham pass in 1952 NFL title game to seal Lions’ win over Browns. In 1953 the Sidney MVP award was originated and named after Dick. Appropriately, the other six players on this list have received it.

2. Mike Flanagan, WR/DB, 1971: The true common denominator of the 30-game winning streak. A dominant receiver (110 catches), punter, defensive back and kick returner. Scored 48 touchdowns from multiple ways.

Mike’s punting ensured solid field position throughout “30 & 0.” His three-year average was almost 40 yards with good hang time and his final boot went 62 yards on the fly with no return. Also played running back when injuries dictated, held for place-kicks and handled onside kickoffs.

Most recruited player in Sidney history. Played for John Pont and Lee Corso at Indiana, where he also played baseball. In three varsity seasons he caught 66 passes for three TDs and threw for two others. One of each was against Ohio State.

3. Kris Haines, RB/KR, 1975: Blossomed into a great running back for 9-1-0 team in as a senior in 1974, gaining 1,404 yards rushing including 307 in his second-to-last game and a 95-yard TD jaunt a week later. Fine kick returner.

Big-time colleges saw him as a receiver and he became Joe Montana’s favorite target at Notre Dame with 60 catches and seven TDs his final two seasons. Played in the 1977 National Championship game in the Cotton Bowl against Texas. A year later he caught the winning TD in the same game against Houston and eventually joined the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame along with Montana.

Pro career included Redskins, Bears and Bills in addition to the USFL and Canadian leagues.

4. Derik Hines, RB/LB, 1979: Fine runner and linebacker who rushed for 2,304 career yards, including 1,223 as a senior for the 8-1-1 squad of 1978 when he missed the season finale. Involved in 60 tackles as a Sidney senior with two INTs. Also scored 14 TDs, which included two TD catches.

Widely recruited, then started for four years as a linebacker at Miami University. Had 104 tackles as a sophomore. He was also an emergency running back as a Miami senior.

5. John Wiggins, RB, 1970: Great tailback on the first two of the three "30 & 0" seasons. Averaged almost 26 yards per carry on the first night of the streak en route to 1,321 rushing yards and 166 points that 1968 season. Injuries slowed him in 1969 but he still ran for 1,261 yards.

Switched to receiver at Miami where he was reunited with QB Steve Williams. His senior season of 1973 included a Tangerine Bowl win over Florida and perfect 11-0-0 record as he led the team with 27 catches for 414 yards and two TDs.

6. Steve Williams, QB/DB, 1969: Great two-season option QB and team leader who drove the Yellow Jackets to their first 10-0-0 campaign. His brother Bruce ran the team as the QB the next two years with the same result.

Steve threw for 1,732 yards and 23 TDs in 1968. Also a solid defensive back. Started at Miami his last two seasons, going 7-3-0 in each. He threw five TD passes and ran for two more.

7. Bob Zimpfer, OL/DL, 1956: Outstanding two way tackle/center who went on to star at Bowling Green, where he played on three MAC title teams (22-3-2 overall record) and one national championship under legendary coach Doyt Perry. Years later, his BG position coach called him "the best tackle I ever coached."

His coach at Sidney, Wayne Gibson, joined the staff at Miami and then coached against Zimpfer. Drafted by Denver Broncos. Inducted into BGSU athletic hall of fame.

Honorable mention: Harrison Brown, E, Class of 1933; Bill Bynum, RB, 1959; Dutch Carey, E/K, 1938; Howard Daniel, RB, 1979; Bob Dye, OL/DL, 1952; Thomas Foster, RB, 1991; Jack Foy, RB, 2010; Ross Hoewischer, RB, 2000; Dave Leistner, LB, 1971;

Jeff Manchester, RB/LB/K/P, 1976; Dan Meyers, RB, 1957; Paul Neves, RB/LB, 1997; Bob Osborne, RB/K/Snapper, 1971; Dennis Powell, C/LB, 1971; Harley Saltmarsh, E, 1926; Dan Spangler, RB/LB, 1971; Lorenzo Taborn, OL/DL, 2016; Chris VanTilburgh, RB, 1998; Bruce Williams, QB, 1971; Gary York, RB/LB, 1975.

Honorable mention note: An exhaustive list including all MVPs and award winners from every season was considered. No current players were included in this analysis.

Extra points

Dan Allen, 1967, assistant coach: Played for Dave Haines, then returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach for the next five decades. He's a member of the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association's Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame.

Dave Haines, 1960-74, head coach: Only Sidney head coach for more than nine years. His top four seasons saw a record of 39-1-0. Had a 15-season combined record of 85-60-3. His son Kris Haines was MVP in that final season of the Haines coaching era.

Jim and Carolyn Spangler: The First Family of Sidney football raised 11 children, including eight boys who became team members. Two siblings, Don (1960) and Dan (1972), were Yellow Jackets MVPs. The three daughters followed mom's example and became active Sidney Football Moms. Jim was a former SHS player. Numerous Spangler descendants have kept the family tradition of playing Sidney football going.

Web Sterline, 1897, pioneer/player/coach/lineman: Captained Sidney's first squad in 1896 and also helped coach the team since he was the only member who had played the game. He was a fixture in adult amateur football in Sidney as a player until age 51. Faithfully followed SHS football even after his 100th birthday.

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