Flipping through the pages of time


Many years ago when I was a sports editor for this paper I found myself with a little extra time during the summer months. We were a two-day-a-week paper for part of that time and not a lot happens sportswise locally in the summer, so one summer I spent whatever extra time I had looking up old Hillsboro football scores and documenting other statistics.

It was mostly football stuff that I continued to add to as time passed. Over the years I compiled a folder full of information. In recent years the folder has mostly rested in a file cabinet and is seldom used. But from time to time it comes in handy.

A few weeks ago, after covering my first high school football games in a few years, I got the folder out to look something up. It has been setting on my desk since, either because I was too lazy to put it away, or maybe because I thought some of the information might be interesting to local football fans and I figured I could share some of it when the right time came around.

That time has come.

Much of the information is too lengthy to go into. For instance, I could tell you the score of every Hillsboro varsity football game played from 1960 to 1998. Obviously, there is not enough space here to list them all, but I will share with you the teams’ records, both league and overall.

1960 – 1-6, 3-7

1961 – 3-4, 5-5

1962 – 4-3, 6-3-1

1963 – 3-3, 6-4

1964 – 3-2, 5-5

1965 – 3-1-1, 4-5-1

1966 – 0-5, 0-10

1967 – 0-5, 0-10

1968 – 1-4, 3-7

1969 – 0-5, 1-9

1970 – 2-3, 5-5

1971 – 0-5, 4-6

1972 – 0-5, 1-8

1973 – 2-4, 2-8

1974 – 0-6, 2-8

1975 – 1-5, 4-6

1976 – 1-5, 3-7

1977 – 3-3-1, 5-4-1

1978 – 4-3, 5-5

1979 – 5-2, 8-2

1980 – 2-4-1, 4-5-1

1981 – 3-4, 5-5

1982 – 4-3, 6-4

1983 – 2-5, 3-7

1984 – 3-3, 7-3

1985 – 1-4, 4-6

1986 – 1-4, 3-7

1987 – 1-4, 6-4

1988 – 4-1, 8-2

1989 – 3-2, 6-4

1990 – 1-3, 3-7

1991 – 2-2, 6-4

1992 – 6-0, 10-1

1993 – 5-1, 8-2

1994 – 6-0, 9-2

1995 – 7-0, 10-1

1996 – 7-0, 10-1

1997 – 5-1, 7-3

1998 – 6-0, 10-1

Note – In seasons where Hillsboro played more than 10 games, they qualified for the state playoffs. Hillsboro has never won a playoff football game.

I wish the list continued to the present. But eventually I moved on to covering news other than sports, and the list was filed away. But it does contain lots of other information.

It says that since the South Central Ohio League originated in 1923, Hillsboro has won one outright SCOL football title (1930) and shared another in 1988 (the Indians won several Southern Buckeye Conference titles in the 1990s, but I do not have that list). McClain, on the other hand, was once a football powerhouse, but has not won a football championship of any kind since 1960. However, the Tigers won outright SCOL titles in 1938, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1953, 1957, 1959 and 1960; and shared titles in 1924, 1941, 1954 and 1958.

My stats will show you that Hillsboro’s most successful football coach ever, and its longest tenured, at least since 1960, was Jim Horne. His son, Nathan, has been an assistant on Hillsboro’s football staff for several years.

In 15 years at Hillsboro, Jim Horne compiled a record of 100-54. Horne’s Indians played in the SCOL from 1983-91, and in the SBC from 1992-97. His SCOL teams were 18-28 in league games and 46-44 overall. His SBC teams were 36-2 in the conference and 54-10 overall.

I have a list of all McClain football coaches from 1916 through 2006, along with how many games they won and lost. I did not compile the list, but here they are, with first names omitted: 1916-17, Beghold, 9-6-1; 1919-23, Hayes, 15-19-4; 1924-26, Burdette, 13-7-2; 1927-28, Larkin, 5-9-2; 1929-41, Armstrong, 65-29-8; 1942, Creason, 4-2; 1943-50, Griesheimer, 30-34-3; 1951-53, Marcum, 15-9-1; 1954-59, Orr, 37-13-4; 1960-62, Watts, 9-20-1; 1963-65, Damron, 5-24-1; 1966-70, Orr, 15-35; 1971-72, Knierim, 6-14; 1973-77, Brisker, 24-25-1; 1978, Hill, 3-7; 1979-83, Fouch, 10-38-2; 1984-89, Wagner, 19-41; 1990-94, Dawson, 21-29; 1995-04, Gossett, 48-52; 2005-06, Closson, 8-12.

I have Hillsboro’s cumulative won-loss record against every school it played in football from 1960, the first year the Indians played at Richards Memorial Field, through 1986. Here they are: Pleasant View 4-0, Zane Trace 4-0, Paint Valley 4-0, Bethel 2-0, East Clinton 2-0, Milford 2-0, Williamsburg 2-0, Enon Greenon 1-0, Hamilton Township 1-0, Madison Plains 10-2, Blanchester 4-1, Teays Valley 4-2-1, Unioto 10-5, McClain 15-12, Frankfort Adena 2-2, Western Brown 2-2, Goshen 1-1, McDermott NW 1-1, Springfield NE 1-1, Zanesville Rosecrans 1-1, Columbus Wherle 1-1, New Richmond 8-8; Clermont NE 2-3, Washington C.H. 9-18, Wilmington 7-20, Ironton 0-1-1, Franklin Heights 1-5, Miami Trace 4-22, Lebanon 1-7, Circleville 0-25-2, Dayton Fairmont 0-1, Greenhills 0-1, St. Mary’s 0-1, Bishop Hartley 0-2, Lloyd, Ky. 0-2, Miamisburg 0-2, Wilbur Wright 0-2, Logan 0-3, Portsmouth 0-3, Clinton-Massie 0-4.

I can tell you that Jim Horne got pretty creative with his offense in 1990. One of his running backs, Rodney Captain, threw 16 passes that year. Against Miami Trace, Captain completed 3 of 8 passes for 54 yards with one interception.

In 1995, Hillsboro’s Keith Ford rushed 111 times for 1,387 yards and 24 touchdowns. That’s an eye-popping 12.5 yard per carry. But he was not alone. Rusty Swachhamker rushed 67 times for 464 yards (7.1 ypc) and 15 TDs; and Brian Swisshelm rushed 52 times for 437 yards (8.4 ypc) and five TDS. And there were more than 10 other Indians who carried the football that year.

I could go on and on, but columns have to end somewhere and this one is already long enough.

So, for now the old folder with tattered edges and a taped-together spine will go back to its resting place until it’s called on again.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

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