Wertz resignsas coach to bePiqua AD in 1951

Duane Bachman

Duane Bachman


FALL 1951

On December 29, 1950, the following article appeared in the Piqua Daily Call. “G. P. (Buck) Wertz, head football coach at Central High school since 1925, resigned today to devote full time to the athletic directorship of the Piqua School. Wertz, who celebrated his silver anniversary here a year ago, has been a football coach for 28 years, including 26 as head coach here. He will continue as Athletic Director, track coach and teacher of science, Supt. Sims added today. In 26 years at Piqua, Wertz’ teams have won 165 games, lost 63 and have played 21 tie games. Piqua grid teams, under Wertz, have won or shared the Miami Valley League title ten times, more than any other school in the league.”

“William (Bill) Wehr, recently appointed Central High school football coach was introduced to students this morning in a special assembly at the high school. The 27-year-old Denison graduate and former assistant coach under Woody Hayes at Miami University, arrived here early this morning after driving from the Miami campus where he is completing post-graduate study. Wehr, successor to veteran coach G. P. Wertz, met briefly with football squad candidates at the close of the assembly and was introduced to members of the school faculty.

“A short time later, in a meeting with candidates for this year’s football team he told the boys: ‘You may have ability, but if you have only the desire and heart to play you’ll play a lot for me. He added that he will stress speed and downfield blocking and plans to use a ‘split-T line with a T-backfield.’ Explaining this system, Wehr added that each lineman will be split a foot or more in a balanced line. Now single, Wehr plans to return here a ‘married man’ after a July wedding.”

“A Dayton Roosevelt team that took advantage of every mistake inexperienced Piqua made buried the Indians under a five touchdown, 35-0 score in the opening game of the 1951 football season here Friday night. Piqua got no closer to the Roosevelt goal line than the 25 yard line, although the Indians’ efforts were not entirely as futile as the final score suggests. If the 5,000 –odd fans in the stands at Roosevelt Stadium wanted their Indians to win, the Indians themselves wanted twice as much to succeed, but the over-anxious efforts of Coach Bill Wehr’s ‘impatient sophomores’ were the very things that cost them the ball game. Roosevelt’s power plays off the single wing gave Piqua fans an impressive show, but the missed blocks and too-quick lunges of the Indians would have made any system impressive. Fumbles and a bad case of ‘jitters’ also weakened Piqua offensively. “

“Improved line play and ball handling carried Central High school’s Indians to a 26-6 win over Cincinnati Reading here Friday night as the Tribe turned a close game into a runaway in the final period of play. A crowd of more than 4,000 saw Coach Bill Wehr’s sophomore studded ball club come from behind to take a 7-6 lead early in the game and then explode for three touchdowns in a fourth period running display that left fans weak.”

“A fast-running, vicious blocking Xenia Central team scored a 13-0 win over luckless Piqua here Friday night in the opening game of the Miami Valley League season. Running from semi-spread offensive formations which made fast-footed ball carriers hard to handle, the Xenia team scored in the first three minutes of play and spent the remainder of the game watching Piqua commit costly errors, and suffer misfortunes. Fumbles cost Piqua the ball game as the Indians drove time after time into Xenia territory only to lose possession of the ball. One of seven Piqua fumbles set up Xenia’s second touchdown in the third period, while another ended a Piqua threat at the Xenia 11-yard line.”

“Scoring in every period, Sidney High schools’ free-wheeling Yellow Jackets walloped an underdog Piqua team 35-0 Friday night before a near capacity crowd at Sidney’s Julia Lamb Stadium. The defeat, which duplicated Piqua’s early season loss to Dayton Roosevelt, was accomplished in exactly the same margin. The Sidney team scored two of its five touchdowns on fumble recoveries and used countless other Piqua mistakes to further widen the gap.”

“Favored Troy kept an undefeated record intact here Friday night as the terrific Trojans walloped Piqua 41-12 in the 57th renewal of the Miami Valley League’s hottest football rivalry. The Trojans, paced by George Huggins, who scored four of the six Troy touchdowns and Jack Gilmore, who converted in five of six attempts, scored at least twice in every period against a Piqua team that was game, but badly outclassed. A near capacity crowd of more than 5,000 – almost half of them Trojans – saw the unbeaten Troy team score its fifth straight in of the season after racing to a 21-6 lead in the first two periods of play.”

“An underdog Piqua team marched the length of the playing field in the final minutes of play to hold Miamisburg to a 13-13 tie Friday night at chilly Harmon Field. The Indians, blocking and tackling with a viciousness that left the field strewn with Miamisburg players, literally played the Vikings off their feet, missing victory only by the margin of an unsuccessful try-for-point. A sparse crowd of shivering fans sat stunned in their seats as Piqua stopped a Miamisburg drive cold at the one yard line and then drove downfield to deadlock the score with two minutes remaining in the game.’ ‘Undefeated Fairmont handed Central High school its worst defeat in nine seasons here Thursday night as the Devastating Dragons ran, passed and blocked their way to a 54-7 rout of the luckless Indians. Behind downfield blocking and tackling that was a thing of beauty to behold, the Dragons raced to seven touchdowns in the first three periods of play in a one sided exhibition that found Piqua ready and willing — and yet unable. The defeat was Piqua’s worst since the football season of 1942, when Oakwood High school of Dayton walloped the Indians 52-0. The game delayed for nearly 45 minutes by balky field lights and lengthy pre-game ceremonies was scarcely more than two minutes old before Fairmont intercepted a Piqua pass and ran the ball over for the first of a seemingly endless parade of touchdowns.”

“Central High school’s Indians braved a miniature blizzard which turned the playing field into a white-fringed sea of mud to score a 60-7 win over Oakwood Friday night before scarcely more than 500 fans at Oakwood stadium. The Indians, who had gone to the post five times in the Miami Valley League play without coming home a winner, scored four times in the second and fourth quarters to turn what had been a close game into a rout. Leading only 12-7 at the end of the first period, the Tribe punched across a touchdown in the early minutes of the second quarter and then proceeded to turn the contest into an endless parade of touchdowns.”

“Touchdown runs of 95 and 90 yards went unrewarded as Central High school’s Indians dropped a heartbreaking 21-19 decision to Greenville in the final game of the football season here Friday night. The two long runs, a kickoff return by Bob Ritter from the Piqua five yard line and a 90 yard run from scrimmage by quarterback Art Thomas, were accompanied by beautiful downfield blocking and gave Piqua a 13-7 lead in the second quarter. But Greenville came roaring back to score the lone touchdown in the third and fourth periods to re-capture the lead, while Piqua managed only one more touchdown and failed to connect in two of its three point-after-touchdown attempts. The contest, played in ideal football weather, was a thriller from start to finish as a Piqua team that found itself down seven points early in the second quarter lashed back to take the lead, fell behind again, but never quit.”

Duane Bachman
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2016/09/web1_bachmanmug.jpgDuane Bachman