Amelia High School began its football program exactly 50 years ago – the 1956-57 school year.
Amelia began playing varsity football later than many of the Clermont County high schools.
Batavia actually played one game in 1900 versus Madisonville High School, a scoreless tie, and did not play again until 1923, stopped again in 1926, restarted in 1954, called it quits once more in 1958, and began anew in 1973.
Milford’s start was in September 1913 with a 6-0 victory over Madisonville.
Bethel began on Nov. 2, 1923, with a loss to Batavia 25-0. The Tigers closed the curtain in 1926 and restarted in 1954.
Williamsburg launched on Sept. 17, 1954, with a 12-0 triumph over Bethel.
New Richmond’s premier was on Sept. 16, 1955, with a 13-0 decision over Williamsburg.
Goshen’s inaugural was on Sept. 28, 1956, with a 19-6 loss to the fledgling Amelia team.
Felicity got underway on Sept. 13, 1957, with a 13-0 loss to Williamsburg. The Cardinals’ last school year in which the Red and White competed on the gridiron was 1967-68.
Clermont Northeastern, in only its second year as a high school, had a schedule for the 1959-60 season, but did not play any games. The Rockets’ actual first game was played Sept. 11, 1964, with a 13-12 loss to Felicity. The old Owensville High School Blackhawks (orange and black were the school colors) did not compete in football. It’s last graduating class was in 1958 before being consolidated into Clermont Northeastern.
Moscow High School, whose teams were usually known as the Yellow Jackets (yellow and black were the school colors), and at other times, the Pirates, never had enough boys to field a football team. It’s last graduating class was in 1959 with just 10 class members; the largest-ever was the class of 1954 that had 22 class members. For a few years the former Moscow district students attended Felicity High School. Today the students who live in the former Moscow School District attend New Richmond schools.
Glen Este, the newest high school in the county, was of course the last to field a football team. The Trojans opened on Sept. 6, 1963, with a 42-0 loss to Loveland.
Not only is this the beginning of 50 more years of Amelia varsity football, but that first squad of Barons was unique to Clermont County history. Amelia is the only county varsity football program to begin with an unbeaten season.
The Blue and White opened on Sept. 25, 1956, with a 12-7 victory over New Richmond. Running back Bob Cann scored the first touchdown on a 70-yard end sweep on the first-ever play from scrimmage on the field that today is being used by the Amelia Youth Football teams. The field is located behind Amelia Elementary on Church Street and the poles to the lights on that field are the same ones that lighted the games that the high school played there through November 1960. The adjoining baseball field is the same on which the 1950 Ohio Class B State Champion Barons played.
The night in 1997 that he was inducted into the Amelia High School Sports Hall of Fame, Joe Barbieri, the first Amelia High School head football coach, laughingly remembered, “When Bobby scored that touchdown the first time he’d ever carried the ball, he came over to the sideline laughing and said how easy football is. The next time he got the ball they were ready for him and piled up on him.”
The remaining scores from Amelia’s inaugural season were Goshen 19-6, Anderson 27-0, Goshen 25-12, Williamsburg 6-6, McNicholas 20-6, Milford 13-0, and Ohio Military Institute 25-0.
Jim Danner was the only varsity assistant football coach at the Barony. He said, “Joe Barbieri from Cincinnati was the head coach and the only other football coach besides myself. He had been in a car accident and I had to take over for awhile. I didn’t know a thing about football. I was the head basketball coach. I got them in shape and Joe did the rest