Ferron “Fred” Sifford – Class of 1921

Fred Sifford was one of the Tigers’ best athletes of the early years.  He was outstanding in football, basketball and baseball.  “Tow”, as he was also known, played left end in football, forward in basketball, and the outfield in baseball.

Basketball was his best sport, playing a part in Stivers three straight state championships in 1919, 1920 and 1921.  As a sophomore in 1919, he was named to the All-Ohio First Team.  As junior, Fred was suspended for the last half of the Stivers season or would undoubtedly have been named to the All-Ohio team again.  He played the last half of that 1920 year with the semi-pro Tacoma Triangles.  Whether or not he got paid is debatable.  In 1921 Fred played for the Tigers until the last two state tournament games.  He was suspended for those two games, won by Stivers, due to school disciplinary infractions.  In several basketball games during his Stivers career Fred scored more points than the opposition team.

In the 1919 state championship game against Cleveland East Tech, Stivers played the last 8 minutes with only 4 players, but still won the game 25-22.  Harvey Schwab, Sam Ward and Max Matusoff had fouled out.  In those days a team could only dress 7 players.

After graduation from Stivers, Fred worked for the Delco G.M. plant and played semi-pro basketball.  From 1921 through 1930 he played for the Dayton Delcos, Dayton Scales, Dayton Maxwells, Dayton Koors 29, Dayton-Troy Auto, Dayton-Troy Ford, Dayton Buckingham All-Stars and Dayton Kellys per the Pro Basketball Encyclopedia 2019.

In 1932 Fred was still playing for the Dayton Guards and the next year he coached the team.

By 1936 and for the next 50 years, Sifford was in the restaurant business.  He owned and managed The Pub restaurant on East Third Street in Dayton.  He also served on the Montgomery County Permit Holders Association Committee.

Ferron “Fred” Sifford died in 1986 at the age of 84 and is buried in the Highland Cemetery in Covington, Ohio.

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