Galion’s 1985 state football champs to be honored

Reunion dinner Sept. 17 at Galion Moose

By Andrew Carter -

Although it’s been thirty years, the memory of the Galion Tigers’ 1985 state championship football season is still fresh for players, coaches and fans of the orange and blue who enjoyed that magical season.

To commemorate the accomplishment and honor the men who brought that dream to life, the Galion Football Parents group will host a reunion dinner on Sept. 17, and the Galion Gridiron Club plans to host the team during the current Tigers’ home game on Sept. 18.

Christine Deibig, president of the Galion Football Parents, said the reunion dinner will be held at the Galion Moose, located at 520 S. Market St., beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. Deibig said the public is invited to the dinner.

Appetizers and drinks will be available at 5 p.m. followed by the dinner at 6 p.m. The cost is $25 per person.

Lee Owens, the Tigers’ head coach from 1983-87, is scheduled to speak at the reunion dinner. He led Galion to a record of 33-11-1 during his tenure as head coach. He is the current head coach at Ashland University.

To reserve a place, contact Christine Deibig at 419-961-4534, or John Deibig at 419-512-1185. Checks should be made payable to Galion Football Parents.

During Galion’s home game against Buckeye Valley on Friday, Sept. 18, the Galion Gridiron Club will host the 1985 Tigers in the north end zone of Unckrich Stadium before and during the contest. The team will be recognized during a ceremony at halftime. All 1985 team members are invited to meet with the Gridiron Club at the stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 18.

That Championship Season

After compiling a 10-0 regular season, the Tigers were seeded fourth in the final Div. II, Reg. 6 computer rankings ahead of the opening round of the 1985 postseason. That season marked Galion’s first appearance in the state playoffs. Galion was ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press Class AAA poll and was No. 6 in the United Press International (UPI) poll.

In the Div. II, Reg. 6 playoffs, the Tigers defeated Toledo DeVilbiss, 26-13, in the opening game, and then eliminated Avon Lake, 24-13, to advance to the state tournament.

Galion knocked off Cincinnati Greenhills, 14-10, in the state semifinals at Cooper Stadium to set up the championship battle against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, a program that had won state gold in 1973, 1980 and 1982. Prior to the game, Mooney already had championship gear made with the slogan “Mooney 1985 State Champs” emblazoned on hats, which the players wore on game day.

The Cardinals’ notion of hoisting a fourth trophy in 1985 proved to be premature, at best.

In the title game at Ohio Stadium, the Tigers shut down the Cardinals, 6-0, to claim the Div. II state football championship and complete a perfect season at 14-0.

Galion Tigers 1985

Regular Season

Galion 14, Ashland 7

Galion 32, Mount Vernon 10

Galion 54, Ontario 0

Galion 58, Norwalk 7

Galion 14, Bellevue 6

Galion 30, Willard 7

Galion 67, Upper Sandusky 12

Galion 42, Shelby 21

Galion 73, Bucyrus 0

Galion 40, Tiffin Columbian 14

Div. II Region 6 Playoffs

Galion 26, Toledo DeVilbiss 13

Galion 24, Avon Lake 13

State Semifinals

Galion 14, Cin. Greenhills 10

State Championship

Galion 6, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney 0

(NOTE: Historical information obtained from A Comprehensive High School Football Records Manual, The Schools of the Northern Ohio League (1894-1997) compiled and edited by Merl F. Kleinknecht, and from the Ohio High School Athletic Association website,
Reunion dinner Sept. 17 at Galion Moose

By Andrew Carter

Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.

Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.