Dover Football’s Deep History


Dylan Grewell, Staff Writer

Dover Football has a big impact on this community. Some say that our community revolves around sports. Dover has a rich tradition with football, and it arguably has one of the best rivalries in the state of Ohio. The rivalry against New Phila dates back all the way to 1896. It is currently the 4th oldest rivalry in Ohio. Dover leads the all-time series 58-51-9.

Our school has had a lot of success in football. Dover’s success dates all the way back to 1931 and 1932. Those teams had a streak of 18 wins in a row at one point. In 1933, Dover won the AP poll title. The leader of that team was Frank “Doc” Kelker. He was the captain of the football team, and he was a part of the 1933 state championship basketball team. He also led the baseball team to a 23-4 record. He is arguably the best athlete in Dover history. He still has the 100-yard dash record of 9.9 seconds! They called him “Mr. Everything.”

The Football team is known for having multiple famous alumni. Some notable ones are James Black, Frank Ellwood, and Monty Hunter. James Black is an actor, and he played professional football for the Cleveland Browns. Frank Ellwood was a very good football player for Dover, and he ended up playing for Ohio State. After playing football himself, he became a college football coach. He coached for Georgia Southern, Marshall, and Ohio State. Lastly, Monty Hunter was a great football player for Dover. He went to college at Salem University, and he played cornerback. Then, he was drafted into the NFL, and he was selected in the 4th round by the Dallas Cowboys. Monty ended up playing for 2 more NFL teams which were the St Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins. 

I asked senior football player Gavin Blind his thoughts on playing for coach Ifft, and he had this to say “Playing for Coach Ifft, and Dover is really special. It’s a great experience and coach Ifft is amazing at what he does. He really teaches great discipline, not only on the football field but in life. Playing on Friday nights is a great experience with an electric crowd and the supporting fans every week. The traditions we have at Dover is what’s really special, and our huge rivalry is always great. It feels so good to be a part of all of it. I love playing in the Brickhouse in front of my friends, family, and my brothers. I want to thank the coaches that teach about life more than anyone else.” This is one of the many ways Dover football has made a big impact on our community.