Dorian Pringle Receives Touchdown Club Award
At the end of each season the Touchdown Club honors one of the players with the “Bob Commings Memorial Hardnose Award.” That player would have received the most votes from among weekly tallies taken by the club members. Past honorees include John Muhlbach (Ohio State), David Whitfield (Ohio State), Chris Spielman (Ohio State), Shawn Crable (Michigan), Brian Gamble (Illinois/Ashland) and Willtrell Hartson (Ohio State). Click here for the complete list of past award winners.
Bob Commings was a very successful coach for the Tigers from 1969 to 1973, compiling a record of 43-6-2, including a qualification for Ohio’s first ever state playoff games (1972) and winning Massillon’s last state championship prior to this year (1970). Commings departed following the 1973 season to become head coach of the University of Iowa and later coached at GlenOak High School, for which their field is currently named.
This year’s hardnose award winner is Dorian Pringle, the Tigers’ record-setting linebacker and running back, who helped lead his team to a 16-0 record and a Division 2 playoff state championship. Dorian received the award from Bob Commings Jr., son of the former Massillon coach, and George Mizer, this year’s president of the Touchdown Club.
Pringle started at middle linebacker for two years and was immediately cast as a clone of Chris Spielman, who played linebacker for both the state runner-up 1982 team and the 9-win 1983 team, based on his smart, aggressive and physical style of play. In his junior year he was awarded 1st Team All-State and NE Inland District Co-Defensive Player of the Year. This past season, he was again awarded NE Inland District Co-Defensive Player of the Year. The All-State team has yet to be released, but he is certain to again be named 1st Team and perhaps Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2022, Pringle led the team with 69.5 tackle points, 21.5 tackles-for-loss and 114 tackles-for-loss yards. He also sacked the quarterback 5.5 times for a loss of 47 yards and blocked two kicks. As a running back, he carried the ball 54 times for 294 yards (5.4 ave) and scored six touchdowns. This year, in spite of losing four games to injury, he was second on the team with 61.0 tackle points and led the team with 24.5 tackles-for-loss and 126 tackles-for-loss yards He also recovered three fumbles, blocked a kick and produced at least three tackles-for-loss in each of six different games. On the ground, he carried the ball 50 times for 246 yards (4.9 ave.) and 14 touchdowns and was second on the team in scoring with 84 points.
Here are the Massillon defensive records he set during his two years of varsity ball:
- Single season tackles-for-loss
- Single season tackles-for-loss yards
- Single season quarterback sacks
- Single season quarterback sacks yards
- Career tackles-for-loss
- Career tackles-for-loss yards
- Career quarterback sacks
- Career quarterback sacks yards
What is most remarkable is that he tore his MCL at the beginning of the game against Westerville South (Week 12) and didn’t play again until the Hoban game (Week 16), having strengthened the joint sufficiently in between to return to the field. Once there, he was a tremendous factor in the victory. Not only did he lead the team in tackles, he sacked the quarterback three times and broke up a pass at end of the game to secure the win and the state championship. Unknown to most fans is that he was blitzing on that play, but recognized an uncovered receiver heading downfield. So he reverse direction and chased down the player, catching him in time to knock the ball out of his hands. That lone play determined the winner of the game.
Pringle, on winning the Hardnose Award – “I really appreciate it. It’s a whole team award. I’m pleased that everyone worked hard the whole season. And I want to thank the people who voted for me.”
Pringle, on winning the state title – “I’m very happy. Our team, we put a lot of work in, like I said. And it all came together and showed at the end that we’re the best team in the state.”
A big congratulations goes out to Dorian Pringle, a true Massillon Tiger!
(l-r) Touchdown Club Chairman George Mizer, Dorian Pringle, Head Coach Nate Moore
(l-r) George Mizer, Dorian Pringle, father of Dorian Pringle
Co-captains: (bottom row, l-r) Da’One Owens, Coach Nate Moore; (top row, l-r) Ryan Page, Chase Bond, George Mizer, Dorian Pringle, Cody Fair, Zach Liebler and Sam Snodgrass.