Author: <span>Don Engelhardt</span>


Become An Active Member of the Booster Club

The Massillon Tiger Football Booster Club is the principal public support organization for the Massillon football program.  Its primary purpose is to promote and maintain interest in Massillon Washington High School Football on the highest standard in the state, and to assist the coach and his staff in providing for each individual participating in the football program all the help possible in developing their moral, physical and scholastic ability and to further their loyalty to team and school.

To join the Club, Tiger fans need simply to contribute a minimum fee of $10.00, which can be obtained through this website, by clicking the “Booster Club Membership” page, which can be accessed through the Support Organizations section (main menu).

General membership meetings are held once per week on the Monday following each game and are open to each Booster Club card holder.  The bulk of the meeting is conducted by the head coach, who performs a film review of the previous game and previews the upcoming game.  Often, the coach will have a few of the team co-captains on hand to address the Club.  The Booster Club President also updates the members on the status of any activities as appropriate.

While the visible part of Massillon football occurs on game night, there is a myriad of pursuits that take place behind the scenes, most of which are unknown to the casual fan.   The coaches spend countless hours molding our young men into a competitive team that we can all be proud of.  And the players do their part by focusing on becoming the strongest, fastest, most fundamental student-athletes that they are capable of.  But all of this takes money.  While ticket sales provide significant financial support to the program, it is not enough to make the whole effort work.  And that’s where the Booster Club comes into play.

Throughout the year the Club conducts various fund-raising activities.  The funds are used for:

  • Purchase of football gear
  • Player summer camps
  • Special requests from the coach
  • Miscellaneous Booster Club expenses

While there are hundreds of community residents that are Booster Club card holders, the number of “active” participants is much smaller and very stretched when it comes to supporting each of the activities that are needed to maintain and support such a great football program.  This is where help is needed.  Therefore, each Club member is sincerely requested to assist with just one event.  And if you enjoy the experience, try another.  Eventually, you will cultivate many friends, while being acknowledged for your contributions, which then affords an opportunity to grow within the organization.

Unlike with most high schools, the active membership of the Massillon Booster Club is not comprised solely of player dads.  Rather, it is a group of dedicated men and women that stay with program year-to-year.  They are the ones who have the passion to support the needs of the players and maintain the high standards of Massillon football.

Often, active members are invited to become members of the Junior Board, which is an accolade that signifies their willingness to participate in various Club endeavors when called upon.  Board members also gather throughout the year to receive and discuss updates from committee heads on status and strategy, giving members insight into those “behind the scenes” activities.

Further opportunities could then present to become a Booster Club officer and perhaps president of the Club, all of which carry 1-year terms.  Outgoing presidents then join with several others in a Senior Board, a group of past presidents that is tasked with approving major Club activities and expenditures.

But it all starts with a single activity.  You can contact the Booster Club via email at to get started.

Below is a breakdown of the various activities with which the Booster Club is involved.  All of these need the dedicated leadership and personal support of active Club members.


Massillon and Valdosta to Face Off in 2023. Finally!!!

It’s an intriguing matchup that’s been years in the making, one that is sure to receive national exposure.  And it’s finally going to happen to open the 2023 football season.  Valdosta, Georgia, the current No. 1 team in the U.S. in  terms of historical wins, will play Massillon, a previous holder of the top spot.

The game will be part of the Northeast Ohio Big School High School’s Showcase, also featuring three other Ohio teams, including Lakewood St. Edward, Akron Hoban and Cleveland Glenville.  Their opponents have yet to be named.  The venue for all games is Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, which seats 16,884.  While Massillon is scheduled play on the Friday, the other games are slated for Saturday as part of a triple-header.


The Wildcats first fielded a team in 1913 and since that time have compiled an overall record of 944-262-44, which is seven wins ahead of the No. 2 team, Louisville Male of Kentucky.  They have won six national championships (between 1962 and 1992) and 24 Georgia state championships, the most recent coming in 2016.   In 2008 Valdosta was named as ESPN’s “Titletown USA.”  Later, Netflix created an 8-part series titled, “Titletown High,” which chronicles the 2020 season.

In 2022 Valdosta finished with a record of 8-3, losing 28-13 to Westlake in the first round of the state playoffs.  Their record over the past five years is 33-26.  Four times in that span they qualified for the playoffs and, as their best performance, advanced to the Division 6A state semifinals in 2020.

The Wildcats return defensive lineman Eric Brantley (co-Region 7A-1 Defensive Player of the Year), offensive lineman Demauree Bennet (1st Team All-Region), offensive lineman Jalen Burgess (1st Team All-Region), inside linebacker Aman Tomblin (1st Team All-Region), and 3-star recruit outside linebacker Jaylen Bentley (1st Team All-Region).


Massillon owns an historical record of 932-338-32 and is currently fourth in the national rankings, one win behind Mayfield, Kentucky.  The Tigers began playing football in 1891 and have won 9 national championships and 24 Ohio state championships (the most recent being in 1970).  Twenty-three times they finished the regular season unbeaten.  As the subject of numerous books and films, the most popular entry was the theater production, “Go Tigers,” which covered the 1999 season.

In 2022 Massillon finished with an overall record of 12-2, losing 41-20 the Division 2 state semifinals to Akron Hoban.  The lone regular season loss was to Cincinnati Moeller, which advanced to the Division 1 state semifinals.  A signature win came in Week 5 against Lakewood St. Edward, which went on to capture the Division 1 state championship.  The Tigers’ record over the past five years is 61-9, which includes five appearances in the state playoffs, four regional championships and three state finals appearances.

Massillon returns 8 starters on offense and 9 on defense, including linebacker Dorian Pringle (1st Team All-Ohio), offensive lineman Evan Sirgo (Honorable Mention All-Ohio), linebacker Cody Fair (Honorable Mention All-Ohio), and highly recruited 6’-6” tight end Nolan Davenport.


Jim Reichenbach – Wall of Champions

It’s been said that you can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.  How true that is for Massillon legend Jim Reichenbach, who excelled in football both as a player and as a coach and then, following his coaching retirement, returned to the 125-acre family farm he must have dearly loved.

Reichenbach was born in Massillon on January 15, 1933, and the big farm boy got his first taste of organized football at Lorin Andrews Junior High under coach Roger Price.  That opened the door to varsity football under coach Chuck Mather, where he started at offensive guard for three years running, 1948-50.  And success followed throughout his high school and college years.

He was a bull of a player as recalled by Jim Schumacher (1948-50).  “Reichenbach and I could work the blocking sled like a team of horses,” he said.  “We hit that thing a lot.  We could drive that baby 15 yards.  We were good because we were a team.” – Massillon Memories, Scott Shook.

In his sophomore year the Tigers finished 9-1 and were declared INS state champions.  The only loss that year was 14-0 to Alliance (9-1), which later in the season lost 46-7 to Canton McKinley (9-1).  But the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 21-12 a few weeks later, thus earning the title.

The following year Massillon repeated its 9-1 finish and was named AP state champion.  This time the loss was 16-12 to Mansfield (8-1), a squad that was mentored by former Tiger coach Augie Morningstar.  The Tygers finished 8-1 that year but lost 34-27 to unranked Akron South in the season opener.  Following the season the Mansfield community declared itself state champs based on the win over Massillon, but the AP voters seemed to differ.  Reichenbach was named 1st Team All-County.

Reichenbach marked his third year as a starter and added punting and goal line defense to his repertoire of duties.  He was also selected as the team captain.  The Tigers finished 10-0 and captured its third consecutive state championship.  The 1950 team was also considered to be one of Massillon’s best ever.  They averaged 41 points and gave up 4 per game.

Against McKinley, the Tigers rolled up 464 yards of offense in a 33-0 rout.  Reichenbach had fond memories of that game.  “The McKinley week in Massillon is a week that is hard to describe,” he said.  “A lot of schools try to duplicate that with other great rivalries, but I’m not sure any of them really reach the magnitude you find in Massillon/McKinley.” – Massillon Memories, Scott Shook.

At season’s end, Reichenbach was named 1st Team All-County and 1st Team All-Ohio.  That led to his being recruited by Woody Hayes to play for Ohio State.


At OSU, Reichenbach played offensive lineman and defensive middle guard and was a starter for four years, from 1951-54.  His years there went like this:

  • 1951 – Record of 4-3-2. Lost to Michigan, 7-0.
  • 1952 – Record of 6-3. Defeated Michigan, 27-7.  Reichenbach was named 2nd Team All-American.  Grantland Rice noted that he was one of the Midwest’s top players and worthy of All-American status.
  • 1953 – Record of 6-3. Lost to Michigan, 20-0.
  • 1954 – Record of 10-0 (first undefeated season in the school’s history). Defeated six ranked teams, including Michigan, 21-7, and No. 2 Wisconsin, 31-14.  Defeated Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl, 20-7. Captured the national championship, ahead of No. 2 UCLA.  Reichenbach blocked for team MVP Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, who won the Heisman Trophy the following year.

There was come controversy surrounding OSU’s championship award following the 1954 Rose Bowl.  Unbeaten UCLA had defeated USC 34-0 in the regular season but was barred from the Rose Bowl due to the “no repeat” rule in place at that time.  Although Ohio State’s margin of victory against USC was less, the Rose Bowl was played in a driving rainstorm and OSU did put up 370 yards of offense, while USC’s lone score came via a punt return.

Nevertheless, at the end of the season Reichenbach was named Paramount News 1st Team All-American Guard.  And he is a member of the Varsity “O” Club.

“Jim was a terrific football player, and he also was a terrific guy,” said Dick Brubaker, a co-captain on that 1954 Ohio State team. “He had the right values.  He was understated, he was quiet, and he was smart.  Just a nice guy.  I had nothing but the utmost respect for him.”

Post-Ohio State, Reichenbach earned a master’s degree from Kent State University.  And he also served time in the military as an Air Force captain.


Football stayed with Reichenbach following his playing days and his first stop was as an assistant coach under former Massillon head coach Lee Tressel at Baldwin-Wallace.  In 1961 he became head coach of Glenwood and stayed there for nine years, compiling a record of 53-35-2.   The next ten years were as an assistant coach under John Brideweser (1970-79).  Reichenbach returned to the head position in 1980, first at Tuslaw (23-7) and then at Dover (13-8).  Three times his teams finished 9-1, including Glenwood in 1966, Tuslaw in 1982 and Dover in 1987.  He finished with a combined head coaching record of 98-50-2.

“You grow up, and I don’t think I’ll ever change very much from when I was 16 years old playing for Coach Reichenbach,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf, who played at Glenwood for Reichenbach. “I was deathly afraid of him. He looked to me … to be eight feet tall. He was an imposing guy.

“He got me ready to play for Bo Schembechler. (Reichenbach) was such a taskmaster … but he wasn’t stern. He wasn’t mean. When I played for him, I preferred he didn’t know my name.

“As he would win an award, it pleased me that people remembered what a great player and coach he was,” Dierdorf said. “He was fairly young when he quit coaching, and he could’ve kept going.

“In my mind, he will always look the same. It was a long time before I was able to be around him when I stopped being afraid of him. He was a no-nonsense guy and a no-nonsense coach, who taught me early on that’s what football was about. He made it clear very clear early on that if you were looking for a social experience, you better go try out for a different sport.”

In 1964 he was inducted into the Massillon Wall of Champions.  He was also inducted into the Stark County Hall of Fame.


After retiring from coaching, Reichenbach returned to the family farm with his wife, Ruth.  They have two sons, John and Fred.  Jim died on May 11, 2009, at age 76.


Mike Hershberger – Wall of Champions

Norman Michael Hershberger is the epitome of a Massillon Wall of Champion inductee.  He excelled in varsity sports, parlayed that into a college football scholarship, made a his mark at the professional baseball level and was active in his community.

“I remember how true he was to himself and everyone he met,” said Tom Meldrum, a childhood friend of Hershberger’s who played on many of the same teams when both were young. “He was a man’s man, a guy’s guy and he had a faith that was unshakable. He went to church religiously and he was a big influence in my life.  “He was a great representative for Massillon.”  Jack Morris from SABR.

High School

Hershberger was born in Massillon, Ohio, on October 9, 1939, and like most boys in town he embraced Tiger football.  Although he didn’t play during his junior year of high school in 1955 due to an injury, he made up for it with a stellar senior year, earning 1st Team All-Ohio honors.  He was also a team co-captain.

Playing at 5’-9”, 155 lbs., his primary position was right halfback, where he became the second leading scorer with 54 points, behind Ivory Benjamin, who had 90.  That included seven rushing touchdowns, six PATs and a 79-yard kickoff return for a score against Canton Lincoln.  Two of his rushing touchdowns came against Cincinnati Elder in a 27-12 victory, while he ripped off an 83-yarder against Mansfield.  He was also the punter and part-time kicker.

The team finished 8-2 that year, under the mentorship of new Massillon head coach Lee Tressel, with losses to Mansfield and undefeated Canton McKinley.  Against the Bulldogs, Hershberger rushed 13 times for 68 yards, in spite of playing with a bad knee.

But the athlete also played baseball.  Little information is available on his high school exploits in this area, although we do know he played pitcher and outfielder.  The highlight came during his sophomore season when the team finished second in the state, defeating Cleveland Benedictine 4-1 in the semifinals, but losing to Elder 3-0 in the finals.  The Tigers were coached by Ducky Schroeder.

“The first thing I remember is that he was an excellent outfielder. He was known for his arm. It was known all over the (Canton) Class A league that you didn’t want to run on Mike Hershberger.  He was a clutch hitter, a good contact hitter and he was a tough out.” – Central Catholic Baseball Coach Doug Miller on The Independent (David Harpster, 07/03/2012, ‘Baseball great, Tiger standout Mike Hershberger remembered’).


After high school, Hershberger headed to the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship and was slated to be the starting tailback in his second year.  But instead, he opted to leave Cincinnati in 1961 and signed with the Chicago White Sox organization to play baseball.


Hershberger first played with the White Sox AAA Club Pacific Coast League’s San Diego Padres where he batted .310.  But it didn’t take long before he was called up by the big club, where he played outfield from 1961-64.  The next two stops were Kansas City and Oakland, covering 1965-69.  His final home was the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.  But before retiring, he returned to the White Sox for one final year.

His career numbers were as follows:

  • Played at 5’-10, 175
  • Starter in 1962-68
  • Played in 1,150 games, batting .252
  • Had 3,572 at bats
  • Scored 398 runs
  • Recorded 900 hits, including 150 doubles, 22 triples and 26 home runs
  • Knocked in 344 runs
  • Stole 74 bases
  • Was walked 319 times
  • Led the American League in sacrifice flies (7) while with the Athletics
  • Led the American League in outfield assists in both 1965 and 1967
  • His best year was in 1963 with White Sox, when he batted .279 and scored 64 runs


After retirement from baseball, Hershberger worked in the sporting goods business.  He also gave back to the community:

  • Joseph’s Orphanage
  • Special Olympics
  • The Massillon Boys Club
  • Coached Massillon American Legion Post 221
  • Challenger Baseball Team of Canton

In 1994 he was named a Wall of Champion Honoree and in 2021 a Massillon Distinguished Citizen.

He died July 1, 2012 and rests in his home town of Massillon.



Andy Alleman – Wall of Champions

Andy Alleman played just one year for Massillon, but he must have made quite an early impression, for he was named a team captain before the season even began.  And he didn’t disappoint on the field, especially from his middle linebacker position, where he was a dominating force, wreaking havoc against opposing quarterbacks.  He also played a little offense, lining up at blocking fullback.

In 2001 the Tigers finished 12-2, with both losses coming to eventual Division 1 state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius: one in the regular season and the other in the state semifinals.  Led by the 6’-4”, 234 lb. Alleman and his ferocious linebacker play, the Tiger defense held opponents to an average of just 3.2 yards per carry, which is Massillon’s 3rd best all-time against spread offenses.  That translated into a mere 114 yards rushing allowed per game, which is 4th best.  For his play, Alleman was named 2001 WHBC Stark County Player of the Year

After high school, Andy received a scholarship offer from the University of Pittsburgh and played on the defensive line from 2002-2004.  But in 2005 he transferred to the University of Akron, where he completed his final two years of eligibility, as a full-time starter, only this time on the offensive line.  He must have found this position to his liking, for in his second year he was named both Most Valuable Offensive Lineman and Weight Lifter of the Year.  In addition, he was part of the 2005 Zips team that captured the Mid-American Conference East championship and played for the MAC title.  Post-Akron, Andy was invited to participate in both the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, and he was also invited to the NFL Combine.  Recently, he was inducted into the University of Akron Hall of Fame.

In 2007, the New Orleans Saints drafted Alleman in the 3rd round as the No. 88 pick overall as an offensive guard.  As such, he became the 4th highest U. Akron grad to be drafted in their long history.  But, as with many NFL players, he was a journeyman and, throughout his 3-year pro career also played for the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts.  In all, he saw action in 24 games (15 for Miami and 9 for Kansas City) and started in seven.

After football Alleman returned to U. Akron to complete his bachelor’s degree in Business and Organizational Communication and currently works in sales.

In 2016 Alleman was inducted into the Massillon Tiger Football Hall of Fame.  In 2022 he was inducted into the Wall of Champions.


1891 Varsity Football Team History

The Game of Football Was a Lot Different for…

If there’s one sport that draws Americans closer together more than any other it’s the game of football.  It attracts the largest crowds, receives the greatest media attention and is played at all levels, from the many youth organizations, through over 14,000 high schools and several hundred colleges, and culminating with the professional organizations.  During the season the teams may play games just once a week, but in between football is the talk of the sports world each and every day.

Football has been around for over a hundred years, the first game having been played between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, in 1869.  High schools picked up the sport in the 1880s and then the game added play-for-play by professional athletes in the late 1890s.

Massillon got its  start in 1891 and has now been fielding teams for 127 years.  But the game those early Tigers played is quite dissimilar to the one we see today.  Different scoring rules, drop kicks, off sides and many other nuances were all in vogue at that time and some were subject to different interpretations by the referees as opposed to now.

In addition, many locals were unfamiliar with the new sport, although interested in either watching or participating.  So, in order to educate those new to the game, the Massillon Daily Independent in January of 1890 made a stab at publicly explaining the complex rules.  Below is that article.  Some of it is confusing, so I hope you can understand the rules better than this writer does.




Diagram and Dimensions of the Ground – The Players’ Positions and Other Interesting Points About the Great Collegiate Sport

Foot-ball as now played by the American colleges is a game that arouses the enthusiasm of the spectator to a higher pitch of excitement than any other sport, and there is no game where the requirements of the participants are greater or more diversified.  The elements so essential to the success of the runner or tennis player are far different from those demanded by the oarsman or wrestler; but the foot-ball player needs them all, and in no athletic contest can the display of pluck, strength, endurance, agility, and quick judgment been seen to better advantage.

The best player is not necessarily he who makes the longest runs or kicks, says the Chicago Inter Ocean, but the one combining good, hard individual play with team work, and is always willing to let the man make the brilliant play whose chances are the best.  The training to thoroughly fit one’s self for a match game is as arduous as it is for a boat race; in addition to the daily practice, a run of two to three miles is necessary for the wind; smoking, drinking, pastry, and rich food must be given up, and plenty of sleep taken.  Five minutes of brisk work will cause the player who enters a game in poor condition to make many good resolves for the future.

The grounds must be 330 feet in length and 160 feet in width, with a goal placed in the middle of each goal line, composed of two upright posts exceeding 20 feet in height, and placed 18 feet 6 inches apart, with a cross-bar ten feet from the ground.  The following diagram will illustrate:

There are eleven men on a side, generally seven in the rush line, a quarterback, two half-backs, and a back.  The prime qualifications of the rushers should be weight, strength, and endurance, for on them devolve the duty of forging ahead by running with the ball.  They need know little or nothing about kicking, and should never touch foot to the ball except in case of a free kick.  Even then it is not necessary, for a place kick can be taken instead by one of the other players, and is generally preferable.  Weight is not so essential for the rest of the team, but in addition to the other qualifications of the rushes they must be good kickers; also they should be sure tacklers to stop an opponent if he succeeds in breaking through the rush line.  The following diagram shows the relative position of the players:

The game is commenced by placing the ball in the center of the field, and, if there be no wind, the side winning the toss choosing as a general thing to kick off.  But if the wind be blowing, however slightly, the winner will of course play with the wind, for this is a most important factor in foot-ball, a stiff breeze deciding whether the game shall be a kicking or running one.  We will suppose the ball has been kicked off and stopped by one of the opposing half-backs, this player tackled and prevented from returning the kick; the ball must then be called down, which is a technical expression signifying a temporary suspension of hostilities in order to get the ball again in play.  The middle rusher then takes the ball, and placing his foot upon it snaps it to the quarter-back or to one of the other rushers, but to whomever he may thus give it that player must pass it to still another before the ball can be run forward with.  If in three consecutive downs by the same side that side does not advance the ball five or take it back twenty yards, the opposing side is then entitled to it, and as an aid in determining the distance parallel lines five yards apart are often marked across the field.

This is one of the new rules, and was introduced in order to diminish the chances of a draw game, which result could easily be brought about in the past where the strength of the competing teams was nearly equal.  We will now suppose that the side kicking off has forced the ball ahead, and a player on that side succeeds in crossing the goal line and touches the ball on the ground; this is called a touch-down; then a player of the side scoring the touch-down, and called the placer, brings the ball out from the place where the touch-down was made, and at right angles to the goal line.

Having reached a suitable distance the placer, lying down and acting under the direction of the goal kicker, carefully poises the ball about an inch from the ground.

When the point of the ball is at the proper altitude, the seam in a line with the object point, and allowance made for the wind, the goal kicker gives the signal, the ball is placed on the ground, and the try for goal is made.  The instant the ball touches the ground the opposing team may charge, and if the ball touches the person or clothing of any player before going over the cross-bar or posts the goal does not count; the slightest deviation made by the placer in putting the ball on the ground or failure of the goal kicker to kick in precisely the one correct spot will cause the ball to veer widely from the mark, and no goal is made.

If the goal counts the ball is brought to the center of the field, and the losing side kicks off.  If the try for goal fails the other side kicks the ball out and must do so within the twenty-five yard line.  Now, we will again suppose that one side has forced the ball up to the opponents’ goal, but instead of making a touch-down, as in the former case, they lose the ball.  The other side, having gained possession of it, is of course in a much better position than before, but nevertheless still in great danger, for they in turn may lose it any instant.  In this dilemma there is an avenue of escape, and that is by touching the ball down behind their own goal line and making what is termed a safety touch-down.  Although this counts against it is not nearly so expensive as a touch-down by the other side.

The value of points in scoring is as follows:

  • Goal from touch-down – 6
  • Goal from field kick – 5
  • Touch-down – 4
  • Safety touch-down – 2

A drop-kick is made by letting the ball fall from the hands and kicking it the very instant it rises.

A place-kick is made by kicking the ball after it has been placed on the ground.

A punt is made by letting the ball fall from the hands and kicking it before it touches the ground; a goal made by a punt-kick does not count.

The time of a game is an hour and a half, each side playing forty-five minutes from each goal, with an intermission of ten minutes between the two halves.

No one is allowed to wear projecting nails or iron plates.

A scrimmage takes place when the holder of the ball places it on the ground and puts it in play by kicking it or snapping it back.

A player is off side if during a scrimmage he gets in front of the ball or if the ball has been last touched by his own side behind him, and when off side he is not allowed to touch the ball.

A player being off side is put on side when the ball has touched an opponent or when one of his own side has run in front of him either with the ball or having touched it when behind him.

No player shall interfere with an opponent in any way unless he has the ball.

A foul shall be granted for intentional delay of game, off-side play, or holding an opponent unless he has the ball; the penalty of a foul is a down for the other side.

A player shall be disqualified for unnecessary roughness, hacking, throttling, butting, tripping up, intentional tackling below the knees, and striking with the closed fists.

In case a player be disqualified or injured a substitute shall take his place.

A player may throw or pass the ball in any direction except toward the opponents’ goal; it shall be given to the opponents if it be batted or thrown forward.

If the ball goes out of bounds a player on the side which touches it down must bring to the spot where it crossed the line, and there either bound the ball in the field of play or touch it with both hands at right angles to the line, and then run with it, kick it, or throw it back, or it may be thrown in at right angles or be taken out in the field of play at right angles to any distance not less than five nor more than fifteen  yards, and there put down the same as for a scrimmage.

There is an umpire and also a referee.

The umpire is the judge for the players as regards fouls and unfair tactics.

The  referee is judge in all matters relating to the ball, and all points not covered by the duties of the umpire.


2022 Football Season Closes with Annual Banquet

A packed house of players, parents, coaches and fansput closure to the season at St. George’s Church by recognizing of the outstanding performances exhibited by the members of the 2022 football team on and off the field.  It was a team that finished with a 12-2 record and a 15th regional playoff title, their fifth in the last six years.  It  was also a team that, although they didn’t bring home the Division 2 state championship trophy, did defeat during the regular season Lakewood St. Edward, the No. 1 team  in Division 1.

2022 Nate Moore at the 2022 banquet

“This has been a group since Day 1 that has answered the bell,” said Head Coach Nate Moore.  “These guys have been awesome.  Thanks to our senior class.  It was a small senior class; small but powerful.  They ground it out every day.  It’s those guys that really make our program special.  We had a tremendous season.  I’m very proud of that.  A final four appearance.  Six straight 10+ win seasons.  Six straight appearances in the regional finals.”

Moore said that defeating St. Edward was a memorable moment, since (1) they were the No. 1 team in the state and (2) the quarterback / wide receiver corps came out “firing hot.”  But he also mentioned Austintown, an undefeated team the Tigers faced the following week.  Rather than having a let down following such a maximum effort against St. Eds, the Tigers held it together and produced one of their best performances of the season.  “We played an absolutely tough game,” said the coach.  “We dominated the game.  It was a memorable victory.”  Then there was the win over Canton McKinley, the seventh in a row.  “The Tigers went out and took care of business,” said Moore.  ‘Nuff said.

Academically, the team recorded an outstanding 3.55 GPA collective average.

Along the way, several No. 1 player and team records were set, including:

  • Willtrell Hartson – Single season total yards rushing (2,042), single season points (208), single season touchdowns (tie) (34) and career yards per game (132.8).
  • Dorian Pringle – Single season tackles for loss (21.5) and tackles for loss yards (114).
  • Brandon Carman – Single season quarterback sack yards (57).
  • Team – Single season tackles for loss (109), tackles for loss yards (476) and quarterback sack yards (205).  In addition five different players recorded at least ten tackles for loss, more players than any other team since defensive records were kept.

Six players were named All-Ohio, including:

  • Willtrell Hartson – Senior running back – 1st Team
  • Ardell Banks – Senior wide receiver – 1st Team
  • Dorian Pringle – Junior inside linebacker – 1st Team
  • Marcus Moore – Senior defensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Evan Sirgo – Junior offensive lineman – Honorable Mention
  • Cody Fair – Junior inside linebacker – Honorable Mention

Outgoing Booster Club President Harry Haines addressed a Tiger gathering for the last time and introduced 2023 President Rob Maylor.

Following dinner, the assistant coaches presented the various participation awards, while expounding on each player’s individual achievements and effort.  Then the special awards, most of which were selected by the players themselves, were presented by various teammates to the winners.  They included:

  • Coach of the Year – Spencer Leno (inside linebackers)
  • Captain Awards – Zach Liebler, Angelo Salvino, Marcus Moore and Willtrelll Hartson
  • Brandon Burlsworth Character Award – Michael Mercurio
  • Thayer Munford ACT Award – Christian Kring
  • John Pizzino, Sr. Academic Football $1,000 Scholarship – Christian Kring
  • Paul David Memorial Academic Award – Yanii Berry
  • Bob Smith / Bill Snyder Sportsmanship Award – Christian Kring
  • Coach Lee Tressel Citizenship Award – Christian Kring
  • Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Ransom Els and Jacques Carter
  • Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Deangelo Zimmerman
  • Hardnose Award – Willtrell  Hartson (presented earlier at the Touchdown Club)
  • Carl “Ducky” Schroeder Outstanding Lineman Award – Marcus Moore
  • Offensive Player of the Year – Ardell Banks
  • Defensive Player of the Year – Dorian Pringle
  • Special Teams Player of the Year – Angelo Salvino
  • Lifter of the Year – Cody Fair
  • Tom Harp Coaches’ Award – Zach Liebler
  • Most Valuable Player – Willtrell Hartson

Most Valuable Player Willtrell Hartson.  A commemorative football was also presented which displays the rushing and scoring records he set.

Offensive Player of the Year Ardell Banks and Defensive Player of the year Dorian Pringle.

John Pizzino Sr. Academic Football $1,000 Scholarship Award winner Christian Kring.  Also shown are Mark Fair and Anthony Repp.

Coach of the Year Spencer Leno and Academic Award winner Yanii Berry.

Nate Moore receiving a commemorative photo display for breaking Paul Brown’s win record.  Also shown are Rob Maylor and Ed Starcher.

Special Teams Player of the Year Angelo Salvino and Lineman of the Year Marcus Moore.

Through the Roof Award Winners Willtrell Hartson (Offensive Player of the Year), Marcus Moore (Leader of the Year) and Dorian Pringle (Defensive Player of the Year) presented by Ray Jeske (WTIG) (left) and and Fred Horner (Advanced Industrial Roofing) (right).


Six Tigers Named All-Ohio for 2022

Six football players from Massillon’s 12-2 team have been named by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association to the Division II All-Star Team.  They include:

  • Willtrell Hartson – Senior running back – 1st Team
  • Ardell Banks – Senior wide receiver – 1st Team
  • Dorian Pringle – Junior inside linebacker – 1st Team
  • Marcus Moore – Senior defensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Evan Sirgo – Junior offensive lineman – Honorable Mention
  • Cody Fair – Junior inside linebacker – Honorable Mention

All six were previously named 1st Team Northeast Inland All-District.  Strangely missing from the list was De’Airre Pringle, who  was also named 1st Team Northeast Inland All-District.

The Offensive Player of the Year is Akron Hoban running back Lamar Sperling.  The Defensive Player of the Year is Jermaine Matthews, Cincinnati Winton Woods.  The Co-Coaches of the Year are Dave Bors of Painesville Riverside and Maurice Harden of Xenia.

All-Ohio Players from Tiger opponents:

Cincinnati Moeller

  • Jordan Marshall – running back – 1st Team – Co-Offensive Player of the Year
  • Brandon Martin – defensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Joe Ginnetti – linebacker – 1st Team
  • Tennel Bryant – wide receiver – 3rd Team
  • Ethan Page – punter – 3rd Team

Canton GlenOak

  • Avantae Burt – running back – 3rd Team
  • Romeo Magueyal – offensive lineman – Honorable Mention


  • Ricky Mills – defensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Mekhi Bradley – linebacker – 1st Team
  • Amarr Davis – defensive back – 1st Team
  • Duke Reese – quarterback – Honorable Mention
  • Sean Putt – kicker – Honorable Mention

Austintown Fitch

  • Josh Fitzgerald – offensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Davion Pritchard – defensive back – 2nd Team
  • DeShawn Vaughn – quarterback – 3rd Team
  • Brian Robinson – defensive lineman – 3rd Team
  • Cam Smith – defensive back – 3rd Team
  • Jamell James – running back – Honorable Mention

Lakewood St. Edward

  • Ben Roebuck – offensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Ricky Wolverton – offensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Michael Kilbane – defensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Wyatt Gedeon – linebacker – 1st Team – Co-Defensive Player of the Year
  • Ben Levelle – punter – 1st Team
  • Marvin Bell – running back – 2nd Team
  • Casey Bullock – quarterback – 3rd Team
  • Kyan Mason – wide receiver – 3rd Team
  • Devontae Armstrong – offensive lineman – 3rd Team
  • Deonte Armstrong – offensive lineman – 3rd Team
  • Nate Gregory – linebacker – 3rd Team

Canton McKinley

  • Cynceir McNeil – wide receiver – 1st Team
  • Garrett McCole – offensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Kylier Jenkins – defensive lineman – 2nd Team

Massillon Perry

  • De’Andre Church – running back – 3rd Team
  • Max Millin – offensive lineman – Honorable Mention

Canal Winchester

  • Harlee Hanna – linebacker – 3rd Team
  • Mason Fry – offensive lineman – Honorable  Mention

Big Walnut

  • Nate Severs – running back – 1st Team
  • Ethan Clawson – linebacker – 2nd  Team
  • Matt VonAlmen – offensive lineman – 3rd Team
  • Cam  Gladden – punter – 3rd Team

Uniontown Lake

  • Evan Brady – linebacker – 1st Team
  • Will Butler – defensive back – 1st Team
  • Dylan Snyder – wide receiver – 2nd Team
  • Celton Dutton – punter – 2nd Team
  • Jack McAvinew – offensive lineman – 3rd Team

Akron Hoban

  • Lamar Sperling – running back – 1st Team – Offensive Player of the Year
  • Drew Holt – offensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Jason Martin III – defensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Tysen Campbell – defensive back – 1st Team
  • Devin  Bell – defensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Rickey Williams – linebacker – 3rd Team
  • Jayvian Crable – wide receiver – Honorable Mention
  • William  Satterwhite – offensive lineman – Honorable Mention





Twelve Tigers Earn All-District Award

The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association (OPSWA) has released its Northeast Inland District All-Star Team for Division II.  Twelve Massillon players are included, with special recognition going to Dorian Pringle, who was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year.  Massillon finished the 2022 season with an 12-2 record and was the regional champion.

First Team

  • Ardell Banks – Senior wide receiver.  3-year starter.  Caught 43 passes for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Averaged 20.0 yards per catch.  Caught six passes against Warren Harding and six against Massillon Perry.  Second on the team in scoring with 74 points.  Honorable Mention All-District in 2021.  Holds several offers from Division 1 colleges, including Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Iowa State.
  • Willtrell Hartson – Senior running back.  3-year starter.  Led the team in rushing with 2,042 yards, setting a new single-season rushing record.  Tied a season scoring record that was set 100 years ago.  Also, finished in the Top 10 of several other rushing and scoring categories.  Against Austintown Fitch, rushed 40 times for 274 yards and three touchdowns.  Led the team with 34 touchdowns and 208 points.  Received the Touchdown Club’s Hardnose Award.  Honorable Mention All-State in 2020.
  • Marcus Moore Jr. – Senior defensive lineman.  2-year starter.  Recorded 33.0 tackle points (17-32).  Had 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 quarterback sacks.  Helped defense hold opponents to 3.0 yards per rush.  Also played some on the offensive line.  First Team All-District and Second Team All-Ohio in 2021.  Will play for the University of Akron next year.
  • De’Airre Pringle – Senior defensive back.  Tied for second on the team in tackle points with 63.5 (50-27).  Recorded 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 5 pass breakups.  Had 11.0 tackle points against Akron Hoban.
  • Cody Fair – Junior inside linebacker.  Tied for second on the team in tackle points with 63.5 (40-47).  Recorded 13.5 tackles-for-loss (2nd on the team) and 1.5 quarterback sacks.  Recovered two fumbles.
  • Dorian Pringle – Junior inside linebacker.  Named NE Inland District Co-Defensive Player of the Year.  Led the team with 69.5 tackle points (50-39).  Set a new Massillon single season record with 21.5 tackles-for-loss.  Recorded 5.5 quarterback sacks.  Had 12.0 tackle points against Division 1 state finalist Lakewood St. Edward.  On offense, rushed 54 times for 298 yards and scored six touchdowns.
  • Evan Sirgo – Junior offensive lineman.  Instrumental in helping the team average 35 points per game, rush for 207 yards per game and limit opponents to just 13 quarterback sacks.

Second Team

  • Jalen Slaughter – Sophomore quarterback.  2-year starter.  Completed 139 of 234 passes (54.7%) for 2,043 yards and 24 touchdowns.  Had an efficiency rating of 146.4.  Threw for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns against Division 1 state finalist Lakewood St. Edward, including a 24-yard game-winner with eleven seconds remaining in the game.  Threw for 248 yards and 4 touchdowns against Warren Harding.  Honorable Mention All-District in 2021.
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Sophomore defensive lineman.  2-year starter.  Recorded 28.0 tackle points (28-16).  Second on the team with 6.0 quarterback sacks and tied for second on the team with 13.5 tackles-for-loss.  Helped defense hold opponents to 3.0 yards per rush.  Honorable Mention All-District in 2021.

Honorable Mention

  • Sam Snodgrass – Junior offensive lineman.  2-year starter; moved from center to tackle for 2022.  Instrumental in helping the team average 35 points per game, rush for 207 yards per game and limit opponents to just 13 quarterback sacks.  Honorable Mention All-District in 2021.
  • Nolan Davenport – Sophomore tight end.  Used principally as a blocker.  Caught one pass for a 34 yard touchdown.  Has good size and potential at 6′-6″, 230 lbs.  Has a Division 1 offer from Pittsburgh.
  • Michael Looney – Sophomore offensive lineman.  Instrumental in helping the team average 35 points per game, rush for 207 yards per game and limit opponents to just 13 quarterback sacks.

The Offensive Player of the Year was Lamar Sperling of Akron Hoban.

The Co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with Dorian Pringle, was Roosevelt Andrews of Barberton.

The Coaches of the Year were Mike Gibbons of Medina Highland and Jeff Gough of Hudson.


Willtrell Hartson 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 players honored include John Mulbach (Ohio State), David Whitfield (Ohio State), Chris Spielman (Ohio State), Shawn Crable (Michigan) and Brian Gamble (Illinois/Ashland).

Bob Commings was a very successful coach for the Tigers from 1969 to 1973, compiling a record of 43-6-2, including Massillon’s last state championship (1970) and qualification for Ohio’s first ever state playoff games (1972). 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 was later named.

This year’s hardnose award winner is Willtrell Hartson, the Tigers’ record-setting running back, who led his team this year to a 12-2 record and playoff regional championship.  Willtrell received the award from George Mizer, this year’s president of the Touchdown Club.

Hartson burst onto the Massillon football scene as a sophomore running back in 2020 against Canton McKinley, as a replacement for the injured Raekwon Venson.  A little used backup prior to the game, Hartson proceeded to rush for 188 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 35-7 victory.  He continued to excel throughout the playoffs and finished the year with 1,110 yards (8.0 ave.), with nearly all coming in the final seven games of the season.  He also scored 13 touchdowns.  For his performance he was named Honorable Mention All-Ohio.

His junior year was hampered by an injury and he only played in six games.  But he did manage to rush for 831 yards (7.3 ave.) and score 9 touchdowns.

Hartson , now at 5′-10″, 200 lbs.,  had a breakout year this past season, rushing for 2,042 yards (6.1 ave) and scoring 31 touchdowns, while tying or breaking many records along the way.  With his speed, power, and deceptive cutting ability, and the attributes to run the ball both inside and out, he became the main focus of the offense, accounting for 41% of the total yardage production and 42% of the points scored.  He was recently named All-Stark County and All-Northeast Inland District.  Hartson is also a team co-captain.

Here are Hartson’s many record book accomplishments:

  • Single game rushing yards – 324 vs. Westerville South in 2020 (1st); 287 vs. Warren Harding in 2021 (3rd); 274 vs. Austintown Fitch in 2022 (5th)
  • Single game rushing attempts – 40 vs. Austintown Fitch in 2022 (tied for 3rd); 40 vs. Uniontown Lake in 2022 (tied for 3rd)
  • Single game rushing yards per attempt – 15.1 vs. North Canton in 2020 (tied for 8th)
  • Single game rushing touchdowns – 4 vs. North Canton in 2020 (tied for 10th); 4 vs. Warren Harding in 2021 (tied for 10th); 4 vs. Austintown Fitch in 2022 (tied for 10th)
  • Single season rushing yards – 2,042 in 2022 (1st) *
  • Single season rushing attempts – 334 in 2022 (2nd)
  • Single season rushing yards per game – 145.9 in 2022 (2nd)
  • Single season rushing touchdowns – 31 in 2022 (2nd)
  • Single season touchdowns – 34 (tied for 1st) *
  • Single season points – 208 (2nd)
  • Career rushing yards – 3,983 (2nd)
  • Career rushing attempts – 586 (2nd)
  • Career rushing yards per game – 132.8 (1st) *
  • Career rushing touchdowns – 53 (2nd)
  • Career touchdowns – 56 (2nd)
  • Career points – 340 (3rd)


  • The record for single season rushing yards was previously held by Travis McGuire, who rushed for 1,976 yards in 1991.
  • The record for single season rushing touchdowns is held jointly with Edwin “Dutch” Hill, who scored 34 touchdowns in 1922.
  • The record for career rushing yards per game was previously held by Homer Floyd, who rushed for 118.5 yards per game in 1952-54.

Left to right: Hardnose Award winner Willtrell Hartson, Touchdown Club President George Mizer, Head Coach Nate Moore, Assistant Coach and previous Hardnose Award winner Bo Grunder, defensive lineman Marcus Moore and long snapper Angelo Salvino.

Willtrell Hartson receiving the Hardnose Award from Bo Grunder.

Willtrell Hartson and family

Head Coach Nate Moore with Willtrell Hartson.