After making the playoffs and graduating a heavily loaded senior class the year before, talk around town was that the 2017 Tigers were not going to be very good. I kept hearing that we were too young, too small and inexperienced…
Our first event this year was the annual Steve Studer lift-a-thon.
After watching how hard our Tigers were working, I knew that we were going to surprise more than a few people. We were young and inexperienced but still had the hearts of Tigers! We had a great head coach, the best assistants working with him and just needed to gain experience under game conditions. We knew that we would probably take a few lumps early in the process of becoming a very good team.
As the Spring Kick-off arrived, we were happy to have Nick Saban – Head Coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide as our guest speaker. He did not disappoint and told funny stories about himself, coaching experiences and how he doesn’t do any high school speaking for any reason but made an exception for The Massillon Tigers. Turns out that we are near and dear to his heart and he still has contact with several of our former coaches including Nick Vrotsos and Mike Currence.
Some of the accomplishments our booster club achieved (and this one was with the help of school administration) during my presidency, was establishing a free summer breakfast and lunch program for all student at W.H.S. and this included our Massillon Tiger players.
We laid the ground work for the purchase of a new scoreboard for Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. I was hoping to have it installed and running for my year as president but we fell a little short and would have to finish up in 2018.
We had our first “Honorary Team Co-Captain” Camren Offenberger for the year. He went out for every coin toss with the rest of the captains and young Cam represented us extremely well.
We reinstituted feeding full meals prepared and served to all of our players and coaches on the afternoon of game day.
We kicked off the digging and building of the new wing of the Massillon Museum dedicated to Paul Brown and the Massillon Tigers which should be completed sometime in 2018 .
It was the first time we had “Obie the Tiger” and it’s “twin” attending, giving us two live Massillon Tigers for a football game.
We helped kick off the new movie Timeless Rivals. This movie traces the rivalry between Massillon and Canton. Many different players and coaches were affected by this rivalry and it went into detail about the results of where they ended up playing and coaching afterwards and the impact it made on them.
And….My favorite team accomplishment was travelling east, over to Canton McKinley, and beating the Bulldogs in the first ever meeting at newly built Tom Benson Stadium, their home field. As many times as we may play there in the future, I will always cherish the fact that we beat them in our very first encounter there. Coming back home to celebrate with all of our Tiger faithful…is something that I will never forget!
Play-off time arrived! We seemed to be ready and playing well at the right time!
We played and beat Boardman, Ashland and then New Albany for the regional title. We fell short against Cincinnati Winton Woods. This game may have ended our season at 10 – 4 but the memories will last a lifetime and I want to personally thank Coach Moore, his coaching staff and all our players for accepting me as part of this team.
So many people are involved in a program like ours. I want to thank the many coaches, their wives, school administration, Tiger Moms, boosters and our fans. Without all of you helping, none of this would have been possible! GO TIGERS!