Category: <span>News</span>

David Canary – Wall of Champions

David Canary – Wall of Champions

Story by Bill Porrini

Wow?  David Canary: Alias Candy, Bonanza; Stuart Chandler, All My Children; Russ Gehring, Peyton Place; Dundee, Cimeron Strip; Cultrane, S.W.A.T.; and on and on; 35 TV shows in all!

David was an acclaimed and accomplished actor, starring on TV, in dinner theater, and on and off Broadway.  But he first starred as an acclaimed Massillon Tiger.  Born in Elwood, Indiana, he moved to Massillon at age five and grew up there.  As a Tiger, he played both ways, at offensive and defensive end, and was awarded 2nd Team All-Ohio honors following his senior year, in 1955, on a team that finished second on the state.  He attributed his success to his work ethic, which he learned while traversing through the city’s various schools.  He always gave 120 percent every time the ball was snapped.  He said he wasn’t very fast or big.  But he was a good student of the game because he had to be.  He just did what the coaches said and learned the fundamentals and tried as hard as possible on every play.  He said, “I owe a lot to football!”  He also played baseball for the Tigers.  High school friends called him “A nice guy, a humble guy.”

“Dave Canary was the toughest, hardest-nosed kid I ever coached.  One night he blocked an extra point against Mansfield that preserved a 12-12 tie.  He blocked it with his face.  He ruptured a blood vessel in his eye and his eye was shut.  He just kept right on going.  He was solid as a rock and tough.  Intelligent.  He knew what he wanted to do.” – Former Massillon coach Tom Harp,

After graduating, David continued his athletic career at The University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship.  There, he continued to play both ways.  In spite of having a small stature for a lineman (5’-11”, 172 lbs.) he was good enough to be named All-Conference.  He was also a fine student and was recognized as a Pop Warner Academic All-American.  At the end of this time at Cincinnati, Canary graduated with a degree in Voice, and was then selected in the second round of the American Football League draft by Denver.  Only, tired of football, he instead joined the Army, where he was also a member of the theater group.  He even won an All-Army entertainment contest.

Following discharge, it was time to tackle his loves: theater, music and performing, becoming a regular or appearing in 35 different TV shows.   In fact, he spent his entire career starring in TV, Off-Broadway, Broadway and Dinner Theater.  Dave often returned to Massillon to visit and perform, usually at the local Carousel Dinner Theater.

In 1964 Canary was inducted into the Massillon Wall of Champions.  In 1991 he was honored as a Washington High School Distinguished Citizen.  Then, in 2016 inducted into the Massillon Football Hall of Fame.  He died on December 16, 2015, at the age of 71.

Six Additional Tiger Football Players Sign with Respective Colleges

Six Additional Tiger Football Players Sign with Respective Colleges

Six Massillon Tigers off of the Division II state championship football team participated in a recent signing ceremony and will continue their athletic and academic careers at their selected colleges.  Three previous football players signed last fall, including Chase Bond (North Carolina State), Cody Fair (U.S. Navy) and Dorian Pringle (Bowling Green).  The recent signees are as follows:

Stephen Hogan II – Central State University.  Hogan, used principally as a blocker, played tight end for an offense that averaged 39 points 387 yards a game.  He also caught a pass for 12 yards.

Zach Liebler – Mount Union University.  Liebler was a 2-year starter at cornerback, this year recording 29 tackles, 2 for loss, a pass interception and 5 pass breakups.

Adonis Marshall – Mercyhurst University.  Marshall started at cornerback, recording 48 tackles, 2 for loss, 3 pass interceptions, a fumble recovery and 12 pass breakups.

Da’One Owens – Slippery Rock University.  Owens started at quarterback, completing 94 of 158 passes for 1,414 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushing 140 times for a team-high 1,302 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He is the only Massillon quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.  He also led the team in scoring with 92 points.

Ryan Page – Walsh University.  Page was a 2-year starter at free safety, this year recording 67 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 quarterback sacks, a pass interception, a fumble recovery and 5 pass breakups.

Nick Paul – Kent State University.  Paul was a backup on the offensive line.  He will continue his career as a baseball player.

Six other non-football athletes also announced their future plans.  They include:

  • Trinity Lamp – Cleveland State University – Track
  • Gavin Marceric – Tiffin University – Baseball
  • Lea Newman – Notre Dame College of Ohio – Softball
  • Andria Pullin – Ashland University – Stunt
  • Natalie Stolte – Ashland University – Stunt
  • Hailey Walters – Malone University – Softball




It Was an Award-Winning Year for the 2023 Tigers

It Was an Award-Winning Year for the 2023 Tigers

The Massillon Tigers continue to reap rewards for the success of their 2023 football campaign, which culminated in winning the Division II State Championship.  Recently, Head Coach Nate Moore (99-22) was named by as their National Coach of the Year, having already won a similar accolade in the state of Ohio.  But, if you ask the coach about all that, he would quickly credit the dedication and hard work his team and coaches put in prior to and throughout the entire season, as they compiled a 16-0 record and captured Massillon’s first state title in 53 years.

Deservedly, six players were named All-County, twelve All-District and ten All-Ohio, led by Dorian Pringle, who was named Ohio Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year.  Here’s a look at all the awards and milestones gathered to date by the team and players:


  • Division II State Championship, the Tigers’ first state title during the playoff era
  • 25th state championship, the most among all Ohio schools
  • 16 wins in a season, setting a new Massillon record
  • 24th undefeated regular season and first fully unbeaten season during the playoff era
  • New record set for Harbin System points, which are used to qualify for the playoffs
  • Moved into a tie for second place for the most historic wins in the country (948)
  • Ranked No. 10 in the country by (No. 3 among all public schools)
  • Ranked No. 10 in the country by USAToday (No. 3 among all public schools)

 Head Coach Nate Moore

  • Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division II Co-Coach of the Year
  • National Coach of the Year

Dorian Pringle – Senior linebacker / running back

  • All-County
  • 1st Team All-District
  • District Co-Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1st Team All-Ohio
  • Ohio Co-Defensive Player of the Year
  • SBLive High School Football All-American Team
  • Set new season and career records for tackles-for-loss and tackles-for-loss yards
  • Signed with Bowling Green

Da’One Owens – Senior quarterback

  • Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player in the Canton McKinley Game
  • All-County Coach’s Selection
  • 1st Team All-District
  • District Co-Offensive Player of the Year
  • 1st Team All-Ohio

Michael Wright Jr. – Junior defensive lineman / running back

  • All-County
  • 1st Team All-District
  • 1st Team All-Ohio
  • Set new season and career records for quarterback sacks and quarterback sack yards
  • Set a new record for quarterback sacks in a McKinley game (3.0)

Chase Bond – Senior defensive lineman

  • All-County
  • 1st Team All-District
  • 2nd Team All-Ohio
  • Signed with North Carolina State

Nolan Davenport – Junior offensive lineman

  • All-County
  • 1st Team All-District
  • 2nd Team All-Ohio

Cody Fair – Senior linebacker

  • 1st Team All-District
  • 3rd Team All-Ohio
  • Signed with the U.S. Naval Academy

Brady Jones – Senior offensive lineman

  • All-County
  • 2nd Team All-District
  • Honorable Mention All-Ohio

Tyler Hackenbracht – Junior safety

  • All-County
  • 2nd Team All-District
  • Honorable Mention All-Ohio

Jacques Carter – Junior wide receiver

  • 2nd Team All-District
  • Honorable Mention All-Ohio

Ja’Meir Gamble – Junior running back

  • 2nd Team All-District
  • Honorable Mention All-Ohio

Adonis Marshall – Senior cornerback

  • Honorable Mention All-District

Braylyn Toles – Junior wide receiver

  • Honorable Mention All-District

Jalen Slaughter – Junior quarterback

  • Set new season record for quarterback efficiency
  • Set new season record for passing yards per attempt


Six Tigers Announce Their Future Plans On Early Signing…

Six Tigers Announce Their Future Plans On Early Signing Day

The early college commitment signing for high school athletes was held on December 19 across the country.  And Massillon was no exception.  Six athletes, three for football and three for golf, joined their families in this joyful event, all attired in their respective college colors.  The football players are Chase Bond (North Carolina State), Cody Fair (U.S. Naval Academy) and Dorian Pringle (Bowling Green), while the golfers are Brock  Jenkins (Central Methodist University), Trent Lautenschlager (Malone) and Owen Robinson (Shawnee State).

Massillon Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Nate Moore conducted the ceremony.  He opened by citing all the hard work that the players put it in to get to this point.  “It also represents a lot of hard work by all of your parents and guardians, who worked behind the scenes to make sure that you got to fulfill your dreams,” he added.  “So, thank you.  It’s truly appreciated.  The best thing that we can do is share a day like today where the student-athletes are pledging to continue their athletic, but also academic careers at the next level.  I’m very, very proud of these guys.”

Chase Bond – “First and foremost, I would like to thank God and my family.  Without them none of this would be possible.  I would like to give a few words to my teammates and coaches.  You guys helped me to build memories that will last a lifetime.  And the coaches, to develop where I am today.  There are two things I learned about being a Tiger.  Everything earned; nothing really given.  That’s a great life lesson.  Not just football or golf.  That’s everywhere in life.  I will be enrolling in North Carolina State University to continue my athletic and academic career.  The reason why I chose NC State is that it felt like home.  It was the closest thing to Massillon. I love what they’re doing with me on the defensive side of the ball.  It’s very similar to what Coach Leno does.  It was a no-brainer to me.  It felt like nothing else.”

Brock Jenkins – “I would like to thank God and my family for always sticking with me.  It’s been a long run with the golf team.  I’ve been part of this golf team for years now.  Ever since Day 1, I’ve learned at Massillon that it takes a lot of dedication.  It’s been a great couple of years.  It would be great to continue my athletic and academic career at Central Methodist University.  They have a great coach will continue supporting me to continue my golf career.”

Cody Fair – “First, I would like to thank my parents and God.  Without them I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  Next, I would like to thank my teammates for being my brothers to me.  Throughout all the thick and thin.  Throughout all the years.  Next, I would like to thank my coaches for turning me into the player and person I am today.  And I would like to thank the City of Massillon for all the constant support throughout my career.  What I learned from being a Tiger is you can’t just be successful on the field.  You need to also be successful in the classroom and have a presence in the community.  I will be enrolling in the United States Naval Academy.  I chose the Naval Academy because it felt like home and have the opportunity to serve my country.  Go Navy, Beat Army!”

Trey Lautenschleger – “First of all, I would like to thank God, my teammates and my coach.  Without them I wouldn’t be committing to a college and playing college golf.  I would like to thank my parents.  Every day, taking me to a course and taking me home.  Without that I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I would also like to thank my coach.  I know for me and Brock we wouldn’t be able to play in college.   For me being a Tiger means that everything is earned and you need to put the work in to get where you’re at.  I will be enrolling at Malone University to continue my athletic and academic career.  I chose the school because it just screamed my name; it just screamed ‘home.’  And because it’s close to home.”

Dorian Pringle – “First, I would like to thank God and my family for pushing  me to  be the best that I can be every day, on and off the field.  And my dad, especially, for being there every step of the way and showing me that life is hard.  I would like to thank my coaches and my teammates for pushing me at practice every day.  I wouldn’t be this far without them.  What stuck out for me for Bowling Green is that it just felt like home to me.  I went on three visits there and it feels like they support me all the way and all the decisions came from the heart and I just can’t go wrong.”

Owen Robinson was not available the event.

Massillon student-athletes sign their letters-of-intent

Coach Nate Moore with the Massillon Football players

Chase Bond and family

Brock Jenkins and family

Cody Fair and family

Trent Lautenschleger and family

Dorian Pringle and Family


2023 Championship Football Season Wraps Up with Awards Ceremony

Gary Vogt contributed to this story

2023 Championship Football Season Wraps Up with Awards Ceremony

This one was 53 years in the making.  For it’s been that long since Massillon last won a state championship in football.  But, what a memorable year 2023 was.  A 16-0 record, winning more games than any previous Tiger team.   A defense that surrendered just one touchdown on the ground when the first unit was on the field.  A spectacular season-opening win over Valdosta, Georgia, which owns more wins than any other school in the country.  A second consecutive victory over Lakewood St. Edward, which has won the last three Division I state titles.  A 35-0 victory over Canton McKinley, recording the first shutout against the Bulldogs in 15 years.  Holding high-scoring, up-tempo Cincinnati Anderson to a single touchdown in a blowout win at Historic Crew Stadium.  A victory over Akron Hoban, on the back of a great defensive effort.  And that elusive Division II State Championship.  It all culminated in an awards ceremony for a host of deserving players.

In prior years an elaborate dinner banquet was held.  But, with the high demand for tickets on account of the state championship, it was changed to an awards ceremony at the high school auditorium.

Father Ed Gretchko opened the event with the invocation.  Father Ed has been a mainstay with the Tiger program, having been involved now for 25 years.  In fact, he  has led the team in grace over 250 times.

Rob Maylor, outgoing Booster Club President, gave his final address.  He also introduced next year’s president, Ed Starcher.

Trainer Lee Kuntz presented awards to the team student trainers, followed by Randy Berkley, who presented awards to the student team managers.

Three players were honored for their exceptional performances on the JV team.  They included Offensive Player of the Year Bishop Cupp, Defensive Player of the Year Jadyn Williams and Lineman Player of the Year Frankie Salvino.

Annually, Through the Roof and Ray Jeske of WTIG have an opportunity to present their season-ending awards, which included a couple of new ones this time around.  This year’s winners were:

  • Offensive Player of the Year – Da’One  Owens
  • Defensive Player of the Year – Dorian Pringle
  • Next Man Up Award – Shon Robinson
  • Leadership Award – Cody Fair

In an earlier event, the Touchdown Club presented its Hardnose Award to Dorian Pringle.

Each of the position coaches recognized their players and presented participation awards.  This was followed by the following player performance awards:

  • Coach of the Year – Spencer Leno (defensive coordinator)
  • Captain Awards – Chase Bond, Cody Fair, Zach Liebler, Da’Owens, Ryan Page, Dorian Pringle and Sam Snodgrass
  • Brandon Burlsworth Character Award – Sam Snodgrass
  • John Pizzino, Sr. Academic Football $1,000 Scholarship – Zach Liebler
  • Paul David Memorial Academic Award – Evan Sirgo
  • Bob Smith / Bill Snyder Sportsmanship Award – Malachi Card and Nick Paul
  • Coach Lee Tressel Citizenship Award (Sideliners) – Evan Sirgo
  • Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Bishop Cupp
  • Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Shon Robinson and Frankie Salvino
  • Offensive Player of the Year – Da’One Owens
  • Defensive Player of the Year – Michael Wright Jr. and Chase Bond
  • Special Teams Player of the Year – Lucas Shertzer and Tyler Hackenbracht
  • Carl “Ducky” Schroeder Outstanding Lineman Award – Brady Jones and Sam Snodgrass
  • Lifter of the Year – Cody Fair
  • Tom Harp Coaches’ Award – Ryan Page and Shon Robinson
  • Most Valuable Player – Dorian Pringle

Several new player and team records were set, including:

  • Jalen Slaughter – Single Season Yards per Pass Attempt – 11.4
  • Jalen Slaughter – Single Season Pass Efficiency – 188.7
  • Mateo Herera – Single Season PAT Kick Percent – 100% (tie)
  • Emy Lewis Jr. – Single Season Kickoff Return Touchdowns – 2 (tie)
  • Dorian Pringle – Single Season  Tackles for Loss – 24.5
  • Dorian Pringle – Single Season Tackles for Loss  Yards – 126
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Single Season Quarterback Sacks – 10.5
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Single Season  Quarterback Sacks Yards – 76
  • Dorian Pringle – Career Tackles for Loss – 46
  • Dorian Pringle – Career Tackles for Loss Yards – 240
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Career Quarterback  Sacks – 19.0
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Career Quarterback Sacks Yards – 134
  • Team – Tackles for Loss – 117
  • Team – Tackles for Loss Yards – 504
  • Team – Quarterback Sacks – 45
  • Team – Quarterback Sack Yards – 308

Ten players were named All-Ohio, including:

  • Dorian Pringle – Senior inside linebacker – 1st Team (Co-Defensive Player of the Year)
  • Da’One Owens – Senior quarterback – 1st Team
  • Michael Wright Jr. – Junior defensive lineman – 1st Team
  • Chase Bond – Senior defensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Nolan Davenport – Junior offensive lineman – 2nd Team
  • Jacques Carter – Junior wide receiver – Honorable Mention
  • Ja’Meir Gamble – Junior running back – Honorable Mention
  • Tyler Hackenbracht – Junior defensive back – Honorable Mention
  • Brady Jones – Senior offensive lineman – Honorable Mention


State Championship Celebration Parade Photos

State Championship Celebration Parade Photos

Several thousand Tiger fans turned out for one last chance to celebrate Massillon’s recent Division II State Championship with a parade through the center of town.  It was more of a stroll than a parade, but who cares.  It was a night of Tiger pride.  There was the band and cheerleaders and football team and coaches, plus school and civic administrators.  After it wound its way to the Massillon Rec Center, the band played some tunes and then the co-captains had a chance to speak to the large, appreciative crowd.  The event concluded with Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry presenting a city proclamation to Head Coach Nate Moore declaring December 10, 2023, as Massillon Tigers Day, followed by fireworks.

Enjoy the photos.

Ten Massillon Players Tapped for All-Ohio Honors; Moore Named…

Ten Massillon Players Tapped for All-Ohio Honors; Moore Named Coach of the Year

Massillon Head Coach Nate Moore

The Massillon Tigers, winner of the 2023 Division II state title, was duly honored by having ten players named to the division’s Ohio All-Star Team, five seniors and five juniors.  Headlining the group was Dorian Pringle, who was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year.  In addition, Nate Moore was named Co-Coach of the Year, along with Mike Elder from Avon.

Massillon captured the championship by rolling through a gauntlet of six playoff games and finished the season with a perfect 16-0 record, receiving Top-25 ranking in several national polls.  It all culminated in a 7-2 victory over nationally-ranked Akron Hoban, a team that the Tigers had lost to in the state finals twice before, to capture the title.  During the regular season, Massillon defeated three national powers, including Valdosta, Georgia, Lakewood St. Edward and St. John’s College, DC.  They also downed local rival Canton McKinley in the season finale, 35-0.  With the win over Hoban, the Tigers can now rightfully claim that they are the best team in Ohio, given that St. Edward won the Division I state title, with their lone loss coming at the hands of the Tigers (for the second consecutive year).

(l-r) Dorian Pringle, Da’One Owens, Michael Wright Jr., Chase Bond and Nolan Davenport.

(l-r) Cody Fair, Jacques Carter, Ja’Meir Gamble, Tyler Hackenbracht and Brady Jones

First Team

  • Dorian Pringle – Senior linebacker (6’-0”, 215).  2-year starter.  Recorded 48 unassisted tackles and 38 assisted tackles (61 tackle points).  Had a team-high 24.5 tackles-for-loss (126 lost yards) and 8.0 sacks (73 lost yards), with at least 3 TFLs in six different games.  Also, carried the ball 50 times for 246 yards (4.9 ave.) and 14 touchdowns.  Recovered three fumbles, forced three fumbles, broke up two passes and blocked a kick.  Second on the team in scoring with 84 points.  Against Akron Hoban in the state finals, recorded 14 total tackles and broke up a pass at the end of the game to secure the win for the state title.  On top of that, he made both the first defensive play of the game, a tackle for loss, and this last defensive play.  Holds several Division 1 offers.  Currently committed to Bowling Green.
  • Da’One Owens – Senior quarterback (6’-2”, 200).  Completed 94 of 158 passes (60%) for 1,414 yards and 17 touchdowns.  Rushed 140 times for a team high 1,302 yards (9.3) and 15 touchdowns.  Only Massillon quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards.  Led the team in scoring with 92 points.  Passed for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns against Grove City Central Crossing.  Rushed for 241 yards and scored 2 touchdowns against Valdosta, GA.  Hot on Southern Illinois as a quarterback or running back.
  • Mike Wright Jr. – Junior defensive lineman (5’-10”, 280).  3-year starter.  Recorded 28.0 tackle points, 15.5 TFLs (loss of 96 yards) and a team-high 10.5 sacks (loss of 76 yards).  Broke up three passes and caused two fumbles.  Sacked the Canton McKinley quarterback three times.  On offense, carried the ball 29 times for 118 yards (4.1 ave.) and 8 touchdowns.

Second Team

  • Chase Bond – Senior defensive lineman (6’-4”, 245).  2-year starter.  Recorded 20.0 tackle points, 7.5 sacks (loss of 46 yards) and 11.0 tackles-for-loss (loss of 53 yards).  Against Anderson, recorded seven tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, and blocked and intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown.  Committed to North Carolina State.
  • Nolan Davenport  Junior offensive tackle (6’-6”, 260).  2-year starter.  Played tight end in 2022.  Used principally as a blocker.  Instrumental in helping his team rush for 240 yards per game (6.6 ave.) and 53 rushing touchdowns, while surrendering just 8 quarterback sacks.  Holds several Division 1 offers.

Third Team

  • Cody Fair – Senior inside linebacker (6’-2”, 220).  2-year starter.  Leads the team with 44 solos and 38 assists (63.0 tackle points).  Recorded 18.0 TFLs (loss of 61 yards) and 5.0 sacks (loss of 30 yards.  Holds several offers and will play at the next level.

Honorable Mention

  • Jacques Carter – Junior wide receiver (5’-10”, 160).  Caught 41 passes for a team high 796 yards (19.4 ave.) and 7 touchdowns.  Caught 8 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown against Middletown, DE.  Ran 50 yards for a touchdown against Green.
  • Ja’Meir Gamble – Junior running back (5’-10”, 180).  Rushed 142 times for 948 yards (6.7 ave.) and 5 touchdowns.  Rushed for 233 yards against Austintown Fitch.
  • Tyler Hackenbracht – Junior defensive back (6’-2”, 195.  Recorded 31 tackle points, broke up 11 passes and intercepted 3 passes, which were returned for 45 yards.  Returned 9 punts for 91 yards and 8 kickoffs for 197 yards (24.6 ave.), with a long of 64 yards.  Also punted for the Tigers.
  • Brady Jones – Senior center (6’-3”, 245).  2-year starter.  Instrumental in helping his team rush for 240 yards per game (6.6 ave.) and 53 rushing touchdowns, while surrendering just 8 quarterback sacks.


Dorian Pringle Receives Touchdown Club Award

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.

(l-r) Touchdown Club Chairman George Mizer, Dorian Pringle and Bob Commings, Jr.

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.

Bob Commings, Jr.

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
Dorian Pringle

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.





2023 Booster Club Report – Week PO6 – Post-Akron…

2023 Booster Club Report – Week PO6 – Post-Akron Hoban

Massillon (16-0) captured the Division 2 State Title with a hard fought 7-2 victory over Akron Hoban.  It was the first fully unbeaten season since 1970 and first time that the Tigers had won 16 games in a single season.

Link to the Akron Hoban Game Story

Link to the Akron Hoban Game Statistics

Review of the Akron Hoban Game

It was win No. 948, which vaults Massillon into the No. 2 position nationally for all-time wins, now tied with Louisville Male, KY, and four games behind Valdosta, GA, a team that the Tigers defeated in the season opener.

Massillon held off national power Akron Hoban (13-2) 7-2 to finish the season undefeated at 16-0 and capture the Division 2 State Championship.  The crowd size was announced at 14,846, but it was surely larger as 20,000-seat Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium appeared at near capacity.

The game was defensive struggle throughout, with both teams yielding rushing yardage grudgingly and negating the passing attacks.  The two teams combined for eleven punts and there were only two penetrations into the red zone, one by each team.

The Tigers scored their touchdown in the second quarter following a blocked punt by Chase Bond that gave Massillon the ball at the Hoban 28.  Six plays later Mylen Lenix, lined up in the “jumbo” package, ran six yards through the middle of the Hoban line for the score, behind some great blocking by the offensive line.  Vinny Keller added the PAT.

Later in the quarter the Knights punted to the one, then scored a safety when quarterback Da’One Owens could not get the ball across the goal line.  On Hoban’s final drive of the night they attempted a 4th down, 17-yard pass to take the lead.  But the receiver could not secure the ball, with Dorian Pringle on coverage and breaking up the pass.  The Tigers then ran out the clock.

After returning to Massillon, the team, coaches, band and cheerleaders were greeted by several thousand boisterous Tiger fans, who celebrated the achievement into the night.  It was Massillon’s first state championship during the playoff era and the first since 1970.  The Tigers now own 25 crowns and continue to lead all Ohio schools in that category.

Statistics leaders:

  • Da’One Owens: 17 carries for 82 yards; 3 of 11 passing 17 yards
  • Mylen Lenix: 6 carries for 11 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Jacques Carter: 2 receptions for 12 yards
  • Dorian Pringle: 10.5 tackle points; 3.0 tackles-for-loss
  • Cody Fair: 7.0 tackle points; 1.0 TFL
  • Adonis Marshall: 7.5 tackle points
  • Ryan Page: 6 tackle points; 0.5 sacks; 0.5 TFL
  • Maverick Clark: 0.5 sacks; 0.5 TFL
  • Chase Bond: blocked punt
  • Vito McConnell: pass interception

Booster Club Meeting

Booster Club President Rob Maylor opened the meeting and was simply ecstatic over the team winning the Division 2 State Championship and the their accomplishments throughout the season.  What an enlightening experience he must have had this year.  And to be the president of the club when the Tigers won their first playoff championship is something that will certainly be cherished by him for the rest of his life.

Head Coach Nate Moore brought the entire team to the meeting to share in the enthusiasm of the many club members in attendance.  “How ’bout those Tigers!,” he shouted.

Here are the remarks from the team co-captains:

Ryan Page – “It was a great game.  A hard fought win.  It was amazing seeing a whole city behind you.”

Zach Liebler – “The energy and atmosphere was amazing.  It was an honor to play with these guys behind me.”

Sam Snodgrass – “I dreamed of this.  I just wanted to bring one home for the city.”

Cody Fair – “We had a great game.  We scored and they didn’t.  That was the difference.  I had so much fun this season working hard with my teammates.”

Chase Bond – “It wasn’t the prettiest from the stands.  But from the field it was a beautiful thing.  Playing great defense.  We finally got it all done.”  Regarding his blocked punt, he said it didn’t feel as amazing at the time he did it.  But only later when he realized it led to the only touchdown of the game.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we have the best coaching staff in the country,” said Moore.  They are tireless workers in giving our players the best opportunity to win.”

Defensive Coordinator Spencer Leno – “Our kids take a lot of pride.  Special players make special plays.  Play together.  Do your job.  Read your keys.  Buy in and good things happen.”

Special Teams Coordinator Jason Jarvis – “Thursday night was a special night for me and my family (noting that his father, who also coached football, is currently ailing and was watching the game from home).  We put players in the best positions to make plays.  But these guys have to do it.  I’m proud of the guys.”

Offensive Coordinator Jarrett Troxler – “Obviously, this was a special year.  The win over Valdosta jump started our season.  Everybody contributed.  It wasn’t just one guy (as seen in the game statistics).  It was everybody.  The offensive line did a fantastic job this year.  Thursday night was tough.  We struggled at times.”  So the offense went conservative in the play calling during the second half to keep the risk level down since the defense was playing so well.  “It was quite an experience.  Quite a year.  16-0!”

Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Studer – “To win a state title you need a group of guys than can withstand a 16-game season.  To be able to do what we do; not everybody can do it.  We start on January 2nd and it’s just hard, brutal work.  And it pays off.  They’re willing to do it.  And it showed on Thursday.  We’re state champs!”

Coach Moore wrapped up the meeting with some final remarks, starting with the senior class.  “It is a special group,” he said.  “A great mix of good players.  They’re tough and they love Massillon.  I couldn’t be more proud of this Class of 2024.”

Then he addressed the underclassmen.  “We had a lot of juniors step up and make great plays.  And the younger players contributed on special teams.  Very soon it will be time to turn the page and prepare for the 2024 state championships.”

He also lauded the scout teams, specifically in preparing the varsity for the game against Cincinnati Anderson, with their high-tempo offense.  Even some first team players participated.  “It was one of the things that make this a special group,” said Moore.

“What a great season,” he ended with.  “Hoban; shouldn’t have happened any other other way.  What a great performance by our defense.  So many incredible events to look back on.  And we didn’t win the title just to prove that we have the best program in the country!”

Booster Club President Rob Maylor with the senior players.

2023: Massillon 7, Akron Hoban 2

STATE CHAMPS!!!  Massillon Runs the Table to Take Home the Crown

Game Statistics

Division 2 Bracket

Say goodbye to the proverbial monkey, for it’s been lifted from the backs of the Massillon community, never to be seen again.  That, after the Tigers defeated Akron Hoban 7-2 to capture their first state title in the playoff era. The OHSAA trophy now takes its honored place next to the 24 other state title trophies that Massillon won prior to the playoffs, a mark often ridiculed by outside parties, who discount the poll championships.

The home side filling up as the game approached.

A crowd of 13,329 mostly Massillon fans packed Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium to witness history in the making.  They came early to get the choice seats.  They wore their orange and black.  They were loud.  And they supported the Tigers without a break from the pre-game warmup to the game’s end.  And they didn’t leave until their victorious team had left the field.  But it didn’t end there.  Several thousand headed to a noisy, horn-honking downtown Massillon to welcome the team back and then celebrated the achievement with them at Duncan Plaza well into the night.

It was a defensive struggle unlike that seen by Massillon fans in many years, with just a single touchdown on the scoreboard by the end.  Both teams were billed as having outstanding defenses and they didn’t disappoint, forcing eleven punts between them and holding opposing offenses to less than four yards per carry on the ground and 7 of 21 in the air. But in the end, it came down to which team made the fewest mistakes.  Although Hoban held the advantage in the statistics, they also held the edge in crucial errors and that ultimately cost them the game.  Not to take anything away from the magnificent performance turned by the Tiger defense, which kept the Knights out of the end zone the entire night with a “bend but don’t break” attitude and allowed only two drives to enter the red zone, one at the beginning and one at the end.  They were also turnover-free, with just four penalties for 25 yards.

Mylen Lenix

Midway through the second quarter the Knights were forced to punt from their own 29.  The punter couldn’t cleanly catch the ball and it fell forward onto the carpet.  He immediately ran forward and picked up the ball, while again attempting to punt.  Only, Chase Bond now had time to close and block the kick, with the ball quickly pounced on Malachi Card.  Massillon took over in good field position, but couldn’t advance against the stingy Knight defense.  Only, problems continued for Hoban when, on 4th and 10 from the Massillon 28, a defender grabbed Da’One Owen’s facemask while he was stepping into the pocket to throw and didn’t let go until the upended Owens was on the ground.  The penalty: fifteen yards and first down, with the ball now resting at the Knight 14.  In comes the jumbo package, with Mylen Lenix and Mike Wright Jr. in the backfield.  Lenix got the first carry and he picked up three yards.  Wright was next and he advanced it to the six.  But Lenix’s second carry was golden; right up the middle for a touchdown, behind some great blocking by every member of the offensive line.  Vinny Keller’s PAT was good and the Tigers had a lead they would never relinquish.

But that wasn’t the only crucial mistake made by Hoban.  On their first possession of the game they went on a 10-play, 58-yard drive deep into Massillon territory.  But it came to an end when quarterback Tylar Boykin fumbled the snap and Pringle was right there to pounce on it to halt the threat.

The most crucial mistake came right at the end of the game after Massillon was stopped on downs.  The Tigers were facing a 4th and 3 from their own 40 when the coaches elected to run a fake punt.  Unfortunately, Shon Robinson’s run came up just short and Hoban took over at the Massillon 42 with 7:33 remaining in the game.  The smart play would have been to punt, but a successful fake would have resulted in more time being taken off the clock, given that the Knights were out of time outs.

Nine plays later Hoban was sitting pretty at the Tiger ten with a 3rd and 1.  Only, the next snap sailed past the quarterback’s right ear and a Hoban player was fortunate enough to fall on the ball at the 17, with Wright also on the play.  Now it was fourth down and a pass was called for.  Boykin dropped back to the 25 and looked over the middle for an open receiver.  But all were covered.  So he looked to his right and found a secondary receiver, who was running an outside curl rout toward right side of the end zone.  Pringle, who was on a blitz, recognized the threat at the same time and reversed direction 180-degrees to provide coverage.  As he closed the gap the receiver was racing across the front of the end zone toward the boundary.  Boykin rolled to his right and while on the run lofted a pass some 35 yards in his direction.  But it was coming in just a tad low and the receiver did not have time adjust his route to the ball flight.  So he went low for for the catch.  Meanwhile, Pringle was now in position to make a play, jerked his right elbow away at the same time the ball arrived, opportunely preventing the completion.  The ball then bounced off the receiver’s chest and fell harmlessly to the ground.  That was it.  The game was over and the Tigers had won.  There was 1:22 left on the clock, Massillon had the ball and the Knights were out of timeouts.  Two knees later the game was over.

Dorian Pringle

In between all that action the defenses dominated.  After Hoban was stopped on their initial possession, Massillon drove 59 yards in nine plays, but ran out of downs at the Knight 22, with Owen’s long 4th down pass to Braylyn Toles was just off his fingertips in the end zone.  During the drive Owens carried the ball five times for 54 yards, with runs of 11, 29 and 14 yards.  It was what Tigers fans were expecting.  But after that, Hoban adjusted and Owens rushed for just 28 yards the rest of the way.

After an exchange of punts, two by Hoban and one by Massillon, the Tigers got their touchdown.

Later in the second quarter a Knight punt was downed inside the one yard line and Massillon could not push it out, surrendering a safety.  Interestingly, on the first try from scrimmage, Owens found daylight on the right side of the line, aided by a great seal block against the inside linebacker by Mike Wright Jr.  Owens was in the clear and might have taken the ball to the house, except the whistle blew just after he crossed the line of scrimmage and the play was called back for motion on the ever so slightly leaning running back.  In hindsight, the safety might have been advantageous to the Tigers, since a punt from the end zone would have given Hoban great field position with which to tie the score.  As it was, the Knights returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 48 and were subsequently intercepted by Vito McConnell at the Tiger 43 to quell any threat.

The second half was a mirror of the first as the teams took turns trading punts, up until Massillon’s fake punt and Hoban’s missed touchdown opportunity.  With two plays left and the Knights out of timeouts, Owens twice took a knee to secure the victory and the state title.

The subsequent celebration by both the players on the field and the fans in the stands was one of the greatest experiences for the Massillon community in a long time.  For it’s been 53 years since the last state title and only a small minority of present-day fans were around then.  But this one will be cherished for a long time, while an energized Tiger team will gear itself in the off-season to prepare for another deep playoff run.

A shout-out should go to both punters.  Massillon’s Tyler Hachenbracht punted five times for an average of 36.2 yards and a long of 42.  Hoban’s 1st Team Inland District 1st Ryan Burns punted six times for an average of 38.8 yards and long of 49 yards, with the big one stopping at the one and setting up the safety.

On defense, Pringle, while playing injured, led Massillon with seven solo tackles and seven assists, with three tackles-for-loss.  Cody Fair had four solos, six assists and one TFL.  Adonis Marshall had six and three, while Ryan Page had three and six.

It was a great day to be a Tiger!!!