Category: <span>News</span>

Massillon Wall of Champions Selects Rick Spielman As Its…

Rick Spielman, the former Massillon Tiger and Minnesota Vikings General Manager, will be officially inducted into the Massillon High School Wall of Champions during the Booster Club’s Reverse Raffle / Dinner event, which will be held on July 20, 2023.  Spielman will be just the 43rd member of the Wall, which encompasses athletes selected from a 133-year span of Massillon High School sports.

The Wall of Champions recognizes those individuals that have excelled on the field as varsity participants in any Massillon High School sport, and beyond at the college and/or professional level as either a player or a coach or in another capacity, such as a sports or civic-related endeavor.  Inductees are selected by a designated committee within the Massillon Tiger Football Booster Club.

Spielman was born in Canton, Ohio, on September 2, 1962, and played his early high school years there for the Timken Trojans.  In 1980 he and his younger brother, Chris, transferred to Massillon when his father Sonny left his position as head football coach of Timken High School and accepted an assistant coaching position.  Later he would become an assistant junior high principal and then Athletic Director within the Massillon City Schools.

High School

During the regular season of his 1980 junior year, Rick was the backup quarterback to All-Ohioan Dave Eberhart.  In limited action he completed 9 of 20 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns.  But he would become an impact player in the playoffs, not at quarterback, but at linebacker.  Massillon was unbeaten with a tie against Warren Harding entering the game against Canton McKinley.  But the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 16-7 in a dominating performance.  This being the first year that two teams were selected from each region for the playoffs, Massillon was fortunate enough to secure second place, setting up a rematch against McKinley the following week.

Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Massillon Wall of ChampionsA rapid turnaround from the initial performance was required, but the Tigers were hampered by the loss of middle linebacker John Mayles.  In steps Rick Spielman, who filled in quite admirably.  Although being outgained in yardage again, the Tigers came up with the big plays when needed and held off the Bulldogs for a 14-6 victory.  It was also Massillon’s first-ever playoff win.

Here’s how the newspaper (The Independent) described the play of Spielman: “One of the unlikely defensive heroes was junior Rick Spielman.  He was a starting linebacker last year for the Timken, Trojans, but this year he was the team’s backup quarterback.  When John Mayles broke his hand in last week’s game, Spielman started practicing at linebacker again.  ‘I was real excited about getting to play,’ said Spielman, whose father, Sonny, is the Tigers’ quarterback and wide receiver coach.  ‘I played linebacker last year and after a couple of plays it all came back to me,’ he explained.  Spielman was in on the tackle both times that the Tigers stopped the Bulldogs on fourth down and short yardage.  He also sacked McKinley quarterback Worstell to end the Pups’ final chance with less than a minute to play.  ‘Ah, great,’ Spielman said when asked how he felt after that sack.”

Massillon would win the following week against Willoughby South and then face Cincinnati Moeller in the Tigers’ first-ever state finals appearance.  In that one, Spielman showed his grit by finishing the game while playing with two broken thumbs.

In his senior year Spielman became the starting quarterback and was also a team captain.  The numbers for season were 68 completions in 147 attempts, with 11 touchdowns.  His most productive game came against Mansfield when he completed 15 of 24 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-9 victory.

The following week Massillon lost 9-6 to eventual state champion McKinley, with Spielman scoring the only touchdown on a 21-yard run.  He also passed for 81 yards.  The Tigers outgained the Bulldogs in that one 265-163 in yards and 15-5 in first downs, but just couldn’t punch in the winning score.  Except for an 81-yard touchdown pass, during which two Tiger defenders hit the McKinley receiver at the same time and bounced each other off, McKinley was held to a mere 82 yards in total offense and no first downs rushing until the end of the third quarter.  Massillon finished the season 7-3.


Linebacker became Spielman’s position of choice in college and he played in that spot for Southern Illinois University from 1983 through 1986.  During his freshmen year SIU captured the NCAA Division 1-AA National Championship.  And following his junior year, Spielman was named 1st Team All-Gateway Conference.


After college, Spielman was invited to San Diego in 1987 for a tryout, but failed to make the team.  The following year he tried out for Detroit, but again fell short.

Finally, in 1990, he landed a permanent position as player scout for the Detroit Lions and stayed in that role through 1996 when he became Director of Pro Personnel for the Chicago Bears.  By now, Spielman was on a fast track and left after three years to become Vice President of Player Personnel for the Miami Dolphins.  Two years later he was Senior Vice President of Football Operations and then General Manager in 2004.

But the GM job lasted just one year.  Following a stint with ESPN, he was lured away by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 to become their Vice President of Player Personnel.  He stayed in that position for six years before being promoted to General Manager, a post he held for ten years, until 2021.  During his tenure his team produced one NFL Most Valuable Player and 19 Pro Bowl players.

Aside from football, Rick and his wife Michele are the proud parents of six adopted children through the foster care system.  In 2016, they were presented with the National Angels in Adoption award by United States Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Congratulations to Rick Spielman on his induction into the Massillon Wall of Champions.



2023 Lift-a-thon Results

2023 Lift-a-thon Results

May 7, 2023 — A good crowd was on hand in the WHS gym for the annual Steve Studer Memorial Lift-a-thon.  The participants gave it their all and they energetically supported each other in their quests for personal bests.  Once again, Strength Coach Dan Studer did a fantastic job of organizing and conducting the event.

Three lifts were performed by each participant: clean lift, bench press and squat. Each lifter selected his preferred weight for each lift and then attempted as many lifts as he could until his arms or legs gave out. A composite score was then used to determine the winner of each of eleven weight classes based on the total weight lifted and the number of reps. Achievement medals were then awarded to the top three lifters in each category. Here are the winners:

  • 140 lb. weight class – Lucas Fisk (Jr.)
  • 150 lb. weight class – Gage Gordon (Sr.)
  • 160 lb. weight class – Ransom Els (Jr.)
  • 170 lb. weight class – Emy “Chris” Louis (Jr.)
  • 180 lb. weight class – Trenton Campbell (Sr.)
  • 190 lb. weight class – Stephen Hogan (Sr.)
  • 200 lb. weight class – Daone Owens (Sr.)
  • 215 lb. weight class – Dorian Pringle (Sr.)
  • 230 lb. weight class – Cody Fair (Sr.)
  • Heavy weight class – Seth Voshel (Sr.)
  • Super heavyweight class – Michael Looney (Jr.)

140 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Josh Henderson, (1) Lucas Fisk

150 lb. weight class -(l-r) (2) Braylyn Toles, (1) Gage Gordon, (3) Daylan Pringle

160 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Jacques Carter, (1) Ransom Els, (3) RJ Harris

170 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Shon Robinson, (1) Emy “Chris” Louis, (3) Joseph Musleve

180 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Frank Salvino, (1) Trenton Campbell, (3) Camden Lynch

190 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Jaydn Williams, (1) Stephen Hogan, (3) Vinny McConnell

200 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Marcus Frazier, (1) Daone Owens, (3) Mylen Lenix

215 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Chris Fair, (1) Dorian Pringle, (3) Maverick Clark

230 lb. weight class – (l-r) (2) Andrew Brumfield, (1) Cody Fair, (3) Malachi Card

Heavyweight class – (l-r) (2) Chase Bond, (1) Seth Voshel, (3) Nolan Davenport

Super heavyweight class – (l-r) (2) Sam Snodgrass, (1) Michael Looney, (3) Isaiah McElroy

Arvine Ulrich To Enter the Football Hall of Fame

Arvine Ulrich To Enter the Football Hall of Fame

Arvine “Tink” Alrich will be inducted into the Massillon Tiger Football Hall of Fame this summer in conjunction with the Booster Club’s Reverse Raffle event, which will be held on July 20, 2023.  He will also be recognized prior to the opening game against Valdosta, which is slated for August 18.

Arvine Tink Ulrich, Wittenberg, Dave Stewart, Massillon Tiger Football Hall of FameUlrich played football for Massillon from 1920-22 under Head Coach Elmer Snyder during his sophomore year and then the legendary Dave Stewart thereafter.  He was also a 2-year starter and team captain during those two years.  In his junior year the Tigers finished 5-4, with Ulrich scoring five rushing touchdowns, including three against Akron North, while out of action during part of the season with a knee injury.

The following year the team finished 10-0 and was named state champion by popular acclaim, sharing the title with Toledo Scott.  The players were so dominant that they outscored their opponents, 379-28, registering six shutouts.  Only one team was able to stay with them, Cleveland Shaw, which the Tigers defeated with a late score, 7-6.

During the season Ulrich, the quarterback, scored five rushing touchdowns and three others via punt and kickoff returns of 90, 81 and 40 yards.  Three scores came against Akron North in a 94-0 victory and two were against Dayton Steele in a 31-7 win, avenging a 68-0 loss from the previous year.  The team also defeated Canton McKinley 24-0, with Ulrich scoring from 28 yards out.  With 49 total points scored, he was second on the team in that category, behind Edwin “Dutch” Hill.

Football wasn’t his only sport, as he also played guard on the basketball team and ran track.

After high school, Ulrich played three years of football at quarterback for Wittenberg College and also found some extra time to be president of the Wittenberg senior class.

The Massillon Football Booster Club, which was founded in 1934, is proud to say that he was their first president.  Active civically, he was:

  • President of Massillon Chamber of Commerce
  • President of Massillon Rotary Club
  • Commissioner of Buckeye Council Boy Scouts of America
  • Trustee of Molly Stark Hospital
  • A member of several boards of director, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Tink Ulrich and his family.

Ron Ertle is Headed to the Football Hall of…

Ron Ertle is Headed to the Football Hall of Fame

The Massillon Tiger Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 will be inducted this August during the Massillon Football Booster Club’s Reverse Raffle event.  Included this year is new member Ron Ertle, who played linebacker for the Tigers in 1965-67.  During the event he will receive a distinctive plaque commemorating his achievements.  A second plaque will be mounted in the WHS sports hall in the space reserved for past Hall of Fame inductees.  In addition, Ertle will be recognized on the field prior to the opening football game against Valdosta, Georgia.

“Ruby” Ertle played both linebacker and lineman under Head Coach Bob Seaman.  As a starter during his junior year he instantly became a force on defense, giving a hundred percent on every play.  One could describe him as just a “really tough player.”  Against Canton McKinley he had a pass interception to quell a drive, and also during the season recovered two fumbles.  Unfortunately, the Tigers’ record that year was 4-5-1.

In his 1967 senior year Ertle was named a team co-captain along with Trevor Young and was once again a dominating force on the field.  That led to a much more successful campaign than the previous year, with the team finishing 9-1 and earning 2nd place in the Associated Press state sportswriters poll.  Massillon’s only loss that year came at the hand of the eventual No. 1 team, Upper Arlington, by the score of 7-6.  But the Tigers did defeat both McKinley 20-15 and undefeated Steubenville 26-16 on the way to a 4-0 mark in the All-American Conference.

Ertle finished the year as the leading tackler.  He also scored four extra points from his tight end position.  After that the awards flowed in.  First, he received the Touchdown Club’s Hardnose Award, well-representing the attributes associated with this Bob Commings accolade, the Reese’s Raiders “E” Award for effort, efficiency and endeavor, and was named Massillon’s Most Valuable Player.  After that came Massillon Independent All-County linebacker and WHBC Player of the Year.  All of that culminated in him being named 1st Team All-Ohio linebacker and Ohio Football News Magazine All-Ohio linebacker.  The following summer he participated in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game.

Congratulations to Ron Ertle.

St. John’s Collegiate Makes Massillon’s Schedule That Much Stronger

St. John’s Collegiate Makes Massillon’s Schedule That Much Stronger

The last team added to the 2023 Massillon schedule was St. John’s Collegiate, located in the District of Columbia.  This completed an already strong Tiger schedule that includes Valdosta, GA, Lakewood St. Edward, Middletown, DE, Austintown Fitch and Canton McKinley.

"st. john's collegiate"St. John’s, located in Chevy Chase, Washington D.C., was established in 1851 as the second oldest Christian Brothers school in the U.S. and is currently affiliated with the De La Salle Brothers.  It is also the oldest Army Junior ROTC school in the country.  With an enrollment of 1,100, it is a co-educational school with 100% of its students enrolled in college prep.  Tuition is $22,950.  In 2021, St. John’s graduates received $34 million in scholarship money.

In football, St. John’s is a member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which also includes three other schools: Our Lady of the Good Counsel (Olney, MD), Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and DeMatha (Hyattsville, MD).  At the end of the season the league holds its own 4-team playoff.  Incidentally, Massillon played Gonzaga in 1982 and defeated them 23-0.

Last year the Cadets finished with a record of 8-4.  In non-conference play they defeated Massillon opponent Middletown, DE (42-0), while losing to 12-1 Chaminade-Madonna, FL (35-28).  In league play they beat rival Gonzaga as their only win.  However, in the playoffs they upended Good Counsel in the semifinals (14-10) and then topped DeMatha (7-3) to win the league championship.

For many years football was an afterthought with three to five wins per year and an average national computer rating of 33 (for comparison, Massillon’s rating last year was 53).  However, in 2013 the school took a step upward into the ranks of the elite.  From 2013 to 2015 they averaged eight wins per season and earned a Calpreps ranking of 56.  Then, another step upward began in 2016 and they hold that level today.  Over the past seven years their ranking has averaged 63, which places them closer to the 73 rating of Lakewood St. Edward, Ohio’s Division 1 state champion the last two years.  They have also been ranked first in the D.C. area in eight of the past nine years and ranked in the National Top-50 three times in the last five years.

St. John’s plays mostly local opponents, but will occasionally venture out of their metro area or host a distant team.  In 2017 they decided to test the waters by scheduling California power De La Salle and they were competitive in a 35-31 loss.  Then, in 2018 they defeated 9-4 Hoover, AL (42-14) and 13-1 Christian Brothers, MO (50-49), finishing 9-1.  Life was good, but not so much the following year when they appeared to over-schedule a bit, losing to Philadelphia St. Joseph Prep, PA (34-30), Duncanville, TX (35-14), perennial national champion Mater Dei, CA (53-24) and IMG Academy, FL (35-21), while slipping to 7-5.  So, in 2021 following the Covid year, they scaled it back and achieved an 11-0 mark, their only unbeaten team in the past 20 years.  Included in that was a win over 8-5 Don Bosco, NJ (27-6).

The Cadets return some good skill position talent from last year’s team, including:

  • Quarterback Isaiah French, who completed 76 of 117 passes (65%) for 827 yards (10.9) and 5 touchdowns.
  • Running back Da’Juan Riggs, who carried the ball 118 times for 962 yards (8.2) and scored 15 TDs.
  • Wide receiver Jason Woods, who caught 17 passes for 165 yards (9.7) and a pair of touchdowns.
  • Linebacker Jordan Seaton, a 4-star recruit.

Their offense operates out of the spread with a single running back and multiple wide receiver formations.  But it is run-first.  The quarterback is athletic and will run off of the read-option.  All of the skill position players have great speed.  The line has good size.

The defense aligns in a 3-4, cover-2 with the safeties pulled up to 10 yards off the ball.  On occasion, they will walk a safety up toward the line.  They are very stingy on the short pass and have the speed to go man-to-man on the deep routes.  All of the players are very athletic.



2023 Massillon Football Schedule Released

2023 Massillon Football Schedule Released

Another great schedule awaits Massillon as they prepare face nine teams that last year qualified for the playoffs.  While most Ohio teams continue to shy away from scheduling the Tigers, four out-of-state teams are up to the challenge.  That includes Valdosta, Georgia, which will open the season as part of a 4-game Northeast Ohio classic to be held at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.  Lakewood St. Edward also returns to the slate.

The Massillon-Valdosta game presents an intriguing matchup of two schools highly recognized for their football prowess and is sure to grab national attention.  There was a time when Massillon had accumulated more football victories than any other team in the country.  At present, they occupy the fourth position.  Meanwhile, Valdosta has enjoyed long-term success and has now replaced the Tigers in the No. 1 spot. Three other games will also be held that weekend at PBTS, involving St. Edward, Akron Hoban and Cleveland Glenville.

Other out-of-state opponents include Elkhart, Indiana (Week 4), Middletown, Delaware (Week 6), which returns from last year’s schedule, and St. John’s Collegiate, D.C. (Week 7).

Lakewood St. Edward travels to Massillon for a fourth consecutive year, this time seeking revenge for last season’s 31-28 loss.  It was their only setback enroute to a repeat of the Division 1 state championship.  The Eagle offense revolves around stellar All-Ohio quarterback Casey Bullock, who is extremely adept at running the read-option offense, especially on the “keep.”

Massillon returns 17 starters plus several oft-used backups from last year’s 12-2 team that finished as champion of Division 2, Region 7.  With several of the returnees occupying key positions, the Tigers are expected to be particularly strong at quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker.  Coach Moore, Massillon’s winningest coach, will enter his 9th season and currently owns an 83-22 mark, which includes three trips to the state finals.  He also captured the D2 title at Cincinnati LaSalle prior to coming to Massillon.

Here is the full schedule along with some key data:

  1. Valdosta, GA – H
  • League: n.a.
  • Playoff Division: 7A (highest division)
  • 2022 Overall Record: 8-3
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost to Westlake, GA, 28-13 in Round 1
  • 2022 Ranked No. 23 in GA, Rated 49.3
  • 5-Year Record: 33-26 (.559)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; lost in 6A state semifinals in 2020
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Did not play
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Valdosta: 0-0
  • Bonus: Returns 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 outside linebacker Jaylen Bentley*** (1st Team All-Region).  All-time wins leader in the United States, with a record of 944-262-34.  Will play the previous all-time wins leader Massillon, which has a record of 932-290-36.  Featured on an ESPN special named, “Titletown USA.”  Moody Air Force Base is nearby.
  1. Canton GlenOak – H
  • League: Federal League
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2022 Overall Record: 4-7
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost 40-22 to Canton McKinley in Round 1
  • 2022 Ranked No. 49 in D1; Rated 20.4
  • 5-Year Record: 9-40 (.184)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 3 appearances; lost in Round 1 both times
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 35-7 to Massillon in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Canton GlenOak: 14-4
  • Bonus: Has continued to struggle in the win-loss column.  Offense improved when quarterback Adrion Burt (returnee) was moved to wide receiver and replaced by sophomore Cole Anderson.  Returns 7 starters on offense and 7 on defense, including running back Avantae Burt (3rd Team All-Ohio) and offensive lineman Romeo Magueyal (Honorable Mention All-Ohio).
  1. Mansfield Senior – H
  • League: Cardinal Conference
  • Playoff Division: 3
  • 2022 Overall Record: 10-3
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost 17-16 to Cleveland Holy Name in Round 3
  • 2022 Ranked No. 13 in D3; Rated 27.3
  • 5-Year Record: 38-19 (.667)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; lost 14-7 in overtime to Trotwood Madison in 2019 state finals
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 33-0 in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Mansfield: 44-4-5
  • Bonus: 19-6 record over the past two years, including a 13-2 league record.  Returns 10 starters on offense and 6 on defense, including defensive back Amarr Davis (1st Team All-Ohio) and quarterback Duke Reese (Honorable Mention All-Ohio).
  1. Elkhart, IN – H
  • League: Northern Indiana
  • Playoff Division: 6A (largest)
  • 2022 Overall Record: 7-3
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost to Warsaw 14-9 in Round 1
  • 2022 Ranked No. 70 in IN; Rated 15.0
  • 5-Year Record: 36-18 (.667)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 6-5 record; advanced to the playoff regional finals in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: did not play
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Elkhart, IN: 0-0
  • Bonus: Finished 9-1 in 2020.
  1. Lakewood St. Edward – H
  • League: None
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2022 Overall Record: 15-1
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Defeated Springfield 28-14 to capture the state championship
  • 2022 Ranked No. 1 in D1; Rated 72.9
  • 5-Year Record: 58-9 (.866)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 20-2 record); state titles in 2018, 2021 and 2022
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost to Massillon 31-28 in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. St. Edward: 4-4
  • Bonus: 2-time defending Division 1 state champs.  Finished No. 37 nationally in 2022.  Returns 7 starters on offense and 4 on defense, including offensive lineman Ben Roebuck*** (1st Team All-Ohio), quarterback Casey Bullock (3rd Team All-Ohio), wide receiver Kyan Mason (3rd Team All-Ohio), offensive lineman Devontae Armstrong*** (3rd Team All-Ohio), Deonte Armstrong*** (3rd Team All-Ohio) and linebacker Nate Gregory (3rd Team All-Ohio). 
  1. Middletown, DE – H
  • League: Blue Hen
  • Playoff Division: 3 – largest
  • 2022 Overall Record: 7-5
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost to Smyrna 48-0 in Round 2
  • 2022 Ranked No. 3 in DE; Rated 35.3
  • 5-Year Record: 42-12 (.778)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 6-4 record; 1 state championship, 2 state runners-up
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost to Massillon 42-24 in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Middletown, DE: 1-0
  • Bonus: Returns 9 starters on offense and 5 on defense, including quarterback Austin Troyer (1st Team All-State), who was 20 of 35 for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns against Massillon last year, and defensive lineman Tristen Graham (2nd Team All-State), who recorded 10.0 tackle points against the Tigers.  Last year, beat state champion Smyrna 21-14 in the regular season, but lost to them 48-0 in the playoffs.  Lost to IMG Academy, 58-0.
  1. St. John’s Collegiate, D.C. – H
  • League: Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
  • Playoff Division: Washington Catholic, Capital Division
  • 2022 Overall Record: 8-4
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Defeated DeMatha 7-3 in Round 2 (championship round)
  • 2022 Ranked No. 1 in D.C.; Rated 58.3
  • 5-Year Record: 40-10 (.800)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances (no playoffs during 2020, Covid); 5-2 record; 2 division championships
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: did not play
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. St. John’s, D.C.: 0-0
  • Bonus: Returns quarterback Isaiah French (76-117-827, 5 TDs), running back Da’Juan Riggs (118-962, 15 TDs), wide receiver Jason Woods (17-165, 2 TDs) and linebacker Jordan Seaton****.  Finished 11-0 in 2021 and 9-1 in 2018.  3 times in the last 5 years ranked in the National Top-50.  Last year defeated Middletown, DE (42-0) and Chaminade, FL (28-25).  In 2019 defeated Miami Southridge, FL (48-0) and lost to Philadelphia St. Joseph Prep, PA (34-30), Duncanville, TX (14-35), Mater Dei, CA (53-24) and IMG Academy, FL (21-35); in 2018 defeated Hoover, AL (42-14), Miami Central, FL (37-34) and Christian Bros., MO (59-49).
  1. Austintown Fitch – A
  • League: All-American Conference
  • Playoff Division: 2
  • 2022 Overall Record: 10-2
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost 21-14 to Akron St. Vincent in Round 2
  • 2022 Ranked No. 9 in D2; Rated 44.0
  • 5-Year Record: 37-15 (.712)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; 3-4 record
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 49-28 to Massillon in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Fitch: 20-8
  • Bonus: Returns 7 starters on offense and 7 on defense, including defensive back Davion Pritchard (2nd Team All-Ohio) and quarterback DeShawn Vaughn (3rd Team All-Ohio).
  1. Warren Harding – H
  • League: All-American Conference
  • Playoff Division: 2
  • 2022 Overall Record: 2-8
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Did not qualify
  • 2022 Ranked No. 34 in D2; Rated 21.1
  • 5-Year Record: 28-25 (.528)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 4 appearances; lost in regional finals in 2020
  • Last Time vs. Massillon: Lost 41-12 to Massillon in 2022
  • Historical Series Massillon vs. Warren: 59-25-3 (second-longest series)
  • Bonus: Returns 6 starters on offense and 7 on defense, including running back Ryan Powell***.  Game was moved from Week 3.  New contract in effect, with Massillon hosting the first game.
  1. Canton McKinley – A
  • League: Federal League
  • Playoff Division: 1
  • 2022 Overall Record: 6-6
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost 19-14 to Mentor in Round 2
  • 2022 Ranked No. 22 in D1; Rated 36.5
  • 5-Year Record: 37-20 (.649)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; 6-5 playoff record
  • Last Time Massillon vs. Massillon: Lost 23-13 to Massillon in 2022
  • Historical Series vs. McKinley: 75-53-5; Massillon has won 11 of the last 12
  • Bonus: Returns 4 starters on offense and 3 on defense. Lost first four games last year and rebounded to win six of the last eight, including a 36-26 victory over Lake, to tie for the Federal League championship.  Lost to Mentor in the playoffs in the final minute of the game.

The book on Massillon:

  • League: Independent
  • Playoff Division: 2
  • 2022 Overall Record: 12-2
  • 2022 Playoff Results: Lost 41-20 to Akron Hoban in the state semi-finals
  • 2022 Ranked No. 3 in D2; Rated 53.4
  • 5-Year Record: 61-9 (.871)
  • 5-Year Playoff History: 5 appearances; advanced to the state finals in 2018, 2019 and 2020; regional champion in 2022
  • Bonus: 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) and linebacker Cody Fair (Honorable Mention All-Ohio).  Last year, pulled a 31-28 upset over Lakewood St. Edward, the state’s Division 1 state champion.  Defeated Federal League co-champion Lake 24-6 to claim the regional championship. Won 12 consecutive games.

* – rating

2023 Massillon Tiger Football Schedule

Signing Day for Massillon Class of 2023

Signing Day for Massillon Class of 2023

February 1, 2023, marks official NCAA signing day, with Massillon Washington High School recognizing thirteen outstanding athletes across four sports and two military services who inked their intents to pursue their careers at the next level.  “This is a really exciting day,” said Athletic Director Nate Moore.  “A day to recognize the achievements of these great athletes.”  Moore remarked that the players certainly excelled at their chosen sports, but there was a lot of work behind the scenes, from the players and their parents and the coaches.  “We’re proud of everyone,” he said.

The group included:

  • Andrai Jones – Sienna Heights University- football
  • Ardell Banks – University of Kentucky – football
  • Chase Duplain – Heidelberg University – baseball
  • Damian Coram – United State Marines
  • De’Aire Pringle – Edinboro University – football
  • Freddie Lenix – Kent State University – football
  • Jewell Shaffer – University of Mount Union – swimming
  • Kendyl Wagner – Seton Hill University – volleyball
  • Matthew McGeorge – Mercyhurst University – baseball
  • Marcus Moore – University of Akron – football
  • Race Miller – United States Air Force
  • Xavier Hamid – Capital University
  • Willtrell Hartson – The Ohio State University – football (absent for the event; already enrolled at OSU)
  • Jaden Welch – Edinboro University – football (post-signing ceremony)

Enjoy the photos.

Front row (left to right): Kendyl Wagner, Jewell Shaffer, Freddie Lenix, De’Aire Pringle, Damian Coram and Matthew McGeorge; back row (left to right): Xavier Hamid, Marcus Moore, Ardell Banks, Chase Duplain, Coach Nate Moore, Andrai Jones and Race Miller.

Football players (left to right): Marcus Moore, Freddie Lenix, Ardell Banks, De’Aire Pringle, Andrai Jones, Coach Nate Moore, Becca Moore.

The Pringle brothers (left to right): Dorian, De’Aire and Daylan.

Baseball players (left to right): Chase Duplain, Xavier Hamid and Matthew McGeorge.

Sienna Heights University

Andrai Jones – Sienna Heights University – football

University of Kentucky

Ardell Banks – University of Kentucky – football

Heidelberg University

Chase Duplain – Heidelberg University – baseball

United States Marines

Damian Coram – United States Marines

Edinboro University

De’Aire Pringle – Edinboro University – football

Kent State University

Freddie Lenix – Kent State University – football

University of Mount Union

Jewell Shaffer – University of Mount Union – swimming

Seton Hill

Kendyl Wagner – Seton Hill – volleyball

Mercyhurst University

Matthew McGeorge – Mercyhurst University – baseball

University of Akron

Marcus Moore – University of Akron – football

United States Air Force

Race Miller (son of former Massillon  player Steve Miller) – United States Air Force

Capital University

Xavier Hamid – Capital University – baseball

Ohio State University

Willtrell Hartson – The Ohio State University – football

Edinboro University

Jaden Welch – Edinboro University – football

Mike Hershberger – Wall of Champions

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.

Mike Hershberger Massillon High SchoolPlaying 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.


Mike Hershberger Chicago White SoxHershberger 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 – 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.

Andy Allman University of AkronIn 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.


2022 Football Season Closes with Annual Banquet

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.

Mate Moore Massillon
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

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

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

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

"Angelo Salvino" "Marcus Moore" "University of Akron"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).