2022 Season Outlook

Last season Massillon finished with a record of 11-3 and have won 49 of their last 56 games.  They have also made three trips to the state championship finals.  However, a loss last year in the Division 2 Regional Finals has left a nagging bitterness in both the football camp and the community.  But this season, bolstered by the return of many starters off that 2021 team, the Tigers hope to rebound in a big way, with their sites set on a playoff state championship.

Head Coach Nate Moore has assembled an extremely challenging schedule in order to prepare his charges for post-season play.  The schedule includes 2021 Division 1 state champion  Lakewood St. Edward, Division 1 state semifinalist Cincinnati Moeller, Middletown, the No. 1 team in Delaware, and always competitive Canton McKinley, Austintown Fitch and Canisius, New York.

On offense the Tigers return eight starters, including sophomore quarterback Jalen Slaughter (Hon. Mention All-District), senior running backs Willtrell Hartson (Hon. Mention All-Ohio in 2020) and Freddie Lenix Jr. (All-District), linemen junior Sam Snodgrass (Hon. Mention All-District) and senior Mike Mercurio, and wide receivers senior Ardell Banks (Hon. Mention All-District) and junior Kyler Wiggins.  Last year Hartson rushed 114 times for 831 yards (7.3 ave.) and scored 9 touchdowns.  Lenix rushed 102 times for 778 yards (7.6 ave.) and scored 11 touchdowns. Slaughter completed 89 of 152 passes (59) for 1,384 yards and 16  touchdowns.  Banks caught 44 passes for 773 yards (16.3 ave.) and scored 8 touchdowns.  Expect the offense to be run-oriented with with two outstanding running backs alternating behind a talented offensive line.  In addition, Banks, with his 6′-3″ frame and 4.45 speed, presents an inviting target downfield.

Massillon also returns five starters on defense, including lineman senior Marcus Moore (1st Team All-District, 2nd Team All-Ohio), sophomore Michael Wright Jr. (Hon. Mention All-District) and junior Chase Bond, junior linebacker Maverick Clark, and senior defensive back Jaden Welch.  In addition, three transfers, who were starters at their former schools, have also been added to the roster, including junior inside linebacker Dorian Pringle, junior outside linebacker Brandon Carmen and senior defensive back De’Airre Pringle.  In 2021 Clark recorded 53.5 tackle points.  The Tiger defense is expected to be extremely physical on the line, aggressive at linebacker and quick in the secondary.  Last season the defense gave up just 2.8 yards per rush and more of the same is expected this time around.

Sophomore punter / kicker Nolan Hendricks also returns.

In the playoffs this year, the Tigers are favored to win their region, but will face stiff competition beyond that from Akron Hoban, Avon, Toledo Central Catholic and Cincinnati Winton Woods.