Tallmadge returns two – count ‘em, two – starters this season but they always
seem to find themselves in the playoff hunt. Do the Blue Devils have the manpower to make up for the losses to get back into the playoffs?
* Players To Watch –
OL/LB Steven Reedy (6-0, 220, Sr.), WR/DB Phil Emling (5-10, 170, Sr.), QB/DB
Thomas Linder (6-2, 170, Sr.), OL Dory Price (6-0, 215, Sr.), OL/DL Eddy
Simmons (6-1, 205, Sr.), OL/DL Kevin Barger (6-1, 190, Sr.), FB/LB Ryan
Peterson (5-10, 210, Sr.), OL/DL Aaron Jackson (6-3, 250, Sr.), RB/DB Brian
Ball (6-0, 180, Sr.), TE/OLB Steve McAninch (6-0, 205, Jr.), RB/DB Noah Winters
(5-10, 170, Jr.)
Outlook – The
Blue Devils return two – count ‘em, two – starters this season but they always
seem to find themselves in the playoff hunt.
Last year, they were the No. 6
seed in the Region 5 playoffs and they knocked off Parma Padua Franciscan on
the road in the first round and then defeated
regional finals, but it was another successful season for head coach Joe
Vassalotti and crew.
“We graduated 20 starters from last year’s regional final
team, so we’ll be very inexperienced this season,” Vassalotti said. “We only
have two returning starters (Reedy and Emling) but we do have a lot of talented
kids coming back that got a little bit of playing time last year in reserve
“We have many questions that won’t be answered until we
begin full contact drills. Our overall lack of team speed is a concern. We hope
to improve to the point where we can be competitive against a schedule that
includes Nordonia, Ellet and
in addition to the quality teams we face in the Suburban League.
“I also think that Region 5 appears to have become stronger
with the additions of teams like Walsh and Aurora.”