Jason Hall, who previously coached at Ravenna Southeast, Lyndhurst
Brush and Macedonia Nordonia, assumed control of the Massillon program
last year. He led the Tigers to a playoff berth. Massillon dropped its
first-round game to North Canton Hoover 14-7. Hall welcomes back seven starters on offense and five on defense.
Massillon Washington (6-5)
* Players to Watch – QB Rob Partridge (6-1, 195, Sr.), OG Jeff Myers (6-4, 290, Sr.), WR Bo Grunder (5-10, 170, Sr.), NG Joe Studer (6-2, 230, Sr.), LB Spencer Leno (5-11, 210, Sr.), OLB Danny Huhn (6-0, 195, Sr.).
* Outlook – Jason Hall, who previously coached at Ravenna Southeast, Lyndhurst Brush and Macedonia Nordonia, assumed control of the Massillon program last year. He led the Tigers to a playoff berth. Massillon dropped its first-round game to North Canton Hoover 14-7.
Hall welcomes back seven starters on offense and five on defense.
“Our kids had a great off-season,” Hall said. “If our kids can reach their potential, I think we can have a very successful season. Our junior and senior classes are a very tight-knit group. We are having fun coaching them and they are responding by bringing it every day.”
Partridge has the potential to be a run/pass threat. He started half of last season and tallied 471 yards and four touchdowns passing.
“Rob had a great end of the season and had a great off-season,” Hall said. “He is developed physically. He has really matured and he is the leader of our offense. Our whole offense is predicated on him. We run multiple formations and run the zone, the zone read, the stretch and the power.”
Grunder had 19 catches for 271 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. He also had 54 tackles and three interceptions on defense.
Leno tallied a team-high 102 tackles and 17 tackles-for-loss as a junior.
“Spencer Leno is a leader on our defense,” Hall said. “He is a three-year starter at middle linebacker and is very intelligent. He has led the team in tackles two years in a row.”
As an independent, Massillon plays a challenging schedule. Some of the opponents include GlenOak, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Steubenville, Warren Harding, Mentor and the rivalry game with Canton McKinley.
“It’s a tough schedule,” Hall said. “We look forward to it and we are excited about it. This is the kind of schedule you are used to playing at Massillon.”
The Week 6 game at defending Division I state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius looms large. St. Ignatius took a 49-7 win over Massillon last year.
“That is a game that both schools look forward to,” Hall said. “They played well against us last year and I think we learned from that. The kids understand what they have to do to play against a team like St. Ignatius. They are a disciplined team. It will be a good challenge for us to find out where we’re at.”
And, of course, the season-ending showdown with nearby rival Canton McKinley – set for Oct. 31 at Fawcett Stadium this year – is critical. Hall is 1-0 against McKinley after Massillon took a 17-0 win last year.
“We know we will be playing them on the Saturday of the last week of the season at 2 p.m. forever,” Hall said. “It’s a game both communities talk about all the time. The week of that game is something special. You don’t realize it unless you have participated in it. But to play the schedule we have, you just prepare one week at a time.”
Aug. 27, Akron Buchtel
Sept. 3, Canton GlenOak
Sept. 11, at Stow-Munroe Falls
Sept. 18, Akron Firestone
Sept. 25, Akron Garfield
Oct. 3, at Cleveland St. Ignatius, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9, at Steubenville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16, Warren Harding
Oct. 23, Mentor
Oct. 31, at Canton McKinley, 2 p.m.