Jason Hall is back for his third season as the Massillon coach.
He has six starters back on offense and five on defense from last year’s
squad that won three playoff games before falling to Cleveland
Glenville 31-17 in a state semifinal. What’s in store for the roar this year?
2009 Record: 10-4
* Players to Watch – WR-CB Devin Smith (6-2, 185, Sr.), WR-OLB Justin Olack (6-2, 205, Sr.), LB-RB Aaron Roby (6-1, 215, Sr.), LB-RB Seth Naulbach (6-0, 215, Sr.), TB-SS Jake Reiman (6-0, 190, Sr.), SS-RB Tyler Robinson (6-0, 195, Sr.), CB-WR-CB Tyler Miller (5-10, 170, Sr.).
* Outlook – Jason Hall is back for his third season as the Massillon coach. He has six starters back on offense and five on defense from last year’s squad that won three playoff games before falling to Cleveland Glenville 31-17 in a state semifinal.
It was an interesting year for Massillon, which opened 5-0 before midseason losses to Cleveland St. Ignatius and Steubenville. The Tigers then dropped the regular season finale at Canton McKinley 35-21. But they redeemed themselves with Division I playoff wins over North Canton Hoover (17-10), Twinsburg (10-7) and McKinley (10-7) before the loss to Glenville.
Still, Massillon came up just short of an elusive first playoff state championship.
“That is kind of a double-edged sword,” Hall said. “We were happy to make it to the final four, but we were disappointed at the same time. It has been good motivation for us in our off-season program. The kids have really taken up the challenge and carried it over.
“In the track season, we had 10 guys who made it to the state track meet. We lost to Glenville perhaps because they were a little bit faster. We have concentrated on our speed. We would love to make that next step. But saying it and doing it are two different things.
“I think we’ve got a lot of great kids in our district. Obviously, football is very important at Massillon. Our senior class is a very committed class. They played a lot as juniors. We know they will bring it every day.”
Smith was a first-team All-Ohio pick at receiver last year with 50 catches for 989 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has already committed to Ohio State. Olack added 49 catches and three scores. He has committed to Pittsburgh.
“We are fortunate to have Devin and Justin Olack,” Hall said. “Devin is a 10.5-second 100-meter guy. He is very athletic and creates mismatches.”
Reiman chipped in 527 yards rushing and six touchdowns last year. Miller had 67 tackles and six interceptions on defense last year. Massillon must find a new starting quarterback.
“We think we will have a very skilled football team this year,” Hall said. “We will have three guys competing at quarterback with sophomore Brody Tonn, senior Anthony McCormick and sophomore Cody Kemp, a move-in from Oregon.”
* Schedule – As an independent, Massillon plays a challenging schedule. Some of the opponents include Canton GlenOak, Steubenville, Warren Harding, Mentor and the rivalry game with McKinley.
“Our week 2 game against GlenOak will be on Fox Sports Ohio,” Hall said. “We always play a tough schedule. At the end of it, if we make the playoffs we feel like we’re battle tested. We know we have to stay healthy. We were banged up some last year, but then we got healthy and we made a run.”
Thur. Aug. 26 Akron Buchtel 7:30 p.m.
Thur. Sept. 2 at Glen Oak 7:30 p.m. (FSN Ohio)
Fri. Sept. 10 Stow 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 17 at Mentor 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 24 Firestone 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 1 Brantford, Ont 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 8 Steubenville 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 15 at Warren Harding 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 22 National Arts College of Canada 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 30 Canton McKinley 2 p.m.