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Tallmadge boys soccer team hopes to build on successful 2015

Published: August 21, 2016 12:00 AM

Staff report

When a team nearly doubles it win total, that's not a bad thing.

Of course, it also could mean that the team struggled the previous year.

Such was the case for the Tallmadge boys soccer team, which finished 5-11-2 in 2014.

However, the Blue Devils made major strides one year later.

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Tallmadge finished 9-6-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the first year of the Suburban League American Conference last fall.

The Blue Devils also picked up a victory in the postseason. They almost pulled off another upset, too.

After defeating Field 4-1 in the opening round of sectional play, Tallmadge lost to area power Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 3-2 in a Division II sectional title game.

The Blue Devils lost three seniors, including their leading scorer, to graduation.

The biggest loss was forward Tyler Helderman, who scored 32 goals in 2015. Also graduating were defenders Kyle Harvey and Jake Strate.

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"We're a young team," Tallmadge third-year head coach Mina Shahata said. "They're working hard and they're learning. It will be a group effort."

The Blue Devils feature five seniors. They are defenders Christian Lambacher and Jadon Wolfe, forward Mitchell Makuch and his twin brother Evan Makuch, a midfielder, and goalkeeper Tommy Kilway.

"Four of them are starters," Shahata said. "Christian took a year off to play basketball."

Shahata said the team plans to utilize a 4-4-2 formation.

His assistant coaches are Patrick Jackson and Joe Novak. The junior varsity coach is Lucas Gagne.

Shahata believes his team is coming along nicely as the regular season nears.

"We have good chemistry," he said. "The boys love each other. It's a good environment."

Tallmadge is scheduled to make its 2016 debut against Ravenna Aug. 23 at Thomas Rossiaky Stadium. Play is set to begin at 7 p.m.

The Blue Devils are scheduled to visit Norton Aug. 27 at 3:30 p.m.

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