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Success may continue this fall season

Published: July 16, 2017 12:00 AM
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It was an amazing finish for several athletes during the spring season.

For starters, the Tallmadge baseball team captured its first state championship since 2002.

Two Lady Blue Devils also represented Tallmadge at the Division I state track and field meet.

With the town still buzzing about Tallmadge's success, it's time to take a look at the upcoming fall season.

Sure, last autumn didn't quite match what Tallmadge's top spring athletes accomplished, but it wasn't too shabby, either.

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The football team, which had been an area powerhouse for more than a decade, has fallen on hard times after its second consecutive 2-8 season in 2016.

But there is plenty of good news.

Several baseball players were members of the gridiron squad and since they put the pads away last November, they learned quite a great deal about winning.

Remember the old saying? Winning is contagious, right?

Perhaps the glow of the Tallmadge baseball squad's first-place trophy may rub off some magic at Thomas Rossiaky Stadium this autumn.

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I won't bet against it.

The girls soccer team has a returning player who, like, the baseball team, knows a little bit about competing on the grandest stage.

Rising senior Sara Johnson was one of the Lady Blue Devils' top scorers last season.

But her offensive prowess on the pitch was nothing compared to what she accomplished during the spring.

Johnson, along with 2017 graduate Vanessa Lane, competed at the Division I state track and field meet.

Johnson concluded a fine season with an 11th-place finish in the long jump.

If her soccer teammates need some advice on how to get to the next level, the 5-foot-3 Johnson is a good person from whom to seek wisdom.

Speaking of the girls soccer team, 2016 was a pretty decent season for the Lady Blue Devils.

Tallmadge lost just two games during a 66-day span last fall. Unfortunately, the Lady Blue Devils still didn't quite reach their ultimate goal as they saw their season end in a Division II district semifinal contest.

Tallmadge also played several games where they got positive but not exactly satisfactory results.

The Lady Blue Devils had a glittering won/loss record (10-2), but my hunch is they were seeking a lot more wins. Instead, they finished with a noticeably high six draws.

Tallmadge's girls distance team had a rare freshman phenom dazzle last autumn.

Kenna Loveless was the top performer of the 2016 fall season after finishing 18th at the Division II state cross country competition. As a result of her performance, she earned All-Ohio honors.

While they fell just short of reaching the Sweet Sixteen, the Lady Blue Devils had one of their best seasons in quite awhile on the volleyball court.

Tallmadge finished 18-5 in 2016, which included a trip to a Division II district title match.

If not for one certain conference rival, the Lady Blue Devils would have been 18-2 and still playing.

Tallmadge lost to American Conference foe Revere three times, including the district title match on the Lady Blue Devils' home floor.

The boys soccer team has been a consistent winner in recent years.

The Blue Devils finished 9-7-3 and reached Division II district play for the first time since 2003.

The boys cross country squad, which finished fourth in the American Conference last fall, had a regional qualifier. Rising senior Ryan Riter finished 20th at the Lorain district meet to punch his ticket to Youngstown, where he finished 49th.

The girls cross country team is hoping a few more people can get closer to the talented Loveless. The Lady Blue Devils finished a modest fifth in the American Conference last year.

Tallmadge's boys and girls golf and girls tennis teams hope to turn the corner after taking part in massive rebuilding projects in 2016.

As a result, both the boys and girls golf squads finished last in their respective conferences and the tennis team did not win a single match.

However, as the state champion baseball team proved, you can do your best work while flying under the radar.

All in all, it should be a very exciting season for Tallmadge once the days get shorter and the leaves change color.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, though.

If you're a student athlete who will play a sport during the fall, there is still one major important priority to address before returning to the grind.

That would be what I like to call the most wonderful time of the year.

Summer break!

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