What is happening with Tallmadge football?

Harold & Kumar

New member
Is Tallmadge rebuilding or should we expect more years like this year? I did get to see the win over Ellet this year and the almost win Vs. Revere. But the rest of the season has been tough. Tallmadge is successful in some other sports. Is it lack of numbers or a tougher league or coaching? Does anyone care anymore?
I know a few years back Vassiloti had a group that came through and were winners and he left. Then Pollack took it and did not win and was given only 1 year and was chased out by parents complaining to the AD and some of his own staff stirring up problems for him. Vanderonk was next and won and it looked as if we were on track but he jumped ship. Haye was on Pollack's staff and is now the head coach. It doesn't look like he is the answer with only 1win. This season may set Tallmadge football back 10 years!!
 

TallmadgeBoy

New member
Is Tallmadge rebuilding or should we expect more years like this year? I did get to see the win over Ellet this year and the almost win Vs. Revere. But the rest of the season has been tough. Tallmadge is successful in some other sports. Is it lack of numbers or a tougher league or coaching? Does anyone care anymore?
I know a few years back Vassiloti had a group that came through and were winners and he left. Then Pollack took it and did not win and was given only 1 year and was chased out by parents complaining to the AD and some of his own staff stirring up problems for him. Vanderonk was next and won and it looked as if we were on track but he jumped ship. Haye was on Pollack's staff and is now the head coach. It doesn't look like he is the answer with only 1win. This season may set Tallmadge football back 10 years!!
Rebuilding!
Tallmadge suffered some big losses to Parochial schools and open enrollment to other schools. The loss of Vass and then Vanderink hurt Tallmadge. Players/Families bailed out because of them leaving. Coach Haye needs to regain the confidence and support from the younger players, families, and community to rebuild this program. The new AD is strong and will help this process too. Give them another year and I think they will be contenders again.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Just a guess here.

Same problem that many other mid-sized schools are facing: declining enrollment (10 years ago, Tallmadge had over 350 boys in grades 9-11, they have 287 in the current count), a few athletes decide to specialize (Tallmadge loves its baseball) or enroll elsewhere (private, open enrollment public), and there suddenly aren't enough athletes remaining to keep all the school's sports competitive?
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
I think most of the replies here are spot on. This is a very tough year because the Juniors and Seniors are a small group. They have some very talented players but just not quite enough depth to be able to absorb the injuries/issues that come along each season. Tallmadge struggled with Allen Price as the starting Freshman QB. They struggled with Anthony Gotto as the starting Freshman QB. And they struggled with Sam Seeker as the starting Freshman QB. It is very tough to have a Freshmen start at QB and have success. It is also tough to have 4 different centers in one season.

Numbers are Tallmadge's biggest problem. Second biggest problem is keeping the talented players in Tallmadge as they move into the HS. Depth is too big of a problem to lose kids to disinterest or thinking they are the next big player by going somewhere else. I started hearing about 7th graders thinking of going elsewhere. Kind of frustrating because they have a chance at making this team great again. I've heard the story many times that the best class to ever go through Tallmadge (2004 and 2005 seasons) had some kids that were looking to go elsewhere. A couple of the kids (and parents??) stepped up and told them they had a chance to do something special if they stayed together. And they were right.

Now these current 7th-10th graders have a real chance at doing something special. The question is whether they will have the leadership in their group to keep the kids focused and on the path to achieve greatness. This year's Juniors are a small group but do have some very good players. Would be great to see them recruit a few of their athletic friends to join the team next year. Next year should be the beginning of a very good run for the Blue Devils if things go right.

Lastly, Tallmadge Youth Football does a a good job but I (and many others) think it is time to find better competition. It is great for the kids to win championships every year but those championships in the long run don't mean much. Competing against similar size and bigger communities would help us achieve more even if we were just .500 in those youth leagues.
 

Gofaster99

New member
Vassalotti was in Tallmadge for 15 years or so...he had more than one group. The reason he was so successful is he did not have players run to other schools. They stayed in Tallmadge and developed a winning program. He had a solid coaching staff with very little turnover. It is not hard to figure out why they had winning seasons for so long
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Vassalotti was in Tallmadge for 15 years or so...he had more than one group. The reason he was so successful is he did not have players run to other schools. They stayed in Tallmadge and developed a winning program. He had a solid coaching staff with very little turnover. It is not hard to figure out why they had winning seasons for so long
Agreed. He definitely had more than one group. But it was that group that changed how Tallmadge thought of football. A community that NEVER made the playoffs gets into the playoffs for the first time and goes all the way to the state semifinals...two years in a row. That was the first team to win a league title since the early 80s when Coach Kijanko was still new to the program.

Now we have had a couple false starts with coaches. Pollack was a train wreck. Vanderink was on the right track but was derailed by a school financial issue. Coach Hay deserves a chance to get things going again. This was going to be a challenging season due to the numbers. Give him a chance to build this team. Remember, Vassalotti was a great coach but struggled his first two years in Tallmadge.
 

WAZUP

New member
Those who have been around Tallmadge football for years realize that this year would be tough, as will next year. The reality is that while the senior class is not that large, the junior class is extremely small in numbers of players. These 2 classes usually make up the majority of players of any team as they are both physically more mature and more experienced. In addition, you have a new head coach (who for the record coached with vasalloti before pollack), that had very little time to assemble a coaching staff. These two factors are the largest challenges facing the program at this point. Unless there was a large number of players that left for other programs, I struggle to say that is as much of a contributing factor. Hopefully in the off season, Coach Hay will be able to bolster his coaching staff and keep the younger players engaged in the program.
 

WAZUP

New member
I think most of the replies here are spot on. This is a very tough year because the Juniors and Seniors are a small group. They have some very talented players but just not quite enough depth to be able to absorb the injuries/issues that come along each season. Tallmadge struggled with Allen Price as the starting Freshman QB. They struggled with Anthony Gotto as the starting Freshman QB. And they struggled with Sam Seeker as the starting Freshman QB. It is very tough to have a Freshmen start at QB and have success. It is also tough to have 4 different centers in one season.

Numbers are Tallmadge's biggest problem. Second biggest problem is keeping the talented players in Tallmadge as they move into the HS. Depth is too big of a problem to lose kids to disinterest or thinking they are the next big player by going somewhere else. I started hearing about 7th graders thinking of going elsewhere. Kind of frustrating because they have a chance at making this team great again. I've heard the story many times that the best class to ever go through Tallmadge (2004 and 2005 seasons) had some kids that were looking to go elsewhere. A couple of the kids (and parents??) stepped up and told them they had a chance to do something special if they stayed together. And they were right.

Now these current 7th-10th graders have a real chance at doing something special. The question is whether they will have the leadership in their group to keep the kids focused and on the path to achieve greatness. This year's Juniors are a small group but do have some very good players. Would be great to see them recruit a few of their athletic friends to join the team next year. Next year should be the beginning of a very good run for the Blue Devils if things go right.

Lastly, Tallmadge Youth Football does a a good job but I (and many others) think it is time to find better competition. It is great for the kids to win championships every year but those championships in the long run don't mean much. Competing against similar size and bigger communities would help us achieve more even if we were just .500 in those youth leagues.
It would be nice to still be playing Green. I always thought they were a great rivalry for TYF.
 

SLAGuy

Member
Kids want to be part of a winner. Some parents and kids like to be able to say they are champions even if they had nothing to do with it. The Tallmadge kids going to Hoban can wear their lettermen's jackets as proudly as the band.
 

bass10

Well-known member
Simple, should have hired Gotto and your program would have never skipped a beat. But your pompous AD went his buddy route with
Pollack.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Gotto is a great coach and Tallmadge would have been happy to have him but he has a good job in Barberton.

I think Tallmadge just needs to be patient. Coach Hay will now have a full year with his team and a chance to build upon his coaching staff. The talent in the younger age groups is there. Do a little recruiting in the hallways to help build up the depth and this team could turn it around in a year.
 

bass10

Well-known member
Had Tallmadge hired him he never would have pursued the Barberton job. Thank Seeker for letting him go.
 
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