MASSILLON Massillon’s football team has had plenty of on-the-field success during Jason Hall’s five seasons as the head coach.
In that time, the Tigers have made four playoff appearances, including one regional championship. This past season, they posted an 11-2 record, reaching the regional finals.
But one of the accomplishments Hall’s most proud of over his tenure is the work the Massillon football program has made in the classroom. And that work was once again showcased on Monday when the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association recognized the Tigers as one of 73 teams in the state to garner Academic All-Ohio honors for their first-quarter academic work.
Massillon quarterback Kyle Kempt also was honored individually.
“We work hard on that,” Hall said Monday afternoon. “We currently only have, out of 130 kids, I want to say it’s 16 kids that are under a 3.0 (grade-point average). In all honesty, it’s nice that you’re recognized, but we don’t do it to try and get an award.
“We make it important so that our kids know what’s important. They know that good grades create opportunities and being a good student-athlete sends a message to everybody — not only in our school system, but around the area in representing Massillon.”
Jackson and Dalton also were recognized in the team honors. Jackson’s Nate Locke and Dalton’s Chase Moyer and Jeremy Pennel were also honored individually.
The OHSFCA didn’t reveal the official GPAs used to determine the honors. The list is based on the top 22 GPAs of varsity letterwinners from the first quarter of the 2012-13 school year.
However, Hall said his seniors this season have accumulated a class GPA of 3.3. The juniors, meanwhile, were at 3.261, while the sophomores were at 2.901.
“I think our teachers need to be commended,” Hall said. “It’s not Jason Hall who’s in the classroom every day with these kids. We have an awesome, awesome teaching staff at Massillon. Our teachers are second to none, and they need to be commended for that.”
WEEK 4 UPDATE
Massillon continues to work toward filling the one hole left on its 2013 schedule. That comes in Week 4.
Hall reiterated that he has been talking with Dover — a Division III state semifinalist this past season. The game, regardless of whether it’s against Dover or somebody else, would be played at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
However, the coach said nothing is expected to be finalized until after the calendar changes to the new year.
“We won’t know until later on in January with that,” Hall said. “We’re just keeping our eyes open. There’s not a whole lot of Week 4 (openings) right now.”
While Gareon Conley has made up his mind to play at Ohio State next fall and Kempt is debating whether to stay with Cincinnati or play elsewhere, another Tiger senior — linebacker Kentrell Taylor — continues to ponder his college choice. As is the case with Kempt, the college coaching carousel is leaving much of that decision in limbo.
Hall said on Monday that, ideally, Taylor is interested in Kent State. However, the Golden Flashes — fresh off a school-record 11-2 season and a Mid-American Conference East Division championship — are in the midst of a coaching search after Darrell Hazell parlayed his team’s success this season into the head-coaching job at Purdue.
“I think Trelly is going to wait and see who gets hired at Kent State,” Hall said. “He wants to go visit them and be around them. I think he really likes Kent State a lot. It’s just wait and see who’s going to be the next head coach at Kent State.”
The season banquet for the 2012 Massillon Tiger football team will be held on Jan. 10 at St. George Cultural Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with a two-meat buffet dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
Cost of tickets are $15 and will go on sale beginning today at the Washington High School ticket office, at home boys basketball games and at Keller’s Office Furniture. Banquet glasses also are available by pre-order at a cost of $6.