They had a couple of individuals with the same last name make the prestigious trek to southern Ohio.
But the bowling teams had never reached the state competition since the sport was introduced to Tallmadge not that long ago.
The Blue Devils and Lady Blue Devils capped off breakthrough seasons by finishing 11th at the Division I state tournament, which concluded Saturday at Wayne Webb Columbus Bowl.
Prior to this winter, Tallmadge had only two state qualifiers in its history.
The first was Jennie Kiss in 2015 and the second was her younger sister Emily the following year. Emily Kiss, a senior, is now the only Tallmadge bowler in school history with two state appearances.
The younger Kiss may not hold that honor for long.
That’s because her teammate, sophomore Kirsten Moore, concluded her spectacular season as the state runner-up.
Moore has already set some records for the Lady Blue Devils and I have a gut feeling she could be wearing a gold medal around her neck before her high school career ends.
The bowlers weren’t alone when it comes to reaching the ultimate stage.
Ryan Riter recently made his second trip to the state competition in five months.
The senior diver, who reached the Division II state cross country meet during the fall, finished his stellar career with a 23rd-place finish at the Division II state diving competition last month.
By the way, Riter also is a member of the Tallmadge boys track and field team.
Can the talented senior make three trips to state in three different sports in nine months?
I’m not going to bet against him.
By all accounts and purposes, it was a rebuilding season for the Blue Devil wrestlers.
If a rebuilding season produces six district qualifiers, it’s safe to say the future is very bright.
Leading the way was Rich Eyre, who just missed advancing to the state tournament after finishing fifth at the Alliance district.
The 170-pound Eyre also made some history this winter.
He recently set the school record for career victories. Let’s just say Eyre, who has 115 career wins, will most likely obliterate the previous record when it’s all said and done.
That’s because he’s only a junior.
The Tallmadge girls basketball team had a winning season and reached Division II district play for the second consecutive year.
The lone senior on the team, Sara Johnson, is a standout jumper for the track and field squad. Johnson hopes to advance to the state competition for the second straight year in the long jump.
Like Riter, Johnson is the jack of all trades. She also received All-Ohio honors for her efforts on the soccer field during the fall.
The Tallmadge boys basketball team also had a winning season and reached Division II district play for the first time in three years.
The Blue Devils were led by senior point guard Matthew Francesconi, who will go down in history as one of the all-time greats at Tallmadge. Francesconi scored 1,365 points during his amazing career.
All in all, it wasn’t too shabby of a season for Tallmadge athletics during the long, cold nights that are typical of old man winter in Northeast Ohio.
Let’s hope the good times continue when the flowers bloom and hopefully, when the sun stays out a little longer.
I have a hunch they will.
Rumor has it the Blue Devils will have a pretty decent baseball team this spring.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.