The Tallmadge baseball team did everything imaginable during its magical run to its first state championship last year.
Well, there was one exception.
The Blue Devils did not win the Suburban League American Conference title. That honor went to Aurora, which defeated Tallmadge not long before the postseason began.
We all know what happened after that.
Once tournament play began, the Blue Devils didn’t stop winning until they crossed the finish line in Columbus.
This past spring, Tallmadge was going for a rare repeat. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils fell short with an agonizing 2-1 loss to Dayton Chaminade Julienne in the Division II state semifinals earlier this month.
However, it is worth nothing the Tallmadge players did gain something that eluded them the previous spring.
That would be an American Conference championship.
Much like last year, the baseball team highlighted another fantastic spring for the beautiful high school located on 140 N. Munroe Road.
Facing a gauntlet of powerhouse teams from Ohio and other states, the Blue Devils started off a modest 3-9.
Once it butted heads against a more reasonable playing field, though, Tallmadge was just about unstoppable the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils flipped a switch and wound up capturing 16 wins in their next 18 games to reach the prestigious Final Four for the second consecutive year.
Tallmadge will say goodbye to 11 incredibly gifted seniors. But if you’ve followed the Blue Devils on the diamond over the years, they probably won’t break too much of a sweat.
After all, not too many towns appreciate the wonderful game of baseball like Tallmadge does.
While the baseball team stole most of the headlines, the school located in the 44278 zip code had many, many athletes go above and beyond their abilities when the snow disappeared and the flowers began to bloom.
Six Lady Blue Devils and two Tallmadge boys joined the short list of massive superstars at the smaller school located not far from Interstate 76 at the Division II state track and field meet.
Three of those athletes recently graduated.
Sara Johnson, a two-time state qualifier and Madison Tasich joined sophomore Mabinty Kromah and freshman Maddie Arnold on the 14th-place 800-meter relay team.
The other recent graduate was Matt Kieke, who concluded his stellar career with a 12th-place throw in the shot put.
Besides Kromah and Arnold, Tallmadge will be looking forward to seeing how three other fabulous athletes do next season.
Sophomore Brennan Heavilin proved using a wheelchair was a blessing rather than a curse after finishing third in the seated shot put.
By the way, Heavilin increased his distance by more than five full feet compared to last year.
If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.
Junior Lauren Moses and sophomore Rayvn Edge hope to join Heavilin among the state’s elite next spring.
Moses placed 14th in the pole vault at the state meet. By the way, Moses first started using a pole back in … well, March. It’s safe to say the kid is a natural.
I remember seeing Miss Edge succeed in a number of track and field meets prior to high school.
Let’s just say the success hasn’t slowed down one bit.
Edge placed 12th in the 1,600-meter race in Columbus. And yes, this is the same young lady who also qualified for the Division II state cross country meet earlier in the fall.
If there is something this young lady can’t do, my hunch is it hasn’t been discovered yet.
Like the baseball team, expectations for the softball team are astronomically high.
Unfortunately, the Lady Blue Devils didn’t quite reach their postseason goals on the softball field after a surprising loss in district play.
Nonetheless, to not recognize the Tallmadge softball squad for its stellar season would be a major travesty.
Therefore, I will give a shout-out to the Lady Blue Devils, who claimed their second straight American Conference championship. Tallmadge got to share the title with Highland and Aurora. The Lady Blue Devils did it the hard way, too.
They crushed the very formidable Lady Greenmen 10-0 on Aurora’s home field to claim their prize.
Congratulations to all of the athletes for the remarkable accomplishments during the spring. They performed admirably throughout the season and they represented their community with grace and honor.
Thanks to these wonderful athletes, claiming titles and dominating the opposition continues to be the theme in a place known affectionately as "T-Town."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.