One of them was anxious to return.
The other was anxious to get there.
In the end, both teenagers got what they wanted.
And thanks mainly to this pair of talented athletes leading the way, Tallmadge High School had another stellar winter season.
Once again, junior bowler Kirsten Moore set the standard on North Munroe Road after completing a superb season. She finished 16th at the Division I state tournament and was named the Suburban League Bowler of the Year.
Moore, who was the 2018 state runner-up, became the Blue Devils’ first two-time state qualifier on the lanes. Thanks to her success, Tallmadge currently has a four-year streak of having at least one representative at the state competition.
My hunch is the fiercely competitive Moore wasn’t terribly pleased with her final performance of the season.
But the gifted teenager is the school’s most accomplished bowler in history. And the best news is this: She still has one more year left of eligibility.
Another young man reached the pinnacle after a long, torturous wait.
Senior three-sport star Richie Eyre advanced to the Division II state wrestling tournament for the first time.
Eyre, who earned his ticket to the ultimate stage at 160 pounds, finished with a school-record 160 wins.
His most recent trip to Columbus may not be his last.
The Blue Devils baseball team is seeking its third straight trip to the state competition this spring. Eyre, the team’s three-year starting catcher, helped Tallmadge reach the Final Four in 2018 after winning a state title during his sophomore year.
Did I mention Eyre also was a standout running back, receiver, safety and kick returner for the Blue Devils’ football team during the fall?
Yep, there isn’t a whole lot this young man CAN’T do.
As for the rest of the bowlers, it was another successful season, even though they didn’t get the ending they coveted. The teams fell short of advancing to the state competition after reaching that destination for the first time last year.
Nonetheless, both teams shined throughout the season. The girls finished a dazzling 8-1 during the regular season and the boys posted a 8-2 record.
The boys basketball team certainly had its peaks and valleys during the regular season.
The Blue Devils had a huge win against Suburban League American Conference rival Copley, a Division I district finalist. On the other hand, Tallmadge also had some head-scratching losses.
Come tournament time, though, the Blue Devils put it all together. They upset Louisville and Canal Fulton Northwest to reach their first district final since 2008.
Sadly, the girls basketball team’s overall record wasn’t particularly glittering.
However, Tallmadge won one postseason game and nearly upset top-seeded Akron Buchtel in a sectional title contest.
As for Moore and Eyre, their goals for next season might be a little different than they were this past winter.
Moore certainly will want another crack at the state title. Eyre, on the other hand, will be adjusting to a new lifestyle, possibly away from the friendly confines of T-Town.
Rumor has it, though, a number of Blue Devils will most likely want to follow the three-sport star’s lead.
Like the jack-of-all-trades senior, many Tallmadge athletes will be just as anxious to reach a destination a certain pin expert calls home.
That would be the state competition.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.