When I first covered Tallmadge, a trip to the bowling alley seemed like a foreign concept.

In other words, the sport was basically nonexistent.

That changed about 10 years ago when bowling officially became a part of the Blue Devils’ lives.

It’s safe to say it’s not going to be leaving any time soon.

Both the boys and girls teams became state powers during the 2017-18 season. The girls team also has a pair of two-time state qualifiers on its ever-growing résumé.

In fact, since bowling has grown so much, you could argue that last winter was a "down" season for Tallmadge.

After all, with the exception of current senior Kirsten Moore, neither the girls or the boys team advanced to the state competition.

I beg to differ, of course.

Despite falling short of reaching the state tournament, the girls team won the Suburban League championship and finished 10-1 overall. The boys were a not so shabby 8-3 last season.

Yes, I think we can safely assume that bowling is no longer a "niche" sport in a land that loves its blue and gold.

Since I first covered the boys basketball team nearly two decades ago, the Blue Devils have experienced much success.

They reached the competition twice during my early years and were a regular in district play at the vaunted Stow Division II sectional-district tournament for what seems like forever.

Last season seemed a bit shaky as Tallmadge limped to a 4-8 start. However, the Blue Devils quickly turned things around and ended up advancing to a district title game in Canton.

Tallmadge lost a few of its stars from that rags-to-riches squad, but I have a feeling a major drop-off isn’t in the cards this winter.

Make no mistake about it, the swimming and wrestling teams have struggled with their Suburban League American Conference rivals in recent years. That doesn’t mean they’ve been totally hapless, though.

Far from it, as a matter of fact.

The girls swimming team features a returning district qualifier and the wrestling squad has a few district performers back, as well.

The girls basketball team didn’t fare so well against its conference foes either. Nevertheless, Tallmadge did win a postseason game and nearly upset top-seeded Akron Buchtel in a Division II sectional title contest.

Good luck to all of the athletes as they pursue greatness this winter. I have a strong feeling they won’t fall short.

When it comes to this small community, I learned this basic fact a long time ago: Success has never been a foreign concept in T-Town.

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, faceto@recordpub.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.