Spring Sports Preview: Q & A with Coaches & Players


Nick Archer

Boys Tennis: Q&A with seniors

Ana Crangle and Gino Spano


By Ana Crangle, Staff Writer

Head Coach Brittany Lightel 

Q: What is the team dynamic coming into this season?

A: Our varsity team has a lot of young talent. Our advantage to that being they have played together outside of high school softball for many years. Our dynamic is to enforce the concept of a “team,” playing for each other and not for themselves. We have a very positive and optimistic dynamic throughout the team that has been very encouraging for the girls. We are all just hoping to have a full season together and stay healthy. 

Q: What are some major goals for your Varsity team?

A: I think the main goal is to complete our full season and keep everyone healthy. We want to win the league outright and go far in the postseason tournament. Aside from those, another major goal for our young varsity team is to learn the best way to work together. Figuring out each player’s role and for them to be able to execute that role flawlessly. 

Q: How have you been working towards those goals?

A: These girls work hard daily in practice on the little things that will turn into big things come game time. They are encouraged to go 110% during practice and put in the work there so that games become the easy and fun part. We have been fortunate to get out on our brand new home field so the girls have gotten some time on the dirt. I am hoping some of our preseason scrimmages will allow for us to see what more we need to work on to be ready for March 27. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?

A: I’m most looking forward to playing on our brand new home field and seeing these girls come together after not being able to have a season last year and win some games. I’m hopeful to keep my girls healthy and be able to complete our full season. 



By Ana Crangle, Staff Writer

Head Coach Kenny Linn

Q: How long have you been coaching at Tallmadge?

A: 18 years

Q: What is the biggest thing you stress as a coach?

A: Probably being disciplined in everything we do from our approach to our day lives to how we approach our opportunity to compete together every day.

Q: What is the team’s biggest goal coming into this season?

A: Our teams have the same goal every year, we want to be League Champs, Sectional, District, Regional, and State Champs. 

Q: How are you working towards this goal?

A: Our seniors have done an outstanding job coming into the year extremely focused and have been leading by example all year with their approach to every day. 

Q: Who are your biggest standout players?

A: We have five returning guys who were starters on the 2019 Districts Team: Devin Norton, Owen Jascoe, Orion Kroah, Joey Ellis, Brandon Golubski. They have the most experience, and we are relying on them to show the way for the rest of the team. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your team?

A: They are going to be fun to watch. They will play it hard and the right way. Fill the hill for the home games. 



By Gino Spano, Staff Writer


Head Coach Mike Srodawa

Q: What are your goals for this season?    Who are some of your runners to look out for this season?

A: The goal for this season is to compete in as many meets as possible. I want us to do well but being able to compete is key this year.

Q: Will there be relay events? 

A: Yes, there will be relay races.

Q: How do you think the season is going? 

A: Practice is going great so far.

Q: Who are some of your runners to look out for this season?

Boys- Murphy, Zander, Zehner, Phelps, Thomas, Spano, Cuva, Hudaks (both), Nieman, Ansley, Dixon

Girls- Hurst, Crangle, Harrell, Carter, Messina, Snyder, Archer, Siesel, Reifsnyder, Dao, Bellman, Moran, Clum, Miles


Distance Coach Jeremy Huth

Q: What are your goals this season?  How is your season going?  Who are your runners to look out for this season? 

A: We have a couple kids that I feel should be competing at a pretty high level so am excited to see how they do individually.  As a group we have a lot of distance kids – (30+) so [I am] just excited to see how each individual improves throughout the season.

The season is going great. Our new track and the use of the turf to do drills and strengthening exercises makes practices much more enjoyable. 

Top runners this season will be Tommy Naiman, Dawson, ​Ansley, Jackson Queen, and Ben Jurkowski.  We have two freshmen who impacted our XC team – Joey Naiman and Collin Adams should all be capable of scoring points.  

On the girls side: Mackenzie Moran, Kelsey Bellman, Katrina Hunt, and Ana Crangle will score points this season.


Sprinting Coach John Gergely 

Q: What are your goals for this season?  How is the season going for you?  Who are your sprinters to look out for this season?  

A: I have been coaching track at Tallmadge for over 20 years now and my goals remain the same as they always are: work to make our athletes as fast as possible and get as far into the post-season as we can. The ultimate goal is to be represented at the State Meet in Columbus.  This year is also extra special to us as coaches because we missed out on competing last year and we’re finally going to have track meets at our new track at the stadium.  

As for sprinters to look out for, we are lucky to have a few veterans on both the girls and boys teams and they will be able to provide some leadership for the newcomers.  However, we are still a very young squad and since we didn’t get to compete last year. We basically have two new classes of athletes joining us that have never run a high school meet.  All in all, I am very excited to see what the sprinters can do and I’m looking forward to April when we finally get to see track meets once again.


Throwing Coach Mike Hay

Q: What are your goals for your throwers this season?  How is there practice going?  Who are some of your throwers to look out for this year? How do you think our season will go?

A: Practice has been going great. We have been able to take advantage of some nice days and get outside a few times. We have been able to stick to a schedule where we focus on throwing Monday, Wednesday and Friday and strength training Tuesday and Thursday. I’m excited to watch some of our younger throwers (many who are throwing for the first time) improve every day. I love watching our upperclassman and experienced athletes do a fantastic job of mentoring and coaching the newcomers. 

Girls: I’m expecting Vanessa Dao to have a strong  season and Esther Layton, Keira Leitner and Mackenzie McClain to all compete for points every meet. 

Boys: Eli Zander will hopefully make a run at the state meet and improve his shot and disc distances to at or near school record marks. Gunther Zehner will look to continue to improve his discus marks and compete with Eli. The two of them should score a lot of points for us. Our younger throwers: Austin Gibson, Ben Oblak, Andrew Falls, Bodie Tully and Kai Reeves have been doing a great job and are working incredibly hard and the results will show it.