By nature, football is a violent sport and injuries are bound to happen when muscle-bound players run into each other at full speed.
Tallmadge and Ravenna were both hit pretty hard this year by injuries.
Ravenna had seven players sustain a concussion and four players – seniors Ian Frame and Shane Perry and sophomores Brent Sodeman and Seth Jarvis – were ruled out for the remainder of the year. The other three players to have a concussion and miss games were senior Tyler Smith (out three weeks), sophomore Shaun Roberts (out two weeks) and junior Brendon Winning (out two weeks).
The Ravens also had three players go down with a season ending-knee injury, senior captain Demetrius Fear, senior captain Josh Perry and junior Donnie Heller.
“I feel we were snake bitten this year; we never had the same line up from week to week” Ravenna coach Jim Lunardi said. “I’m not complaining. It probably was like that for other teams as well you just have to roll with the punches.”
Senior Austin Rosalez missed three games due to a knee injury. Senior Trevor Pesicek did not miss any games, but played through a knee injury and turf toe.
Tallmadge coach Joe Vassalotti said seniors Bobby Clark and Davis Moore played through injuries.
Clark rushed for 1,281 yards (6.85-yards per carry) and scored 15 touchdowns. He set the single-game school-record for rushing yards in a game with 349 against Cloverleaf in Week 8, and then rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns against Green in Week 10 played despite playing with a sprained knee ligament.
“He had the best TD run I’ve seen live in 23 years of coaching,” Vassalotti said. “It’s on YouTube. “He is an extremely tough and physical runner. Our overall team MVP.”
Moore played the entire season with a partially torn labrum in both shoulders.
“Approximately two-to-three times per game one his shoulders would pop out,” Vassalotti said. “I have not coached a tougher player in 23 years.
Blue Devils junior John Rensel (torn ACL), junior Jason Wiebrecht (broken tibia), senior Damon Gidley (dislocated shoulder) and junior Jacob Mertus (lower leg laceration) were lost during the season.
Senior Joe Lowery was also never 100 percent due to a hernia surgery in July.