Washington High School
Massillon, Ohio

Tigers 26th State Title

26th you might say? Yes, the Tigers 26th state title with 24 of them being outright “State Championships”!

The football state championship in Ohio has an eclectic and winding history that involves eras of self-proclamation to territorial acclamation with shared titles, through to the advent of the Associated Press Sportswriters Polls and then ending up to the ever evolving OHSAA sanctioned 7 Division playoffs currently in use.

So, what was generally a single team recognized “state champion” starting at the first turn of the last century (1890s-1900) has now become 14 team state titles with 7 divisional regular season Associated Press poll titles and 7 divisional playoff championships.

During the “early” eras, some titles were shared because there was no real way to resolve some regional bragging rights. With the first AP Poll title in 1947, only one team was recognized as a state champion until 1965 when the AP started recognizing two state champions and split the state into AA and single A classes. In 1970, the state championship was split between three teams and a third level was established making the classes AAA, AA and A.

Even with the AP Poll titles, controversy existed! In 1961 the AP Poll title went to Niles McKinley while the rival United Press International (UPI) poll went to us, the Massillon Tigers. What made it more of an atrocity locally was that Massillon was recognized as the “National Champion” that year.

The “insult and injury” talk from us was heard all the way to Columbus. The last straw was in 1970 when Upper Arlington, winners of 40 in a row and 3 previous AP Polls finished second to Massillon in the poll. Within 2 years the playoff system was introduced to solve any and all disputes. Of course, little thought was given then to how the private schools would soon dominate and even the playoff system itself has to be tweaked and adjusted ever since.

Since the playoffs debuted, we have been to the mountain top five times and have come away empty, losing all five to private schools. But really, just being there is a huge accomplishment for us with our enrollment decline.

When the playoffs started in 1972, we had an enrollment of nearly 2100 including the 9th grades from Longfellow and Lorin Andrews. This was also just a dozen years after both Perry and Tuslaw had become their own schools taking students away. Since the 48 seasons of the OHSAA playoffs started, our enrollment has continued to downsize to the current range of about 1150 for the four-year high school.

Even with some assistance through “open enrollment” it is still an amazing testament to our students, staff and boosters that we remain part of the conversation in football statewide nearly every season!

The 2019 Tigers went 10-0 and won the Associated Press State Title. This year along with 1972 which also won the AP Poll title but not the playoff title should be recognized somehow at our school and stadium. Somehow.

Our Massillon High Tigers! Since 1891: 26 State Titles with 24 being outright Championships!

The 2019 Massillon Tigers

  • Division II State Playoffs Runner-up
  • Regional Champions
  • Division II AP Poll Regular Season Title
  • Perfect Season
  • The Seniors have never lost to McKinley
  • 21 game regular season streak intact




Regular Season

Tigers 44 — Akron St Vincent-St Mary 14

Tigers 55 — Canton GlenOak 13

Tigers 49 — Warren G Harding 7

Tigers 42 — Penn-Trafford PA 21

Tigers 56 — Akron Firestone 0

Tigers 55 — Austintown Fitch 7

Tigers 48 — Gateway, PA 12

Tigers 49 — Barberton 24

Tigers 24 — Louisville 0

Tigers 24 — Canton McKinley 14


OHSAA Playoffs

Tigers 55 — Warren G Harding 0

Tigers 35 — Massillon Perry 7

Tigers 17 — Akron Hoban 14

Tigers 35 — Avon 10

Tigers 17 — Cincinnati LaSalle 34


Through those long, long years!

National Football Titles: 9 (’35,’36,’39,’40,’50,’52,’53,’59,’61)

National Runners-Up: 3 (’51,’64,’65)


Ohio State Championships: 24 (’09,’16,’22,’35,’36,’37,’38,’39,’40,’41,’43,’48,’49,’50,’51,’52,’53,’54,’59,’60,’61,’64,’65,’70)

Ohio Computer Era State Titles: 2 (’72,’19)


Ohio State Runners-up: 10 (’34,’55,’57,’63,’67,’80,’82,’05,’18,’19)

Ohio Computer Era Regional Champs: 13 (’72,’79,’80,’82,’89,’91,’01,’02,’05,’09,’17,’18,’19)


Perfect Seasons: 22 (’16,’22,’35,’36,’38,’39,’40,’43,’50,’52,’53,’59,’61,’64,’65,’70,’72,’79,’82,’99,’18,’19)

Undefeated but tied: 4 (’09,’41,’45,’78)


Massillon vs McKinley: 72 wins, 53 losses, 5 ties

Current streak: 4 consecutive wins, 15 wins out of last 20 meetings

Massillon vs ALL Canton City Schools: 94 wins, 53 losses, 6 ties


Since 1932: 83 non-losing seasons out of 88!


All time Wins: 899


The 2019 Edition of the Massillon Tiger Swing Band


  • Massillon Will Shine Tonight!
  • Stand and Cheer (played and sang)
  • The Eye of the Tiger
  • Seven Nation Army
  • The Massillon Alma Mater
  • The National Anthem


Showtime! “A Massillon Tradition Since 1938: Fanfare, Tiger Rag and Carry On!

Show One: Strike Up the Band, Summertime, I Got Rhythm

Show Two: Theme from The Avengers, Hooked on a Feeling, I want You Back, Spiderman Theme, Iron Man

Show Three: Get Smart, The Race, Think, Jeopardy Theme

Show Four: When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Five Service Songs Medley, This Is My Country, Battle Hymn of the Republic,

Show Five: (Homecoming) Long Train Running, Think

Show Six: We’re an American Band, FBG (Queen), Land of a Thousand Dances

…six home games, six different shows!



(information from OHSAA web and WHSAA archives)


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