Tales of a coach and his pigskins
November 20, 2020
The day before the Division II championship game against Akron Archbishop Hoban, Massillon co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jarret Troxler was in his zone. As Troxler kept a watchful eye on students playing basketball in the main gym (he’s the physical education teacher, as well), he was adding his final touches to something that seemed so simple.
For Troxler, it’s a place, and time, of tranquility before the battle.
“Every Thursday, I take the ball conditioner and condition all the balls,” he said. “That’s what makes the leather last. You don’t want a brand new ball, and we try to use the same balls all year long because the more they are worn in, the more the quarterback likes to use them.
“It’s kind of a ritual, it puts the icing on the cake on the week of prepping for me,” he added. “It calms my mind and I think about the game. I think about everything that went on during the week. It’s soothing to sit here and prep the game balls.”
Troxler revealed that after he puts the conditioner on the footballs, he lets them dry. On the day of the game, he applies a tack spray, which he said makes the footballs “tacky” and gives his quarterbacks, like senior starter Zach Catrone, a better grip.
On Friday, just before the national anthem, Troxler said he calls Catrone over to pick out two of the almost dozen treated footballs to chose from, and those footballs are given to the ball boys to be used for the game, in this case, the state championship.
This is the third consecutive year that the Tigers have reached the state title game, which is being played right here at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Maybe Coach Troxler’s magic spray will be the lucky charm needed to bring that elusive state championship home to the city of Massillon.