EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Don Phillips takes over an East Liverpool program which has had just one winning season in the last 11 years. Phillips mentioned the reception has been tremendous since being hired. “The school and the community have provided me with a great deal of enthusiasm and support for the kids and our program.”

Phillips began his coaching career at Monaca in 1979. He’s seen success at several schools such as Rochester in 1984 (10 wins), Center from 1987-2000 (8 WPIAL playoff appearances) and at Ellwood City in 2010-11 (won 13 games over that stretch).

Coach Phillips also stated, “Since returning to coach at the high school level, the players and their enthusiasm to play are still exciting. The preseason guidelines are somewhat different but are easily adapted.”

Now, he’ll focus in on a program which lost a lot of production with the graduation of such standouts as Devin Toothman (1244 rushing yards, 11 TDs; 4 INTs), Cam Irvine (524 rushing yards; 77 tackles) and Dashon Slappy (113 yards receiving; 3 INTs).

The Potters will have twelve letter winners back in the fold this fall.

Last year’s quarterback Eric Williams returns for his senior season after throwing for 260 yards and gaining 230 stripes on the ground to along with 57 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

In late-March, senior lineman Mason Ludwig committed to Toledo. The 6’5 road grader was a First-Team All-Ohio selection last fall as he registered more than 96% in blocking efficiency. Ludwig also posted 36 tackles (4 for loss) and 3 quarterback sacks playing at defensive tackle.

Junior linebacker Trent Davis impressed last year with 63 tackles (4 for a loss) on the defensive side of the ball.

“Our team is quite young,” Phillips says. “We’ll have only seven seniors. We’ll need to mature quickly and stay healthy to compete. Our kids are looking forward to the challenge.”

The 2022 campaign gets underway at Minerva on Friday, August 19.

East Liverpool Potters
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Don Phillips, 1st season at East Liverpool
2021 Record: 3-5
Last 5 Years: 22-27 (44.9%)
Home Field: Patterson Field
Base Offense: Power
Base Defense: 3-4

Returning Starters
Offense: 7
Defense: 6

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 20.0 (43rd in Area)
Scoring Defense: 31.6 (47th in Area)
Total Offense: 288.8
Rushing Offense: 253.5
Passing Offense: 35.3

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Eric Williams – 260 yards, 35.4% (17-48), 2 TDs
Rushing: Devin Toothman – 1244 yards, 9.2 avg, 11 TDs
Receiving: DaShon Slappy – 113 yards, 12.6 avg, TD
Tackles: Cam Irvine – 77
Quarterback Sacks: Mason Ludwig – 3
Interceptions: Devin Toothman – 4

2021 Results
Potters 41 Weir 28
Potters 34 Oak Glen 13
Edison 34 Potters 24
NDCL 27 Potters 0
Beaver Local 48 Potters 0
Salem 42 Potters 20
Potters 35 Indian Creek 14
West Branch 47 Potters 6

2022 Schedule
Aug. 19 – at Minerva
Aug. 26 – at Indian Creek
Sept. 2 – at Salem
Sept. 9 – Beaver Local
Sept. 16 – Harrison Central
Sept. 23 – at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin
Sept. 30 – at Edison
Oct. 7 – Canton Central Catholic
Oct. 14 – Oak Glen
Oct. 21 – Weir