EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Tony Foster resigned in early April as the head football coach of the Bulldogs, a position he held for eight years.

The East Palestine football program brought in Michael Demster, who’s very familiar with the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference, to lead the Bulldogs into the 2022 season. He’s been an assistant under Bob Spaite at Columbiana for the past three years. Prior to his position with the Clippers, he was the head coach at United from 2015 to 2017 compiling a record of 10-20.

“I’m fortunate to have been on staff since January and to have had time to familiarize myself with our players, staff and school during that time,” said Coach Demster. “The reception has been very positive, and everyone has been extremely supportive. Our expectations are to be competitive.”

East Palestine has won just once in their last thirty games. During that stretch, the Bulldogs were outscored by an average of 40-points per game.

Last season, Owen Jurjavcic played quarterback as a freshman and completed 42 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Jesse Lipp is back for his junior season after rushing for 516 yards (3 TDs). Senior receiver Ryan Rosen caught multiple passes in seven games to finish with 21 for the season.

“We’ll look to rely on our returning lettermen and starters. The plan is to determine what we do well and expand from there,” said Demster.

Over the course of the last three years (30 games), the Bulldogs have allowed the opposition to average 46.8 points per game. Demster is aware of the importance of playing better defense to playing winning football.

“Our most important aspect is ensuring we align correctly, fit properly, and understand where our help is located. If we can do those three things well, we should improve defensively,” he said.

In week one, the Bulldogs will welcome Malvern.

East Palestine Bulldogs
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Michael Demster, 1st season at East Palestine
2021 Record: 0-10 (0-7), 8th place in EOAC
Last 5 Years: 14-37 (27.5%)
Home Field: Reid Memorial Stadium
League: Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: Multiple

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 8.0 (60th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 44.2 (61st in Area)
Total Offense: 161.1
Rushing Offense: 115.9
Passing Offense: 45.2

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Owen Jurjavcic – 445 yards, 28.4% (42-148), 2 TDs
Rushing: Tyler Bistarkey – 571 yards, 4.5 avg, 5 TDs
Receiving: Ryan Rosen – 118 yards, 5.6 avg, 3 TDs

2021 Results
Columbiana 35 Bulldogs 14
Valley Christian 37 Bulldogs 0
Southern 63 Bulldogs 14
United 47 Bulldogs 12
Lisbon 28 Bulldogs 6
Wellsville 35 Bulldogs 0
Leetonia 52 Bulldogs 16
Campbell Memorial 40 Bulldogs 0
Mineral Ridge 50 Bulldogs 18
Malvern 55 Bulldogs 0

2021 EOAC Standings
United – 6-0 (8-2)
Southern – 6-1 (8-3)
Valley Christian – 5-1 (7-3)
Wellsville – 4-3 (4-4)
Columbiana – 2-4 (3-6)
Lisbon – 2-5 (2-7)
Leetonia – 1-5 (2-5)
East Palestine – 0-7 (0-10)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 19 – Malvern
Aug. 26 – at Toronto
Sept. 2 – Campbell Memorial
Sept. 9 – Leetonia
Sept. 16 – at Wellsville
Sept. 23 – at Lisbon
Sept. 30 – United
Oct. 7 – at Columbiana
Oct. 14 – Southern
Oct. 22 – at Valley Christian