EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – It all starts upfront for the East Liverpool football team this season. The Potters will have to replace four of their five starters from last year on the offensive and defensive line. But what they do have returning this season is pretty special.
Six foot seven, 275 pound Mason Ludwig is back for his junior year. He’s got a slew of college offers from division one programs like Toledo, Iowa State and Kentucky and is being recruited by both Ohio State and Notre Dame.
“He’s had an awesome offseason, transformed his body. He’s been all over the country on recruiting visits and he’s been a leader for us,” says East Liverpool head coach Josh Ludwig. “He’s the first guy here, the last one to leave. He understands our offense inside and out. Not only is he a big kid, he moves well. And he’s turned into a weight room guy too. He does not miss a day in the weight room.”
“This year I really just feel like I have to be a leader and lead my team and be there for them the whole game,” says junior lineman Mason Ludwig. “Just keep pushing people.”
Ludwig will have plenty of talent behind him. Eric Williams will take over at quarterback this season, and Devin Toothman returns at running back. Toothman racked up over 800 total yards last year but has just one goal this season.
“I just want to win,” says Toothman. “I just want to win. That’s all I want to do.”
“Devin, he’s a player,” says coach Ludwig. “He’s a gamer. Devin is a natural athlete, a three sport athlete. Clocked him at at 4.40 in the forty, so he’s got to be one of the fastest kids in the valley as well. He’s just a tough kid that’s ready to go every day.”
Over the last 3 years, the Potters have lost 7 games by one score, so finishing games will be the focus this fall.
“I feel like we can have a solid season,” says coach Ludwig. “It’s going to be determined on how all this comes together, and how we do this as a team. If we get the selfishness out and we all just play football.”