Two minutes with Tony Foster: East Palestine head coach previews upcoming football season

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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – “In the off season, there was a different energy,” said East Palestine Head Coach Tony Foster. “The guys that were there were very focused and very motivated. I haven’t seen as great of gains in the weight room as we have this year in the last probably five years. And the attitude and the effort is definitely there, so it’s a nice change”

Watch the video above to head more from East Palestine Head Coach Tony Foster about the upcoming football season.

2020 Record: 1-9 (0-6, 8th place in EOAC)
Coach: Tony Foster, 9th season (31-51)

Previewing East Palestine’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 7.6 (60th in area)
Total Offense: 173.7
Returning Starters: 6
Key Returnees: Tyler Bistarkey, SR/RB; Jesse Lipp, SO/RB; JD McBride, SR/QB; Thomas Shasteen, SR/WR
Key Losses: Nick Fierro, OL; Damien Jackson, OL
Name to watch for: Tyler Bistarkey, RB

The Bulldogs were able to score double-digits just twice last year. East Palestine ran the ball on 86% of its offensive plays (406 of 472) for 1,607 yards and scored 9 times.

Senior Tyler Bistarkey rushed for 541 on 127 carries (4.3 avg) a year ago.

“Tyler put up noteworthy stats by scoring 6 touchdowns. He had 4 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving,” Foster said.

It’s almost an overhaul up front this summer for the Bulldogs.

“We’re replacing a lot of players on the offensive line. Juniors Eddie Buskirk and Wyatt Gingher will have to anchor the line and help bring the new players up to speed.”

Previewing East Palestine’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 43.7 (61st in area)
Total Defense: 287.9
Returning Starters: 6

Last fall, opponents were able to score 53 touchdowns. Their foes gained an average of 6.3 yards per rush and were able to complete 65.1% of their pass plays. Each of their opponents scored 34 points or more with the exception of St. John (East Palestine’s lone win, 15-14).

“We’ll have more experience in the secondary this season,” Coach Foster said. “So that should help.”

Since Week 2 of the 2015 season, East Palestine has posted a 13-0 mark when holding the opposition to 21 points or less.

2020 EOAC Standings
United – 5-1 (7-3)
Leetonia – 5-1 (7-2)
Southern – 5-1 (5-3)
Wellsville – 3-3 (4-6)
Columbiana – 3-3 (4-5)
Valley Christian – 2-4 (2-6)
Lisbon – 1-5 (4-7)
East Palestine – 0-6 (1-9)

Schedule
Aug. 20 – at Malvern
Aug. 27 – Windham
Sept. 3 – at Campbell Memorial
Sept. 10 – at Leetonia
Sept. 17 – Wellsville
Sept. 24 – Lisbon
Oct. 1 – at United
Oct. 8 – Columbiana
Oct. 15 – at Southern
Oct. 22 – Valley Christian

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