EAST LIVERPOOL - Buoyed by one of the largest turnouts in recent years, the East Liverpool Potters under direction of third-year head football coach Rick Prescott are eagerly awaiting the start of official practice, which is just a little over three weeks away.
"We've been averaging in the mid-50's thus far this summer for weightlifting," said the Potter mentor. "We should have about 70 players, grades nine through 12 when practice officially starts. Those numbers will enable to us to play a full slate of freshmen and junior varsity games, which will help in the development of the younger players."
Prescott is particularly impressed with this year's Potter senior class of players, saying, "We've a got a real good group of kids. The seniors work at jobs during the day and then come up here and work at night. They are good kids who aren't afraid to put in the time and effort."
In continuing to talk about his group of 18-20 seniors, Prescott said, "They want to do things in life. This group of seniors has learned to be leaders and they want to do a nice job. The younger players are seeing what it takes to be successful in both football and in life from the older guys. I really like the entire group of players that we have this year."
Prescott has assistant coaches who can also provide direction and instruction. They include Dave Skinner (OL-LB), Carl Congo (QB-Sec), Josh Ludwig (TE-DT), Jason Duke (WE-Sec), Jim Olmstead (RB-OLB), Eric McMahon (OL-DL) and Gary Lutton (OL-DE).
Skinner most recently was the head coach at Wellsville, directing them to the Division VI playoffs in 2011.
POTTER 2013 SCHEDULE
Aug 30 Carrollton Away
Sep 6 Indian Creek Home
Sep 13 Salem Home
Sep 20 Cambridge Home
Sep 27 John Marshall Home
Oct 4 Wheeling Park Away
Oct 11 Vincent Warren Local Home
Oct 18 Oak Glen Away
Oct 25 Beaver Local Away
Nov 1 Weir Away
Home games will start at 7:30 p.m.
Away games will start at 7:00 p.m.
The Potters will face four opponents this year that they didn't face during the regular season in 2012.
"We will open at Carrollton, which should be a good game for us," said Prescott. "Wheeling Park has been on and off the schedule over the years. It's good to have Salem back on the schedule. At one time, the East LiverpoolSalem game was one of the longest running consecutive year's rivalries in the state. We scrimmaged them last year, so we aren't completely unfamiliar with them."
The other new school on the slate isn't very familiar at all to most Potter fans, Vincent Warren Local.
"It's a one-year deal. They are much like us," said Prescott. "At one time, they had been a big school. Like us, they are now Division IV.
Duke explained where Warren Local is located, saying, "They are southwest of Marietta. They are close to Belpre."
As we closed the interview, Prescott said, "We are looking forward to an exciting year. We want to build on last year's late-season success, when we won three of our last four games to finish with a 4-6 record."
According to Prescott, the East Liverpool-Oak Glen game on October 18 will be the WTOV Channel 9 Game of the Week.