Archive for the ‘East Liverpool Potters’ Category

Messing with High School Football in Ohio

May 11, 2011

An interesting article from JJHuddle:

*End of the Herbstreit Classic? Entertainment over Education?…Have you heard of House Bill 191? No? Well listen up.

Sponsored by Rep. Bill Hayes, a Licking County Republican, HB 191 would force Ohio’s schools to operate only after Labor Day and before Memorial Day. HB 191 is built upon the premise of students spending the same amount of time in the classroom, but instead of requiring 182 days, students (depending on elementary, middle or high school status) would be required to be in school for 960-1,050 or more hours.

Why suggest this? Hayes thinks the plan will boost tourism opportunities and dollars for Ohio’s amusement parks, resorts and state parks by clearing the entire month of August for family time. As it’s written now, though, HB 191 could also signal the end of high school football – and all extracurriculars – for some schools on Labor Day Weekend.

The bill’s Sec. 3313.621, article (D) states that: “No school district board shall agree to or permit a school under its control to participate in any extracurricular events on Friday through Monday of the Labor day weekend. This prohibition shall not apply to any district or school that has an agreement with another district or school or with an athletic association or conference, entered into prior to the effective date of this section, that requires participation in extracurricular events on that weekend. However, the district board shall not enter into a new agreement or renew an expiring agreement on or after the effective date of this section that requires participation in extracurricular events on that weekend.”

Basically what that means is unless you’re football team is playing a league game in Week 2, you would eventually be locked out of competition on Labor Day Weekend should HB 191 pass. Since the Herbstreit Classic operates on year-to-year contracts, that event would be finished, unless it moved to a different weekend.

Soccer, volleyball, cross country, golf, tennis and even band would be affected.

Workarounds for schools could include signing “lifetime” contracts with non-league opponents or a “pool” of non-league opponents.

According to an article in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, the legislation has been assigned to the House Education Committee and has yet to have a hearing.

As one educator put it: “It’s ludicrous. You’re (bleeping) with children’s education in order to get more people to spend money.”

Not to mention you’re messing with high school football…

Not sure where to begin on this one.  First of all there is the obvious loophole that his blackout period is Friday-Monday of Labor Day Weekend, which leaves open playing the games on Thursday night in that week, which is usually Week 2 of the high school season.  But either way I find it rather confusing.  I thought Republicans were the party of smaller government, and greater local control of schools instead of hamstringing schools with big brother mandates and rules?  I know I heard that somewhere.


OHSAA Considers New Formula for Tournament Divisions

January 13, 2011

This is a proposal at this point and will be submitted to the member schools for a vote this spring (from

OHSAA Board of Directors Tackles Competitive
Balance Concerns
Referendum Issue is First Step in Possible Changes on How Schools are
Placed Into Tournament Divisions
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Acting on a recommendation from the Ohio High School Athletic Association
(OHSAA) Competitive Balance Committee, the OHSAA Board of Directors today unanimously placed a
new bylaw up for vote of the OHSAA membership that would be the first step toward possible changes on
how schools are assigned to tournament divisions. The proposed new bylaw, which will be voted upon by
OHSAA member schools during the annual referendum voting process in May, states that “each school
shall be placed into tournament divisions based on its sport-by-sport athletic count.” Schools would not be
separated into tournaments for public schools and non-public schools, nor would a “multiplier” be applied to
non-public schools to increase their enrollment, which a few other states utilize. Rather, the enrollment
numbers for all schools (both public and non-public) would be entered into a three-part formula to establish
their “athletic count.”
The proposed bylaw goes on to say that the formula for determining “athletic counts” and to which
sports the athletic counts shall be applied will be determined every other year by the Board of Directors and
will be listed in the OHSAA’s General Sports Regulations. If approved, implementation of the new formula
would begin no later than the 2013-14 school year. In addition, a standing committee would be formed to
monitor the effectiveness of the athletic count formula and to recommend to the Board of Directors any
changes in the weight to be given to any one or more of the factors in the formula.
At the present time, all schools are placed into tournament divisions based strictly on enrollment
figures that the schools submit to the Ohio Department of Education. The proposed three-part formula to
establish athletic counts would require the OHSAA to also include a school boundary factor (how
students are obtained – non-public schools with no boundaries; non-public schools with limited boundaries;
public schools with statewide open enrollment; public schools with adjacent open enrollment, and public
schools with no open enrollment), a socioeconomic factor (the number of free lunch participants) and a
tradition factor (state championship game appearances, state tournament appearances and regional
finals appearances). The school boundary and tradition factors could increase a school’s enrollment while
— more —
OHSAA Board of Directors Action -2-2-2
the socioeconomic factor could decrease a school’s enrollment. The tradition factor is the only one of the
three that would be implemented on a sport-by-sport basis. Once all three factors are applied to the
enrollment count, each school will have a sport-by-sport “athletic count” for purposes of tournament division
“The issue of competitive balance has been discussed for years not only in Ohio but also in other
states,” said OHSAA Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph. D. “Ohio is unique in that our public schools have
the option to approve open enrollment policies, but, at the same time, there’s no question that most nonpublic
schools in the state have no geographical boundaries in which they can secure students and the
result has been a disproportionate number of championships won by those schools.
“The meetings we have conducted with the Competitive Balance Committee have been both
productive and professional, and I believe the proposal from the group is fair and equitable and we will see
some leveling of the playing field.
“Competitive balance is a complex issue,” Ross continued. “The formula recommended by the
committee is not as complex as it sounds, nor is it as complex as any of the viable alternatives and the
unintended consequences of those alternatives.”
The Board’s current plan is to propose that athletic counts only be utilized in the sports of football,
soccer and volleyball in the fall; basketball in the winter, and baseball and softball in the spring.
Consideration will be given to add other sports in the future.
The OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee was formed in January 2010 in response to concerns
raised by a group of school administrators in northeast Ohio who conducted a study that showed that 43
percent (146 of 340) of the state championships in selected team sports between 1999 and 2010 have
been won by non-public schools, even though non-public schools make up only 17 percent of the total
membership of the OHSAA. The OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee met numerous times throughout
2010 in an attempt to identify competitive balance factors and to propose changes that would bring the
competitive inequities into balance. The Committee was comprised of 29 school administrators and
coaches from across the state from public and non-public schools both large and small along with members
of the OHSAA Board of Directors and administrative staff and representatives from both the state
superintendents and state principals associations.
In the near future, the OHSAA will place on its website examples of how the athletic count formula
could look when applied.

I think its a laudable goal to try and make the divisions more “fair” than simply dividing the schools into x number of equal sized chunks based soley on enrollment figures.  But I would be curious to see the exact formulas.  While I can see the utility of a socioeconomic formula or a competitive history formula I would hope they carry less weight than the enrollment status of the school, especially the competitive history formula.  My alma mater, East Liverpool, was state runner-up in baseball in 1969; do we get pushed into a larger division because of a randomly good ball club my parents’ senior year?  I think it would be useful to only use more recent history, say the past 10 years or so.  Of course, its a give that 4 teams will make the state semifinals, and 8 teams the Regional finals in a given year in a given sport in a given division.  A school might have a group of kids that are really good at, say, volleyball, and then they graduate, and then the next biannual determination of divisions rolls around and a group of kids that aren’t nearly as good at digging and setting is bumped into a higher division.  So that formula could cause unintended consequences.

The socioeconomic factor certainly makes sense.  A public school in, say, Upper Arlington, has obvious advantages on a public school of the same size in Cleveland public.  But again if this formula is too strong it can create unintended consequences.

The school boundary formula is another way of weighting private schools without coming out and saying they are weighting private schools.  Mind you, I’m not saying its a bad thing to weight things.  I think it manifestly obvious the advantages of being able to recruit kids (and trust me, it happens, I think that point is beyond argument) as opposed to simply playing the hand your dealt in terms of student body talent pool.  Again, however, you don’t want to make the formula too strong.  There are certainly seasons where Youngstown Ursuline football can compete with anyone.  The same is not true of, say, Steubenville Catholic Central.

Bottom line is I am not opposed to this proposal.  I suspect, however, that the devil is in the details.

East Liverpool Playoff Picture

October 23, 2010

After last night’s win over Cleveland John Marshall the Potters are 8-1 and according to Joe Eitel have clinched a playoff spot in Region 11.  The Potters currently sit 3rd and would definitely get a home game in Week 11 if they can emerge victorious from their trip to Salem’s Reilly Stadium Friday night.  The numbers are slightly in Big Red’s favor but the Potters would have a chance of jumping Steubenville into 2nd, and could even get the top spot in the Region if 9-0 Alliance Marlington lost their last game.  If the Potters were to lose to Salem the odds are they would hold onto a home playoff position but that is by no means assured if Thornville Sheridan and Minerva both win their last games.  Sheridan has already clinched a playoff spot like the teams above them.  Licking Valley and Minerva are 5th and 6th and will definitely make the playoffs if they win, but could miss if they lose and Richmond Edison, Dover, and Salem all win.  If those 3, who are currently 7th-9th all win in Week 10 its going to come down to who gets the most help from defeated opponents, as the numbers are all rather close.  Edison is the best position and the 50/50 thought is Salem would jump Dover, but its all very close.  Still also alive is currently 11th Granville, but they would have to win, have Salem and Dover both lose, and have everything (literally in the case of Dover) go right in terms of their defeated opponents winning while Salem’s and Dover’s all lose.

As for other area teams in Region 23 Salineville Southern Local is currently 5th and in excellent position to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.  If they lost they could be caught by the teams behind them including Reedsville Eastern, but it would be a Murphy’s Law scenario for Eastern to actually push them down to 9th.  On the other hand, they have a decent chance at getting a 1st round home game at Wigwam Stadium, a 50/50 shot even if Malvern wins, though they could get caught from behind by Willow Wood Symmes Valley.  In Region 17 Crestview also controls their destiny for making the playoffs and also has a solid chance at a Week 11 home game with one more win, though its not guaranteed.  Again like Southern even with losing it would be a Murphy’s Law scenario to actually miss the playoffs.

Marky Makes Yahoo!, YouTube

September 28, 2010

Faithful readers of my blog may recall that I mentioned a dazzling run by East Liverpool quarterback Marky Thompkins that was brought back by penalty because its illegal in high school to leap over an upright defender.  Well, I go to Yahoo! tonight and find this is the #1 headline:

Potters Sit 4th at Halfway Mark

September 27, 2010

According to Joe Eitel the Potters are 4th in Region 11 with an 8.750 average after 5 games.  Obviously there is a lot of football to play (5 games to be exact) between now and the important numbers that OHSAA will announce Halloween Day, but the Potters sit in a good position right now.  Remember, the top 8 in each region make the playoffs with the top 4 getting first round home games.  Looking at the Potters remaining schedule 4 of the 5 teams currently have a winning record and 3 of the 5 are in the same or a larger division than the Potters (D3) and those other two schools are only one division lower.  Obviously things are not absolute; the final numbers will be relative to those of the other schools in the region, but most likely if the Potters win 3 of the 5 they’ll have a legit shot of making the playoffs; winning 4 or all 5 would be good shape for a home game.

If anyone is curious, the formula for ranking teams in a region in Ohio is really quite simple.  Its based on who you beat and who the teams you beat, beat.  A D1 school is worth 6 points, D2 is 5.5 and etc down to 3.5 for D6.  Add those points and divide by the number of games you’ve played and that’s your level 1 points.  For level 2 points, take your defeated opponents’ level 1 points, multiply by 10, and divide by the number of games all of your opponents have played or will play by the end of the Ohio season (this number is 100 unless teams on your schedule have byes and/or you had a bye).  Then add your level 1 and level 2 points for your combined average.  For example East Liverpool has 21 level 1 points divided by 5 games is 4.2.   They have45.5 level 2 points, which multiplied by 10 then divided by 100 (no byes for teams played so far) is 4.55, for a combined 8.750.


September 25, 2010

Friday night at Struthers was one of the crazier high school games I have seen, won by the Potters 28-21 in 2OT.  The Potters got a 1st quarter touchdown on an 80 yard fumble return; the play was a clean strip of the Struthers quarterback by Marky Tompkins.  That score stood until Struthers tied the game late in the 3rd quarter.  Then the Wildcats scored to go ahead with 54.5 seconds remaining in the game and the Potters out of timeouts.  Game over?  As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friend!”  Willie Leavell ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Struthers 30 yard line and it took just 2 plays for the Potters to get the ball in the end zone and they made the extra point to force overtime.  In the 1st overtime Struthers had the ball first and threw an interception on the 3rd play of the drive.  However, the Potters fumbled on the 1st play and it went to the 2nd overtime.  East Liverpool appeared to score on the 3rd play, however a bizarre high school rule that prevents a ball carrier from leaping over a standing defender meant that Marky Tompkin’s run was actually a personal foul penalty.  Facing 4th and 15 from the 25 he threw a ball into the back corner of the end zone that was caught for a touchdown.  When the Struthers possession ended in another interception the Potters had the win to improve to 4-1.  They will next play undefeated Martins Ferry next Friday night at Patterson Field.

An unfortunate sidebar to this game was the inexcusably lax conduct by the chain gain in Struthers during the game.  On numerous occassions they would move the chains before the referee told them to, and then had to move back or the down marker guy had the wrong down number on the marker.  There was one time that the Struthers players and crowd thought they had stopped the Potters on a 4th down, not having noticed the down marker guy correctly switching it from 3rd back to 2nd earlier in the sequence.  Also, there was a play where the Potters, facing 4th and 17, punted.  The chain people started to move downfield not noticing the ref had thrown a flag for roughing the punter.  When they re-positioned the chains they went 5 yards too far upfield, causing it to look like 4th & 12.  Mind you, defensive fouls in high school are not automatic 1st downs.  This play became a 1st down, though, when administering the penalty moved the ball incorrectly past the down to gain pole.  The Potters then ran the half out.

As for Bowling Green, playing at Michigan was going to be a tall order, and going with the backup quarterback didn’t help.  Still it would have been nice to not let Michigan get 9 touchdowns, especially given 6.5 of those drives were with Denard Robinson out of the game.  Either way, losing is hardly shocking; hopefully like last year when they went 1-3 in non-conference play they can have a good conference season.  They are not the favorite to win the East but I don’t think there are any games on the remaining schedule you would exactly call unwinnable.

I wonder how many basketball games this year the Buckeyes will fail to score 73 points?  Eastern Michigan didn’t offer much resistance, but I’m sure Dane Sanzenbacher enjoyed the afternoon regardless!  A slight concern will be that the Eagles scored 3 touchdowns on the Buckeyes defense, including 2 straight possessions oreo-ing halftime.  Still, I’m not going to look for a dark cloud in the silver lining.

Potters Outlast Beavers

August 27, 2010

16-10 2OT was the final score at Patterson Field.  Junior sensation Marky Thompkins carried the ball the final 6 yards after an interception had halted Beaver Local’s possession in the 2nd overtime.

In regulation the Potters started the game with a defensive stop before marching the ball down the field, scoring on a Willie Leavell run from about 20 yards out.  The 2nd drive, early in the 2nd quarter, was promising but stalled after a dead ball personal foul backed them up and forced a punt that went for a touchback.  Beaver Local had the better of the play in the 2nd half, but they had one drive fail inside the 20 (I thought they should have kicked a field goal that could’ve eventually let them win 10-7) before finally scoring in the last 2 1/2 minutes of regulation.  The Potters attempted to rally for a winning score but fumbled a snap at the 25 yard line of Beaver Local in the final minute.

In the 1st overtime the Potters were immediately pushed back by a holding call and a sack, but Thompkins managed to scramble out of the pocket to get the ball back to the original line of scrimmage, the 20, which was close enough for a field goal.  Beaver Local had goal to go on their possession but stalled and had to take a field goal to extend the game.

I think the Potters offense is really close to being good. Quite frankly, I thought we tried to throw the ball entirely too infrequently, going with designed quarterback draws hoping for a home run on Thompkins legs.  But a Rich Wright coached defense is good at run defense.  When we looked to throw the ball there was success more consistently.  Of course, to throw the ball it helps if your line is blocking people.  I was a bit dismayed at the play of the offensive line.  On the other hand, the defense played with a lot of spunk.  Beaver Local got yards; I don’t recall a 3-and-out the entire game.  But they did a good job of stiffening to force 4th down conversion attempts and punts (or the field goal) most of the game.  The Beavers are better than the 1-9 they posted last year I think; they also have a good passing game if Coach Wright will relent and use it more.

So the Potters are 1-0 and will take their act on the road next Friday night to Carrollton at 7:30pm

East Liverpool High School All School Reunion “Do It Again in 2010”

June 27, 2010

For any fellow Potters too lazy to check the alumni website for this information, or non-Potters curious as to what the heck us Potters do at these gatherings, here is the list of events:

All Class Reunion-“Do It Again in 2010”

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

  • Old Guard luncheon – Noon – East Liverpool Motor Lodge

Thursday, July 1, 2010

  • Registration on Broadway 10am – 5pm
  • Open Houses and Tours
  • Entertainment at three different venues (two main acts) Schedule

Friday, July 2, 2010

  • Registration on Broadway 10am – 5pm
  • Open Houses and Tours
  • Club/Activities/Sports gatherings at E.L.H.S. or sports complexes: Noon – 2pm
  • High School Open house: Noon – 2pm
  • Golf Outing – at Beaver Meadows (morning) – Register – See who’s signed up
  • College Bowl (Main Tent (2pm – 5pm) – Register
  • Corn Hole Tournament (Elks Lot) 2pm – 5pm – Register
  • Retired and Current teacher greeting (Main Tent) 2:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Choir Concert 3:30pm – 5:00pm
  • Individual class reunions: See Individual Class pages
  • Entertainment at three different venues (two main acts): 6:30 – 12:30 Schedule

Saturday, July 3, 2010

  • Registration on Broadway 10am – 1pm
  • Edible Art Contest – Carnegie Public Library – PDF
  • 5k race (Start at Kent State University) 9am
  • Car Show
  • Alumni Band Concert – Noon at the Clock Tower
  • Potterade (Parade) 2pm. Line up is on Walnut and Bradshaw Ave., spectator viewing is on 5th St. only. The entries begin stopping on Jefferson and continue stopping all the way on 6th St.
  • Sports Award presentation 5pm – 6pm
  • Evening Program 7pm – 9:30pm
  • Fireworks 10pm
  • Entertainment Afternoon (3pm – 6pm) and Late Evening – Schedule

Sunday, July 4, 2010

  • Non Denominational church service at the Clock Tower 10am

And of the entertainment mentioned on the various stages:

All Class Reunion-“Do It Again in 2010”

Schedule of Entertainment and Bands

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

  • None Scheduled – Have a Band? Contact the Alumni Association.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

  • Review Stage
    6:30 – 8:30pm – Rat Pack & More
  • Main Stage
    6:30 – 9:00pm – Doug & Dave and Friends
    9:00 – 12:30am – The Fuzz
  • Buckman’s
    6:30 – 9:00pm – Marshmellow Zoo!
    9:00 – 12:30am – Mark Scheurring Band (with Dave Morgan)

Friday, July 2, 2010

  • Review Stage
    8:30 – 12:00am – Dr. Zoot
  • Main Stage
    6:30 – 8:00pm – None Scheduled
    8:30 – 12:30am – Jerry Bruno Band
  • Buckman’s
    8:30 – 12:30am – Radioactive

Saturday, July 3, 2010

  • Review Stage
    10:30 – 12:30pm – To Be Announced
  • Main Stage
    4:30 – 6:30pm – Jim Sabatini’s Band
    10:15 – 12:30am – Rumors
  • Buckman’s
    10:15 – 12:30am – 7% Superstar

Potters Name Conley Coach

May 25, 2010

2001 ELHS grad Nate Conley to be the new boys’ basketball coach at East Liverpool:

So now the coaches of both genders are younger than me.  Oh well.  I think its a good move to get someone off of the Nick Aloi coaching tree.  He was a very solid player in his time at the Fieldhouse, and followed it with a good career at Geneva College, and several years as an assistant coach at the small college level.  On the other hand, he has no high school coaching experience, or head coaching experience.  As such, having an old hand like Solterbeck on the staff could be a real asset.

I’m sure some in the community will make the obvious comparison to Beaver Local coach Jake Walgate, who was a teammate of Conley’s at East Liverpool, and then mention Walgate’s struggles.  Of course, he hasn’t had a ton  of basketball talent to work with at the Beaver Dome.

Either way Conley certainly will have some talent to work with next season, but also some challenges.  Marky Thompkins is a legit college-level talent that will be a junior next season.  Hopefully Conley can get Jason Dickey to care about basketball again for his senior season.  Brian Beverly should be recovered from his knee injury.  But the Potters don’t have a ton of apparent depth, especially in the low post.  Frankly, playing a Villanova style “all guards” lineup might be the way they have to go, with Derek Thompson playing a pseudo-post.  I look forward to seeing what Conley can come up with come December.

Former Potter Coach, OSU Recruiting Coordinator Was 87

March 8, 2010

RIP Bob McNea: