East Liverpool Historical Society

The 1959 (-60) Potter football team compiled a 7-3 record. But that doesn't come close to giving that team and its accomplishments its proper recognition.

East Liverpool opened the season with a loss to Youngstown South, 12-14. They would win their next three games scoring 128 points while giving up 12 points.

That set the scene for what was to follow. Friday October 16, 1959, the Potters were to travel to Warren, Ohio to play #2 ranked Warren Harding. Warren's top running back was a fellow named Paul Warfield, a boy who would go on the star at Ohio State and play for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He would become a first ballot inductee into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Bob Duffy is sports editor of the East Liverpool Review wrote in his column "The Sports Bench" that Friday afternoon, the following:

More than a football player...

East Liverpool fans and there should be close to 1000 attending tonight's game at Warren will get another chance to see Paul Warfield in action.

The Potter followers, who watched the Warren - East Liverpool battle a year ago will remember that this youngster danced his way for three touchdowns in the Panthers 32 - 8 victory.

But don't let anybody tell you that Warfield is just a football player.

Naturally, with his talents. Colleges are ready to scoop down on him, but it is doubtful if he will become a college gridiron star.

From talking to people in Warren, they say that at least six major league baseball clubs are waiting until he receives his high school diploma in June to present him with a fat bonus to play professional baseball.

An outfielder, Warfield, hits like a demon and with his speed is a dangerous baserunner.

This marks the fourth year that he is been a letter winner in four sports. In 1957, he won the state broad jump championship, and is busy in the spring competing with the track squad and playing baseball.

He is a starter on the basketball squad and has been a regular on the football team for the past three years.

Warfield is quite a boy, but to put the icing on the cake he is an "A" student, in school. What more could anyone ask?

Picture from East Liverpool Review Sat. October 17, 1959

Friday October 16, 1959. The send off downtown of the ELHS Potters football team as it left to play Warren Harding.

However, on this night Mr. Warfield should have stayed home as he was held to 14 yards by a unbelievably ferocious Potter defense which also stopped Warfield in his 2 point conversion try in the 3rd quarter after a punt return had scored the second and final touchdown for Warren and the Potters won 14-13

There are those who claim that Paul Warfield may have been one of the best high school football players ever, and over all there is little doubt that Warren Harding was a better team than the Potters were, but on this one night the Potters were the best team.

Frank Dawson in his book, We Are The Potters, "100 Years of East Liverpool High School Football" wrote: "Those who were there [the send off in the Diamond] believe the game was won before the team ever boarded the bus on that October 16 afternoon in 1959. The rally on the Diamond was a prime example of how fan support and team focus can overcome talent, speed and size as the Potters pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the school's history, by winning the encounter 14-13."

Picture from East Liverpool Review Sat. October 17, 1959

Top Picture: Local fans gave team a rousing well done after the final whistle sounded in Warren. Bottom Picture: It didn't stop in Warren. A crowd waited in the diamond for the return of the team to East Liverpool in the wee hours of Saturday morning. A "pep" rally broke out. Monday at the high school an assembly was held at the M.A. where the coaches showed the coaches film of the game to the high school students and the players amid many cheers, much applauding and more than one standing ovation. The game ball from this game is on display at the ELHS Alumni Association Towers building on East 4th Street.

Struthers was next on the schedule and the Potters won that game 22-0.

East Liverpool was sitting at #8 in the state when another send off in the diamond took place as the team left on Halloween, Saturday October 31, 1959 to go to Stubenville to play Central Catholic. Central was undefeated and ranked #9.

Picture from 1960 ELHS Keramos Yearbook

Unfortunately, East Liverpool would lose two of its last three games. However that doesn't lessen in any way the efforts that team displayed and its achievements during that six game winning streak.

Potter probable starting Lineup for the Warren Game: Left End Ron Prince, Left Tackle Skip Hall or Bruce Reynolds, Left Guard Jim Bise, Center Gary Montgomery, Right Guard Charles Davidson, Right Tackle Craig Burbick, Right end Tim Archer, Quarterback Bob Mackall, Left Halfback Dave Zelch, Right Halfback Henry Roach, Fullback John Goodballet

Continue to

The Bells: First Family of Potter Football


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