This section introduces East Liverpool High School Sports. Back on December 5, 2009 we emailed Jimmy Joe Savage, Sports Information Director, East Liverpool School District:
I would like to get together with you sometime in the future to discuss High School sports history here in EL. Not just football but all the sports for inclusion on the ELHS (East Liverpool Historical Society) web site that my wife and I created and maintain.
That began what we can now say is the Joint ELHS (EL Historical Society) ELHS (EL High School) East Liverpool Potter Sports History Project. Part of the information will be on the Historical Society web site and part on a special section of pottersportsonline.com.
What is on this site is not meant to be the definitive history of East Liverpool High School sports, we just don't have the space here for that since we are presenting a history of ELO. However, hopefully between this web site and the pottersportsonline.com we will be able to come as close as humanly possible to that goal. We will try to keep duplications to a bare minimum and create something that works well together.
We hope that you will enjoy the results of this joint effort, as well as learn about the history of ELHS sports and the boys and girls who played those sports.
Sports has played a big role in the history of East Liverpool. There have been leagues affiliated with every sort of organization from the potteries, to the schools, churches and clubs and ranging from pick up games to semi-pro.
Baseball in some form--organized or just pick up games, was probably played in East Liverpool beginning in the latter half of the 1800s. Various potteries had baseball teams. There was a very modern, for its time and the size of East Liverpool, baseball stadium located the West End
of East Liverpool. Baseball was played in East End at Columbian Park and other places. There was, over the years, semi-pro ball, little league, American Legion, forms of baseball and from the 1917 ELHS Yearbook, Keramos, comes the following:
This year we welcome baseball for the second season, that is, since this sport was revived in high school athletic circles. Until last year the high school was never represented with a well organized team, and for a number of years had no baseball team whatever.
According to Frank "Digger" Dawson, high school football began here in 1898:
The community's first football team appears to date back to 1896 when the Eclipse, a 16-man unit whose play actually resembled that of a rugby team, was organized. According to author Gates, by 1900 inter-city teams were formed to compete with one another as the sport gained popularity. The Eclipse actually blazed the trail for others to follow, and it would not be long until East Liverpool High School would field a football team.
According to The East Liverpool Daily Crisis of October 10, 1898, juvenile teams were springing up all over the city. John Stoffel was coaching a Second Street team, and Dennis McCarron was to act in the same capacity for the High School.
The Crisis reported on November 10, 1898, that the high school football team would play the Diamond Indians at Columbian Park the next afternoon, and followed with a story of a 0-10 loss to the Indians.
Although the school fielded a team as far back as 1898, the first season in which a head football coach earned more than a token mention was 1910. That individual was Luman Arthur Wallover, known affectionately as "Frick." According to his son, James Wallover, the nickname stemmed from a gentleman named Frick Reed who operated a paper mill along Beaver Creek near Smiths Ferry, Pa.
"Frick" Wallover was born October 18, 1888, at Smiths Ferry, and died July 20, 1944. He graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1907 and attended the University of Michigan. At the time of his death, he was the owner of the Wallover Oil Company in the East End section of East Liverpool. He will go down in history as the patriarch of ELHS football coaches, in spite of the fact that his 1910 team was disbanded at mid-season due to a shortage of players.
From We Are The Potters, 100 Years of East Liverpool High School Football. pp. viii, x.
The various neighborhood public schools here in East Liverpool at times also fielded football teams who played scheduled games amongst themselves.
Late in the 1900s there was "little league" football as well.
Basketball has also always been a popular sport in East Liverpool. Pick up games, high school, grade schools, church leagues and eventually the Tri-State Basketball Tournament began.
An Additional link: