Eastwood senior quarterback Jason Faykosh is new to the position this season.
A wide receiver a year ago, Faykosh was moved to quarterback with the graduation of three-year starter Eric Rutherford.
Faykosh, the Eagles’ junior varsity quarterback two years ago, said the transition on the varsity “hasn't been real tough.”“I wasn't sure what we were going to do at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Clayton Ruch got hurt during baseball last spring, and it was going to be between me and him. He was going to be a good quarterback.
“I knew somebody had to step up. We had some big shoes to fill with Eric going. It's going pretty good so far, I think."
On Aug. 18, Faykosh and his teammates packed two buses and traveled about 10 miles to the Bowling Green State University campus. The Eagles went there to practice on the Falcons’ field turf at BGSU’s Doyt Perry Stadium.
The team practiced from 7:30-9:30 p.m. to get used to the surface, which is the same type of surface the Eagles’ season-opening opponent, Clyde, had installed just before the season began.
“We were in the stadium and it was pretty neat,” Faykosh said. “It’s not as different as I thought it would be. I thought it would be weird playing in a different stadium. It’s still just a football field like everywhere else, just a little faster."
Faykosh said it doesn’t take long to get used to playing on field turf.
“We started warming up and walking around the field, jogging around trying to get used to it,” he said. “Then it started to feel normal. Grass is a lot longer than the turf.
“One of the reasons we're going to be good this year is we have a lot of fast guys. The turf will make us even faster and make us an even better team."
Last season Eastwood practiced at BG in order to prepare for its regional semifinal game against Marion Pleasant. The playoff game was held at Findlay’s at Donnell Stadium, which also has field turf.
"I think it helped,” Faykosh said. “It may not have helped a lot, but any advantage we can get, even from practicing one time, we'll take. Clyde will be one of the biggest games of the year, so any advantage we can get, we'll take."
Of course, the Eagles lost to the Fliers and their all-state quarterback candidate, Alex Gillett, 34-17, but the practice must have helped someone. The Bowling Green Falcons went on to defeat 25th ranked Pitt, 27-17, last Saturday, if that means anything.
However, Faykosh also said moving the team from the Eastwood practice field to BGSU was a good team-building experience, too.
“Not many teams have that opportunity we have to go out there,” Faykosh said. “It’s a different experience for younger kids and older kids, to do something you don't normally get to do. It was a good experience."
Rutherford said he has gotten to know the BGSU football staff from attending summer camps over the years. Rutherford worked the Falcons’ camp this year.
“They let anybody practice there if you call them,” the coach said. “We practiced and it went really well. We appreciate BG giving us a chance to practice over there.
“I don't know if it helps or hurts, but it's good to get on the turf, just to have a feeling what it's like. It wasn't like we had to go out of our way to BG. It's only 10 miles, so it was convenient. If it wasn't, we probably wouldn't do it.”
The Eagles are 1-1 after routing rival Rossford in the annual Little Brown Jug game, 62-0, and were to travel to Oak Harbor Friday night.