Mr. Bayuk has been at the helm for the Cats for 3 years.

Laci Ekoniak, Feature Writer


Being that it’s your first time in the playoffs since 2019, how does it feel?

Coach Bayuk: Feels great to reach a goal that the coaching staff and team set before the season.

What does being in the playoffs change in your daily practices?

Coach Bayuk: Nothing will change. We will treat the playoffs just like we treat the season. We have to get better every day, and in order to keep moving forward we have to be 1-0 every week.

Will you be developing any new game plans for the playoffs?

Coach Bayuk: We are just trying to improve and get better with what we do. There will be no big game adjustment or schemes. Progress is our goal.

What made your team keep going after starting off the season 1-4.

Coach Bayuk: Everyone in the locker room had a choice to make. We could have complained or blamed one another and pointed the finger or we could keep battling and getting better. We all chose to keep fighting and it shows that hard work and commitment can pay off.

What’s it going to take to keep your team on a winning streak?

Coach Bayuk: Everyone has to stay committed to the team. As long as we don’t get caught up in individual stats. We can’t be selfish, it’s about us.

What are your thoughts about the rivalry game on Friday?

Coach Bayuk: It will be a battle like it is every year. Both teams play hard and leave it on the field every year; we just have to take care of ourselves and focus on us.

How would you feel if you guys were to play Poland again in the playoffs?

Coach Bayuk: It is always hard to play the same team twice, but if it happens we will have to prepare just as hard and keep the focus on us getting better.

What made the coaches decide on the saying “TrUSt the climb?”

Coach Bayuk: It is a never give up mantra. It is about not quitting when things get tough. More importantly “Trust the Climb” is for the community of Struthers. The sky’s the limit for a football program if we come together as a team, a school and a community. All Trust the Climb gear we sell goes right back to the community. We will be delivering Christmas presents to needy families of the city. I felt it was appropriate for this senior class because they have been battling adversity throughout the years. Trust the Climb will always be a part of this program for as long as I am here.

What words do you have for your team going forward? 

Coach Bayuk: We say it every week. Get better every day and be 1-0. Don’t focus on the past or future. Let’s take care of the present.