By: John Raffel
Morley Stanwood quarterback off to sizzling start
Travis Zajkowski knew he had big shoes to fill when Tyler Huntey graduated after leading the Morley Stanwood football team to a 9-0 regular season and making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2009.
But Zajkowski, in his junior season as Morley Stanwood's quarterback, steered the Mohawks to a 9-0 regular-season mark and to the third round of the playoffs.
This year, Zajkowski wouldn't mind topping the 2010 season achievements.
When Morley Stanwood defeated Chippewa Hills 35-6 to build its record to 3-0 this season, Zajkowski had a big day with 222 yards passing. Coach Clark Huntey has pointed out that he continues to feel confident with the ball in Zajkowski's hands.
When he looks back at 2010, Zajkowski was basically satisfied with his transition from JV quarterback to varsity.
“Personally, I think I could have done better,” he said. “There's always little things we can improve on. I feel I've improved this year.”
Passing was the strongest part of his game last season and seems to be that way again this year.
During the offseason, the Mohawk quarterback attended many 7-on-7 passing camps.
“I knew of someone in Detroit that had 7-on-7 practices so I would go down there and practice with them,” Zajkowski said. “It's been with me and my dad; every night we'd be out working on everything. We rarely took a night off.”
Workouts would usually involve Zajkowski passing the ball extensively.
“I've improved a tremendous amount,” he said. “Everything comes more naturally the more you do it. I feel I got more on the ball.”
As a passer, Zajkowski indicated that he is more accurate this season.
“That's one thing I always felt good about,” he said. “When you get it to the receivers, it makes their job easier, and they can make the plays for you.”
Zajkowski said he's been running the ball “a little bit,” but not too extensively so far.
He usually doesn't play defense and sees it as a advantage to get the extra time on the sidelines.
“It helps me in trying to figure what went wrong or if something went wrong the last series,” Zajkowski said. “It helps me to brush it off and to keep playing. I get my thoughts together so I'm calm, relaxed, and ready to go.”
The Mohawks lost in overtime in the regional final last season after winning their second Central State Activities Association title.
“I honestly think if were in the right mind, and most of our team feels the same way, then we have the athletes to go all the way,” Zajkowski said. “It will be tough. But if we keep it in our heads we can do it, I think we should.”
Zajkowski will also be playing basketball and baseball this year.
“I played them my freshman year but after that, I focused on football and getting bigger,” he said.