STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of young boys from Moscow, Russia are coming together with members of the Struthers Middle School football team to learn fundamentals of the game.
“I learned a lot about high school, middle school practices and football,” said Russian player Tim Tyabaev.
These kids all play American-style football back home. They arrived here with their own gear a week and a half ago.
Their parents are paying about $1,000 each to fly them over, along with their coach, to improve their game.
The idea was put together by the kids’ coach Vanya Goloveshkin and Keary Iarussi, a Struthers native who lives and works in Moscow. He also coaches a semi-pro team there.
“At first we thought to take them to a few clinics. That didn’t really work out and so I asked Coach Koontz here, the varsity coach, and he said ‘Bring ’em here for as long as you want,'” Iarussi said.
While they’re here, the kids are staying with local host families and even attended a Pirates game. They also went to see the Browns play Thursday night, which made quite an impression.
“I’m coming here after school and go to here at college, and then I want to [be an] NFL player,” said Russian player Savva Rogal.
Iarussi said it has all been a great experience.
“It’s great how they teach with the kids, how they interact with the kids, how they talk with the kids, so I’ve definitely learned a lot myself,” Iarussi said.
He hopes that they can do this again next year.