The New Wilmington native and YSU graduate has been living in Israel for the last year. He admits air raid sirens and bomb shelters are a way of life there.
“If the siren goes on in our neighborhood or actually I should say our city, we’re required to go there. We have about 90 seconds until impact,” Tekac said.
Besides working for a global consulting company, Tekac is the coach of an Israeli flag football team, hoping to make the L.A. Olympic games in 2028, but the war is impacting that.
“A lot of our players in our league that Sunday, Monday, after the atrocities that took place Oct. 7 were called up to active duty,” Tekac said.
Three of those soldiers were killed in the first days of fighting. As Tekac and his team looked for ways to support those players in uniform, he received a call from his old coach Jim Tressel asking what he could do.
“What you’re going to do on behalf of the world is special,” Tressel told Tekac in a recorded message.
That prompted a series of video clips, many from what Tekac calls his “Youngstown Network,” offering words of encouragement.
“We deliver those videos every evening to the players,” Tekac said.
In the meantime, Tekac says people there press ahead, trying to live as close to their version of normal as they can.
“The resiliency and the determination of the Israeli people continue moving forward, it’s something that’s definitely inspiring to me,” Tekac said.