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Then & now: Tymchuk brothers recall Trojan history

Once a losing program, North Hall plays for spot in state title game today

POSTED: December 19, 2007 5:03 a.m.

Editor's note: This story has been updated since first posted to correct the record of the Trojan team which went to the playoffs Eric Tymchuk's senior year and the current employers of Alex Tymchuk and Andy Tymchuk.

From Alex and Andy to Danny and Eric, North Hall Trojan football was a Tymchuk tradition handed off from brother to brother.

Beginning with Alex Tymchuk's first starting season in 1979, there was a Tymchuk Trojan fighting fearlessly on the football field for North Hall High School throughout the next 10 years. In their days, the Tymchuks ended some seasons without one victorious battle, and they experienced some of the team's first successes.

Today, nearly 20 years after the Tymchuks played, North Hall heads to the Georgia Dome for the first time in the school's 50-year history. The Trojans face Cairo at 3 p.m. in the Class AAA state semifinals.
And the Tymchuks are proud to see that, finally, their team is held in high esteem.

For Alex Tymchuk, Trojan defeat was repeated nearly every Friday night. His North Hall football career began in his freshman year as running back on the junior varsity team. He ended his senior season with a Trojan record of 0-10.

"Things have definitely changed around North Hall," said Alex, the oldest Tymchuk brother.

Alex Tymchuk was a running back and free safety for the Trojans and was one of the few Trojans to rush for 1,000 yards in his day. "I was 88 yards (short) of 1,000, so I played anyway," he said. "It was a nice way to cap off three years of varsity playing even though we were 0-10."

Alex Tymchuk ended his football career as a one-time hero for Georgia Tech's junior varsity team, leading his team to a victory over Georgia. Now that his life has moved on, and he's married with three teenagers, he still can remember the details of his football career. "The last year you play, you really remember those times," he said.

He lives in the Acworth area, but still keeps up with his alma mater. "My brothers call me with updates every weekend," Alex Tymchuk said. "They say ‘Hey, North Hall won again!'"

Alex Tymchuk works for Global Mortgage.

Andy Tymchuk, also a running back, played from his sophomore year in 1983 to his senior year in 1985. His junior year, the team ended up with a 2-8 record and his senior year, the team finished 1-9.
Andy Tymchuk said that, despite the losing record, the Trojans were competitive. "We tried hard," he joked.

He remembers in his junior year when a Monroe team was beating the Trojans by more than 40 points. With only eight seconds left, Andy Tymchuk caught a kickoff and ran it back 92 yards for the only Trojan touchdown of the game.

"We made a pretty good showing for ourselves, but our record was pretty weak," Andy Tymchuk said.  He now works for Morgan Keegan.

But his time on the field built his character, he said. He played football because he loved it. "When you don't have a winning record, but you're still willing to go out on the field, and give all that you have," Andy Tymchuk said. "It wasn't for the accolades, obviously."

His time as a Trojan makes him proud to see today's Trojans on their way to the Dome. "They're playing really hard," Andy Tymchuk said. "There's a lot of character you see on the team."

The two younger Tymchuk brothers, Danny and Eric, grew up watching their older brothers play for the Trojans, and it seemed only natural that the younger Tymchuks suit up in their footsteps.

In 1986, Danny Tymchuk, a tailback and safety, lettered his first Trojan season. In his second season, Coach Jim Lofton, who had a reputation for building teams in Jefferson and East Hall, was the new leader of the Trojans.

"We knew he could make winners out of us, and he worked us hard," Danny Tymchuk said. "My junior and senior year ... we were always a very competitive team."

In Danny Tymchuk's junior year, Lofton scheduled North Hall to play Etowah for homecoming, a team that was sure to defeat the Trojans. The Trojans were surprised, though, when they defeated Etowah 10-7. The win might have secured the path of future victory for the Trojans.

"We believed we could be winners after that," Danny Tymchuk said. "Over my high school career, that was probably one of the greatest games I ever played in."

Danny Tymchuk ended his senior season with a 5-5 record. He now is a teacher at Greater Atlanta Christian in Norcross, where Lofton still coaches, and says he is proud to have been a part of the Trojan tradition.

"I feel like I was a part of the success at North Hall," Danny Tymchuk said. "There were kids that saw me play that were inspired, and I was inspired by my older brothers playing.

"Every year, every football team inspires younger football teams to come."

Danny Tymchuk's last years at North Hall coincided with the beginning of Eric Tymchuk's days as starting quarterback for the Trojans. "You'd hear the announcers say ‘Tymchuk hands off to Tymchuk,'" Danny Tymchuk said.

In Eric Tymchuk's senior year, the Trojans went 7-4, beating Gainesville High and entering the state playoffs for the first time in school history. "That was a cherishing moment for me," Eric Tymchuk said. "To see my team have success."

But Eric Tymchuk did not get to witness those monumental events on the field, as the first game of his senior season had been his last. The North Hall offense was running an option, and an awkward move on his knee left him with a torn ACL and a broken heart.

The day after the game, a doctor informed Eric Tymchuk that he would not finish his senior season. "I was really hurt by it," he said. "But I had to deal with it, and you move on with your life."

But that same year, Eric Tymchuk met his future wife, Kimberly, on a mission trip in Argentina. Nearly 10 years later, he proposed to her on another mission trip in Costa Rica.

All of the Tymchuk brothers plan to be under the Dome with their fellow Trojans this afternoon. "We will always love North Hall," Eric Tymchuk said. "It's a part of our soul."



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