Staff photo / Brian Yauger Brookfield quarterback Donovan Pawlowski (right) dives into the sideline as he is pursued by Springfield’s Beau Brungard during their matchup earlier this season.

BROOKFIELD – Brookfield quarterback Donovan Pawlowski had some big footsteps to fill.

After graduation from four-year-old starter Haden Gibson, who led the Warriors to two postseason appearances and was a third-team selection in all states, Pawlowski came into the year with plenty to do.

With Brookfield sitting 4-1 in Week 7, it looks like the junior is doing pretty well in his first season running the program.

“We thought at the beginning of the year that he was definitely the answer after losing Gibson, but we have great faith in him.” Warriors trainer Randy Clark said. “He worked his way off for us. He has some good receivers to throw the ball at and we have two or three running backs to build around. “

However, in entering his new role, Pavlovsky received a lot of help from his predecessor.

Gibson, who is now a track and field athlete at Mount Union, was like an extra coach to the junior and Pavlovski credits him with his success to date.

“The greatest thing he taught me was never to go under” said Pavlovsky. “When he was injured for about three games last year I substituted for him and he was always by my side telling me what to do and what not to do and he was really one of my coaches. I just really looked up to him and just try to keep doing what he taught me. “

The two always communicate, and Gibson wasn’t shy about praising his successor.

“It really matters because I think half the reason I’m so confident is because of him, to be honest.” said Pavlovsky. “He tells me that I do a great job all the time, he tells me what to do when I’m not doing something well. He always tells me to keep my head up and never go negative. I think he’s really the key to all of my confidence right now. “

An integral part of Brookfield’s roster is his offensive line. The team’s five-man front was lauded by Clark earlier in the season as the team’s focus and made Pavlovski’s move under the middle a lot easier.

“I have all the time I need in my pocket” said Pavlovsky. “I mean, we all worked very hard over the summer. We got stronger, faster, bigger, and they’ve really been able to hold the season so far and we have to keep up with that. I’m nothing without my line, so we love it for it. “

Pavlovski’s receivers are another big part of his quick adaptation to the quarterback position. He’s played with the same group of players his entire life, so there’s already chemistry built in. One of those recipients is his brother David, so there’s an extra amount of chemistry there too.

“This whole team, we grew up together”, said Pavlovsky. “We had this chemistry. Isaiah Jones, 6-4, he’s fast, my brother, we’ve been playing ball since we were young. Xzavier (Witherow), he’s someone else. He’s big and he’s good.

“(With David) it’s incredible. No matter what type of coverage it is, if no one is open, I know they will always be open because they can catch anything. I just know that I can always go somewhere. “

The quarterback has another year to keep improving his game and that’s all he wants to do. Pawlowski just wants to keep winning football games and keep improving as a player.

“I just want to do my best” he said. “Next year I want to take the next step and be the best player I can be.”

Pavlowski and the Warriors plan to continue that success on Friday as they host Newton Falls.

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