The varsity football team defeated the Lincoln-Way East Griffins 13-3 on Saturday, November 26, to become the 2022 IHSA 8A State Champions! This is the program's fourth state championship—the third under Coach John Holecek (2015, 2018, 2022). Congratulations to the entire team, Coach Holecek and his staff, and the team captains (Jake Stearney '23, Jack Fitzgerald '23, Johnny McGuire '23, and Brooks Bahr '23) on a perfect ending to an incredible 13–1 season. Thank you Rambler parents and fans, for all the fun and support along the way.
In an interview with The Record North Shore, defensive end Brooks Bahr '23 said of Coach Holecek: "He's a once-in-a-lifetime coach and we wanted to add to his legacy here." Bahr will play at the University of Michigan next year.
In the same interview, quarterback Jake Stearney '23 recalls a trick "flea flicker" play that resulted in an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Declan Forde '23 on Loyola's first offensive play: “For Declan and I that (long pass) was our first play in grammar school and to see us pull it off in a state championship game was great. It’s crazy. We grew up watching Loyola football. I remember going to all of the games, hoping to be out there someday.” Stearney and Forde attended grade school together at St. Mary of the Woods.
"It was one of the scariest moments of my life, seeing that ball in the air," Forde said in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times. "It felt like forever before it came into my hands."
Holecek said of his players: "Every time I walked out on the field for the (pre-game) coin flip I was inspired by these guys and confident because of these guys."
Rambler Fast Facts
Did you know? The Loyola Academy Ramblers have a long tradition of excellence!