On Saturday, November 24, Loyola Academy’s varsity football team became 2018 IHSA Class 8A State Champions, defeating the Brother Rice Crusaders 13–3 at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium. This is the team’s third state football championship in Loyola history, and the second under the leadership of Coach John Holecek. The win also avenged a 35–3 loss to the Crusaders in week four.
With Coach Holecek at the helm, the Ramblers are 146–30. Saturday’s game was Loyola’s fourth consecutive appearance in the title game—a feat which no other Class 8A program has ever achieved. The Ramblers have now won at least eleven games eleven seasons in a row.
Following a snow day, Loyola hosted a Rambler Recognition Celebration to honor the state champs.
Loyola Academy President Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, began the celebration by leading students in Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity. He reminded Ramblers to see life as a gift—an invitation—and to make the most of every opportunity.
Next, Principal Charlie Heintz addressed the student body. “I wanted to take a moment and say thank you,” he said. “We stepped-up and showed-up on Saturday night. And for that I am incredibly proud. Beyond the football team, we had 325 students ride the fan bus to the game, and hundreds more came with their families. We had students, chaperones, parents, and alums cheering us on. It was awesome! Thank you again.”
Coach Holecek spoke a few words about this year’s team and the significance it holds in his career. Vice President for Admissions and Interim Athletic Director Genevieve Atwood thanked the many supporters of the football program including coaches, parents, training staff and student trainers, the band, cheerleaders and dance team and, of course, the fans.
The team captains were then invited to say a few words. Each thanked Loyola, the coaches and fans for their support over the course of the season.
To view a broadcast of the Rambler Recognition Celebration, click here.