Loyola Academy

1 Day to Kickoff: Loyola Academy

1 Day to Kickoff: Loyola Academy

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Loyola Academy

Head coach: John Holecek

Assistant coaches: Pete Devine, Beau Desherow, Tim Feldheim, Mike Dooley, Pete Distaulo, Tyler Vradenburg, Mike Kotowski, Ryan Gallagher and Pat Naughton

How they fared in 2018: 11-3 (2-2 Chicago Catholic Blue Conference). Loyola Academy made the Class 8A state playoff field and defeated Minooka, Oswego, Maine South and Lincoln-Way East They advanced to the state title game and defeated Brother Rice 13-3 at Champaign's Memorial Stadium.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 vs St. Ignatius (Ohio) in Michigan City IN
Sept. 7 vs New Trier
Sept. 14 vs St. Rita
Sept. 20 @ Mount Carmel
Sept. 27 @ St. Ignatius
Oct. 5 vs Brother Rice
Oct. 12 vs Benet Academy
Oct. 18 @ Marian Central Catholic
Oct. 26 vs Marist

[MORE: 9 Days to Kickoff - Brother Rice

Biggest storyline: Loyola Academy has made six trips to the state title game since 2011, with titles in 2015 and 2018. The key to another title will be if they can reload, especially on defense.

Names to watch this season: RB Trevor Cabanban (Sr.) and OL Christo Kelly (Sr., Holy Cross)

Biggest holes to fill: The Ramblers welcome back just one returning starter on defense-- senior DE Luke Desherow. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach John Holecek might be coming off his best coaching year ever. The Ramblers hit a rough midseason patch, losing three of four games and needing to win out in the last two regular season games just to make the IHSA playoff field. From there, they rattled off seven straight wins and captured the school's second 8A state title in four years and their third overall IHSA football state title in school history (the other was in 1993). The 2019 Ramblers offense will be critical in setting the tone, especially in the early going. They bring back six returning starters. Senior RB Trevor Cabanban and senior RB Tyler Flores are proven, experienced options in the run game who will run behind three returning starters on the offensive line: senior Christo Kelly, junior Josh Kreutz and senior Peter Gianaris. Loyola will also feature several newcomers, including junior QB Perrion McClinton. Junior kicker Nate Van Zelst is already drawing recruiting attention. As mentioned, the defense will be young but the talent level in the underclassmen group is very high. Several of them will be asked to step big time up this season. Loyola Academy has remained one of the most consistent large enrollment programs to find ways to win. They've posted double-digit win totals every season since 2008. They have the pieces in place for another deep run to DeKalb this fall. 

Illinois AP preps preseason football rankings

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NBC Sports Chicago

Illinois AP preps preseason football rankings

The preseason AP polls are out. Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

No. Team Pts
1. Loyola (10) 127
2. Lincoln-Way East (3) 119
3. Maine South 93
4. Naperville Central 85
5. Homewood-Flossmoor 73
6. Marist 44
7. Warren 42
8. Edwardsville 33
9. Minooka 27
10. Barrington 21

Others receiving votes:  Oswego 18, Stevenson 8, Bolingbrook 7, Hinsdale Central 6, Oak Park-River Forest 4, Neuqua Valley 3, Niles Notre Dame 3, Huntley 2.

Class 7A

No. Team Pts
1. Nazareth (11) 123
2. Batavia (1) 113
3. Mount Carmel 92
4. St. Charles North 89
5. Brother Rice (1) 80
6. Glenbard West 48
7. Wheaton Warrenville South 35
8. Willowbrook 34
9. Lake Zurich 31
10. Harlem 15

Others receiving votes: Moline 10, Rolling Meadows 9, DeKalb 8, Hersey 7, Glenbard East 5, Hononegah 4, Normal Community 4, Benet 3, Maine West 2, Plainfield North 2, Lincoln-Way West 1. 

Class 6A

No. Team Pts
1. Richards (3) 112
2. Cary-Grove (7) 107
3. Phillips 93
4. Simeon (3) 90
5. Crete-Monee 81
6. Prairie Ridge (1) 67
7. Antioch 52
8. Washington 45
9. Providence 36
10. Normal West 29

Others receiving votes: Glenwood 26, Lemont 9, Springfield 7, Peoria Central 6, Kaneland 4, Lake Forest 4, Rock Island 1, Yorkville 1. 

Class 5A

No. Team Pts
1. Joliet Catholic (3) 114
2. East St. Louis (11) 110
3. Montini 107
4.  Sacred Heart-Griffin 77
5.  Hillcrest 66
6. Sycamore 44
7. Sterling 43
8. Boylan Catholic 42
9. St. Rita 38
10. Metamora 26

Others receiving votes: Cahokia 25, Highland 23, Mascoutah 14, MacArthur 12, Payton 5, St. Laurence 4, Solorio 3, Marion 3, Evergreen Park 3, Morris 3, Kankakee 2, Champaign Central 1, Springfield Southeast 1.


Class 4A

No. Team Pts
1. IC Catholic (10) 122
2. Bishop McNamara (2) 111
3. Rochester (1) 110
4. Coal City (1) 102
5. Richmond-Burton 62
6. Marengo 40
7. Columbia 31
8. Taylorville 30
T-9. Effingham 23
T-9. Genoa-Kingston 23

Others receiving votes: Johnsburg 22, Murphysboro 22, Stillman Valley 20, Pontiac 13, Herscher 9, Geneseo 7, Marian Central Catholic 7, Dixon 4, Fairbury Prairie Central 3, St. Francis 3, Paris 2, Mt. Zion 2, Tolono Unity 1, Breese Central 1.

Class 3A

No. Team Pts
1. Byron (8) 125
2. Monticello (2) 104
3. Eureka (2) 81
4. Williamsville 76
5. Carlinville 54
6. Wilmington (1) 53
7. Princeton 47
8. Fairfield 33
9. Lisle 26
10. Beardstown 21

Others receiving votes: Farmington 20, Nashville 14, Pana 10, Monmouth-Roseville 10, Greenville 10, Peotone 8, Quincy Notre Dame 7, Alleman Catholic 7, Breese Mater Dei 4, Anna-Jonesboro 2, Pleasant Plains 2, Vandalia 1.

Class 2A

No. Team Pts
1. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (6) 108
2. Maroa-Forsyth (4) 96
3. Clifton Central (1) 82
4. Decatur St. Teresa 65
5. Newman Central Catholic 54
6. Eastland-Pearl City (1) 52
7. Bismarck-Henning 48
8. Orion 45
9. Downs Tri-Valley 40
10. Fieldcrest 26

Others receiving votes: Illini West 15, Rockridge 9, Althoff Catholic 8, Mercer County 4, Orr 3, West Hancock 2, Auburn 2, Eldorado 1.


Class 1A

No. Team Pts
1. Forreston (4) 98
T-2. Lena-Winslow (5) 84
T-2. Tuscola (1) 84
4. Moweaqua Central A&M (1) 51
5. Camp Point Central 49
6. Argenta-Oreana 44
7. Aurora Christian  40
8. Dakota 37
9. Athens 33
10. Annawan-Wethersfield 24

Others receiving votes: Hope Academy 23, Arcola 19, Ottawa Marquette 17, Carrollton 14, Triopia 12, Brown County 8, Fisher 7, Fulton 6, Princeville 5, Milledgeville 2, Madison 2, Morrison 1.

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

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@RamblerHockey Twitter account

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

A state champion will be crowned Saturday at the United Center, when Loyola Academy Gold plays Stevenson for the Boys Red Division State Championship.

Here are some of the storylines we’re watching ahead of the game.

1. Coaching connection: These two coaches have known each other for more than 20 years. Loyola head coach D.J. LaVarre coached against Stevenson head coach Tom Wood when Wood played youth hockey. LaVarre also knows Tom’s dad, Jim, who is the former head coach at Stevenson. Currently the coach Stevenson’s JV 2 team, Jim won the AHAI high school coach of the year in 2007.

2. Fun rewards for players of the game: At Stevenson, the player of the game is awarded a hard hat. At Loyola, it’s a championship belt.

3. International influence: Stevenson’s goalie, Elias Sandholm, is a transfer student from Sweden and has the highest save percentage in school history, .951. He made the all-state team and the Chicago Showcase team.

4. Next man up: In net for Loyola will most likely be Hugh Brady, a senior who stepped up when Thomas Moran went down with a hip injury. Brady has played 47 games and has a .945 save percentage.

5. A drought will be snapped: Stevenson has never won a state championship. Loyola is looking for its first since 1996.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m., with the girls’ state championship game, Glenbrook vs. New Trier, starting at 11:30 a.m.

One more fun note: Team USA gold medalist and Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne will drop the ceremonial puck prior to both games.