In Loyola’s 51-8 win over Leo on Friday in Chicago, senior Jack Martinus (No. 8 in picture above) caught five passes for 122 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter. He finished with six receptions for 132 yards.

Maroon & Gold: You are as sure-handed of a receiver as anybody I’ve seen play in high school. Does that come naturally, or have you had to work on perfecting that talent?

Jack Martinus: I always practice it. I’m not the fastest guy, so I have to find a way to be better at something else, whether that is route running or having good hands. During the spring and summer, I did a lot of drills. I did fingertip pushups, catching balls with my fingertips, practicing catching the ball in traffic. I really strengthened my grip. I want to make sure I can contribute to this team.

M&G: Do you have a favorite catch in your career?

JM: That’s hard question, and it’s one I haven’t thought about. I don’t know.

M&G: Describe a dream scenario for catching a pass.

JM: It probably would be on a two-point play from [senior quarterback] Tommy [Herion] to win a game, and everybody I know would be at the game.

M&G: Do you have a route you like to run?

JM: The post corner. I love doing those. Double moves always get you open. In grade school at St. Juliana, that was me and Tommy’s go-to play. We ran it [Friday against Leo], but Tommy had to scramble out of the pocket. I made sure to stick with him, and I caught the ball near the sideline.

M&G: What is your pregame ritual, if you have one?

JM: Right before I go into the huddle before we go onto the field for warmups, I listen to “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. That gets me pumped up and ready to go.

M&G: Who is the biggest character among the receivers and why?

JM: It’s definitely [senior] David Terrell Jr. He’s always talking, always upbeat and always gets the guys going. He’s always cracking jokes, and he’s fun to be around all the time.

M&G: Do you play any other sports at Loyola?

JM: I have played basketball every year at Loyola. Last year, I mainly was the two guard and came into games for defensive situations. [Loyola head coach Tom Livatino] loves that grinder mentality, putting your face on the floor. That’s something I always try to do. Whatever helps the team.

Photo credit: Geoff Scott