Senior offensive lineman John Brekke is 25-0 in two seasons on varsity. At left tackle this season, the 6-foot-3, 270-pounder has helped the Ramblers average 6.8 yards per play and 42.0 points per game.
Maroon & Gold: If all goes well, you have three more games to play in high school. Can you believe it is almost over?
John Brekke: It’s hard to imagine. It’s crazy how fast it’s gone by, especially the last two years. But I will leave with no regrets.
M&G: Saturday’s 22-3 win over Oswego East could have been your last game at home. How much have you enjoyed games at Hoerster Field?
JB: It doesn’t seem real that I might not ever play there again. I loved the Saturday afternoon games. I personally hate playing on Friday nights. With school, I’m up before 6 a.m., and I’m exhausted by the end of the day. Saturday games are great. No school. You have time to wake up, eat breakfast with the team and then focus on the game. It’s a good vibe on Saturday afternoons. Some of our games, like last year’s against Homewood-Flossmoor, have a college-like atmosphere to them. Our student section is great. We sing the fight song to them after a game. That’s cool. At home games, you talk to old friends, former players and maybe you see your grade-school coaches at the game.
M&G: In what ways is this season different than last year?
JB: That’s a tough one. I think it’s more similar than different. [Head coach John] Holecek is still tough, but he has a lot of passion for Loyola and the game. Being a senior, you are expected to be more of a leader.
M&G: It’s a stereotype that all linemen love to eat and eat a lot. Still, who has the biggest appetite on the team?
JB: That’s a toss up. I can eat a lot, but I’d go with [senior] Brian McTague and [junior] Charlie Gross. I’m close friends with guys. When they come over to my house, they clear out my pantry. It’s insane. It’s almost like they are competing with each other to see who can eat the most. It can be pretty nuts.
M&G: What’s your favorite pre-game food? How about after the game?
JB: I love the potatoes they serve at Saturday breakfasts. They have a lot of seasoning on them, and I usually have a huge plate of them. After games, me and a few other guys from the neighborhood [on Chicago’s Northwest Side] will go to Taco Burrito King [in Niles]. We all get a Super King Burrito. It’s more than a foot long.
M&G: Graduates of St. Mary of the Woods had good days against Oswego East. You, senior running back Kyle Rock, senior defensive back Ryan Lin-Piestrup and junior defensive lineman Marty Geary all played for the Knights in Chicago’s Edgebrook neighborhood. Is there still some grammar-school pride?
JB: We are definitely proud to have played for St. Mary of the Woods. I’ve played with Kyle, Marty and Ryan my entire life. We are all really close. To see us perform well is really cool.
M&G: What’s it like blocking for Rock?
JB: Me and Kyle have good chemistry. He reads my blocks really well because he knows my tendencies. It makes for a good combination.
M&G: What are your college plans?
JB: I would like to play in college. I have four Division I offers right now, including one from Holy Cross. Loyola has a good presence there, so that helps. It’s also a phenomenal school. We will see what happens.