Senior center Paddy Kotowski has been part of the Loyola football program since he was born. His father — Mike Kotowski, a 1987 Loyola graduate — played football for the Ramblers and now is the offensive line coach. Paddy’s older brother, Jack Kotowski, was a senior offensive lineman for the 2013 Ramblers that took second in Class 8A.

Maroon & Gold: Describe the scene on the bus ride back to Loyola after you beat Brother Rice.

Paddy Kotowski: It was talkative. There were a couple of kids with speakers playing music and guys were singing along. It was a party on the way home. Mrs. Marwede [mother of senior Jake Marwede] made some cookies and brownies for us. They were good. For some, it was a sense of relief. I was in the front of the bus trying to get in some sleep because I had the ACT in the morning, and I made eye contact with [senior quarterback] Tommy Herion in the back. He looked relieved it was over. It was a well-fought game, and it was good we came out on top.

M&G: Anybody from past teams reach out and congratulate you on the Catholic Blue championship and another undefeated regular season?

PK: I talked to my brother on Saturday. He watched the game and congratulated me on the win. There were teachers and people at school on Monday talking about the big win. But it was just good to see guys like [2016 graduates] Tommy Nute, John Shannon, Jack Loper on the sideline Friday.

M&G: Did you talk to your dad about the game over the weekend? If so, what were the topics of conversation?

PK: When I got home Friday, everybody was asleep at the house. But my dad and I watched the game again Saturday. We talked about linebacker pick-ups, protection calls, different schemes we can run if we play them again. When we talk, it’s a mixture of father and son and coach and player. But we are bonding.

M&G: How much do you do on your own during each week?

PK: I lift two or three times a week to keep my body nice and ready for the game. I talk to my dad and get the script from him, the plays we are running. I do a lot of film study at night. I will open the O’Fallon film and take notes. I will share those with my dad.

M&G: You live in Chicago’s Rogers Park. Are you a Cubs fan? If so, where did you watch Saturday’s game?

PK: I am a huge Cubs fan. I was at Tommy Herion’s house. He had the O-line over for dinner. Jake Marwede, David Terrell, Noah Jones were there, too. We were there to watch the [IHSA] playoff pairings show. But I brought my iPad, and I was watching the Cubs game. Once the football show was over, we watched the last few innings of the Cubs game. It was awesome.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola