August 22 — the first day of Maroon & Gold — doesn’t seem that long ago. I vividly remember the moment I hit publish on my first post. I felt a combination of achievement, excitement and anxiousness. The first week was a roller-coaster of emotions.

I owe all of you a huge thank you for supporting me in the first year. It means a lot that you trusted me to be your source for Loyola football.

There are a few people I want to recognize.

Athletic director Pat Mahoney and head football coach John Holecek were early advocates of this project, which I conceived years ago, and I couldn’t have done this without them.

Former Loyola football player and WGN reporter Mike Lowe was a supporter the second I shared the concept with him. From the outset, he provided me a platform — Facebook’s Loyola Academy Football Alumni Club — to announce the launch of Maroon & Gold.

Thanks, too, to Tom Herion. His words of encouragement over the summer helped motivate me to stay on track and get the website up and running. Once Maroon & Gold was born, he became its biggest fan.

Kathy Badovinac, Loyola’s team mom, deserves a shoutout for her efforts in spreading the word to the parents early on this season. Without her outreach, I doubt Maroon & Gold has the audience it does today.

Thank you to Melissa Krein and Geoff Scott for taking photos and generously allowing me to use them. The website would be lifeless without their pictures.

Thanks also to Paddy Stanton, aka @LAFootballAC. He was instrumental in circulating the website’s news throughout the season.

Of course, thanks to all of the coaches and players for their patience and graciousness throughout the season. Everybody always had a few minutes to talk to me.

One of the best parts of this job has been getting to know the people involved on a personal level. I’ve made many friendships since I started writing about the Ramblers eight school years ago. Loyola is a special community, and I’m glad to be a small part of it.

(Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. I will be covering Loyola sports throughout the winter season.)