Matty Enghauser earns captain honor in middle of season: At Saturday’s film session, Tom Livatino did something for the first time in his 15 seasons as a head coach. In front of team, he announced that junior Matty Enghauser joined seniors seniors Connor Barrett, Ryan Evans and Quinn Pemberton as a team captain. It came one day after Loyola’s 47-46 loss to St. Rita in Chicago in the ninth game of the season.

“It was awesome,” said Enghauser, a second-year varsity player and product of St. Joan of Arc in Evanston. “I was pretty surprised. Obviously, I am happy and honored.”

Enghauser’s attitude and enthusiasm warranted the unprecedented move, according to Livatino, in his 10th season with the Ramblers.

“We didn’t see a reason to wait until next year,” he said. “What he’s done for us so far this season made it an easy call. The players all know what he brings. We are lucky to have him on our team.”

A 6-foot-3 wing and one of the team’s top shooters, Enghauser admitted the captain designation does bring more responsibility, but he doesn’t plan to make any wholesale changes.

“What I want to do is bring positive energy and encouragement to the team,” he said. “Being a captain re-inforces that I am doing the right things.”

Loyola boys basketball team searching for focus: Head coach Tom Livatino isn’t sounding the alarm after Friday’s 47-46 loss to St. Rita in Chicago, but he expressed concern about his team’s approach.

The Catholic League defeat dropped the Ramblers (6-3, 2-2 Catholic Blue) farther down in the league standings. They are tied for fourth with Brother Rice, Fenwick and St. Ignatius. DePaul Prep is first at 4-0, while St. Laurence and St. Joseph both are 3-1.

“We haven’t had one practice where we’ve been locked in the entire time,” he said. “We need to understand the process and what is required to win. Maybe we had a false sense of self and thought we were anointed, but you have to earn everything you want. Our energy and effort have been a little disappointing, and that’s something we continue to address. Once we get that straightened out, we are going to take off.”

Loyola plays Providence-St. Mel (6-3, 2-2 Catholic White) at home Friday. The Knights, who won a Class 1A sectional title last season, beat Fenwick 60-56 on Friday. Livatino said Providence-St. Mel is one of the favorites to win the Class 1A state championship this season.

“They bring back a lot of four-year starters, which is rare,” he said. “They have size and good guards. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

Loyola girls basketball team planning for future in present: While the backbone of the Ramblers consists of seniors Julia Martinez and Celia Satter, several of this season’s key contributors are sophomores.

In Friday’s 40-35 loss to St. Ignatius at home, sophomore Summer Parker-Hall scored a game-high 19 points to go with six rebounds. Sophomore Arielle Dabu had a season-best nine points. She also finished with three rebounds and two assists.

A first-year varsity player, Parker-Hall leads Loyola (9-3, 0-2 GCAC Red) in scoring (10.3) and is second in rebounding (4.4). Dabu, another varsity rookie who’s played in all 12 games, averages 3.8 points. Sophomore Izzy Ogliore, who was called up to varsity as a freshman, is averaging 3.8 points and 2.9 rebounds.

In all, the Ramblers have seven sophomores on the roster. Martinez and Satter are two of six seniors.

“We know they are good enough to play, but we want to be careful with how we bring them along this season,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said of the sophomores. “We want to make sure we aren’t throwing them right into the fire.”

Loyola’s three losses have been by a total of 12 points. Additionally, Marist, Mother McAuley and St. Ignatius are a combined 30-4 entering this week.

The Ramblers play at Taft on Thursday and at Evanston on Friday. Loyola beat the Wildkits to win the Class 4A regional title at Lane last season.