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Author: Matt Harness

Message to Readers

It’s with a heavy heart that I announce Maroon & Gold is suspending operations for the foreseeable future. Credit cards will not be charged going forward, and the paywall has been disabled. Please enjoy the archived stories. By no means was this an easy decision, and I agonized over it for weeks. I probably should have put M&G on pause this summer. Fueled by all of the support from Ramblers, past and present, I tried to give it another go. Simply put, I haven’t found a way to make M&G a financially sustainable business. Launched in 2016, M&G quickly found a loyal and enthusiastic audience for which I am forever grateful. I’ve made so many special connections since its inception and often overwhelmed by the love. Nothing has gone unnoticed on my end. I will continue to be involved in football for at least the rest of the season by writing previews for the school’s website, tweeting out news @LAMaroongold and recording the weekly Ramblin’ On podcast. Unfortunately, I can’t treat M&G as a full-time job anymore. I owe so many people so much, including you, the readers. First, I want to thank my wife for her relentless advocacy of this endeavor. Without her, M&G never gets off the ground. Same goes for my parents and brother. My friends always were there for me, too. Not sure what’s next for...

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Fall Files

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: On the course that hosts the Class 3A state meet, the Ramblers took 17th in the 63-team field Saturday at the Richard Spring Invitational at Detweiller Park in Peoria.  Senior Billy Delaney led a pack that was separated by less than 45 seconds. He finished 86th in 15 minutes, 55.10 seconds. Senior Alex Owens (92nd, 15:59.40), junior Jack Garrigus (110th, 16:06.70), junior Michael Solmos (161st, 16:30.60) and junior Cameron Matejka (183rd, 16:39.90) all factored into the team score.  St. Charles East, which had two runners inside the top six, placed first.  In the open race, Loyola sophomore Spencer Werner finished fourth in 16:00.40. On Sept. 14, Delaney took third place in 16:14.7 at DePaul Prep’s invitational at Horner Park in Chicago to lead Loyola to a tie for first place with Elgin Harvest Christian Academy with 49 points. Solmos finished fourth in 16:15.8, and Garrigus came in fifth in 16:23.0.  Loyola is at Palatine’s invitational at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve on Saturday.  GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: Freshman Ellie Grammas ran to 37th place in 18:20.90 at Detweiller Park to help the Ramblers finish 21st out of 66 teams at the Richard Spring Invitational. Junior Sarah Jay (132nd, 19:35.30), junior Hayes Flanagan (139th, 19:37.60), sophomore Meghan O’Donoghue (164th, 19:50.50) and freshman Maeve Norman (188th, 20:03.70) rounded out the scoring lineup. With three runners in the top 14,...

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Four Downs

FIRST DOWN: Through three games, the Ramblers have been committed to rotating four running backs. In the team’s 24-7 win over St. Rita on Saturday at Hoerster Field, it was junior Vaughn Pemberton (pictured above) who stood out.  Pemberton, who was on the sideline for last week’s game with a minor injury, ran 17 times for 120 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was a difference-maker in the second half with 13 carries for 110 yards.  “Our running game was stagnant early,” Loyola head coach John Holecek said. “But we stuck with it, even when they were loading the...

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BASEBALL: Loyola Names Chris Ackels Head Coach

In his first three seasons in the program, senior Michael Ellingsen never played for Chris Ackels (pictured above).  However, there was one game during his freshman season that Ackels served as a substitute head coach for the sophomore team. Ellingsen vividly remembers the impact Ackels had on the team that day, and it’s one of the reasons he said he believes the Ramblers hired the right person to be their next varsity head coach.  “He would run through a brick wall for us, and we would do the same for him,” Ellingsen said. “We know he’s going to be...

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FOOTBALL: Defense Comes Up Big in Ramblers’ Win Over St. Rita

Loyola senior safety Daniel O’Flaherty’s interception was one of three turnovers the Ramblers forced in the second half Saturday that contributed to their 24-7 win over St. Rita at Hoerster Field.  He doesn’t make that play last season.  For the first three seasons at Loyola, O’Flaherty (pictured above) was a receiver and tight end. He was asked to switch to defense in January to fill a need on that side of the ball. His first priority was to study the playbook.  “I did a lot of reading and watching film because it was winter and I couldn’t get on...

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