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The Pack celebrates a 28-13 win over St. Laurence

The Pack celebrates a 28-13 win over St. Laurence

The Pack celebrates a 28-13 win over St. Laurence

Mia Rugai '19, Sports Editor

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Wolfpack football has just finished their season, and was it a rollercoaster. At the start of the season, the future of the Pack was unpredictable, with new coach, Matt Miller, anything could happen. Despite a disappointing end to the season, in which the Pack fell to Simeon in the Prep Bowl 19-16, this was a season to be remembered. It was a strong year full of firsts and broken records: their first 10 win season, first Prep Bowl appearance, first CCL title since 1945, and first back to back Catholic League White titles.

Spirit had the chance to sit down with a few of the players to discuss the winning season and how the program has grown since the beginning of their careers.

Quinn Donath ’18 runs through Simeon defenders

What drew you to play Ignatius football?

Jake Miles ‘19: The thing that drew me to play football was being a part of a team and tackeling.

Joe Loftus ‘19: I was drawn to play football at Ignatius after I started going to my brother’s football games and seeing how much fun they had on the field, it made me want to be a part of it and experience it for myself. It was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made, since every year I make new brothers on and off the field.

Blaise Malisch ‘18: I had just quit soccer and was encouraged by two of my best friends, David Dingens and Quinn Donath, to join the football team, since I was no longer playing a fall sport. I wasn’t expecting much out of joining the team, since I had never played before, but quickly began to enjoy the sport after meeting the team and taking my starting position at outside linebacker.

How has the program changed over the years since you have played?

Quinn Donath ‘18: My freshman year we were 0-9 and this year we were 10-4. Obviously, the most important change has been starting to win games and even division championships. With the recent success, I am proud to say that the culture is changing. Instead of being a cute story when we win games, winning a lot of games in the season is the new standard.

Jake Miles: The program has changed a decent amount since I’ve been here. When I was a freshman it was starting to develop as a program, and then sophomore year it was a bit better, and this year I think people can see that the football team is becoming a real program.

Giorgio Arquilla ‘19: I had no idea it would be like this. I came in with the team being a joke and hoping for one win and I think it’s safe to say the entire culture has changed.

What made the team especially successful this season?

Jake Miles: The team was so successful because we were so close and I think really good teams have chemistry on and off the field.

Giorgio Arquilla: I think a part of it was because we had a special group of guys with a lot of talent and hard work put in. A big part was the coaching, because they spend hours on end reviewing film,  making game plans, etc.

Joe Loftus: I think our team was so successful this year because we all just clicked. We could always count on each other and none of us wanted to let the guy beside you down. We all competed during practice, which helped us play better Friday nights. We also went into every game extremely prepared because of our coaching staff. The coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for how prepared they made us every week.

How has your experience on the field shaped you off the field?

Jake Miles: It has shaped me because you never give up in football and you should never give up in life. I’ve also learned that good preparation leads to success.

Blaise Malich: Football has taught me how to put others before myself because you have to make physical sacrifices on the field that might put you in harms way but allow other people around you to succeed, and that is a lesson I can carry with me forever.

Giorgio Arquilla ’19 celebrates a Wolfpack stop

What was the most memorable moment of your career?

Quinn Donath: The most memorable moment in my career has to be rolling Fenwick 35-0 in the Catholic League Championship.

Jake Miles: The most memorable moment in my career are the Fenwick and Laurence games. Those two go hand in hand. They were the most fun games because we were so determined and we came out and won, despite being the underdogs.

Blaise Malich: My most memorable moment this season was beating the Fenwick Friars 35-0. Fenwick has always been our rival, and they have almost always had a better football program. We are in the Catholic League White Division and they are in the Catholic League Green Division, which means they are a Division better than us and that usually predicts the outcome of the game based on which division the team is in. However, this year we buckled down and practiced harder than we ever had before in preparation for Fenwick and when we got out on the field that Friday night we completely shocked them in a 35-0 victory at their home field.

Jake Miles ’19 blocks a Rufus King defender

What do you predict for Wolfpack football for years to come?

Jake Miles: I predict that a lot more kids will come out and play football because they see how much fun we are having. Also, I think we will keep progressing farther in the state playoffs each year.

Giorgio Arquilla: As Quinn said, the standard is a playoff spot and winning a conference championship. We have done both for back to back years now and there’s no reason we should not do it again.

Blaise Malisch: After these last couple years, I can tell that the football program is building into something that could be great someday. This year we accomplished something incredible together, and as a senior who is leaving Ignatius I can only hope the Juniors and Sophomores will continue where we left off and keep on building up this historic program.

It is safe to say that Ignatius football team now has a different reputation, all due to the tone set by Coach Miller, the work ethic of the team, and the overall culture.

Congratulations on a great season!

For more information about Ignatius football, visit http://www.ignatius.org/athletics/fall-sports/football/

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