“This is awesome.”

That’s how Loyola Academy senior center Braden Carlin describes the team’s upcoming appearance on ESPN.

The Wilmette Jesuit school plays another Midwestern Jesuit powerhouse, Cincinnati St. Xavier, on Sunday, Aug. 28, at noon. The game, at Loyola, is one of seven that weekend, featuring top nationwide matchups on the sports network as part of the Geico ESPN High School Football Kickoff.

Ten members of the Ramblers team either live in Evanston now, or lived here during elementary school.

Braden and his twin brother Jack (linebacker) attended at St.Athanasius school in Evanston through grade eight.

Braden and James Carlin.

As twins, Jack says he and his brother have been playing football together since fifth grade.

Jack says the ESPN game is “definitely special,” one of the first nationally televised high schoo football contests in the Chicago area.

Another St. Athanasius alum, senior linebacker Dylan Svets, says that Loyola coach John Holocek “has stressed the significance of the game,” and, Svets adds, “it has resonated with us.”

“How many teams in Illinois,” Svets asks, have gotten the opportunity to play on national tv? It’s special.”

Brady Moffitt and Dylan Svets.

However, another St. A’s alum,senior lineman/linebacker Brady Moffitt, is a lot more low key.

“It’s just another game for us,” Moffitt says. The national tv hoopla “is more for the fans, honestly.”

But that seems to be a minority opinion.

Braden Carlin says the ESPN contest “is definitely not just another game. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Loyola was 12-1 last season. St. Xavier (knicknamed the Bombers) was 10-3.

Loyola has won three state championships. St. Xavier has won four.

Should be a pretty good game

Evanston residents on the Loyola team are Freedom Ali, Gabriel Gyorgy, Lucas Holubar, Brady Moffitt, David Pezza, Colin Scheid, Dylan Svets, and Toby Uhm.

The Carlin twins now live in a different community, but spent their early years and schooling in Evanston.

Four of the students attended St. Athanasius, three went to the Academy at St. Joan of Arc, and one each attended Pope John XXIII, Chairavalle Montessori, and St. Joseph (Wilmette).

All would agree with Dylan Svets, who sums it all up with this: “Go Ramblers!”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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