Ramblers’ ‘unsung hero’ (+ Loyola team page)
Loyola's Daniel Rafferty closes in on a tackle during Saturday's game at Lake Forest Academy. | Joe Cyganowski~ For Sun Times Media
BOYS and GIRLS CREW (Rowing)
At Milwaukee River Challenge, WI
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
At Peoria Notre Dame, at Detweiler Pk., Peoria, 9 a.m.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
At Lane Tech at Clark Park, 4 p.m.
At Peoria Notre Dame at Detweiler Park, Peoria, 10 a.m.
At St. Ignatius, 4:30 p.m.
At OP-River Forest at Lake St. Field, 5 p.m.
Hosts Lakes at Munz Campus, 4:30 p.m.
At Highland Park at Wolters Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts Providence, at Wilmette Campus, 1:30 p.m.
At Wheeling, 8 a.m.
At Evanston Twp., 4:30 p.m.
At North Shore Ctry. Day, 4 p.m.
At Highland Park, 4 p.m.
Hosts St. Laurence at Wilmette G.C., 4:15 p.m.
At Evanston at Evan/Wilm C. G.C., 4 p.m.
At Eisenhower at TBA, 9 a.m.
At Highland Park at Sunset Valley G.C., 10 a.m.
At Regina Dominican at TBA, 4 p.m.
At TBA vs. Pepsi Showdown, 4:30 p.m.
At Lyons Twp. vs. Pepsi Showdown, 9 a.m.
Hosts Providence at Munz Campus, 4:30 p.m.
At Resurrection at St. Patrick, 5 p.m.
Hosts Glenbrook South, 8:30 a.m.
Hosts Highland Park, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts De La Salle, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts St. Ignatius, 6 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:57PM
LAKE FOREST — A smile crept across Danny Rafferty’s face when asked about being Loyola’s long snapper.
It’s a good guess not many people know the senior free safety also hikes the ball for extra points, field goals and punts, but it’s a position Rafferty loves playing.
While he was buried on the secondary’s depth chart last season, Rafferty found his way onto the field because of his special skill.
“That was my ticket to play,” said Rafferty, who lives on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
It all started in elementary school at St. Mary of the Woods in Chicago. His team needed someone for the position, and he tried it out. A quarterback at the time, Rafferty was a natural throwing the ball, even if it was through his legs.
“I love doing it, and all the coaches get a kick out of me doing it,” said Rafferty, who employs the unconventional one-handed method.
After Pat Hickey graduated in 2009, Loyola coach John Holecek wondered if the Ramblers would ever find a suitable replacement for the current Northwestern long snapper. Rafferty’s been more than serviceable.
“I remember Holecek was being interviewed last year, and he called Danny our unsung hero because of how perfect he is at it,” Ramblers senior safety Luke Ford said. “Some people underestimate the importance of that position, but a lot can go wrong if you have the wrong person back there.”
Rafferty’s also been an important player at safety for the Ramblers, even though he missed a lot of time this summer playing travel baseball for the Chi-Town Cream, one of the top teams in the area. The pitcher and outfielder has played varsity ball since his freshman year and is eyeing a scholarship to play in college.
“Danny’s doing a terrific job, especially for how much he was gone,” Ford said. “Every chance he got, though, he came ready to learn. Once the season rolled around, he hit the ground running.”
Holecek said he was concerned before the season started Rafferty didn’t have enough practice time over the summer. But the coach has been more than pleased with Rafferty’s performance, which includes two interceptions in three games.
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” Holecek said. “He’s a competent kid and is mature. You don’t have to worry about him.”
Free safety wasn’t even Rafferty’s main position before last year. As a freshman and sophomore, he was a quarterback and receiver.
“He has good instincts and that helps,” Holecek said.
Rafferty and the other starters played one half in Loyola’s 41-7 win over host Lake Forest Academy on Saturday. The Ramblers, ranked No. 6 by the Sun-Times, led 34-0 at the half.
Loyola (2-1) starts the crucial stretch of its schedule this weekend when it welcomes No. 11 Providence (3-0) to town Saturday.
Names and Faces
Noteworthy efforts: The senior soccer player scored one of his team’s goals Saturday in a 4-0 win over Plainfield Central in the opening round of the Pepsi Showdown. The Ramblers entered this week 5-1-1 in their last seven matches.Anna Pontarelli
Noteworthy efforts: An outside hitter on the volleyball team, the senior leads the Ramblers into Glenbrook North’s invitational Friday and Saturday. Pontarelli had a team-best 18 kills at New Trier’s tournament on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
71 | Score shot by Michael Abrahamson at the Sanctuary Golf Course in New Lenox on Saturday to earn medalist honors at Providence’s invitational. The Ramblers won the team title for the first time with a 299.
“We came out and took care of business. Things are looking good for us heading into the Catholic Blue.”
— Loyola senior safety Danny Rafferty after Saturday’s 41-7 victory at Lake Forest Academy
Saturday Football: Providence at Loyola, 1 p.m.
Football: Providence at Loyola, 1 p.m.
Saturday Girls golf: Loyola at Highland Park’s tournament at Sunset Valley, 10 a.m.
Girls golf: Loyola at Highland Park’s tournament at Sunset Valley, 10 a.m.