Hundreds of prospective parents and their sons visited Loyola's open house on December 4, seeking an answer to the question, "Why Loyola?" The answer, of course, is an easy one for the thousands of proud alumni who spent four formative years at the Jesuit college preparatory institution in preparation for their collegiate careers and the successful navigation of life's complicated and unyielding challenges. But for those who have yet to enter the ranks of the men who proudly identify themselves as Loyola Cubs, the answer to that question can be found in the stories of several recent Cub football players.
Take for example TIM ROGUS '16. Rogus, a former Loyola offensive lineman, played all of just 17 snaps in three years of football (30 games) as a freshman reserve, sophomore squad member and junior on the varsity team in 2014 before preparing for and embarking on his senior campaign. While diligently applying his considerable academic skills in the classroom, Rogus also persevered on the field and in the weight room, and lo and behold, the three-year back-up earned the starting center spot on the Loyola team that ended the 2015 season ranked 17th in the state. Rogus, a Burbank resident, is home for the Christmas break after his first quarter as a student-athlete at the University of Chicago, which is tied for third with Yale in the US News & World Report rankings of national universities, just behind number one Princeton and number two Harvard. Asked about the transition from Loyola to one of the world's finest universities, Rogus replied that his high school preparation made the next step seamless. He completed his first quarter with a 3.5 GPA. Meanwhile, the Maroons' head football coach lauded Rogus's weight room work and enlisted him as a leader of the squad's strength and conditioning program in the off season. Adding to his impressive resume, the future Economics major was recently inducted into the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. That is why Loyola.
Another example is ANTHONY BARR '10, former Serra League Most Valuable Offensive Player, a two-time All-American linebacker at UCLA, the Pac-12 Defensive Player-of-the-Year, a Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention selection and winner of the Lott IMPACT Award as the nation's top linebacker in 2013. Barr is now an All-NFL, Pro Bowl starting outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. That's why Loyola.
Take for example, COLEMAN SHELTON '13, the starting center for the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies, who will play Alabama on December 31 in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs. In addition to earning second-team All Pac-12 accolades for the nation's number four-ranked team, the three-year starter for the University of Washington earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention notice and was named Pro Football Focus's All-Pac-12 Conference center. Shelton was also a Rimington Watch List selection as one of the top centers in college football. That is why Loyola.
And then there is CONRAD UKROPINA '12, Stanford University's starting place kicker, who earned Pac-12 All-Academic recognition in multiple seasons and was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist in 2015. That is why Loyola.
Consider former All-Serra League defensive back and Cub MVP CAMERON WALKER '13, a four-year stater for the University of California at Berkeley, who twice garnered Pac 12 All-Academic honors while competing for Cal. That is why Loyola.
And there is ALEX FORD '13, who was on the team at Princeton and JORDAN FERGUSON '13 who played for Brown '13. And yet another example is former Loyola quarterback PATRICK FINNEGAN '13, who played for Georgetown University. That is why Loyola.
Those are but a few of the answers to the question,"Why Loyola?". There are many, many more which explain why Loyola is the number one-ranked all-boys Catholic high school in the state of California and one of the top Catholic secondary schools in the nation. If anyone asks you, "Why Loyola?" you may wish to pass this along.