Cub Football - Blue-White scrimmages this Saturday - Under the radar players - Soph staff has soph team biting at the bit

Loyola football Blue-White scrimmages on Saturday
Loyola's annual intra-squad scrimmages are scheduled for Saturday at Hernandez Field in Shepherd Park on campus. The freshman team get underway at 9:00 a.m., the sophomores are slated to kickoff at 11:00 a.m. and the varsity will go to battle at 1:00 p.m.

The freshman squad has some very athletic players, the soph team looks like it will have an elite defense and the varsity will debut under new head man RICK PEDROARIAS with high expectations.

Coach Pedroarias encourages all supporters of Cub Football, including every member of the Loyola Gridiron Vanguard to show their support for Loyola Football this Saturday.

Cub varsity under-the-radar seniors could prove difference makers
Everyone knows about a team's returning players with all-star potential, but what about those athletes who worked hard in the off season who are determined to make their mark as new starters.  It is the latter group that could make the difference between an average and good team.

No player has come further or worked harder to become a major contributor than senior BRAYDEN UTLEY. Last season, Utley saw limited time as a a tight end/linebacker and special teams player, but major work in the weight room has turned him into a very athletic 6'3", 232 lb. offensive right tackle.  He grew a couple of inches and has gained over 40 pounds.  He will also see time as an outside linebacker for the 'Wolfpack defense..

The injury bug cut DEAMIL AGUILAR's season short in 2016, but the talented wide receiver/defensive back is back with a vengeance, consistently turning heads with his cat quickness, speed and ball skills.  Aguilar is likely to be a key member of the punt and kick return squads as well.

Running back MICHAEL GRAVES (5-8, 178) was a back-up last season, but Coach Pedroarias says he worked tirelessly in the off season to improve.  Graves will see a lot of action in the backfield.  His dedication to weight room work will undoubtedly reap big dividends.

Another player who worked hard in the weight room is outside linebacker JORDAN McMILLAN (6-0, 198).  He is slated to start.  His quickness will be a real asset for what is hoped to be an improved defense.

NICK YVANEZ (5-10, 253) is another gridder whom Coach Pedroarias expects to contribute on both lines, and WILL ANDERSON (6-0, 263) has upped his game to be in the hunt for a starting spot at offensive guard.

Those are just a few of the players who have worked hard to improve their game and make a difference in 2017.

Sophomore team has old school Loyola look
Sophomore head coach RIC FLORES first coached at Loyola in 1973, some 44 years ago, so he has a pretty good idea of what Cub Football at its best looks like. He coached last season's soph squad to an 8-2 record, but more importantly than the number in the win column he and his staff imbued in their troops the physical style of play that had been the hallmark of Cub Football for generations.  And that physical brand of football is ratcheting up this summer as the soph defense looks like it will be suffocating opposing offenses.  And the offense likewise looks like it will move the ball with an attitude.

Flores made sure to continue imparting Loyola's trademark discipline, fundamentals and physicality to his sophomore squad by bringing on an all-Loyola staff.  Three former All-CIF Cub gridmen are teaching their troops the tenets of Big Blue success.  ANTHONY HOLLY '87 was one of the best nose guards to ever don Cub Blue. He is working with both lines. Former all-star Loyola safety FRED SAINZ '83 is the offensive coordinator, and decorated defensive back GIFFORD IRVINE '82 is coaching the secondary. GREGG BRENTON '80 was one of the best running backs in Cub Football annals. A three-year varsity starter, he brings his hard nosed approach to the soph running backs and linebackers.