Football team update

After an encouraging beginning and a disappointing middle, the Leo Lions will be after a big finish to their football season with winnable games remaining against St. Joe’s on Friday, Oct. 13, and DePaul Prep on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The St. Joe’s game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Leo will celebrate Senior Day at the DePaul Prep game, with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Kroc Center, 119th and Loomis.

Hopes were high for a winning season when the Lions opened with a 21-13 victory over Lane Tech at Soldier Field, but a six-game losing streak followed. It should be noted that Leo has played one of the toughest schedules in the Catholic League, with three of the losses occurring against Fenwick, St. Laurence and Loyola Academy in successive weeks.

“It’s not often that teams have just driven the ball down the field on us,” Coach Mike Holmes said. “It’s usually a matter of a breakdown giving the other team an opportunity. That’s a consequence of playing so many young guys, and now we’re dealing with some injuries as well.”

The most costly was to senior running back Antoine Wheeler, who injured his knee in the St. Laurence game, missed the Loyola game and is out for the St. Joe’s game as well. Wheeler was averaging 88 yards per game and had two games in excess of 100 yards. He will try to make it back for DePaul and Senior Day. In his absence, senior Stephon Howard has taken over as the Lions’ leading ball carrier. Junior quarterback Darryl Ousley threw seven TD  passes in his first four games, but has been blanked the last three weeks.

St. Joe’s is 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Catholic League Red Division, with wins over South Beloit, Catalyst Maria and DePaul Prep. The losses have come to Elmwood Park, Hope Academy, St. Ignatius and Brother Rice.

DePaul Prep is 2-5 overall and 0-1 in the CCL Red, with victories over Steinmetz and Lake View and losses to St. Ignatius, Mt. Carmel, Aurora Christian, St. Joe’s and Montini.

“I can’t fault our effort—the kids have hung in there and competed in the face of some real adversity,” Holmes said. “It would be great for them to end the season on a winning note.”