Homecoming game September 22 vs. Bishop Mac

The Leo Lions are hopeful that Homecoming festivities will help them recapture the magic of a once-promising football season.

Leo will oppose Bishop McNamara in a Homecoming game at the Kroc Center, 119th and Loomis, on Friday, Sept. 22. The frosh-soph game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity kickoff at approximately 7:30.

The season got off to a great start for the Lions when they beat Lane Tech 21-13 on Aug, 25 at Soldier Field. Nearly 4,000 fans were on hand for Leo’s first appearance at the storied lakefront venue since 1974, and Lions responded with a solid overall performance, highlighted by senior Stephon Howard’s 165 yards rushing.

But it has been tough going ever since, with losses to Niles North, Hope Christian Academy and Fenwick coming in succession. At 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Catholic League, the Lions need to finish strong in order to have a shot at the IHSA playoffs.

“We’ve played hard and competed with a lot of heart and we haven’t got down on ourselves, and I’m proud of the guys for that,” Coach Mike Holmes said. “It’s just one breakdown here or there that hurts us. If we can eliminate the breakdowns, we can still salvage a good season.”

Junior quarterback Darryl Ousley has thrown seven touchdown passes for the Lions, two each to DeJon Harris, Keshaun Douglas and Dachaun Anderson and one to sophomore Tobias Sample. Offensive linemen Kenny Taggart, Jalen Robinson and Elijah Lamptey have cleared the way for running backs Howard and Antoine Wheeler to average close to 150 yards per game.

On defense, linemen Gregory Coleman and Gabrell Spruill have been solid playing in front of linebackers John Harris and Cassius Kurns, and cornerbacks Chris Reno and Devin Flakes have made opposing receivers earn every catch. Reno, a senior, returned an interception for a touchdown in the Lane Tech game. The Lions’ defense stopped Fenwick on nine straight possessions after spotting the Friars an early 21-0 lead in their most recent game.

“We’re not that far away,” Coach Holmes said.

Like Leo, Bishop Mac is 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Catholic League, with a victory over Von Steuben and losses to IC Catholic, Marmion and St. Laurence.

After Bishop Mac, the Lions will renew their rivalry with St. Laurence, coached by Leo alum Harold Blackmon, on Friday, Sept. 29. The game will be played at Brother Rice’s field, at 99th and Pulaski in Chicago.

The frosh-soph game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7:30. A postgame reception for alumni from both schools is planned, with details to be announced.