IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Charlie Gilroy put on a different uniform prior to Loyola Academy’s game against Mt. Carmel.
He exchanged jersey No. 87 for jersey No. 78.
It was tight.
It was snug.
It was … a perfect fit.
LA’s football team was in tight spot heading into this rivalry game.
Something had to be done. The host Ramblers had to reshape their lineup — and they had to do it quickly.
Enter Sir Charles.
Noble-minded and nimble afoot, Gilroy proved to be the ultimate warrior — and teammate — in LA’s decisive 31-7 victory over visiting Mt. Carmel on Sept. 9.
Gilroy was a Rambler in shining armor.
For the good of the team — and on just four days’ notice — the 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior agreed to move off his regular tight end position and fill in at tackle.
It was a sacrificial move.
Gilroy has become a hot item at tight end. So far, he has received offers from seven schools: Lafayette College, Indiana State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Army, University of Dayton and University of San Diego.
“Pure dedication on his part,” said LA wide receiver James Joyce. “He did what was best for the team.”
LA’s coaching staff had to work — and think — fast. Starting tackle Joshua Green went down with an injury earlier in the week.
“I can’t be more proud of him,” said LA head coach John Holecek. “He was a blocking tight end for us last year. So moving him was not a far-fetched idea.
“He’s a guy with good hands, good feet,” the coach added.
Still, Gilroy wasn’t so sure … at first.
“I’ve been a tight end my entire life,” he said.
Ever played center, guard or tackle?
“Never,” he said.
But it was an offer that Gilroy could not refuse.
“They asked me to step in,” said Gilroy. “I’ll do anything for the team.”
The Ramblers (2-1) didn’t miss a beat with Gilroy, who teamed up with senior center Ryan Hagedorn, senior tackle Charlie Gross and sophomore guards Christopher Kelly and Peter Gianaris.
“For playing the position for the first time, I thought he did great. He meshed well with the other guys,” said LA offensive line coach Mike Kotowski. “There was a lot of things for him to pick up and learn.
“He’s a smart kid. Very athletic,” Kotowski added. “I know it was a big sacrifice for him because he wants to be a tight end. But I thought he did remarkably well.”
The O-line still might be a little unsettled. But that hasn’t fazed Quinn Boyle. The senior quarterback, who possesses 4.7 speed, displayed his dual-threat capabilities by completing 17 of 25 passes for 144 yards and running the ball 13 times for 79 yards.
Boyle opened the game’s scoring with an 11-yard run on LA’s second series. He also tossed touchdown passes to Joyce (23 yards), Rory Boos (11 yards) and Alex King (1 yard).
The O-line kept Boyle clean. Mt. Carmel recorded no sacks.
“We did pretty well for having two sophomores [Kelly and Gianaris] and a tight end in there,” said Holecek.
“It was fun,” said Gilroy. “A good experience.”
And the best part?
“This was just for one game,” he said. “I’ll be wearing No. 87 next week.”