Come baseball season, you will spot Grayslake Central center fielder Matt Loeffl making sure no ball goes over his head.
Clearly, baseball is his sport, but you can see how his fly-catching skills pay off during football season.
He doesn't drop anything on a football field, and when quarterback Alex Lennartz is on target, Loeffl can do some nice things to help the Rams.
He caught a pair of scoring passes from Lennartz in the final home game for these two seniors. The Rams (4-4) remained playoff-eligible with a 28-12 win over visiting Woodstock North on Friday night in Grayslake.
On the final touchdown of the evening, Loeffl seemingly took the ball away from the Woodstock North defender. It went in the books as a 27-yard touchdown toss.
"I just jumped up and took it,'' Loeffl said. "He (Lennartz) threw very accurately tonight. And our offensive line gave him so much time."
To open this final game at home for the seniors, Central ran five straight running plays. And then Lennartz spotted Loeffl open. His first pass of the night went to the center fielder, good for 40 yards and a touchdown.
"It was our last game on our home field,'' Lennartz said. "In this offense, I do whatever the coaches want me to do. I really like the togetherness of this team. Plus, we have a lot of experience on the offensive line."
It looked early that the visitors from Woodstock might not ever get the ball on offense. After the big scoring play to Loeffl, the pooch kick expert on the team, Kevin Dunk, dropped one in. This time, the Rams set up shop at the Woodstock 34, but the drive stalled out. Woodstock North (1-7) actually surged ahead 12-7 until seconds remained before halftime.
Central used a steady diet of Malcolm Reed (25 caries, 106 yards) to march the ball downfield. Another Lennartz-to-Loeffl connection brought the ball deep into North territory. Lennartz carried the ball the final 8 yards and the Rams took that 14-12 lead to halftime.
"I have to make my reads,'' Lennartz said. "Part of football is a physical game and I know I need to get 5 yards every time I run."
The Rams took advantage of an early mistake by North to add to the lead. The Thunder fumbled on the first play of the second half and five plays later, the Rams were in the end zone. The one passing play was good for 20 yards, and this time Lennartz hooked up with Cam Schwartz to put the ball inside the North 10. Reed got the call and his 5 -yard touchdown run put the Rams ahead to stay.
A team that won just two games a year ago, the Rams still have a chance to get into the playoffs providing they beat Woodstock next Friday.
"At 5-4, we hope to have enough points,'' said Central coach Ben Ault. "And you have to hope that your opponents win, too."