Spartans Set to Play Lions in Home Opener

Quarterbacks play a secondary story in the game


By Julian Brown, Spartan Staff

Spartan Senior QB Kyle Thomas took off running. 

Thomas would not be caught by Thornwood or anyone on the first Friday of the 2022 football season.

Thirty-five yards right to his final destination, the end zone.

That was the fifth touchdown. 

The third touchdown was a 15-yard sprint by Thomas.

The second touchdown was an interception by the team’s dominant defense.

This contest was No Contest. The final score was 41-14, Spartans over Thornwood on Aug. 26. 

The Marian Catholic Football Team is off and racing to victory to start the season that they hope will lead to a Championship.

Next on the schedule, the undefeated Leo Catholic Lions and a highly-motivated former Marian Catholic athlete will lead those Lions onto Dave Mattio Field for the Spartans home-opener at 7 p.m. tomorrow. This will be the Spartans first home game under new Head Coach Nick Lopez.

The game will feature Thomas, who according to the Chicago Sun-Times is one of the Top 10 quarterbacks in the area versus a team led by a former Marian Catholic student. 

Matt Harvey, now quarterback for Leo Catholic says he’s been waiting to play the Spartans at his former school. 

“I’ve been waiting for this [deleted word] since I left,” Harvey said in a message to The Spartan Star. 

Spartan QB Thomas also is eager to step onto Dave Mattio Field. 

When informed of Harvey’s message, Thomas told The Spartan Star. “I’m excited about playing him too. Let’s ball out bro!”

In terms of “balling out,” the Spartans have started that campaign with their 41-14 victory at Thornwood. After all, football is a team game. 

Last year, Marian defeated Leo 20-12.  This year, both teams started their seasons with victories.

Thursday’s game versus Leo will be played at the newly renovated Dave Mattio Field. It will be Coach Lopez’s first home game leading the Spartans, a team that Lopez believes could – and should – make the playoffs. 

Coach Lopez isn’t the only Spartan with playoff aspirations.

“My goal for this season is to go deep in the playoffs and win state,” said Thomas. “I also would love to help my teammates earn scholarships to colleges this year. A personal goal for myself would be to make All State.”

With such a short season to prove oneself, the team’s winning ways would have to continue with Leo on Thursday. 

While there have been some rocky seasons recently – the Spartans posted a 3-6 record last season, the Spartan Football program has a winning history, to which Coach Lopez would like to return. Already, Thomas said, Lopez’s has made his mark on the team. 

”The difference between this year and last year is that we have a new head coach, Coach Lopez and he has changed the whole culture of Marian football,” Thomas said. “The offense is more in tune with reading plays before they happen. The defense is aggressive so it’s looking like it’s going to be a great year.” 

The next chance to see a newly renovated Spartan program – from the field to the players on that field – will be Thursday night.

– Spartan Star Staff Writer Ellis Jones contributed to this story.