Chicago Sun-Times

Taft’s Loch broth­ers turn to golf

- @MikeClarkP­reps MIKE CLARK

The strangest fall of Daniel Loch’s life has his emo­tions all jum­bled.

The Taft se­nior was look­ing for­ward to his fi­nal prep football sea­son in one of the Public League’s ris­ing pro­grams. As a sopho­more, he quar­ter­backed the Eagles to their first Public League ti­tle in 46 years. Last fall, he and his team­mates — in­clud­ing twin brother David, an All-Public League tight end — pushed city pow­er­house Simeon in a 26-14 loss and earned a sec­ond straight IHSA play­off berth.

This was lin­ing up to be a big year for the Lochs and the Eagles. But then came the pan­demic.

They had one day of sum­mer football camp be­fore it was shut down, Then the football sea­son was pushed to the spring. And fi­nally, the Public League said win­ter and spring sports could not use con­tact days OK’d by the IHSA.

“We have not been able to get a break with any­thing,” said Daniel Loch, who, along with his brother, also plays bas­ket­ball at Taft.

Know­ing that nearby Catholic and sub­ur­ban football teams are work­ing out right now is a tough pill to swal­low.

“It makes us sad we’re not able to do the same thing,” Daniel Loch said. “I’m not go­ing to take it for granted [when football re­turns]. Not be­ing able to have football or bas­ket­ball camp in the sum­mer has been so de­press­ing.”

But stay­ing idle is not an op­tion for the Lochs, so they’ve joined the Taft boys golf team. It was an easy choice for the pair, who were cad­dies this sum­mer at Ridge­moor Coun­try Club in Har­wood Heights.

“When football was moved to the spring, we had noth­ing else to do,” David Loch said. “We saw golf was hap­pen­ing [and thought], ‘Hey, that’s free golf . . . . It’s a way to stay ac­tive, get out and be com­pet­i­tive.”

Sad Daniel: “At first, when [fall] football was can­celed, we were set on play­ing golf. It’s been too long since I was able to com­pete.”

When the IHSA an­nounced the con­tact days — but be­fore CPS nixed that op­tion — the broth­ers had a de­ci­sion to make.

“We were de­bat­ing what we were go­ing to choose,” Daniel Loch said. “We were close to skip­ping golf and [do­ing] football [camp]. Good thing we didn’t.”

As­sum­ing there’s prep football at some point this school year, Taft coach John Tsarouchas is look­ing for­ward to one more sea­son with the Lochs. They first came to his at­ten­tion as “re­ally tall, re­ally skinny” eighth-graders (both are now 6-6).

“I’ve heard from a lot of Divi­sion II schools ex­press­ing in­ter­est in both of them,” Tsarouchas said.

But that’s not the route the Lochs aim to take. Both are aca­demic stand­outs and plan to at­tend and play football at a Divi­sion III school with a top en­gi­neer­ing pro­gram.

“MIT, that’s our dream school,” Daniel Loch said.

Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity in St. Louis and Carnegie-Mel­lon also are in the mix.

“They’re smart enough to un­der­stand it’s a 40-year de­ci­sion, not a four-year de­ci­sion,” Tsarouchas said.

Added Daniel Loch: “We want to go to school to get a good ed­u­ca­tion. Football is sec­ond.”

But their abid­ing hope is that, some­time be­fore they grad­u­ate next spring, football will be back on the front burner one more time.

 ?? WORSOM ROBIN­SON/SUN-TIMES ?? Taft quar­ter­back Daniel Loch (above) and his twin brother, David, a tight end, needed some­thing to keep them busy with Public League football un­cer­tain.
WORSOM ROBIN­SON/SUN-TIMES Taft quar­ter­back Daniel Loch (above) and his twin brother, David, a tight end, needed some­thing to keep them busy with Public League football un­cer­tain.
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