Loyola football to play 2012 game in Ireland

Loyola will play in Ireland during the 2012 high school football season.

The Ramblers were one of 12 high school teams invited to participate in the Dublin Friday Night Lights. Loyola will face Dallas Jesuit at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Aug. 31.

Notre Dame and Navy will play the following day in the same stadium.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Loyola coach John Holecek said on Tuesday. “I had the advantage to take a trip to Europe when I was in high school at Marian Catholic. It was just an experience I’ll never forget. It broadens your horizons. What a great opportunity to get your feet on another continent.

“I don’t know much about Dallas Jesuit. I know they’re an extremely good team. It’s Texas football. I know they sent a kid to Oklahoma. It’s more than a football matchup. Hopefully, we want to come and win, but we don’t care who we play. We just want to go.”

Loyola went 11-2 in 2010, won the Catholic League Blue and lost in the Class 8A semifinals. The Ramblers are expected to be among the state’s top teams again in 2011.