“Rudy’s” drive Elder football

Everyone knows the stars (Peyton Ramsey, Tommy Kraemer, and David Heisel) that take the field every Friday night and make the big plays. But the names that the press and fans don’t always know may be the most important parts to the team.

In the movie Rudy, an undersized, under-talented, long shot walk-on makes it on to Notre Dame’s practice squad. Rudy was the hardest working player on the team and finally got his shot to run out on the field with the rest of the guys. I was curious who would be considered a “Rudy” on Elder’s team. I went on a quest to find the hardest working player who may never see the field.

Starting quarterback Peyton Ramsey said that junior linebacker Jack O’Connell a.k.a. “spidermonkey” is one of these players that always works his hardest. Peyton said that he, “is always ready when the coaches call him and always doing what the coaches say.” Jack helps Elder’s offense get a look at their opponent’s defense for Friday night.

“He might not get a lot of recognition on Friday nights, but [Jack] is the ultimate team player,” said Ramsey. There is not much of a better compliment one can receive than that.

Jack plays outside linebacker on the scout team and wears #35. Jack said that he doesn’t really mind playing on the scout team because he knows he is always helping the team, but he does think it would be nice to get a little more recognition for the work him and the other guys put in.

Defensive Coordinator Coach James talked about how Jack gets the boys ready for the game on Friday night with his hard work and dedication. Coach said that Jack knows his skill set and always uses it to the best of his ability while putting in his best effort. James knows Jack well, being a defensive player, and says he has a “great attitude.” He also complimented Jack on how the team wouldn’t be as good as they are if there weren’t guys so dedicated to making others better.

Jack is one example of the “Rudy’s” that keep Elder football at one of the most respected programs in the state and country. They donate their time and effort for their team. Without him and others like him, Elder wouldn’t be able to succeed as much as they do.