Junior Mick Doyle is a receiver/running back by trade, but he was approached early this season to take on another role for the Mustang football team --- blue-shirt quarterback. With back-up quarterback Hayden Ekern starting at safety for the St. Rita defense, the role of scout-team quarterback was in flux. Head Coach Todd Kuska didn’t want senior starting quarterback Jake Zylman to have to take the added reps as scout-team quarterback so in stepped Mick Doyle.
On Friday night all that time Doyle spent running the opposing teams’ offenses finally paid off as quarterback Hayden Ekern had to leave the game in the second quarter due to injury, and with senior quarterback Jake Zylman in a wheelchair on the sideline after season-ending surgery on his foot, in stepped Doyle.
With the Mustangs clinging to a 10-7 lead over a tough Simeon squad in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs, Doyle calmly led the offense down the field for a touchdown before the half and a 17-7 lead heading into the locker room.
After the Wolverines drove 80 yards to start the second half, cutting the St. Rita lead to 17-14, Doyle threw long touchdown passes on consecutive possessions to put the game out of reach and send the Mustangs into the second round of the playoffs.
On the day, Doyle finished (3-4, 160yds, 2 TDs) engineering 3 long scoring drives for the Mustang offense. When his number was called on Friday night, Doyle was ready. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for -- an opportunity of a lifetime. It was very nerve-racking but a lot of fun,” said Doyle.
Mick Doyle comes to St. Rita from Arbor Park Middle School (Oak Forest). He carries a stellar 3.0 GPA and is also a member of the St. Rita varsity track team. In track, Doyle competes in the 110m and 300m hurdles and the 200m and 4X 200m. Last season he was the Catholic League and sectional champion in the 300m hurdles.