ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Whether it’s through the air, on the ground, returning kicks, or intercepting passes, Lourdes senior star Pat Leary has terrorized opponent teams all season long, helping lead the Eagles to a 12-0 record and to U.S. Bank Stadium for the 3A State Football Final Four.
“It’s something that this team has been thinking about for a long time,” said Leary. “Now that we’re finally here, it feels fantastic to have this opportunity.”
Last year, the Eagles fell one game short of this juncture, falling to St. Croix Lutheran 61-29 in the state quarterfinals.
“We all kept that score on the background of our phones all offseason,” he said. “That was the one game that we never wanted to re-live. We just want to make sure that we don’t have that taste in our mouths again.”
Lourdes Head Coach Mike Kesler, a paragon of coaching in Southeastern Minnesota, is no stranger to success. But he’s noticed one particular quality about his senior leader.
“He just hates to lose,” Kesler said. “I love coaching guys like that. He wants the most out of this opportunity with him and his classmates, and he’s been making the most out of it this year.”
To say he’s been making the most out of it might be an understatement. Leary has amassed over 1000 yards this season, and scored 17 touchdowns for the undefeated and second ranked team in the state. After all the sweat equity he’s put in, he’s seeing the work pay off.
“You never want to be outworked by someone else,” Leary said. “I know with my teammates and everything, that was the mindset the whole summer. We were working, grinding the whole summer. Preparing for these kind of games.”
Pat Leary, of the Lourdes Eagles Football team, is this week’s KTTC NewsCenter Sports Athlete of the Week.