Preparation for the 2020 football season is just now getting underway, but two members of the Saint Ignatius football team are already drawing national attention.
Andrew Chime, Nick Lamirand, and Mike Simcak have been invited to the 2021 Hawaii Tiki Bowl, which will take place in Honolulu from December 30-January 4, 2021.
The rising seniors will be critical members of the Wildcats in the fall, and are beginning to draw looks from college coaches to continue their careers at the next level.
Chime enters the 2020 campaign as a strong candidate to start at safety. The 6'0, 186-pound defensive back saw playing time in six games last season, tabbing 9 tackles. Beyond his work at safety, Chime was a stellar player on special teams. His quickness and smarts combine well with his hard work ethic. Chime's athleticism was on full display for the Mat Cats this past winter.
Chime is stoked at the opportunity from the Tiki Bowl.
"I’m very excited to be invited," Chime says. "It’s very cool to see my hard work getting noticed and to have such a great opportunity to play the game I love on such a big stage."
Lamirand looks to be a prime playmaker at tight end for the Wildcats. The 6'5, 215-pound tight end saw significant playing time during his junior season, though he did not record any offensive stats. Lamirand learned from Sam Daugstrup '20 and Jake Lang '20, which has him revved up for a strong senior season.
Lamirand may not be able to play in the game, as he's also a member of the Basketball Cats. Lamirand saw time as a forward for Coach Cam Joyce's squad this past winter. Even still, the invite is something to put on Nick's resume.
"I’m pretty excited to be invited. It is an honor to have a chance to go play in Aloha Stadium at the University of Hawaii," Lamirand says. "I am bummed that it is during basketball season, and hope I can play in it."
Simcak figures to be a major contributor at running back this season. The 5'9, 180-pound back showcased his special combination of quickness and agility in the Week 1 last season. Simcak toted the rock for 40 yards and 1 touchdown vs. Loyola Academy before suffering a tough season-ending injury.
Look for him to be back and better than ever in 2020.
Of course, Chime, Simcak, and Lamirand might not be able to travel in Hawaii come December, due to COVID-19. But the invitation is still great for both young men, evidence of a bright future.
In the immediate future, thanks to the recent order by Governor Mike DeWine, the Wildcats will soon be working out in preparation for the fall season. Obviously, what the season will look like is in flux, due to the coronavirus. But Chime and Lamirand are excited for it to begin, and both have lofty goals.
"My goal is to win States and dominate on the field with my brothers," says Chime. "We are more determined than ever and cannot wait for this season."
After missing the playoffs in 2019, the schedule will be just as tough for the young Wildcats. Lamirand is excited for the challenge.
"This season my goals are making the playoffs first. From there, the ultimate goal is winning a 12th state title for this school," Lamirand says. "I think with the schedule we have, we are going to go through a lot of adversity, but I believe that will only make us better when playoffs roll around. I also want to be the strongest team mentally. We need to have a winning mentality all year or we will not succeed."