A once promising season for the St. Ignatius started to unravel due to several critical injuries. First it was Notre Dame commitment Robby Parris, and then shortly after to John Ryan.
"The game Robby (Parris) got hurt we were up two touchdowns and ended up losing. The game I got hurt, we were up and ended up losing," Ryan said. "I don't think the reality (of the injury) has hit me. It's bad to be hurt, but you know those guys (his teammates) are hurting just as much as you are. It's tough to see them struggle. I think if you ask Robby, he'll tell you he same, that we still hope to come back and finish our senior season on a good note. It's tough though.
"I have a partial fracture in my fibula. There's a cast on it right now. It's kind of wait and see," Ryan said of his injury. "I go back for an x-ray every week to see how the fracture is healing.
"Depending on how far we advance, if everything goes well, I'd hope to be back by the semi-finals -- if our team gets that far. Even if we make it to the state championship, I'd like to hope that I'll make it back."
Even though Parris and Ryan are injured they spend every game on the sidelines with their teammates. Because St. Ignatius plays their games on Saturday, Ryan has only been able to watch a few of the Notre Dame games.
"We try to hurry out of there after our games and try to catch the end of games," he explained. "We saw the Pittsburgh game, we saw part of the USC game, and then we saw the game this past weekend against BYU. I tape the games and catch their highlights on ESPN.
"I like the watch the game as a whole," he said when asked if he watched a particular player on the Notre Dame squad. "But if it's third and long, I'll watch to see what Victor (Abiamiri) is doing. I'll watch Fasano run his routes – just things like that. It's fun to watch those guys."
John committed to Charlie Weis before the new head coach could really show recruits that he was going to turn the Irish program around. Now seven games into the 2005 season John is even more impressed with Charlie Weis and the Notre Dame players.
"Just the fact that they're having such a quick turnaround," Ryan explained. "It seems like it's a much more confident team than they were last year. How could you not be? They play with so much more energy than they did last year. There's seems like there is a real sense of urgency on the sidelines and in the stadium. Everyone seems excited to be there and be part of it.
"Last year it was like, ‘What Notre Dame team is going to show up this week?' or ‘How are they going to play this week.' But watching them this year it's a complete 180. You can just feel the energy just circulating. On offense there hasn't been a team they've played that can shut down their offense completely.
"Everyone comes up to me and asks if he (Weis) is really that short (terse) and quick in person. Having talked with him and talked with him about Robby, you get to joke around with him and see the lighter side of him. He's a great guy. He seems like he's kind of got a Bill Parcells air about him and if you think about how many guys love to play for Parcells -- I'm just so excited to get a chance to play there next year and be a part of Notre Dame.