The last names largely stay the same at Central Catholic High School, nowhere more than in the football program. Saints head coach Kevin Braucht rattled off a few prior to Tuesday's practice at Bill Hundman Memorial Field.

That's one of them by the way: Hundman.

"You have the Flynns, the Moewses, Concklins, the Bradys ... Segobiano, Hundman," Bracht said, pausing for a breath. "There's so many that you forget some."

You could add the likes of Kiley, Horton and ... you get the idea.

The names span generations and eras, come to embody tradition. The first names change but never the last.

Well, almost never.

Senior receiver/defensive back Liam Brady plays his final game for the Saints on Friday night against visiting Tolono Unity. The news here is he's the final Brady, at least for the foreseeable future.

"It's weird to think that honestly," he said.

Brady's father, Bob, was a record-setting receiver at Central and Villanova University. Liam's brother, Bobby, also starred for the Saints and is a redshirt sophomore on the Villanova football team.

We're just getting started.

Liam's uncle, State Senator and Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady — "Uncle Billy" he calls him — played at Central and so did his sons, William and Duncan.

His uncle Ed — "Uncle Eddy" he calls him — was a standout receiver at Central and Illinois Wesleyan. Ed's son, Jack, played for the Saints.

"There's a long line," Liam said, smiling. "My dad and his family have always been receivers and it kind of gets passed down all the way.

"They all wore 8, so my cousin wore 8, my brother wore 8. For my senior year, I decided to wear 8."

No. 85 last season, the youngest Brady indeed switched to the "family" jersey this year.

He wears it proudly on a 3-5 Saints team in Braucht's first season that has made considerable progress from last year's 0-9. 

He wears it four years after almost breaking tradition.

"When I was a freshman I was going to come out for soccer," he said. "Then my brother brought me to a football practice and I fell in love.

"Playing with him ... that was the best year. I was a freshman and he was a senior. That was the only year I had with him and it made me fall in love with football."

Football hasn't always loved him back. Twice this year Brady has missed time with concussions. 

He has missed roughly a third of his senior season in and out of concussion protocol, but when healthy — as he is now — has made an impact. He caught a short pass and turned it into a 94-yard touchdown last week in a 48-34 loss to unbeaten IVC at Chillicothe.

He also is "the quarterback" of the defensive secondary, Braucht said, and a "very good tackler."

Yet, his greatest value may have come off the field, where as a Brady he understood the cornerstones of Saints football. He knew last year they were missing, and that with the hiring of Braucht, a former Central running back/linebacker, they would again be a priority.

"All of our seniors, but definitely Liam ... he really helped when I came in to reestablish the tradition and culture that I was trying to bring to the forefront," Braucht said.

Being the youngest Brady means hearing stories of past Saints teams and players from Dad, "Uncle Billy," "Uncle Eddy," your cousins. It's the same if your name is Moews, Flynn, Segobiano, etc.

Football was not forced upon this Brady, but he found it anyway.

"It's funny," he said. "It really is like a family here. Everybody is very close, very connected. It's awesome."

After Friday, it's over. The Bradys will be left with a void.

And the Saints?

"That name not being around the program ... we'll miss that," Braucht said.

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Contact Randy Kindred at (309) 820-3402. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_kindred


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