Lewis quarterback Nasrallah gets another shot at title
Bob Griffin | Friday, November 14, 2003
Erin Nasrallah is by no means a novice when it comes to competing in Notre Dame Stadium. No, she didn’t try out for the men’s varsity football team, and she is not a cheerleader. She hasn’t had a stint with the Fighting Irish coaching staff, and she most likely never will. Nasrallah is a senior quarterback for Lewis’ interhall football team, who this weekend, with the crisp breeze of autumn and a hint of ethanol in the air, will look to knock off No. 3 Badin inside the same stadium, which has produced many of Notre Dame’s heroes over its history.Nasrallah has been described as having a “rocket arm” and her ability to scramble out of the pocket has kept defenses on their heels all season long. A starter all four seasons, she is now looking to make the leap to the upper echelon of women’s interhall football quarterbacks that have grazed the fields outside of the Stepan Center and on West Quad for years.Two years ago, Nasrallah, then a sophomore quarterback, lead the Lewis squad into the championship game, only to suffer a tough defeat, which is still very fresh in her mind. Being in that situation before has helped Nasrallah be a leader all season.”I think what this year’s team and the team two years ago have in common is the strong bond shared by the players. This year’s team has its own unique dynamic, different players and different coaches. This year’s game is about this year’s team and the culmination of our season. The trip to the stadium is an opportunity we are all so excited for. We can’t wait to play,” Nasrallah said.Nasrallah is truly a complete player in every sense of the word. She is as humble as Barry Sanders, as confident as Terrell Owens, but in a good way, and more collected than Brett Favre down four with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Nasrallah has dealt with pressure all season and has gracefully managed to lead her Lewis offense into the playoffs as a number one seed. Yet, it is no surprise that when asked what her leadership has meant to the Lewis football team, she modestly defers much of the credit to her teammates.”I think the group of seniors and upperclassmen we have as a whole are the leaders of the team,” Nasrallah said. “We’ve got experienced players on both sides of the ball. The fun we have at practice and the focus and determination we carry into the games is something that we spread to the entire team.” Despite the feel-good atmosphere that permeates Lewis’ practices, Nasrallah feels as though her team has done a good job preparing for the Sunday’s contest, and is optimistic about winning her first inter-hall football championship.”We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing all year: staying relaxed, remaining focused and now being excited about playing in the stadium,” Nasrallah said. This focus has allowed Nasrallah and the rest of the Lewis squad to attain a perfect 7-0 record moving into this week’s championship game against Badin. Here, Badin, who is a very hot team, will be looking to pull the upset against Lewis, the team that defeated them 8-6 in their season opener.”We respect Badin’s team and know we have to come out ready to play, but we have confidence in our team’s ability and feel ready for Sunday’s game,” Nasrallah said.Nasrallah has led Lewis to several big wins this season, namely last week’s semifinal against Welsh Fam, a game that Lewis won 14-13 in overtime with a game-winning touchdown by Nasrallah. “Last week’s win against Welsh was especially important,” Nasrallah said. “Trailing the whole game, we had to find a way to win in a short period of time. It really gave us confidence that we could deal with any circumstance we encounter on the field.”Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, Erin Nasrallah has developed a great deal of memories playing football for Lewis hall over her four-year career. While her Michael Jordan-like competitive edge might be what allows her to remain successful on the field, there are other aspects of the game that stand out in Nasrallah’s mind.”I’ve had so much fun both on and off the field with my teammates,” Nasrallah said. “Playing football with your friends is one of the best things to do on a Sunday afternoon.”Not only is Erin Nasrallah a skilled football player, a respected leader and a great teammate, but she has a sense of humor as well. When asked the number one reason that Lewis had made it to the interhall finals, Nasrallah casually remarked, “Celibacy and sobriety; the strategy suggested by our coaches.”It is too bad Badin won’t see this same comedic side of Erin Nasrallah come Sunday, as the senior quarterback will do everything in her power to make up for the loss two years ago with a championship victory in last game of her interhall football career.