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Walsh family connection propels team to championship

Kevin Brennan | Friday, November 12, 2004

On the Walsh interhall football team, the involvement of several members of one family has resulted in excellence on the field.

The Wild Women of Walsh finished an undefeated regular season with a record of 4-0-2 and have advanced through the playoffs to face Cavanaugh in Sunday’s championship game. Interestingly enough, a great deal of the team’s success can be attributed to one family.

Senior Carrie Campbell serves as Walsh’s captain and leader on the field. Carrie’s first cousin, Dave Brenner, is the team’s head coach. Carrie and Dave’s mothers are identical twins who attended Notre Dame and lived in Walsh as freshmen. Dave’s sister, Molly Brenner, and Carrie’s sister, Julie Campbell, are two of the freshmen members of the Walsh squad. The four cousins have each played a significant role in the Wild Women’s run for the title.

Carrie is on the Walsh team for the fourth straight season. The captain began the year playing quarterback, but an early-season injury ended her role as the signal caller. After sitting out a few games, Carrie has returned to the team on defense, playing safety and linebacker. Even with her on-field contributions limited by injury, Carrie’s leadership and passion have been vital to Walsh’s success.

“Carrie always brings so much energy and so much love for Walsh football,” Carrie’s sister Julie said.

Along with Carrie, Dave has provided excellent leadership and inspiration for the team. Having played in high school, Dave brings a vast amount of football knowledge and an understanding of the game.

However, Dave, in his second year as Walsh’s head coach, does more than simply call the plays. He acts as a friend and mentor to the entire team.

“All the girls really like and look up to him,” Carrie said about Dave.

Walsh junior cornerback Patty Rose agreed with Carrie.

“Dave really cares about the team and watches out for all of us,” Rose said. “He’s almost like a big brother.”

Dave’s sister Molly has made an immediate impact on the team in her freshman year. Dave describes his sister as, “a raw athlete who is fast and has great hands.”

Playing wide receiver, Molly has demonstrated a penchant for making big plays all season long. In Walsh’s semifinal game against Welsh Family, Molly caught the game-winning touchdown pass.

Just like her cousin, Julie Campbell has jumped in as a freshman and contributed from the beginning. Julie has provided the team with some much needed versatility, playing several different positions throughout the year.

“Julie’s strongest contribution has been her flexibility,” Dave said. “She has played three different positions on offense and two different positions on defense, and she has started at all of those positions.”

Furthermore, like Molly, Julie has a knack for coming up with big plays. Her interception in the semifinals helped seal the victory for Walsh.

Carrie, Dave, Molly and Julie have each individually helped Walsh reach the championship game.

However, the cousins’ greatest contribution might lie in their strong relationships and the effect this closeness has had on the team as a whole. Rose cites these family ties as a great source of unity for the Wild Women.

“Walsh football is very much like a family,” Rose said. “The players watch out for each other, and the coaches watch out for the players. Having those family connections on the team has just made this natural.”

Dave sees team unity as one of the leading factor’s in Walsh’s success this season.

“Being close like that keeps everyone coming to practice, keeps people serious about football and keeps the winning streak going,” Dave said.

Carrie, Dave, Molly, Julie and the entire Walsh team hope their family bonds can help achieve one final victory on Sunday.