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Walsh, Welsh renew rivalry

Tom Dorwart | Thursday, November 4, 2004

After a dramatic, come-from-behind victory in the quarterfinals, the No. 2 Welsh Family Whirlwinds ride their momentum into a semifinal showdown with the No. 3 Walsh Wild Women.

“We’re ready to play,” Welsh wide receiver Kelly Bushelle said.

Tonight at 8 p.m. at McGlinn fields, Welsh and Walsh collide for a spot in the championship. With their seasons and goals on the line, the two teams head into the contest fired up.

“It’s going to be a tough game. We both have good teams,” Welsh offensive lineman Whitney Endsley said. “It’s a huge game, and no one wants their season to end.”

The Whirlwinds came from 13 down against Breen-Phillips for the 22-19 win. This time around, they know they must play a complete game.

“We didn’t play up to our potential,” Welsh center Katie Reynolds said. “We turned it around after halftime and picked up the intensity.”

The Wild Women pulled out a nail-biter of their own in their 12-7 semifinal win against P.W. Walsh captain Carrie Campbell expects an even tighter game tonight.

“We saw them [Welsh] play B.P. the other day,” she said. “They’re a really good team. Welsh Fam has been kind of a rivalry; it’s a longtime rivalry.”

The rivalry stems from Walsh’s 2001 semifinal loss to Welsh during Campbell’s freshman season.

“They beat us a couple of years back when I was a freshman. We’re out for some revenge,” Campbell said.

Welsh and Walsh each use their own unique methods for pumping up their teams before the big game.

“We’ve been watching inspirational movies,” Campbell said. “We watched ‘Remember the Titans.'”

The Whirlwinds know they’ll be facing an inspired Walsh defense. Walsh lost cornerback Katie Hesmond during the final regular season game due to a sprained ankle.

“We’re facing one of the toughest defenses in the league,” Welsh quarterback Melissa Sands said.

They might not have watched “Remember the Titans,” but the Whirlwinds certainly have motivation.

“This is the game that we lost last year [the semifinal game], so obviously we’re motivated,” Sands said.

“It’s been a great season; everyone’s really excited,” Campbell said. “This is a game we’ve been looking forward to a lot. What better place to play a rival than in the semifinal?”