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Karnes: Aura of Notre Dame Stadium raises stakes in interhall

Casey Karnes | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every fall, thousands of football players dream of the same thing: playing under the bright lights of a massive stadium, being cheered on by their friends and family while playing the game they love. Some players get a taste of that experience on Friday nights in high school, but only a fortunate few get to experience the real rush of playing in college or the pros.

For those who play interhall football at Notre Dame, however, that dream is still alive. Every year the men’s and women’s championship games are held inside Notre Dame Stadium, providing players with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Everyone really wants to win,” Pangborn senior captain and center Colleen Bailey said. “We want to make it to the playoffs and the Stadium. It’s a great motivator.”

Notre Dame Stadium isn’t just any stadium. It’s a pantheon of college football, having been host to era-defining games, 11 national championship teams and football legends such as Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen, Tim Brown, Lou Holtz and the Gipper. To follow in the footsteps of these football gods is truly special, according to Carroll junior captain and offensive lineman Mike Russell.

“The Stadium is an iconic symbol of Notre Dame,” Russell said. “Having the opportunity to play there with your dormmates is a rewarding, special experience.”

As the final weekend of regular season games approaches, teams are still jostling for playoff spots, battling to get ever closer to fulfilling that dream that began as a child.
The four teams that do make it will be afforded a rare experience.

“It’s a memory you have for a long time,” Russell said. “A story you can tell for the rest of your life.”

Contact Casey Karnes at wkarnes@nd.edu