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Freshmen experience exciting first game

Katherine Gale | Monday, September 8, 2003

Togas, body paint, kilts and shillelaghs – after Friday’s pep rally, the Class of 2007 was fully prepared for the kickoff of their first Notre Dame football weekend.

Though most had seen Rudy, many had never been inside the Stadium and none had attended as students before, but by the end of Notre Dame’s 29-26 overtime win against Washington State, they had become full-fledged Notre Dame student body football fans.

“Last year, I came to the Stanford and Boston College games, which were so much fun,” said O’Neill freshman Steve Bass. “But it’s even better being a student, knowing the cheers and realizing that the players on the field are our peers.”

For many, the day began with annual dorm freshman football orientations, where upper classmen wake up freshmen unexpectedly in the early morning.

“[The Morrissey residents were woken] up at 6:45 and stripped down to our boxers,” said Morrissey freshman Ravi Patel. “We pretty much went to every girls’ dorm, singing the fight song and waking everyone up … It was a good time.”

McGlinn and Siegfried freshmen were “baptized” on game day as upperclassmen woke them to run through Stonehenge.

“It was freezing, and the water was dyed green,” said McGlinn freshman Liz Vezino.

Although some freshmen had seen games before, their first official game as students in the “sea of green” ran the gamut of emotions.

“The first two, three quarters were disgraceful,” said Bass. “The whole crowd was depressed until the end of the game.”

Vezino agreed.

“The game itself was disheartening at first, but I told [the people around me] to keep the faith … don’t give up on the team,” she said.

“I loved the traditions, like waving keys, learning cheers, doing the Irish jig and watching waves of people doing pushups after we scored,” said Cavanaugh freshman Brigette Sanchez.

High expectations for the season were on the line during the game. The much-anticipated season opener against Washington State brought freshmen to the depths of despair, the top of a pushup and fully into the Notre Dame community.