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Interhall Insider: Welsh Fam looks to stay perfect vs. McGlinn

Ryan O'Connell | Friday, November 21, 2008

West Quad neighbors Welsh Family and McGlinn haven’t played each other in more than three years, but the unfamiliarity will end Sunday when the teams face off in the Interhall Championship game.

“We haven’t played them since my freshman year,” Welsh Fam senior captain Jenni Gargula said. “We don’t know what they look like as a team, but we never focus on who we play from week to week. We only focus on our gameplan and playing our best.”

This strategy has worked well for the Whirlwinds, who are currently undefeated. However, going undefeated, at least in the regular season, is nothing new for Welsh Fam.

“The past two years we’ve gone undefeated in the regular season,” Gargula said. “We lost last year in the stadium to Cavanaugh.”

The Whirlwinds believe, though, that their recent history of losing in the playoffs will change, as Gargula said the team has learned how to overcome adversity and win games after they’ve fallen behind.

“Last year we basically killed every opponent we faced in the regular season and playoffs,” Gargula said. “We’d never been behind until Cavanaugh scored first in the championship game. This year, we’ve had a different experience in that we’ve had a lot of close games. We’ve learned to score when the pressure is on. For example, we ended up coming back to beat Pasquerilla West when we were down by a touchdown with only a minute or so left. I definitely think those kind of games have helped prepare us for the championship game.”

It’s more than just experience that has Welsh Fam confident, however.

“We have a talented, balanced team this year,” Gargula said. “Both our offense and defense are great. Anyone on our team is capable of making a big play. As far as our passing game, we spread the ball around. No one receiver has caught most of the passes. Also, our secondary has made a lot of interceptions. All our players are talented and anyone is capable of making big play.”

McGlinn, on the other hand, overcame low expectations for the season to make it all the way to the championship. The Shamrocks, though, are not content with just what they’ve achieved so far.

“We are so excited to be playing in Notre Dame Stadium, but with that being said, we are not just satisfied getting there; we want to win,” McGlinn captain Sarah deGroot said. “This season has been truly remarkable as no one expected us to make the playoffs or let alone make it to the stadium, but I had confidence in our team and knew that we had the players to make a run at a championship.”

Like Welsh Fam, the Shamrocks are also very strong on both sides of the ball.

“Our offense has been great, especially at putting points up early in the game, and our defense has been lights out and played a near perfect game against Farley last week,” de Groot said. “We have a lot of momentum going into Sunday’s game and feel as though we are playing our best ball this year, and we will need to be on top of our game against a very good Welsh Fam team.”

McGlinn knows that they have a formidable opponent in Welsh Fam, so they’re aiming on bringing their “A” game to the championship.

“Welsh Fam comes into the game undefeated and has been playing some great ball, but so have we,” de Groot said. “We are going to be the underdogs in this matchup, but we have been the underdogs all year and look where we have gotten so far.”