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McBrayer hopes to end Morrissey career in stadium

Chris Masoud | Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As the Morrissey interhall football team vies for an opportunity to play in the stadium, senior captain Joe McBrayer leads the Manorites for the last time in his memorable career at Notre Dame.

McBrayer, the starting quarterback for the Manor for the last three years, has taken the Manorites from playoff contenders to favorites during his tenure at Morrissey.

Thrust into the starting quarterback position as a sophomore, McBrayer needed no time at all to adjust to a new team and a full interhall season.

“We had great leadership from our seniors that year,” McBrayer said. “My R.A., who was also on the team, took on the role of mentor. I relied on him for support and advice.”

Joe led the team to the Stadium, where the Manorites cruised to their first championship in recent memory.

“That team could do just about anything on a football field,” Joe said. “We could run, throw, tackle, you name it. Our guys took away any pressure that was on me.”

The Manor appeared in the playoffs the following year, but was ousted in the first round in overtime by Keenan. Morrissey has responded well to adversity in the past, and McBrayer expects his team to do the same in the playoffs.

“Losing to Keenan left a bad taste in our mouths for a year,” Joe said. “We know what it’s like to win it all and what it’s like to lose it all. We want to relive that experience of winning in the Stadium again.”

With a number of returning players from the championship team, Morrissey is poised to make its return to the stadium.

The McBrayer of 2008, however, is a different quarterback than the one that won the championship in 2006. Adapting to a new team with a different style of play, McBrayer says that he’s changed as a player from past teams.

“I can honestly say I’ve underperformed in terms of throwing the ball well this year. But what I’ve lacked in throwing I’ve made up for in running the ball.”

The development of a running game has added a new dimension to McBrayer’s dangerous repertoire of skills. The Chicago native and the dynamic Morrissey offense have kept defenses off balance all year with a steady diet of hard-nosed running and timely passing.

As McBrayer’s interhall football career at Notre Dame comes to a close, he believes his team has all the pieces in place to win another championship.

“This is the best team I’ve ever played on,” McBrayer said. “We have our eyes on the Stadium.”