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Seniors prepare for final home game

Irena Zajickova | Friday, November 21, 2008

Tomorrow’s matchup against Syracuse marks the last home game of the 2008 football season, leading Notre Dame’s senior to reflect on their time at the University.

Senior Laura Schwartz said most seniors would consider the 2005 game against USC the best they saw while sitting in the student section.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a senior who doesn’t say the USC game,” senior Laura Schwartz said, referring to when USC defeated the Fighting Irish after running back Reggie Bush pushed quarterback Matt Leinart into the end zone to score a last second touchdown.

Senior Jimmy Champlin agreed about the USC game, adding he was one of the students who prematurely rushed the field.

“USC got the touchdown, but by that time I was already twenty rows down headed for the field,” Champlin said.

When how he felt about the end of his final football season, Champlin said he felt sad.

“It’s pretty nostalgic and a little sad,” Champlin said. “But I realize that part of what makes a game in the student section special is the knowledge that you only have a few.”

Senior Kadeja Gaines said she believes the Fighting Irish will be able to win tomorrow.

“I think we will win,” Gaines said. “Hopefully winning will give us a better chance of going to a bowl game.”

Gaines, who works for Notre Dame’s recruiting department, has had some unique memories over the years thanks to her job.

“My favorite was seeing Notre Dame students doing push-ups with recruits five times their size,” Gaines said.

For Schwartz, a highlight of the game will be seeing all of the senior football players getting a chance to play.

“I’m really excited that it’s senior day,” Schwartz said. “It’ll be fun to see my classmates get a chance to contribute to the game.”

Champlin is excited for the marshmallow fights that take place in the senior section during the final home game.

“I just want to let the ushers know that if they do see me throwing marshmallows I’m just returning them to their rightful owners,” Champlin joked. “Please don’t throw me out. I’d probably start crying and make a scene.”

Gaines will miss the end of football games in the student section.

“Notre Dame football has become such a part of our lives here and it’s going to be really weird not having it in our lives,” Gaines said.

Syracuse, who is 2-8 this season, is coming into the game off a 39-14 loss to Connecticut. In addition, Syracuse recently fired head coach Greg Robinson. However, he will finish out the season before stepping down.

The game kicks off tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. A pep rally will be held tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the Joyce Center.