Student ‘strove for greatness’ to be Leprechaun

first_imgSenior Johnny Romano used to dream about being a Notre Dame football player, but after realizing his body type was not well suited for the sport, he decided to take on a different role in Notre Dame Athletics and became the Notre Dame Leprechaun. “I always wanted to be a football player, but when you are five feet and five-and-three-fourths inches tall, it’s a little hard,” Romano, a native of Glencoe, Ill., said. “So I strove for greatness, and what’s better than being a football player? The Notre Dame Leprechaun.” Romano said the process to become the Leprechaun begins with a one-page essay about why the Leprechaun hopeful wants to be the official mascot of Notre Dame. Those applicants then participate in cheerleading tryouts. “They try to see how you interact with the team,” Romano said. “They would pull you aside and tell you to pump the cheerleaders up and then give you different situations to get the crowd going.” Ten to 15 hopefuls are then cut down to six finalists, who learn some of the finer points of what it takes to be the Leprechaun. “They taught us the jig, and then we had a push-up contest, a mini pep rally and a game time situation,” Romano said. “After that, we each had an interview with a panel of six people, which included representatives from different departments, like Athletics. Usually, the previous leprechaun is there, too.” Romano said he was not nervous during the process. “I have nerves of steel,” he said. “I had been a leprechaun the year before, so this was my second year. I was just trying to get the top spot.” This past weekend was the University’s first football game, and Romano said the experience was exciting. “The pep rally was fun, but at the game it did not really hit me that I was the Leprechaun until they said ‘Here Come the Irish’ and I had the flag on the field,” he said. “I just didn’t want to get trampled by the football team.” During the game, Romano tried to rally the crowd. “I try to get fans engaged during key plays,” he said. “I get them pumped up, especially with the volley cheers that include whole stadium.”  Notre Dame Football is a tradition in Romano’s family, he said. His grandfather played on the football team from 1946 to 1949 and helped the Irish win three national championships.  Attending the University is also a tradition in the Romano family. “My father went here,” Romano said. “Eighteen of my first cousins have attended either Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s.” Romano, a marketing major, says his plans are not concrete for after graduation. With a fluency in Spanish, Romano said he will either find a job or do a year of service in Honduras. “I lived for six years in Mexico because of my dad’s job,” Romano said. “I also studied abroad in Mexico during the sixth grade.” When asked which of this season’s football games he is most excited about, Romano grinned. “Michigan is in the Big House, USC is at night, and we are playing in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium,” Romano said. “Go Irish, beat Wolverines.”  Contact Katie McCarty at [email protected]last_img read more

Draw moves Nigeria closer to World Cup 2018

first_imgNigeria have dedicated the qualifying campaign to goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who is battling leukaemia in England.The disease was discovered when he went for a routine pre-season medical at second-tier club Wolverhampton Wanderers three months ago.“Carl is constantly in my thoughts, those of the other coaches, the players and the officials,” said Germany-born Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.Libya shaded Guinea 1-0 in Tunisia despite playing the last quarter a man short after Mohammed al Gadi was red-carded following his second caution.The Ivorian referee was the busiest man on the pitch in Monastir, showing one red and 10 yellow cards during the clash of Group A also-rans.Amid the indiscipline, Hamdou Mohamed scored the only goal on 36 minutes by controlling a long ball with his thigh and rifling a shot past goalkeeper Naby Yattara.Tunisia lead the group with nine points, three more than the Democratic Republic of Congo, ahead of a top-of-the-table clash in Kinshasa Tuesday. Guinea and Libya have three points.Libya were forced to play in Tunisia for security reasons.Share on: WhatsApp Johannesburg, South Africa | Nigeria survived a late Cameroon onslaught to draw 1-1 in Yaounde Monday and move closer to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Moses Simon put Nigeria ahead on 30 minutes and substitute Vincent Aboubakar equalised from a 75th-minute penalty at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo to spark a rally by the hosts.Unbeaten leaders Nigeria moved to 10 points from four matches in Group B and a home win over Zambia on October 7 will clinch a sixth World Cup appearance.Dropping two points in Yaounde eliminated seven-time World Cup qualifiers Cameroon as only group winners go to Russia and they trail Nigeria by seven points with two matches to play.The draw came three days after Nigeria thrashed African champions Cameroon 4-0 in Uyo — a result that prompted losing coach Hugo Broos to make four changes.Among those dropped were striker Aboubakar and winger Christian Bassogog, whose second-half introductions lifted the “Indomitable Lions” and put pressure on the “Super Eagles”.Simon scored with a close-range shot past goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa after a low cross eluded several defenders.A collision between Arnaud Djoum and Nigeria goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa led to the spot-kick, and Aboubakar scored with a shot into the middle of the net.Cameroon had another penalty appeal rejected by the Gambian referee as they pushed for a first win in the “group of death” that includes Algeria and Zambia, who meet Tuesday.Ezenwa came to the rescue six minutes from time with a double save, the second particularly being brave as he dived at the feet of Djoum and was injured.But for much of the match it looked like the central Africans were going to suffer a first World Cup qualifying defeat at home since losing to Congo Brazzaville in October 1976. The “Super Eagles” Nigeria were more threatening going forward, thanks to crisp passing, good off-the-ball movement and dazzling individual skills.last_img read more

Lukaku’s late equalizer saves Inter in Serie A

first_imgInter then made changes by throwing on Lukaku and Victor Moses, and it worked as the Belgian converted the penalty after Moses was tripped in the box.Inter still sit in second-place, temporarily cutting the deficit to Juventus to five points, while the Bianconeri will take on Lazio on Monday.Napoli rallied to beat Udinese in an entertaining 2-1 fixture, Arkadiusz Milik wiped out Rodrigo de Paul’s opener, and Matteo Politano’s blockbuster deep into stoppage time helped the Partenopei carve out three points.Parma fumbled a 2-0 lead as Sampdoria staged a second half show to claim a 3-2 away victory.In other matches on Sunday, Genoa beat Lecce 2-1, Brescia edged SPAL 2-1, and Fiorentina dominated Torino 2-0.****XINHUAShare on: WhatsApp Romelu LukakuKampala, Uganda | XINHUA | Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty saved Inter Milan on Sunday as the Nerazzurri drew with Roma in a 2-2 thriller.Stefan de Vrij gave Inter the early lead, Roma then turned the game around, but only for Inter to fight back for a 2-2 draw.Roma entered the Olimpico Stadium with three-game winning streak while Inter were also on a three-game unbeaten run.With Lukaku only fit enough for the bench, Inter’s coach Antonio Conte opted for Alexis Sanchez to pair with Lautaro Martinez on the forward line.The away side took the lead in the 15th minute when Sanchez whipped a corner into the box, de Vrij out-jumped the defenders to steer his bullet-header into the net.The Giallorossi got back on level terms before the break amid controversy as Roma went on the counterattack and Leonardo Spinazzola found the net from a tight angle.Inter appealed as Lautaro was kicked down by Aleksandar Kolarovin in the build-up, but the referee allowed the goal after viewing the VAR.Roma completed the turn around in the 57th minute as Henrikh Mkhitaryan smashed in from a point blank range.last_img read more

Team selected for U16 international against Wales

first_img Eight up-and-coming players, including Reid Trophy winner Conor Gough, have been selected to represent England in the annual U16 international against Wales on 16-17 August at Newport Golf Club. They are Barclay Brown and Charlie Daughtrey of Yorkshire; Dominic Clemons of Hertfordshire, Matthew Freeman of Nottinghamshire, Conor Gough of Buckinghamshire (image © Leaderboard Photography), Charlie Hilton of Sussex, Hugo Kedzlie of Lincolnshire and Charlie Salter of Northamptonshire. This match is the first of an annual series of three against the other Home countries. England won all three last year. Players: Barclay Brown, 15, (Hallamshire, Yorkshire) was 11th in the Peter McEvoy Trophy and represented England in the Junior Open, coming 22nd. Dominic Clemons, 14, (Gog Magog) tied third in last week’s Engish U14 Reid Trophy, having been fifth in the English U16 McGregor Trophy. Charlie Daughtrey, 15, (Rotherham) also shared fifth place in the McGregor Trophy and was 10th in the Northern boys’ county qualifying tournament. Matthew Freeman, 15, (Worksop) won the U16 Spring tournament, was 10th in the Midland boys’ county qualifier and 25th in the McGregor Trophy. Conor Gough, 13, (Stoke Park) is the English U14 boys’ open champion having won the Reid Trophy last week by five shots. He was ninth in the U16 McGregor Trophy. Charlie Hilton, 16, (Ifield) tied fifth in the South East Group junior championship and was 23rd in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Hugo Kedzlie, 15, (Spalding) was ninth in the U16 Spring championship, 16th in the Midland boys’ county championship qualifying and 19th in the McGregor Trophy. Charlie Salter, 16, (Northamptonshire County) won the Midland boys’ county championship qualifying and tied 14th in the Spring U16 championship. 9 Aug 2016 Team selected for U16 international against Wales last_img read more


first_imgLast Sunday the Steelers hosted a trash talking party and invited the Philadelphia Eagles and hey a football game broke out. Now according to the scoreboard the Steelers won the by a score of 16-14 but according to the “pollsters” Philly won the on field debate and ya know what? The Eagles might get a “post game bounce” relative to the constant jibber jabber and verbal jousts that were taking place on the field before, during and after play. I was told that a certain Philly defensive player whose name is very difficult to enunciate, told Ben Roethlisberger in his best John “the Duke” Wayne tough guy impression voice that for all intents and purposes Roethlisberger was “yeller.”Shortly before the next play; the misty eyed QB looked over the Eagles defensive alignment and then looked the culprit trash talker square in the eye and yelled back in a voice almost cracking with emotion. “No mother for ya, I ain’t yeller. I’m Black and yeller.” The surprised garbage mouth yelled back, “cool.” “Yinz” and Yang here is something for your ears only. I heard that Andy Reid flew to NY to plead with Commissioner Roger Goodell to sign a waiver to allow Mike Vick to borrow a few barrels of genuine “Biletnikoff” brand “stick um” in order to finish the 2012 season with more completed passes than fumbles. The “Commish” informed Mr. Reid that, it wasn’t about the illegal or legal use of the “Biletnikoff” product but the remainder of the product had been used to glue the Commissioner’s mouth shut during the NFLRA lockout and the Saints “pain for play” bounty scandal. What a waste of good “stick-um.”West Virginia BluesHey yaw’ll, I was a bit concerned when West Virginia announced their intentions to bail from the Big East to the more market rich Big 12. The Big East has long been viewed as the “Big Weak” Conference, well at least in football. I disagree with that assessment because if Big East teams are so weak, why did a slew of conferences attempt to and succeed in luring them not into greener pastures but into uncharted competitive waters? Well answer this quick question for me, yaw’ll. How many pro sports franchises call any city located in the lovely state of West Virginia home? This is a very short answer, nada, none, zilch, and zero. That being said the state does not have a pool of professional sports dough to pull from so all of its marketing, economic and social energy has to be focused on high school and college athletics. When the state does construct or update high school and college athletic facilities they don’t have to worry about a significant percentage of that revenue being generated by those venues being gobbled up by the mega salaries of the professional “performers” that are chosen to play there. That additional revenue can be used for a variety of other projects besides a new mansion or a fleet of luxury cars for the enjoyment of a pro athlete. College players don’t or aren’t supposed to be compensated for their labor, is that correct?Well let’s talk a little about WVU’s last game. Geno Smith and No. 8 Mountaineers traveled to Texas and may just have left the Longhorns feeling as if they may have mistakenly ingested a few of the wrong “mushrooms” at the salad bar. The Mountaineers now appear as if they are the “Big Beast” from the Big East. Smith passed for four scores and Mountaineers running back Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns and the West Virginia bull rode the Texas Longhorns in route to a 48-45 victory. In their previous contest against Baylor, The Mountaineers scored 70 points in West “Virginny” (yes the same Baylor the produced RG III) but everyone thought that offensive onslaught was partially because the Mountaineers were performing at home coupled with the apparent fact that the 2012 Baylor squad does not have much in terms of a credible defense. Smith had this to say about the impressive win in Texas, “Every week, we’re going to go out and have fun.” In West Virginia there are no money hungry, titanium tooth bling-blingers taking much needed dough out of the economy of one of the poorest states in the union departing the state for destinations unknown after the season has concluded. See the majority of the dough collected from sporting events can be recycled back into the local economy keeping the money at home where it belongs except of course if one of the young misguided athletes wants to make a little dough by accepting an alumni financed plane ticket home or signs a T-shirt or two for a small fee in order to buy a few extra pizzas or a new pair of sneakers or maybe, just maybe to have a little bit of fun. But wait a minute; you can always have a bit more fun when you are winning and especially if you are the only game in town and especially if you are not getting paid.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412-583-6741)last_img read more