The Warpath

Patrick Renner gets the starting job…sort of


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BY PARKER SULLIVAN

From the squirrel club (University of Michigan) to the rock-paper-scissors club (University of Kentucky), a college student can be involved in just about everything. However, there is one activity that is unique to only two colleges in the nation.

According to ESPN, Notre Dame and the United States Military Academy are the only two homes in the country to host dorm football, an activity in which former Mariemont defensive and offensive lineman Patrick Renner has become involved.

“Playing football again is very refreshing,” says Renner, a member of Fisher Hall at Notre Dame, who went 3-1 in the regular season clenching the fourth seed in the eight team playoff.

“We lost our first playoff game because I was replaced at linebacker,” says Renner who explains that he still “dominated” on offense.

According to Renner, each dorm has a team, and they compete against each other in exhibition matches in hopes of going to the championship, played in Notre Dame Stadium.

The program is funded by the athletic department at Notre Dame, and was initially supported by Notre Dame legend Knute Rockne. Current members working in the athletic department attribute the program's success to Rockne's support

The program is funded by the athletic department at Notre Dame, and was initially supported by Notre Dame legend Knute Rockne. Current members working in the athletic department attribute the program’s success to Rockne’s support. (RENNER)

“For a while I thought Fisher Hall could win it all, but then I saw Morrissey Hall practicing a couple days ago and they look like they’re actually trying, so I’d say our chances look pretty slim right now,” says Renner.

Whatever the result may be, Renner will have an impact on the team.

“Nothing has changed since my senior year of high school. I still dominate the playing field and destroy the opposition,” says Renner.

Renner explains that there are three divisions of four teams. His team has a captain, but no coaches, other than his Rector, the clergyman that acts as an RA for his dorm.

“[He] shows up to all of our games, he’s only been ejected from one of them,” says Renner, who adds that the team has 25 players: 5 linemen, 19 backs, and a quarterback

On a conventional football team, the coaches are the ones that decide the play most downs. Renner’s team, however, has neither a coach nor coordinators for the offense or defense. Therefore, according to Renner, the play is chosen by committee and the quarterback makes the final decision.

“I don’t think they listen to me enough because we are only averaging 8 points per game; offensive play-calling is in my blood,” says Renner, who plays center on the offensive side of the ball.

Apart from offense, the former Warrior has been placed at a new position on the other side of the ball. “Then during the first drive of the first game of the season, our star middle linebacker got hurt and I was chosen to replace him (probably because our team captain saw something in me that Coach Parker didn’t),” says Renner.

Renner’s talents may even get him a spot on the varsity squad. Coaches from the Irish have been known to dip into the on-campus pool of players. For instance, Pat Heenan, who went on to play for Redskins, played interhall football until being put on the varsity team as well as Reggie Ho, who was the heroic place kicker of Notre Dame’s last National Championship.

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Patrick Renner gets the starting job…sort of