Trying to ignore the noise

Alex Welch is one of a handful of Notre Dame commitments that is making a run at a state championship. Welch and his teammates at Elder High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) just won a big game over St. Xavier last week and now move onto the regional finals this weekend.

Cincinnati Elder had been churning along during the regular season until they stumble against St. Xavier 17-7. Six weeks later the Panthers had a chance for redemption and they didn't allow the opportunity to slip by.

"It felt great," Alex Welch responded when asked about Elder's 17-14 playoff victory over St. Xavier. "It was a big win in the playoffs. I think we're playing well right now. We got all our players back and healthy. We hit a little rough patch later in the season that threw us off track. We didn't expect to lose two, but I think we're back on track. We have Anderson this weekend in the regional finals."

Although Welch is focusing on his senior season, he can't help but hear the chatter about the future of Notre Dame's head coach.

"I keep hearing everything that everyone else is hearing, that this is the end for coach Weis," Welch explained. "I'm just trying to look past that, and not listen to all that. Hopefully all that's not true and he'll be back next year.

"(Notre Dame) definitely didn't live up to expectations this year. Everyone thought that they'd be playing in a BCS game, but its football and things happen. I don't think that it's the coaching staff that's the problem. I don't know what the problem is, but like I said, I'm just hoping coach Weis is the coach next year. (If he isn't) I'll have to see what happens, but I don't think that would change my decision.

"They've played a lot of close games," Welch commented. "In the first half of the season things worked out, but in the second half of the season things haven't work out their way." Top Stories