Aside from the usual student body, teachers and staff members, there were lines of people in two areas of campus - one at the ticket office which was being manned by a very tolerant Karen Berken. The other was near the new library where people were coming in steadily to retrieve the white Notre Dame T-shirts that will no doubt take up a large portion of the Superdome’s seating area Saturday afternoon.
“We just started taking orders on Monday,” said Lee Seilhan (who described himself as “a 45-year-supporter” of the team) as he handed out stacks of T-shirts along with Principal Cindy Istre Thursday. “We received 1,200 orders for shirts as of today.”
“We are very excited obviously,” said a jubilant- looking Istre. “The boys are leaving tomorrow at 7:20 a.m. We know that a lot of parents are going to be here to see them off...we’d like to ask them and any other supporters who come to see them off to please not park in the student parking area.
“We actually do have school tomorrow,” she said with a smile.
What will happen after school lets out Friday will be a mass exodus of Pio fans who will begin leaving town that afternoon for the Big Easy. “A lot of them want to catch the Hornets game,” said Seilhan.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Berken. “I’m seeing people I’ve never met before coming in to buy tickets. The excitement is incredible.”
The Pioneers will be taking on the Parkview Baptist Eagles Saturday at 4 p.m. The two schools have met in the playoffs several times in recent years with the Pioneers winning the state title over the Eagles in the 2009 championship game. Last year, the Eagles defeated the Pioneers in the state quarterfinals to end the Notre Dame’s season.