HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – As Marshall University football returns for the 2021 season, the team takes a moment to remember their past and how it shapes their future.
In the past, the Thundering Herd football team would run up the hill in the Spring Hill Cemetery and visit the monument dedicated to the “75” who lost their lives in a tragic plane crash in 1970. This year, instead of running up the hill, players learned more about their team’s history.
Players and coaches both past and present attended the ceremony Sunday afternoon. Those new to the tradition say this brings perspective on what they represent when they hit the field.
It’s way bigger than you. That’s what I love about being out here, everybody out here sacrifices something for all this to still be here.Brian Cavicante, Marshall linebacker
The Thundering Herd remembers not only the team lost in the plane crash but also the “Young Thundering Herd” in 1971 who built the football program back up after the tragedy.
Several former players and coaches commented on the fact that if the 1971 team, coached by Jack Lengyel, had not fought to keep the program alive, it might have been non-existent today.
Along with new faces joining the team, Head Coach Charles Huff says this is a new tradition for him as well. He hopes to continue to grow with the team as he settles in with the Thundering Herd “family.”
Anytime you join a family, it’s important that you know that family’s history. Today was an opportunity for all of our guys to learn our family’s history.Charles Huff, Marshall Head Football Coach
For many, this is their last year playing in Joan C. Edwards stadium. Sixth-year senior Alex Salguero says after years of continuing to remember the “75”, this tradition has always been a motivating factor.
We give out everything that we possibly can so that this team can be remembered… The team that we have here in 2021 and the teams in 1970 and 71.Alex Salguero, Marshall offensive lineman
In the heart of the Thundering Herd family and the Huntington community, the “75” and those who came after will always be remembered.