Meeting Thundering Herd players special for the fans
HUNTINGTON — On Sunday afternoon, Fred Harris brought several of his players from across the river in Coal Grove, Ohio, to check out Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Normally, his boys would be decked out in the Black and Red of the Hornets.
However, on this day, they were more interested in seeing green.
Harris’ young crew was on-hand to see Marshall’s football players during the Herd’s Fan Day at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
“They love football so much and these guys are like idols to them,” Harris said. “They may not know the players individually, but they know and love the team.”
At the time, Harris and his crew may not have known the team as they braved a hot, humid day to check out the event.
However, that all changed once the team was done with its team and positional photos. Following the team’s photo sessions, fans were invited on the field to get pictures and autographs from members of the 2018 Marshall football team.
There, they were able to put a face with the name and the jersey number that they will see on the field in the next few weeks.
“They are on top of the mountain being face up with these guys,” Harris said with a big smile. “They are living their little dreams right now — just loving it.”
Harris said that the importance of Sunday’s event isn’t able to be measured when thinking about it from a child’s perspective.
“This encourages them so much because they think of the next level. “These guys love football. When they aren’t watching it, they are playing it or are at practice. This represents a bigger deal to them though because it’s a high level.
“This community is tight — football, especially. These boys with football? They live, breathe it non-stop. Getting to be down here on the field, this is like a whole new level for them.”
Sunday’s Fan Day festivities were part of a long day of work for the Herd, who had meetings following the event, then hit the practice field for the team’s first session in shells (helmets + shoulder pads) on Sunday evening.
Marshall’s players will go through one more day of shells on Monday, which will complete the acclimatization period for 2018. On Tuesday, the team will be in full pads for the first time.