The Herd followed another early morning with a late afternoon for practice Friday. Rakeem Cato threw a couple of nice passes to Gator Hoskins, including one on what looked like a busted coverage that probably would have gone for six. Tommy Shuler had one very pretty run after the catch, juking and weaving to break free of a tackler. Doesn’t look like that surgically repaired foot is holding him back at all.
Whether he suits up for tomorrow night’s 7 p.m. scrimmage remains to be seen. Head Coach Doc Holliday has been saying to look for him at full speed on Monday. I’ll be at 100 percent for the scrimmage, so check the blog afterward for stats and notes.
With such a large gap in between practices, that left a lot of free time. So I hopped in the car with a Huntington local and got my first taste of Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House. A good, no-frills place with some pretty tasty spaghetti. Afterward, we drove out to the site of the 1970 plane crash, also a first-time visit.
While we were driving back, my friend told me what that event meant to him. He didn’t have a friend or a family member in the crash. The only connection between him and the crash victims was that they all went to Marshall. But that was enough — and that’s been enough for a lot of folks. It was a tragic event, but I think it’s memorialized at least in part because of the way the Huntington and Marshall communities recovered from it. They showed the world that, while some folks might shrink away after such a catastrophe, that wasn’t in their makeup.
Before we parted, my friend showed me the video from the 2000 MAC title game of Nate Ruffin reading his letter to his fallen teammates.
It’s pretty special stuff, and helps an outsider like me understand what this team means to the community.