Marshall set to honor armed forces in Military Bowl - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Marshall set to honor armed forces in Military Bowl

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Marshall University will honor the men and women of the armed forces during Friday's 2:30 p.m. Military Bowl matchup against Maryland.

United States senator Joe Manchin and former Herd quarterback Byron Leftwich will join former Herd coach and Navy AD Jack Lengyel and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Hershel "Woody" Williams as honorary captains, Marshall Athletics announced this week..

Herd head coach Doc Holliday, a Hurricane, WV native, also unveiled a special patriotic and military-salute helmet the Herd will wear in the bowl game.

The helmet's base color remains white. The "75" to honor those who died in the 1970 Marshall football team plane crash in 1970 remains on the left side of the helmet. That tribute began for a win at Tulsa on Nov. 14, the first time the Herd had played a road game on that anniversary of the tragedy.

The Marshall "block M" will still adorn the right side of the helmet, but instead of it being in kelly green outlined by black, the M will be in red, white and blue. And the usual green stripes that run from front to back of the helmet will be replaced by red and white stripes.

At the front center of the helmet, where "HERD" usually appears, the team will offer a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. The players' helmets will be split among five branches – Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.

"It's very special. It's awesome … We want to represent our people in the service and veterans well," Herd junior quarterback Rakeem Cato said.

"It's our way to honor the military and our country," Holliday said. "Being in the Military Bowl, it's appropriate to do this, and our university and our team can show our support for those who are in active service now, and all of our veterans, for what they have done and do on an every-day basis for our nation."

The game will be televised by ESPN.

Story courtesy of Marshall University Athletics.