The Wolverine

January 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2022 THE WOLVERINE 9 BY ANTHONY BROOME A m e m o ra b l e fo o t b a l l season was capped off by a tribute to the Oxford community by Jim Har- baugh and his Wolverines. The storyline on the field was the fight for a Big Ten championship, but Michi- gan dedicated its Dec. 4 title to a cause much big- ger than football. The Wol- verines wore jersey patches dedicated to the memory of 16-year-old Tate Myre and the four victims of the Oxford High School shoot- ing: Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Jus- tin Shilling. The patch was a block O with Myre's initials with No. 42 and four stars inside of it. "I am so incredibly sorry. I know there are no words," Harbaugh wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "The families and community of Oxford are in need of every prayer that we can possi- bly offer them. Lifting you all up before the one who conquered death." The Myre family joined the players at midfield for the coin toss in Indianapo- lis after being named honorary captains for the game. They wore shirts that read "Oxford Strong." Myre was the star player on Oxford's varsity football team and was on a recruiting visit to the Uni- versity of Toledo the weekend prior to the shooting. "Tate was a warrior," Harbaugh said after a 42-3 win in the Big Ten champi- onship game. "Football player, wrestler, best athlete in school. The best athlete in school could have easily made it out, been the first one out, but while people were running away from fire, he was running into it. He was a hero." Harbaugh said senior captain and pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson ap- proached him with the idea of dedi- cating the game to the Oxford victims, which was then passed along to director of athletics Warde Manuel. "We wanted to play for 42 and all those that tragically lost their lives that day and everyone in the community," senior offensive lineman Andrew Vas- tardis said. "It's up to God, man. To score 42 points gave me chills when I noticed that." "God works in mysterious ways," Hutchinson added. The football team will continue to wear the patches as long as their sea- son goes. They will play at least one more game with an Orange Bowl date on Dec. 31 against Georgia in the College Football Playoff. "It's a community that needs all of our prayers," Har- baugh said. "We wanted to of- fer that up. We wanted to offer our prayers to a community that desperately needs it." M e n 's b a s ke t b a l l h ea d coach Juwan Howard paid tribute to the victims on his Twitter account on Dec. 1. "Our hearts are broken for the Oxford community. We are thinking of ALL of you," he tweeted. "Rest peace- fully Tate, Hana & Madisyn & prayers for ALL those still in need." The women's basketball team paid tribute to Oxford with a similar patch that reads "HSJ 52" inside of the block O and four stars during its game against Minnesota on Dec. 12. Juliana, 14, was the youngest victim in the Ox- ford shooting and wore No. 52 for the school's girls' basketball team. The Ox- ford basketball programs were in atten- dance at the game. Tributes continued throughout the aftermath of the tragedy around the state of Michigan. The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings wore T-shirts, hats and helmet stickers to commem- orate the victims during the game. A candlelight vigil took place at Michi- gan State University on Dec. 7 to honor the victims. All four professional sports teams in Detroit sent their condolences, as well. ❑ Inside Michigan ATHLETICS U-M Honors Victims Of The Oxford Tragedy Michigan's football (left) and women's basketball (right) teams paid trib- ute with jersey patches honoring victims of the Nov. 30 Oxford school shooting who played for those respective programs at the high school. PHOTOS COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETICS

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