The Michigan Wolverines earned the right to play for the Big 10 title after upsetting Ohio State in convincing fashion a week ago. Head coach Jim Harbaugh’s team faces Iowa for the conference championship and enters as a double-digit favorite. The Wolverines, looking to secure a spot in the College Football Playoffs, will also have a new look on their uniforms heading into Saturday’s clash.
The University of Michigan football team honors the shooting victims at Oxford High School
What was supposed to be one of the most exciting college football weekends in Michigan turned somber this week when four students were senselessly killed at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. The four students who died were Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17. Seven others — six students and a teacher — were also shot. A student at the school, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley is being held at the Oakland County Jail, according to CNN.
The Wolverines will wear a patch stitched on the shoulder of the Michigan jerseys. It contains the letters TM and the number 42. Under TM42 are four blue hearts, honoring the four students killed.
The TM is for Tate Myre, the student who allegedly went against the grain among the chaos to try and disarm the shooter. Myre was a star football player at Oxford and wore No. 42. A petition has been signed by more than 75,000 people to have the school’s Wildcat Stadium changed to Tate Myre Stadium.
In a Twitter post, Michigan explained the patch.
“Our uniforms will feature a special logo during Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game,” it read. “The shape is of Oxford’s ‘Block O,’ meant to honor all victims, survivors, and community members.
“The ‘TM’ and ’42’ pay tribute to football player Tate Myre. Tate, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling, whose lives were senselessly lost earlier this week, are represented by four blue hearts. We are proud to represent the state of Michigan and all of its communities. #OxfordStrong is #MichiganStrong.”
Who was Tate Myre?
While everyone was running from the shooter, Myre allegedly ran toward the shooter to try and stop the madness. The online petition generated to help change the name of the school’s football field in honor of Myre described Myre’s actions the day of the shooting.
“One of the students was killed in an attempt to disarm the shooter, this student is Tate Myre,” the petition read, per The Detroit Free Press. “Tate is not just a hero to his fellow students at Oxford high school but a legend, his act of bravery should be remembered forever and passed down through generations, he put his life in danger to try and help the thousands of other students at Oxford High School.”
Ross Wingert, who coached Myre in football and wrestling, was not surprised when he learned of Myre’s actions.
“I was told that everybody in that school was running one way, and Tate was running the other way,” Wingert said. “Knowing Tate, knowing how he was raised, he’s the kind of kid that wouldn’t think about it twice. And he’s gonna do it.”
Wingert was like a proud dad, texting his former coaching buddies to tell them about Myre.
“I told them that Tate is the fastest, most athletic kid in that school,” Wingert said. “There’s no way he couldn’t have gotten out of there if he wanted to. He would have been the No. 1 candidate to be able to run out of that school if he wanted to. I know Tate chose to do what he thought was right and he made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Michigan has a chance for something special
With its first victory over Ohio State in 10 years, Michigan now controls its destiny for the College Football Playoffs. The Wolverines have vaulted themselves into the No. 2 spot in the latest rankings that were announced Tuesday. As long as they can defeat Iowa on Saturday, the Wolverines figure to play in a CFP semifinal matchup.
While Iowa is the main focus for Coach Harbaugh and the rest of the team, Oxford High School still weighs heavily on the minds of the team.
Harbaugh had a tough time finding words to address the incident.
“I am so incredibly sorry,” he said, per the team’s verified Twitter account. “I know there are no words. The families and community of Oxford are in need of every prayer that we can possibly offer them. Lifting you all up before the one who conquered death.”