Editors’ note: This story contains details of a mass casualty event and gun violence.
Rivalries are everything in college football, and it is not unusual to see bad blood boil over into some unfortunate moments during the course of a season. However, they can also provide pretty special moments where players and fans from disparate teams come together for the greater good. In the wake of the tragic shooting at Virginia, which claimed the lives of three Cavaliers football players and injured another, intrastate rival Virginia Tech paid tribute to the program ahead of its game against Liberty on Saturday.
As the Hokies ran out onto the field at Liberty’s Williams Stadium, players carried not only a Virginia Tech flag, but one for Virginia as well.
“For our Brothers,” Virginia Tech football wrote on Twitter. “Carrying you with us every step of the way @UVAFootball 🤞.”
Virginia wide receivers Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler and defensive end D’Sean Perry were shot and killed during the mass shooting, which occurred following a bus trip to Washington, D.C. for a class. Former Virginia walk-on running back Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. has been arrested and charged with with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
A fourth Cavaliers player, running back Mike Hollins, was shot in the back while attempting to save others on the bus. After a pair of surgeries, he is walking with assistance and starting to wean himself off of pain medications, making significant progress in his recovery.
A fifth victim, student Marlee Morgan, is in good condition after being injured in the shooting.
Virginia’s Saturday game against Coastal Carolina was canceled days after the shooting, and the team’s season finale against Virginia Tech, scheduled for Nov. 26, remains undecided.