NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Virginia Tech has been practicing for its upcoming bowl game with a special helmet decal, which was designed to remember the university’s own tragedy while honoring the lives lost in Newtown, Conn.
The large decal is half orange for Virginia Tech and half green for Sandy Hook Elementary School. It features the word “Prevail” and the number “58” to honor the 32 victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre and 26 victims — 20 children, six school officials — at SHES.
“We’ve been through what those people up in Sandy Hook are going through,” said head coach Frank Beamer, according to the Roanoke Times. “We prevailed in Blacksburg. If anything, it brought us closer and more determined. The same thing is happening there, where the community is just coming together.”
“It’s a terrible thing to happen, but we’ve got to prevail,” he added. “We can’t let one person define Blacksburg or Virginia Tech. They can’t let one person define them.”
The Hokies have been preparing to take on Rutgers in Friday’s Russell Athletic Bowl. A scaled-down decal will be featured on the back of Virginia Tech’s helmets for the game.
The hashtag #Prevail58 “was started by the Virginia Tech equipment room … and will be used throughout the week” on Twitter, according to the Russell Athletic Bowl’s official website.
Athletes all over the country have offered their support in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, including Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who visited the family of Jack Pinto after honoring the 6-year-old victim on his game-worn cleats, and Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who phoned the mother of slain teacher Victoria Soto.
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