Did you know these 6 West Virginia football traditions?
College football tradition runs deep in the Mountain State – both for Marshall University and West Virginia University! Every week, both teams pay homage to those who played before them by continuing tradition that has been in place for years. Make your way to a Mountaineer or Thundering Herd home game this season to get a glimpse at one of these unique traditions!
The West Virginia Mountaineer Mantrip
The Mountaineer Mantrip, named after the shuttle that transports miners into underground mines, pays homage to West Virginia’s deep coal mining history and heritage. The trip begins outside of Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, and includes the WVU football team, coaches, and the Mountaineer Marching Band. Fans are encouraged to line the path for the players and lead them into the northeast gate of the stadium!
The Marshall University Thunder Walk
Very similar to the Mountaineer Mantrip, the Marshall Thunder Walk takes place prior to every home game in Huntington. Fans are encouraged to line up and create a path from the entrance of the stadium parking lot to the stadium gate. The Marshall University marching band, cheerleaders, and coaches lead the way for the Thundering Herd. The Thunder Walk is a tailgating favorite among Herd fans!
Marshall University Memorial Fountain Ceremony
On November 14, 1970, a plane carrying the Marshall University football team, coaches, staff, and boosters tragically crashed, killing all 75 passengers. The crash was devastating to Marshall and the entire community of Huntington, but the community rallied and football returned to campus the following season. In the center of Marshall’s campus is a memorial fountain honoring all 75 lives lost in the plane crash. On November 14 of every year, Marshall holds a ceremony at the fountain, and the water is stopped until spring to remember the Thundering Herd team that was lost in 1970.
“Take me Home Country Roads”
One of the most widely known traditions among Mountaineer fans takes place after every home victory when the Mountaineer mascot and players lead the fans in the singing of John Denver’s “Take me Home Country Roads.” It has become a staple of Mountaineer home games, but you will find most fans singing along even if they’re not in Morgantown!
Another iconic tradition takes place in Joan C. Edwards Stadium during every Marshall home game! At several points throughout the game, cheerleaders signal for the home side of the stadium to chant “We are” while they signal the student section to scream “Marshall!” The tradition ties the team, fans, and community of Huntington together as a collective “we” and is an important mantra to the entire fanbase.
West Virginia University First Down Chant
After every first down while the Mountaineers are on offense, the crowd becomes electric and does a unique first down chant. Fans raise their arms in anticipation for the call from the ref, and when the first down is officially signaled, fans drop and raise their arms three times, clap, and chant “W-V-U first down!”
Marshall Thunder Clap
The Thunder Clap takes place every time Marshall scores! Fans place their hands over their heads and clap in unison. Fans clap once for every point scored, while the cheerleaders do “Thunder Presses” – the male cheerleaders lift the female cheerleaders over their head for every point scored!
If you find yourself in Huntington or Morgantown on game day, you’re sure to see many of these traditions, and you’re more than welcome to join in on the fun!
What is your favorite football tradition in Almost Heaven?
This post was last updated on October 4, 2018