MUC septoct06 17b.jpg

Lori Wolfe/The Herald-DispatchMembers of the 1971 Young Thundering Herd football team in town for the movie premiere gather together Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, to have a group photograph taken at Gino's Pub where the old Fairfield Stadium scoreboard was erected in the parking lot. The scoreboard shows the score of the Xavier game that was the first Marshall victory after the plane crash.

HUNTINGTON -- Tim Collins' eyes said it all.

Collins, a Young Thundering Herd player in 1971, still had red eyes that glistened after seeing a special showing of "We Are Marshall" on Tuesday afternoon for the Young Thundering Herd and family members at Marquee Cinemas.

"It was very classy," said Collins, who played offense, defense and special teams on the under-manned '71 team. "It was just a really classy job."

Collins was just one of many Young Thundering Herd members who gave the film a collective two thumbs up for its accurate reflections of the loss, and the deep hurt of the team, school and community.

And how they are wrapped together to rise again.

"They showed everybody's reluctance and then everybody's determination," said Collins, a Barboursville High School grad and one of the few local team members. "It was hard to play after that, but once we got our feet wet and got lathered up, we were ready to play. I was proud to play with those guys."

One of those guys, David Homa, said he liked the made-up part of the movie where Matthew McConaughey does a helmet slap in practice on a player that had his number, 57.

He got a laugh about the creative license and comic relief and thought the film nailed down the important points.

"They got a lot of it right -- we were really an emotional team," said David Homa, a linebacker with the Young Thundering Herd.

Homa, a Buffalo, N.Y., native, said he particularly liked the portrayal of the late Nate Ruffin.

"The football team was Nate Ruffin," Homa said. "He could really hit you and do it with a smile. He was a hard hitter."

Homa said like the other Young Thundering Herd members, they have savored this time together again.

"It takes about two hours to get used to everybody's names again and their faces that have changed, but once that's done, it's like you never left," Homa said.

Young Thundering Herd Coach Jack Lengyel said reuniting with players has been one of the joys of the past few days.

He said he had a growing comfort level with the Warner Bros. Pictures film as they took on the story.

"They talked the talk and we wondered can they walk that talk," Lengyel said. "After the filming and the screening, the answer is yes. Matthew McConaughey was fabulous and so was Matthew Fox, Anthony Mackie and Ian McShane."

Lengyel said he doesn't remember being that funny as a coach, but said he felt that added to the film.

"He's a little more quirky than me," Lengyel said, laughing.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.