I grew up in the small town of Boydton, Virginia. My father was one of the football coaches at the local high school (Bluestone) and coached David Griffith. I remember when they had a moment of silence at the Bluestone football game after the crash. That was my first recollection of the crash, I was 10.
My parents always spoke of what a fine person David was, and they thought so
much of him.
I never knew, until I went to Ferrum College in 1978, that David too had
attended Ferrum. Coach Rick Tolley was the first full time assistant football
coach ever hired at Ferrum, and 7 of the players that were on Ferrum's 1968
Junior College National Championship team, transferred to Marshall.
Of the six persons buried at Springhill Cemetery in Huntington WV, three were
Ferrum transfers. David Griffith, Thomas Brown, and Thomas Zborill. Marshall
University, and the town of Huntington suffered unimaginable grief in the days
and weeks after the crash. I am certain that the pain experienced cannot be done
justice in We Are Marshall. While an epic movie, and one of my favorites, it
focused most of its content on the rebirth of Marshall football. This was a
smart decision by the producers of the movie as to try to duplicate what the
community went through would likely have fallen short.
I just hope that people realize that a small college in Virginia, lost six
former players, and a former assistant coach. There will always be a strong
connection between Ferrum College and Marshall University.