Illinois State’s student-athletes have something to play for this season beyond just wins and losses.

All this year, student-athletes will wear or display a new patch in memory of the seven men killed in the April 7 plane crash near Bloomington-Normal. The patch features the initials of all seven men along with the number “7.” Athletics staff members will wear lapel pins that resemble the patch.

Some teams will wear the patch on their jerseys; others will display it on their bags or other gear.

“Our student-athletes understand the significance of the patch and what it symbolizes,” said Athletics Director Larry Lyons ’86. “We asked them to honor the seven with their competitive spirit throughout the year.”

The patch is one of many ways in which Illinois State will honor the memories of the crash victims, this year and permanently. The Redbird Remembrance memorial recently opened near the north entrance of Redbird Arena. Also, a new replica of the Battle Bird was made featuring a plaque with the seven names.

Learn more about the patch in the video above.

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