Virginia Cavaliers running back Mike Hollins demonstrated his resilience and determination on the football field during the team’s recent game against James Madison. Despite their one-point loss, Hollins showcased his skills by scoring two touchdowns, marking his first scoring performances since the tragic on-campus shooting that occurred last year.
In November 2022, three Virginia football players, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry, lost their lives as a result of the devastating shooting. To honor their memory and support their families, the university prepared a touching video tribute, narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, which was shown before the team’s first home game since the tragedy. Additionally, Virginia’s Scott Stadium features a permanent memorial to ensure that the players will never be forgotten.
Hollins wasted no time making an impact on the field. In just his second carry of the game, he swiftly made his way into the end zone, scoring a 4-yard touchdown that narrowed the Cavaliers’ deficit. His remarkable performance continued into the second half, where he scored a second touchdown, providing Virginia with a 35-24 lead. However, James Madison managed to mount an impressive comeback, scoring 12 unanswered points and ultimately securing the victory.
Before the season, Hollins was positioned as Virginia’s backup running back. The courage and strength he displayed during the game spoke volumes, considering he had previously survived a gunshot wound to his abdomen during the shooting. Hollins emerged as a symbol of resilience and determination as he led the team onto the field for their season opener against Tennessee, contributing three carries in that game.
The memory of Chandler, Davis, and Perry lives on within the Virginia football community. Their jersey numbers, 1, 15, and 41, are displayed as a tribute to their legacy, and plaques in their recognition can be found within the Legends Walk in the stadium. Unfortunately, due to the recent shooting, the team had to cancel their last two games. The suspected gunman, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 23, is now facing aggravated murder charges, adding to the devastation caused by the tragedy.
Despite the heartbreaking loss and the challenges faced by the team, Virginia Cavaliers running back Mike Hollins proved to be a beacon of hope and resilience on the football field. His performance served as a reminder of the strength and unity within the Virginia football community as they strive to overcome the difficult circumstances surrounding them.