Spring game returns to Pullman with goal of raising mental health awareness

Football team will don No. 3 stickers on helmets, flag will be raised in honor of Hilinski at every home game next season


MICHAEL LINDER | Daily Evergreen File

Candles, flowers, cougar memorabilia and a copy of the Daily Evergreen recapping the football game against Boise State University during which Tyler Hilinski led the Cougars to a comeback victory were some of the items left by mourning community members at a memorial in front of the Cougar statue on Jan. 17, 2018.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen deputy sports editor

The annual Crimson and Gray spring football game will return to Pullman in 2019 after being held at Joe Albi Stadium the past eight years, according to a WSU news release.

The university will also use the spring scrimmage’s return to Martin Stadium as a way to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention. WSU Athletics and Student Affairs have teamed up to host a “Gameday for Mental Health” in conjunction with the game in 2019.

“The Crimson and Gray Game will give us a platform to do something unique for our campus,” Director of Athletics Patrick Chun said in the release. “Bringing more awareness for suicide prevention and mental health is something very close to our hearts. This day will benefit our students, faculty, staff and greater community.”

This initiative comes after quarterback Tyler Hilinski died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in January. Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales said they hope to spark a conversation about mental health awarerness and education.

“We are all committed to bringing our Cougar family together to draw attention to the needs of our students, including our student-athletes,” Gonzales said in the release.

To honor Hilinski throughout the upcoming season, the football team will wear No. 3 stickers on the back of their helmets, a locker inside the Cougar Football Complex will be dedicated to Hilinski and a flag will be raised at each home game to pay tribute to the late quarterback.

More information will be released about the Crimson and Gray game in the coming months, according to the release.