The years-old tradition of “Mustache March” was bought to campus this semester by the men’s baseball team.
The practice was originated by Robin Olds, an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. It was his way of showing defiance against the facial hair regulations during the month of March. Now men all across the country participate in this yearly protest.
With the season getting off to a slow start, the Cru decided to try something new.
“We needed a change in the team. I mean, we started off 0-5 our first five games,” junior exercise sport science major and pitcher Sam VanHoozer said. “(We) figured we could use something to kind of turn things around for us, and it has gotten us back to almost a .500 record.”
This was a way for the purple and gold to come together and build a more dynamic team than in previous seasons.
“The guys that could grow a mustache participated, but some of the younger guys have a little work to do,” junior sport management major and third baseman Josh Fredrick said. “We are going to try to do it again next year and get the freshmen involved more with (them) using the Just for Men hair product so they can experience what we did.”
The team got weird glances and confused faces around campus, but also when they played against other schools.
“You have no idea how many looks we have got,” junior exercise sport science major and designated hitter Derek Draeger said. “The girls hate them, and the guys respect us for them. As for other teams, they laugh and kind of take it as a joke, or they just use it to make fun of us.”
Even head Coach Derek Dunaway was involved.
“I had one for two days until we lost, and then I shaved it,” he said.
The rest of the team was soon to follow with the removal of the mustaches when they lost the series against McMurry University March 19-20.
“We just took a couple hard losses these past few weekends, which is why we decided it was time for the mustaches to be shaved off,” VanHoozer said. “They are gone, and hopefully we will get back on track for winning.”
“We’ve worked hard and are going to continue to work hard. Baseball is a weird sport, and sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it,” he said. “We know the task that is ahead of us, and we feel like God has put us in a lot of different situations of adversity. The only way to go is up from here.”
The Cru will take on Schreiner April 1 at 2 p.m., and finish with a double header the following day at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
“I believe we are doing good things, and we have the talent and the skill to go a long way this year. We’ve started off kind of rocky but have fought our way back and continue to progress in everything we do each day and it will soon start to pay off,” VanHoozer said.
He goes on to say that they still want to have a good rest of the season.
“We have one mind-set: to make it to the National Championship and do something that UMHB baseball hasn’t ever done.”