Aaron Thomas will wear 20-year retired No. 16 in honor of Cally Belcher: 'It's an honor'

Aaron Thomas will wear 20-year retired No. 16 in honor of Cally Belcher: 'It's an honor'

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Lumberjacks are looking to carry on their 2-game winning streak in honorable fashion, by showing respects to one of their own.

Cally Belcher passed away after sustaining a head injury in spring practice of 1994 at Homer Bryce Stadium.

The safety developed a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the Southland Conference, but it was the Belcher's character both on and off the field that people remember most.

His retired number 16 jersey hangs in the SFA field house and has been there for the past 20 years.

In their game tomorrow against Weber, the number 16 will step back on Homer Bryce field for the first time in two decades.

The number will be worn by wide receiver Aaron Thomas, who head coach Clint Conque said exemplifies many of the same characteristics as Belcher.

Thomas has been wearing the number 16 jersey to practice all week, and says he's ready to play in honor of Belcher's memory.

"It's a huge honor especially because of the way people remember Cally Belcher. They say he was the ultimate teammate, he played with a lot of pride and honor, and he really carried himself well. It means a lot to me to be able to wear this," said Thomas. "Obviously it's going to be on my mind (playing for Belcher) because it's just a huge deal and when I look down I'll have 16 on and not 81, but hopefully that won't throw me off too much. It's just an honor and I'm still going to be focused on the game of course."

At the game Saturday, there will be a halftime presentation where Belcher's family will be present. The game is set for 6 p.m.

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