A number of parents of Ohio State Buckeyes gathered at West Gate 5 outside Memorial Stadium on Thursday about three hours before the season opener against Indiana.
They formed a circle, linked hands and bowed their heads as Shelly Woodruff, mother of wide receiver Parris Campbell, led the group in prayer. It’s called prayer gate, and the parents meet for the prayer before every game.
“We just basically pray that God will watch over each and every one of us, including our boys and the opposing team,” Woodruff said. “We don’t want any injuries for anybody. We pray for safe travels for everybody, to and from, and we just give God all the glory because that’s the reason we’re here today.”
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Woodruff said Annie Apple, mother of former Buckeye Eli Apple, started the tradition.
“When we arrived, as freshman parents, we were on the committee, so I filled in for prayer gate whenever she wasn’t available to do it,” Woodruff said, “so for the last two years, I’ve been leading the prayer gate since Annie Apple has been gone. It’s a tradition that’s been passed off from the beginning to now.”
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