MADISON, Wis. — They saved the loudest cheers for Fuuuuuuuuuumagalli. But Wisconsin fans’ most emotional applause Saturday morning was for Jack.
As in Cichy.
No. 48 in your program.
And based on the reception before the No. 5 Badgers’ showdown with Michigan, No. 1 in your hearts:
— Sean Keeler (@SeanKeeler) November 18, 2017
Cichy, who came out to greet his family in black sweats, was one of 13 seniors honored during pregame ceremonies Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium — a farewell to the winningest class in school history.
The football seniors of 2017, a group that also includes tight end Troy Fumagalli, linebackers Leon Jacobs and Garret Dooley; cornerback Derrick Tindal; safety Natrell Jamerson; and defensive end Conor Sheehy, leaves Madison with 42 victories on the books as of early Saturday.
That surpasses the old mark of 41 wins, set by the senior class in 2016.
A senior linebacker and team captain, Cichy tore an anterior cruciate ligament during preseason camp in August, an injury that put a tragically premature end to what was expected to be his final season of eligibility.
The Minnesota native, who recorded 60 tackles in eight games in 2016, took a non-medical redshirt in 2014 after appearing in four games that season.
Cichy, one of the Badgers’ emotional firecrackers and veteran leaders, could petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility, but it’s not clear if that is the path he will choose to take.
If Saturday was his final bow on Monroe Street, the fans made it a memorable one.
Cold and brief, but memorable.