As the USF Herd of Thunder (HOT) band members somberly marched onto the field of Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, they wore a new addition to their green and gold uniforms: a black armband, commemorating the loss of one of their newest members.
Daniel Mariscal, a freshman trumpet player at USF, died in a traffic accident on his way to a band rehearsal Wednesday afternoon. He was 18.
“Danny was so proud and dedicated to what he did, he inspired everyone around him,” said Casey McGowan, a senior drum major for HOT. “These past couple of days, everyone’s been really torn up because you don’t realize how important someone is until they’re gone.”
Though he was a senior while Mariscal was a freshman, McGowan attended Dunedin High School with Mariscal, saying he was able to watch him grow by working closely with HOT and the high school band program.
A skilled player of the bagpipes and proud member of Dunedin’s Scottish culture, Mariscal was “quite talented” according to Marching Band Director Matthew McCutchen. In light of the loss of Mariscal, McCutchen canceled the weekly band rehearsal so that members can attend today’s funeral in Dunedin.
Saturday’s football game included a moment of silence and a national anthem directed by Mariscal high school band director.
McGowan, who will wear a plaid armband at the next football game with the other drum majors while the rest of the band continues to wear their black armbands, said Mariscal was a “funny guy” who wanted to make an impact on the USF community as well as Dunedin.
“He was a freshman but was already starting to impact us, trying to start a bagpipe club on campus and trying to leave a mark on campus,” he said.
McGowan said the band is currently working to set up a donation account on Gofundme.com for those interested in making donations to Mariscal’s family.
According to a Tampa Bay Times article, Mariscal was traveling east on Hillsborough Avenue when he collided with a truck while trying to pass the other driver in the center lane. Mariscal was ejected from the car and died at the scene. Three others were injured in the crash.