HUMBOLDT — A large collaborative effort to pay tribute to the 2017-18 Broncos came as a result of one man’s hobby.
Duane Liecht, along with his son Andrew Liecht and his friend Anthony Wood, were the ringleaders of a project to create a large chainmail banner with the Broncos logo on it.
“Chainmail is kind of my hobby. It's something I started maybe 10 years ago,” Duane said. “It just kind of seemed to intrigue me so I've been working with it just as a hobby off and on for the last 10 years.”
Duane is related to Jacob Liecht, who died in the April 6, 2018 crash.
“[Jacob’s father] Kurt's my cousin and so obviously, there's a connection to what happened last year and we just wanted to do something to pay tribute.”
The banner is made up of approximately 100,000 rings. Each ring has about the same circumference as a pen.
The project started in March of this year. More than 100 people across North America wove sections of the banner, with some as far away as New York state and Pennsylvania. Duane would mail the materials with instructions, giving the larger pieces with those with experience.
“We wanted this to be done as by as many people as possible just to let people know that there still is a corps of support out there,” he said. “We haven't forgotten, we're still around, we're there if we need to be.”
Duane and Andrew were at the Uniplex on Oct. 8 with the uncompleted banner.
“We wanted to come back to Humboldt today to give people a chance to come and see it, add some links to it,” Duane said. “We wanted an opportunity for the players to add links to it as well.”
The project is expected to be complete in the next couple of weeks and a formal presentation to the team is planned on Nov. 8.
“We just had a lot of fun doing this and it's been a very rewarding experience,” Duane said.
Before the flag, Duane’s largest chainmail project was a Roughriders jersey, complete with a chainmail watermelon hat.