An hour and a half before the football game on Saturday a crowd of supporters was already in the Shotwell Stadium parking lot.
While the tailgaters grilled up ears of corn, hamburgers and chicken fajitas, they all agreed it wasn’t about the food or even the football, it was about showing school spirit and supporting the players visibly and loudly.
“We drove up here from Houston to support our son, Joshua Perez.” Alisha Trevino said “In high school no one paints up, but now we like to get here early and get decorated. When the players get out on the field we’re all like ‘YAAA!'”
Many parents have made a tradition of coming early to the game. The parents of trainer Kolby Freytag, WR Austin Kessler, QB Mitchell Gale and Defensive Coordinator Coach Johns get together to have a “good time” andÂ some “good pot-luckin”.
“We started coming three years ago. We try to make all the games, even the away games,” Rick Kessler said. “Last year we took an RV to the Missouri game. But it’s mainly to support the kids.”
Eric Gumm, college minister at Westgate Church of Christ, started tailgating as a way to spend time with college kids and get in the game day spirit.
“It’s a great time to encourage school spirit and get together with friends and college students,” Gumm said. “Plus it’s fun to cook for people.”
The largest tailgating party at the game was hosted by the women of Ko Jo Kai. They were out not only to support the football team but to spend time with family and help raise awareness for breast cancer.
“This is Breast Cancer Awareness Week, and we’re raising money for an old Kojie, Julie Whaley,” Kylah Riddle, President of Ko Jo Kai, said. “It’s also our First Annual Kojies’ Dads weekend. We played golf this morning and now tailgating. It’s a great turnout, and we want to do more tailgating in the future.”
The tailgaters all had a good time, listening to the Texas UCLA game, playing football themselves and catching up with old friends and family, but they all agreed it could be better.
“We would really like to see more people out here,” Kessler said. “This is what game day and school spirit is all about”