The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

September 3, 2009

Rain doesn’t deter Bearkat fans

Sam Houston State University students and alumni braved the wet weather in the name of school pride Thursday, congregating under various tents next to Bowers Stadium to take shelter and enjoy the goodies offered prior to the Bearkats home opener.

The Bearkat Alley Tailgate Party is held two hours before each SHSU home football game as a means to socialize with fellow Bearkats and to increase school spirit prior to kickoff.

It features booths of various community and campus groups offering food and prizes to visitors.

The tailgate party experience was a first for transfer student Britney Hart, who said she had been part of nothing like the event prior to coming to SHSU.

“I am having a good time,” she said while enjoying pizza from a nearby tent. “It is a great way to get more involved socially in the school — and its free.”

Huddling next to Hart was SHSU sophomore Briana Hart, who makes attending the tailgate parties a regular part of her social routine.

“I try to come to as many as I can,” she said. “I think this is a great way to see people you might not have made contact with since the semester started.

“It also allows students to learn more about the organizations on campus and the students involved in them.”

At the SHSU Alumni Association tent, current students mingled with school alumni, who were serving pizza and handing out brochures to visitors.

“SHSU Alumni have been participating in the tailgate party for seven or eight years now,” current SHSU Alumni Association Board President John Hoyt said. “We have had a pretty good crowd today and usually have a good turnout.”

Hoyt, a 1975 SHSU graduate who makes the trip to tailgate from San Augustine, says he really enjoys being able to meet alumni and to encourage others to be part of the organization.

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