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Bobcat Crew brings energy, support to Texas State Athletics


Texas State Bobcat Crew dances while being on the jumbotron at a men’s basketball game against Coastal Carolina, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, at Strahan Arena. Bobcat Crew members wore tie-dye as the “theme of the game.”

Without fans, sports just aren’t the same. The aura of sports really isn’t complete without spectators fanatically cheering on the incredible feats seen before them. Sometimes, it seems great fans can even change the very outcome of a game.
That seemed to be the case on Jan. 29 as the Texas State men’s basketball team defeated the University of Texas at Arlington in front of a black-out crowd that boasted a season-high attendance of 3,587 fans.
After the win, senior guard Shelby Adams expressed how much he appreciated the fans that came out and how their energy helped the team defeat the Mavericks.
“It was lit. There was a lot of energy in the building,” Adams said. “At halftime, we came to an understanding that it was gonna be a dog fight, and we talked about how we had a lot of support here in the gym, so like I said we just fed off it, picked our intensity up, played a little harder, and it worked out for us.”
Part of that 3,587 was Bobcat Crew President Leslie Munguia Olalde, a business management freshman. Olalde and the Bobcat Crew are a fairly new student organization that offers members perks like reserved premium seating, special tailgates and even a little behind-the-scenes access. The purpose of the crew is to entice more fans to come to games so that Texas State athletes always have the support of roaring crowds.
Adams’ post-game comments reflect exactly the kind of effect Olalde wants the fans to have on Texas State’s home games. She believes fans play an important role in helping lift teams up. Olade said it’s her duty to let her fellow Bobcats know that someone has their back.
“We want everyone to be up 24/7, being loud, cheering, just mainly being active,” Olalde said. “I know the guys appreciate it a lot because having a loud crowd makes them want to play even harder and when you don’t have a crowd it just has a little less meaning.”
Olalde seeks to build a fan culture at Texas State. Texas State Athletics’ history has been a bit underwhelming which has led to a lack of school spirit, empty seats and quiet arenas. These are things Olalde wants to improve.
“A lot of people say that we don’t have good teams, but I think we do have good teams. People just don’t take the time to go out and support, because that’s all the football, volleyball, basketball players need,” Olalde said. “They need support, and they need to see that we have school spirit.”
Associate Athletics Director of Marketing Justin Mulloy echoes Olalde’s sentiment and believes there is room for improvement when it comes to student turnout at university sporting events.
“When I arrived here just over three months ago a main focus of mine was to get more in touch with students, have better communication, and help create something they could call their own,” Mulloy said.
To achieve that goal, Mulloy began by sending university-wide emails calling for students with high energy to lead the student section at home games. Olalde was one of the students who answered the call, Natalie Franco, an internal relations freshman, was another. Franco is the Bobcat Crew’s secretary and joined in hopes of finding a group she could be a part of at Texas State.
“I’m a very extroverted person and I figured leading a student section would be a really great way for me to meet more people,” Franco said. “It’s kind of nice to be able to go up to people and be like, ‘Hey! I’m part of the Bobcat Crew, would you like to join?’”
Franco is a big sports fan, the type of fan who always brings the energy. She said people even take pictures of her theatrics during the games, but she isn’t embarrassed and said that other students who want to show their emotion don’t have to be either.
“My motto is, ‘if nobody else is doing it I am,’” Franco said. “If there’s nobody else that you see who’s being crazy at the game, there will at least be me, so you’re not alone. That’s the goal, to get more people involved and make them unafraid to have fun.”
Having fun is what the Bobcat Crew is all about. There are no major requirements to join the club other than coming to games when possible.
“We’d love to have every student to join the Bobcat Crew, it’s not something that’s exclusive or a big commitment, there’s no caveats,” Mulloy said. “So, we encourage all students at Texas State to join, bring their friends, and just have fun”
Ultimately, the Bobcat Crew wants to improve the community around Texas State sports. The group feels that going to games, tailgates and events is a way for students to come together and celebrate something they all have in common, being a Bobcat.
“Hopefully more people will come out and maybe we’ll become a huge student section that everybody sees on YouTube or TikTok, like one of the biggest in Texas,” Olalde said. “I want to build something like that. I know it’ll take time, but I want to get there.”
Students interested in joining Bobcat Crew can apply online at https://txstatebobcats.com/sports/2012/4/27/GEN_0427123633.aspx. 
For more information on Bobcat Crew, visit its Twitter @txst_bobcatcrew or on Instagram and TikTok @txstbobcatcrew.

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