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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State football needs student support

Illustration+by+DJ+Ross
Illustration by DJ Ross

Football games are one of the many great experiences college has to offer its students. These games are a place where every member of the student body, whether they’re an avid football fan or not, can go for a fun atmospheric experience.

The Texas State football program’s lack of success has led to a steady decline in student interest to the point where it has become virtually nonexistent, so much so that only attending the tailgate and not the actual game has become a running joke among many students.

The last time Texas State football played a game was Nov 26, 2022. The Bobcats were trounced 42-13 by Sun Belt Conference rival Louisiana-Lafayette in what would be former head coach Jake Spavital’s final game on the sidelines.

Despite it being Senior Day, the seats inside Bobcat Stadium were half empty. The capacity of the stadium is 30,000 and only 15,035 fans were in attendance. Yet hours before kickoff, the tailgate section in the stadium’s parking lot was a completely different scene.

Hundreds of students were in attendance, music was blaring and one giant party was taking place. It was precisely what you would expect to see at a college football tailgate; however, none of that energy moved into the stadium to support the football team. Students choosing to leave before kickoff has become a recurring theme in San Marcos during football season.

Forner Heisman trophy-winning quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Tim Tebow said it best when it comes to students supporting their university teams.

“I knew going into college what it was all about. If I could support my team, support my college, support my university, that’s what it’s all about,” Tebow said on an episode of First Take.

Tebow’s words still ring true. The football team represents Texas State University, the school in which we as students chose to attend. Students should take pride and support the players no matter how many games they win on the field, rather than mock and turn their backs on them. After all, college athletics are a part of our college experience.

Another reason why students must attend games is because students can play a role in whether or not our teams win or lose games, hence the term “home-field advantage.”

“As players we feed off the [fanbase’s] energy,” redshirt junior quarterback Malik Hornsby said. “If they will be able to come and not just stay for the tailgate and actually be participants and enjoy the game and be loud, that’ll help us win more games.”

The single bright spot to Texas State’s disastrous 2022-23 season was the 36-24 upset victory over Appalachian State on Oct. 8. A record-breaking attendance of over 25,000 fans was in attendance to watch the Bobcats defeat the heavily favored Mountaineers.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that Texas State happened to claim its biggest win of the season with Bobcat Stadium at near maximum capacity or perhaps what Hornsby said has some merit to it.

Loud energetic home crowds at sporting events certainly play a part in the outcome and as students, it’s our duty to attend games, fill the stands and make as much noise as possible to help our teams emerge victorious.

This season, Texas State has a new head coach: G.J. Kinne The 34-year-old came to Texas State from the FCS program Incarnate Word.

The hiring of Kinne has seemingly sparked an interest in the Texas State football program that had been missing for quite some time. The excitement and anticipation for the Kinne era has only grown over the spring and summer as he has assembled a young ambitious coaching staff, overhauled the roster with a 55-man recruiting class that ranks top in the Sun Belt Conference and implanted his “Take Back Texas” philosophy.

Kinne said he believes the team needs to promote an exciting brand of football in order for students to begin to show support.

“I think part of that is on us,” Kinne said. “But at the same time early on we’re going to need [the students] to come out. We want to have the best home-field advantage in the Sun Belt. If we can do that then we have a real chance. We definitely need their support.”

So far Kinne has done and said all the right things to ensure the Texas State football team improves significantly from its past several disappointing seasons. He has come in and set a new standard for the program and the coaches and players have bought into it.

There is a firm belief in the locker room that the 2023-24 team can not only compete for the Sun Belt Conference Championship but can earn the first postseason bowl bid in program history, a goal that has been chased since 2012.

Sophomore wide receiver Kole Wilson said he hopes student turnout will be better at games this upcoming season.

“They’ll see,” Wilson said. “When we come out here and start winning, they’re definitely going to want to come witness it.”

For those lofty goals to be met, the students of Texas State must do their part. Continue going to the tailgate, have fun with friends and create an electric vibrant atmosphere, but instead of taking the party elsewhere afterward, take it into Bobcat Stadium to cheer on the football team.

Fill every seat and yell so loud that the opposing team hears you before they even get off the bus. The coaches deserve it, the players deserve it and most importantly, Texas State University deserves it.

-David Cuevas is a journalism senior

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

 

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