Fans boost Jacks on the road

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The Jacks aren’t the only ones who get to play when they go on the road.

The booster travel group, a group of boosters, parents and guests who travel with the team, spends time not only supporting the team, but sightseeing as well.

A group of 40 to 45 people traveled with the team to Lake Charles, La., for last Saturday’s game against McNeese State University. Almost the only thing the two groups did together was fly.

As soon as the plane landed, the football players boarded their busses and the boosters boarded theirs. Both groups traveled to the McNeese football field, but for different reasons. The players held a practice on the field, while the boosters toured the athletic facilities, the box suites and the press box.

Associate Athletic Director Rob Peterson said the booster travel group attends the away games for a couple of reasons: to support the student athletes and to provide parents with an opportunity to see their sons play.

The boosters and parents can purchase packages consisting of the flight, the hotel room, ground transportation, tailgating, special events and game tickets.

While the football team eats, drinks and sleeps football on the trip, the boosters have a host of activities lined up for them. On Friday, the athletic department organized a trip to a nearby mall, and then dinner and other activities on Crockett Street in downtown Beaumont, Texas.

On Saturday morning, the group visited the nearby Texas Energy Museum. Peterson said when he lines up the special events like the museum trip, he looks for places that are educational and unique to that area.

In the afternoon, before tailgating, the booster group was treated to a bus tour of some of the swamplands in Louisiana. The main attraction of the tour was an opportunity to see gators. The swampland tour brought the group to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, where it was abundantly clear how much devastation Hurricane Rita caused.

After the bus tour, it was time to head back to Cowboy Stadium to tailgate, Louisiana style. The booster group tailgated at the Cowboy alumni tent, where the gracious McNeese fans provided the boosters with free food and drink.

After a couple of hours making friends with the Cowboy fans, it was time to head into the stadium for the real reason the boosters came on the trip: SDSU Jackrabbit football.

When the game ended, the boosters and players met up again. After the congratulatory handshakes and hugs, the group returned to Brookings.

#1.884204:108011395.jpg:unboarding.jpg:The booster group and players deplane in Lake Charles, La. before the game against MSU.:#1.884203:4035140165.jpg:pressbox.jpg:The booster group tours the press box at Cowboy Stadium.: