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Tailgating 101: Tips for making the most of Gameday

By on August 10, 2018 in Campus News with 0 Comments

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Wildcat Country Tailgating
Wildcat Country Tailgating is back for a second year providing a venue for fans to eat, relax and have fun before games.

Photos by Scott Delony

The excitement of Wildcat football season is only a few weeks away, and for ACU fans this means the second year of an all-new on-campus Gameday experience, complete with Wildcat Country Tailgating. Some of the most spirited Wildcats during last season’s tailgating were ACU social clubs, whose tents dotted the Campus Mall area with members cooking, relaxing and having a good time.

We asked some of these students to share their favorite memories, foods and tips to help newcomers make the most of this years tailgating experience. Enjoy their advice below, and if you havent purchased your tickets, visit acusports.com/tickets. The first home game is Sept. 8 against Angelo State University.


Ty Kelley / senior information technology major from San Antonio / Galaxy social director:

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Galaxy members set up a big screen to monitor the action during their tailgate.
Galaxy members set up a big screen to monitor the football action.

“For me, the most enjoyable thing about tailgating is the community. It’s a time for all of club to come together,” Ty says.

The most difficult part, he says, is the logistics. “Most people don’t realize how much work is involved in setting up a successful tailgate. We have to make sure we have guys to set up the tent, cook the food, spin the turntables and the worst part – tear it all down.”

His best advice: “Don’t forget your ray-bans. Oh yeah and have fun. You’re not in class, you’re not at work, you’re not with your parents, so have a good time. I think some freshmen are intimidated to socialize with social clubs, but that’s what tailgating is all about, socializing. Grab your bros and have a good time. Don’t miss out because before you know it, you’ll be a senior like me.”


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Ko Jo Kai president Sarah Brooks (left) poses with members of Sigma Theta Chi, Reagan Branch, Damitra Holland and Elisabeth Brooks, during a tailgate last fall.
Ko Jo Kai president Sarah Brooks poses with members of Sigma Theta Chi, Reagan Branch, Damitra Holland and Elisabeth Brooks, during a tailgate last fall.

Sarah Brooks / senior kinesiology major from Lubbock / Ko Jo Kai president:

“The most enjoyable part of tailgating is being able to walk around to the various tents and being able to eat and fellowship with friends,” Sarah says.

The most difficult part, she says,  is keeping people from going to the stadium before the tailgate is over. “You can have amazing food, great decor and awesome music, but if you don’t have members there that are pumped and enjoying themselves your tailgate atmosphere will fall flat.”

Sarah’s advice to tailgate newcomers is to enjoy the people and food. “Don’t be afraid to walk around and talk to different student organizations and social clubs. You’ll get to meet some super nice Wildcats and enjoy free food.”


Zach Pendleton / senior finance major from Austin / Gamma Sigma Phi service activity coordinator:

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gamma-brisket-2
Gamma Sigma Phi's tailgate brisket is always a big hit.

“The most enjoyable thing about tailgating is getting to spend time with the people you are in community with,” Zach says.

He believes the best tailgating food is brisket, which Gammas serve at their tent. They start cooking the night before, and it takes people helping all through the night to keep the smoker going.

“The most important thing to remember is who we represent,” he adds. “People are always watching, but thankfully we can all be ourselves and enjoy each other.”

Zach encourages incoming students to interact with people from all the different clubs. “Don’t feel scared by the mass number of people. We all want to have the opportunity to build friendships. Tailgating is a great way to initiate that.”


Matthew Williams / senior computer science and physics major from San Antonio / Frater Sodalis vice president:

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Kory Murdock of Frater Sodalis serves up a quesadilla, the club's signature tailgating food.
Kory Murdock of Frater Sodalis serves up a quesadilla, the club's signature tailgating food.

“I think my favorite thing about the tailgates is just seeing everyone all in one place hanging out together,” Matthew says. “All of my friends from across campus come to the tailgates, and it’s always a blast.”

Because Frats are known for the “greatest quesadillas you ever did see,” Matthew says it’s important to make sure you always bring extra food. Take a nice fresh tortilla, throw on a whole heap of cheese, a little of our secret ingredient, and throw it on the grill. Always a crowd-pleaser.”


Kelsay Heath / junior communication major from Fruita, Colorado / Delta Theta social director:

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Delta Theta sponsors (from left) Beth (Neeley '78) Peables, Emerald (Cardenas '08) Cassidy and Debbie Haag ('73)are ready to welcome guests to the club's tent.
Delta Theta sponsors (from left) Beth (Neeley '78) Peables, Emerald (Cardenas '08) Cassidy and Debbie Haag ('73) prepare to welcome guests to the club's tent.
Delta Theta sponsors are ready to welcome guests to the club's tent.

“I am a very spirited person so the fact we get to celebrate and cheer on our Wildcats is the best thing to me,” Kelsay says.

The hardest part, she says, is sticking to one tent, but her advice is to avoid doing that. “Don’t get stuck at one place; make sure you venture out.” 


Megan Mallary / senior nursing major from Seabrook / Tri Kappa Gamma tailgate director:

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Eboni Childs, a senior member of Tri Kappa Gamma, paints the face of a Wildcat fan during a tailgate last fall.
Eboni Childs, a senior member of Tri Kappa Gamma, paints the face of a Wildcat fan during a tailgate last fall.

Face painting visitors is a great draw for Tri Kappa Gamma’s tent. “We want to focus on getting to know our community,” Megan says. “We found that face painting is a great way to show school spirit and meet many of the alumni and students who attend.”

Megan says her favorite tailgating food is hot dogs, but she loves her social club’s plan for this year. “We are going to have different food items that match with the overall themes of our tailgates, such as popsicles, watermelon, walking tacos and TKG’s signature pink thumbprint cookies.”

“Tailgates are a wonderful opportunity to preview and get to know different organizations and clubs on campus,” she adds.


About Wildcat Country Tailgating

Wildcat Country is the official tailgate for Gameday, sponsored by United Supermarkets. At Wildcat Country, fans can set up tents throughout the Campus Mall. Bring your own food or purchase items from available food trucks. United will have sample-sized food on hand as well as games with prizes presented by various sponsors of ACU Athletics. Visit this link to get a printable copy of tailgating rules and to review the ACU Wildcat Football Fan Guide.

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