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Tailgate party displays Leo spirit

University of La Verne football fans gather at a tailgate party in the Mainiero parking lot for the first home football game against Whitworth on Saturday. Ray Homan, father of sophomore Nick Homan, manned the barbeque. / photo by Erin Maxwell

University of La Verne football fans gather at a tailgate party in the Mainiero parking lot for the first home football game against Whitworth on Saturday. Ray Homan, father of sophomore Nick Homan, manned the barbeque. / photo by Erin Maxwell

Charlie Neff
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne held its first tailgate party of the year in the Mainiero parking lot Saturday at 8 a.m. to pump up the University’s football team right before its big game.

Football players, parents, friends and even the campus radio station LeoFM attended the free event.

“We had a ball,” said Lynn Setlich, parent of ULV football player Turner Setlich.

“We had a good 50 families involved. We cooked hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, and everyone participated,” continued Setlich.

While the food was cooking on the barbeque, members of the tailgate party were also able to enjoy free giveaways passed out by the University’s radio station, LeoFM.

“The parents were really excited,” said Ruby Balle­stamon, LeoFM program director. “We gave away LeoFM t-shirts, hats, scarfs, cups, magnets and even pom-poms.”

Many parents came dressed for the game in their University of La Verne apparel.

Some parents even came wearing their sons’ football number, or dressed in the University’s school colors: orange and green.

“Today we were hoping to get some spirit on campus, and we got alumni support and even family support,” said Beth Elmore, director of alumni relations.

The tailgate party finally came to an end as parents and friends migrated to the stands to watch the big game.

Football players excitedly ran under the Ort Walk Tunnel that was created by members of the tailgate party right before the football game.

“It was a nice family atmosphere to support the football team,” said Malissa Hernandez, alumni relations coordinator.

“We are hoping that it will grow. We want it to be a tradition and to get more alumni involved,” she said.

Charlie Neff can be reached at charlie.neff@laverne.edu.

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