August 18, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
K-State fans had the opportunity to check out the 2013 K-State football team Saturday evening for the first time at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Fall Football Kickoff in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The 2,000-plus fans in attendance were given the opportunity to check out the final hour of practice, hear from head coach Bill Snyder and the 2013 captains and get autographs from their favorite K-State football players.
Excitement for the 2013 football season was everywhere from the youngest to the oldest K-State fans.
"It's a great time," Cheryl Froetschner, from Russell, Kan., said. "We're looking forward to another winning season. We come to every game, we're from two hours away, so it's two hours up, two hours back every game day."
This season Cheryl's grandson, the Foetschner family's newest addition, will also get to enjoy his weekends in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
"This year we're bringing Braxton to all the games," Cheryl smiled and pointed over to the bald headed baby giggling and sporting a purple Wildcat t-shirt. "It'll be his first season, and this year he gets to meet Grandpa Snyder, that's what we call him."
Tom and Janice Britz, parents of K-State sophomore defensive lineman Travis Britz, also enjoy the Fall Football Kickoff every year, and with Travis on the field playing, they have a lot to look forward to this season.
"We love it," Tom said about the opportunity to check out a K-State practice. "We did it last year and it was a lot of fun getting all the autographs and everything too."
Janice, surrounded by a group of extended family and friends, said she was excited to check out how the K-State defensive line stacks up this year.
"Travis is on the D-line, and there's a lot of talk about the D-Line," Janice said. "I'm just excited to see how the young players step up and see what they can do."
For Arthur Rohr, being a K-State fan - and staying one - came by choice.
After spending over 20 years in the United States Army, Rohr decided he would become a fan of the college football team closest to whichever post he was stationed at.
"I was stationed in the military for 20 years, and everywhere I went in the military I would support the local team," Rohr said. "When I was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., I supported the Air Force Academy. Now they weren't that good, but I was there."
In 1987, Rohr was stationed at Fort Riley, and it was then he found out about the Kansas State Wildcats.
"When I got here, I said, 'I'll go out and check it out,' and I couldn't believe all of the tickets I found in windshield wipers in the parking lot - free tickets," Rohr explained about his first K-State game. "So I took one and went in and I was like, 'Where is everybody?' There wasn't hardly anybody here, so I talked to one guy and he said, 'If you think this is bad, come next week. Nebraska is going to be here, it'll be 60 to nothing.' When you watched the team then, you could see it, it was all mental, and when Bill (Snyder) showed up, things started just going up."
When he decided to retire from the Army, Rohr, native of Lebanon, Penn., stayed in Manhattan and has had season tickets to K-State football games ever since.
When practice was over and before fans rushed the field for autographs from their favorite players and coaches, Snyder thanked his passionate purple family.
"As always, we greatly appreciate having all of you here and we greatly appreciate all of these young people here to get autographs. Thank you for supporting Kansas State University," Snyder said. "I've said to you on numerous occasions, this is probably the 20-something-year that we've done this, but we appreciate you very, very much and what you mean to our program."
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.