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KC Catbackers Celebrate K-State Football
The Kansas City Catbackers celebrated Family Fun Night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Lawrence)
May 3, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
The Kansas City Catbackers gathered in Kansas City's Sporting Park on April 30 to celebrate K-State Football at its Family Fun Night.
The event took place in the Major League Soccer stadium's East Members Club, and futbol met football while the Wildcat fans gathered for a night of games, food and fun.
"How about this venue? Is this great or what!" began Voice of the Wildcats Wyatt Thompson as he opened the banquet. "Welcome to the Kansas City Catbackers football night. We're going to have fun tonight. We're going to celebrate last year's outstanding season in which Kansas State had one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of college football, and we have so much to look forward to with a new season starting on August 30 in Bill Snyder Family Stadium!"
With that the audience of passionate purple fans let out a cheer.
While in previous years the Kansas City Catbackers football event was more formal as the venue was often a banquet hall, this year, the event's first year at Sporting Park, allowed for a new, fun family environment.
"For this event, the K-State Athletics department in particular asked us to focus on children and getting children informed about K-State," said president of the Kansas City Catbackers, Sheila Isern, at the event. "So we have games, a photo booth, Willie Wildcat and the cheerleaders here. We have something here for the kids to do and it's a little more entertaining. This is a much more casual, relaxed venue for us."
Isern said the Family Fun Night had over 500 attendees with 45 percent not Kansas City Catbackers members when they signed up, so she has high hopes for new members in the Kansas City area.
"The exciting thing about this has been that our mix is different. At the other venues, since it is more formal and sit down, it's usually more of an older crowd," continued Isern, "but we're very excited to have a lot of young people here and to have them bring their kids, because that doesn't usually happen."
The purpose of the Kansas City Catbackers is to promote K-State Sports in the Kansas City area, raise funds for the Ahearn Fund and also - according to the club's website - have fun.
Also attending Wednesday evening's event was K-State football head coach Bill Snyder and Wildcat football captains B.J. Finney, Jonathan Truman and Ryan Mueller.
"This event is awesome," said Mueller, a Leawood, Kan., native. "Being from Kansas City and being a Kansas City kid myself, I'm glad I can come back and interact with the fans in a place I'm from. It's just great."
Snyder said he too appreciates events where he has the opportunity to meet Wildcat fans young and old, and at the Family Fun Night, he had the chance to do just that.
"This is one of the events where they bring a lot of young people, so you get to see a lot of children, and I enjoy that a great deal," said Snyder. "The people here are very genuine and caring, which is true in all the Catbacker events, but it's just people who genuinely care about each other. It's people who care about Kansas State and about Kansas State people."
Voice of the Wildcats Wyatt Thompson talks with K-State Football defensive end Ryan Mueller during the KC Catbackers Family Fun Night (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Lawrence)