SE: K-State Heads West for Catbacker Tour

K-State Athletics and the K-State Alumni Association kick off the 2016 Catbacker Tour today with its annual trip out west.

K-State coaches, student-athletes and staff are spending five days with purple fans from around the state on the Catbacker Tour’s “Western Swing.” The group begins the five-day tour today in Dodge City, before heading to Garden City tomorrow, Scott City on Wednesday, Colby on Thursday and concluding the Swing in Hays on Friday.

“The Western Swing has always been a staple of the Catbacker Tour,” said K-State Assistant Director of Development Matt Giller, who is in charge of coordinating this year’s Catbacker tour. “We load up Monday morning at 7:30 and return late Friday night. It’s the least we can do for the passionate K-Staters in these cities who make the long trip to Manhattan numerous times throughout the year.”

At each city, K-State Athletics and the K-State Alumni Association begin their day with a golf tournament followed by student-athlete hosted kids’ fun zones each afternoon. In the evening, everyone gets together for a banquet – and each banquet is unique to its town.

With steak dinners in Dodge City to Mexican cuisine complete with sopapillas in Garden City to the Annual “Calf Fry” in Scott City (an event unlike any other!), each event is different, but they all have one common factor: they are all filled with Kansans who are extremely passionate about Kansas State University and its athletics.

“I love going on the tour,” said K-State Senior Director of Development Mike Clark, who has been attending Catbacker events since his days coaching the Wildcat baseball team in 1987. “I love talking with all the great people. It's been our way of telling each and every fan just how much we appreciate them.”

Following the Western Swing, the Catbacker Tour will continue throughout the state with 27 events taking place through August 15.

“This will be my 14th Catbacker Tour season,” said Voice of the Wildcats Wyatt Thompson. “It is a six-week grind, but it is a wonderful experience. I really enjoy every aspect of it – the time with the athletes and coaches, the great people we see each year at each stop, and the passion you see from our fans and supporters for both Kansas State University and Wildcat Athletics. I also have high regard for the work the Catbacker Presidents put into each event. They do a great job.”

Along with the K-State Athletics’ staff and coaches heading out West this week, K-State fans will have the opportunity to get to know Wildcat student-athletes as 11 student-athletes from four sports will be making the trip. This year’s trip will mark men’s basketball senior DJ Johnson’s third year on the Western Swing and women’s basketball senior Kindred Wesemann’s second year on the tour, while it will be the first time for football players Sean Newlan, Matt Seiwert, Jordan Willis and Tanner Wood, women’s soccer players Abby Sepierda, Abey Fiser and Kelcy Fiser, men’s basketball player Austin Budke and women’s basketball player Erica Young.

“The goals for this year are the same as any other year, and that is to promote and expand the K-State brand as well as raise funds for student-athlete excellence,” continued Giller. “Last year, over 6,000 people attended the events which helped us raise $155,000 that directly impacts our student-athletes.”

For a full schedule and more information on this year’s Catbacker Tour, please click here.