Crocketteers members enjoy a cookout together at the tailgate party before the game. Photo by Arturo Guzman.
Crocketteers members enjoy a cookout together at the tailgate party before the game. Photo by Arturo Guzman.

A sports fan is not created by buying jerseys or naming high-dollar players, it takes a dedication and love for the colors your team represents.

I parked my car under the Thousand Oaks bridge, looked at the thermometer on my dash that read 103 degrees, and began to think that the multitude of people tailgating before the San Antonio Scorpions soccer game last weekend must be a little out of their mind.

Clouds of smoke and the smell of barbecue and burgers on the grill permeated the air. One could hear the sounds of music and laughter while kids ran around with soccer balls. Everyone was having such a good time that they didn’t have time to care about the heat. Nearly everyone in the Toyota Field was sporting some kind of San Antonio Scorpions gear – whether it was the 2014-2015 team jersey, a scarf, or a helmet equipped with a light, everyone proudly represented their squad.

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The Crocketteers Premier Soccer Supporters are an independent soccer support group established in San Antonio in 2009. They were partly responsible for promoting the establishment of the Scorpions soccer team in 2010. The Crocketteers have been behind the Scorpions’ stinger since the beginning. They hold tailgate parties before each home game and even have watch parties for away games and international matches. The Crocketteers started with 12 members and now have more than 1,000.

“(My family and I) have been here since the beginning, I actually used to play for the Scorpions’ developmental squad, and my dad is the guy grilling the burgers, so we all know each other here,” said Joshua Chavez, one of the younger members of the Crocketteers.

Some members of the Crocketteers take the term “fan” to another level. Dan Macrae, a soccer fan “from birth,” wears a kilt to the soccer games. Macrae is Scottish and his ancestors were professional soccer players so he wears the kilt to the games to pay reverence to his ancestors. Dennis Lamm wears a helmet with the Scorpions’ crest on the front and a light bulb on top. He turns on the light every time the scorpions score a goal.

“It’s my way of celebrating,” he said.

The Crocketteers not only have built a community, but they also help the community. The Crocketteers host youth soccer teams for kids in need. They made a deal with the City of San Antonio for the acquisition of a soccer field to hold practices and games for the youth team. The Crocketteers, with support from local sponsors, cover most of the fees that are necessary for a boy or girl to play on a team.

The afternoon progressed and people continued to enjoy their afternoon while eating and drinking. The Crocketteers gathered in the middle of the tailgate to march into Toyota Field. They yelled team chants as barbecue smoke covered the terrain as if the men were about to head into war. Everyone came together and began to walk with their chests held high as flags waved in the sky.

Before the game began, the Crocketteers seemed to think the Scorpions would win that night. Macrae stood during the entire game with his red and black Scorpions flag waving proudly in the air. The drummers beat their drums at pivotal times during the game.

The match was a tough one. Jacksonville Armada was ahead of the Scorpions by a couple of points, but didn’t have home field advantage. The entire game mimicked the battle sounds of the Battle of the Alamo. Drums sounded every few minutes, and fans chanted, screamed, and booed. As the second half started, the score was level with no goal in sight. After a quick drive up the field and a clever switch of the field by Tyler Gibson, Billy Forbes took the ball and drove it to the far post of the net. The stadium roared, everyone jumped with excitement. The Crocketteers hug each other as everyone celebrated the goal.

The next minutes were intense as Jacksonville tried to make up their deficit. The Crocketteers and the rest of the fans did everything they could to keep things balanced in the Scorpions’ favor. As the 1-0 game ended, the Crocketteers gave one last standing ovation to their team.

For members of the Crocketteers, soccer isn’t just a sport, it’s a gateway for the community to come together and support local talent.

The Scorpions will face the Armada again in Jacksonville on Saturday. Its next home game will be on Sept. 5 against the Ottawa Fury FC at the Toyota Field.

*Featured/top image: Crocketteers members enjoy a cookout together at the tailgate party before the game. Photo by Arturo Guzman.

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Arturo Guzman is a graphic designer in San Antonio, Texas. He has a strong passion for photography that can convey messages without any words. He is the currently finishing his studies at the University...