Men’s lacrosse pioneer pregames boost school spirit at University of Denver

DU students have displayed an increase in school spirit throughout the 2012 men’s lacrosse season by attending the student-organized pioneer pregame tailgates before each home game.

Students showing their school spirit at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Over the 7 games played at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium and the one game played at Sports Authority Field in Denver for the Whitman’s Sampler Mile High Classic, hosted by Inside Lacrosse, students have turned out to each game in large numbers not only due to last years final four run by the men’s team, but also the increased organization of the Pioneer Pregame tailgates.

Samuel White, the president pro tempore of the undergraduate student government, described the organization of the pioneer pregames and why they have become so successful.

“At the beginning it wasn’t so much work because we were doing it through Sodexho and through a lot of the administration,” White continued, “And now it has become more of a free for all with students bringing their own alcohol and serving it to people that are above 21.”

Paul Bowman, a freshman at DU, was pleasantly surprised when the lacrosse season started because of the sense of school spirit he felt at the pioneer pregame tailgates.

“Before starting school this year I had no idea that there was anything like the tailgates before the lacrosse games,” Bowman said. “I really wanted to go to a school with a football team and I thought there would not be that type of school spirit I was looking for at DU, but the lacrosse tailgates really fill that void and were certainly some of my best memories of my freshman year.”

Current students are not the only ones taking notice in the increased popularity of the lacrosse team.

Noah Winter, a 2009 graduate of DU, attended this years game at Mile High and was stunned by the increase of school spirit with the students.

“I could not believe my eyes when I saw the tailgate at Sports Authority Field before the game versus Duke,” Winter continued, “ When I was at school here we never had anything like this.  It is great to see DU evolve into a school that students can get excited to go to sporting events and have something like the lacrosse tailgates to look forward to.”


Men’s lacrosse rivaling men’s hockey

Andrew Dale, a senior at DU, has been going to lacrosse games since his freshman year and is amazed how the pioneer pregame tailgates have been able to draw so many students to lacrosse games.

“It truly is great to see students of all ages turn out to both the lacrosse games and Pioneer Pregame tailgates,” Dale continued, “When I was a freshman, the student body had almost a non-existent sense of school spirit other than with the hockey program and through the last three years, the men’s lacrosse program has in my opinion, gotten to almost the same popularity as hockey with students.”

James Knight, a sophomore at DU, believes the lacrosse games rival hockey games in terms of popularity primarily because of the pioneer pregame tailgates.

“The tailgates before lacrosse games have sparked a sense of school spirit that I have not felt since being at DU,” Knight said, “Prior to coming to school here I thought that I would go to a lot of hockey games, but the lacrosse games have proved to be so much more appealing not only to me, but so many of my peers because of the great tailgates before the home games.”

Samuel White described the tailgates that took place at the hockey games earlier in the year.

“In the fall and a little bit into the winter there were tailgates for the hockey games,” White continued, “The first one was very well attended with over 1200 students, alumni, faculty and staff and some of the other ones did not work as well.  Then spring quarter came around and we began to push the limits as much as possible so we can actually have tailgates that felt like a normal college atmosphere.”


Student organizations at pioneer pregames

Student organizations around campus have had a large presence at the pioneer pregame tailgates throughout the year and are a contributing factor to the increased popularity of the tailgates among students.

Ross Larson, President of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, believes that the

Student organizations such as fraternities and sororities have been a big reason why the pioneer pregames have become so popular.

involvement of Greek life with the pioneer pregames has been one of the main reasons why the tailgates have flourished throughout this years lacrosse season.

“Almost every fraternity and sorority on campus has had a strong showing at all of the tailgates this year and has brought a large amount of students to the games,” Larson continued, “Many of the fraternities set up cars in the Ritchie Center parking lot before the games allowing students to come and socialize, eat food, and drink alcohol if they are of age.”

Samuel White describes the bonding between Greek life and other student organizations at the tailgates as a big step in bringing the campus together.

“The lacrosse tailgate has brought together Greek life more than anything,” White continued, “We do not have a lot of Greek life bonding and the tailgates are a time for everyone to get together and meet each other and as far as bringing in other student organizations, we have clubs and other organizations that attend.  Eventually we want to see alumni come back and that would bring the entire DU community together.”

There will not be anymore DU lacrosse home games this season, but the men’s lacrosse team will take on the University of North Carolina in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C. and it will be televised on ESPNU and


DU men’s lacrosse website:

DU men’s lacrosse twitter:!/du_mlax


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