2014 Homecoming: Meet the fans-Andre,Jared,Chantalyn,Nathan,Judy
Megan Wyatt, The Advertiser, Nov. 2, 2014
Photo: Megan Wyatt
Ragin’ Cajuns fans of all ages showed up in full force Saturday for fun before the homecoming game. Here are a few of the interesting fans we talked to, from current University of Louisiana at Lafayette students to alumni who remember the school with a different name and mascot to current students.
Few people stood out in the Saturday tailgating crowd as much as Andre Sarrazin, 14, who was dressed in a red, black and white spandex body suit.
"I’m a scary clown," Sarrazin said. "I never really dress up anymore, but I wanted to show my UL pride."
Sarrazin and his family attend all of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ home games.
A freshman at Lafayette High School, Sarrazin says there is one part of tailgating that stands above the rest.
"I love the Zydeco music," he said. "The live Zydeco music is the best."
Jared “J.Y.” Mula (Photo: Megan Wyatt)
Dressed in a red USL pullover, Jared "J.Y." Mula, 74, gathered for lunch at Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Saturday with about two dozen men.
The Walk-On’s homecoming reunion allowed the men to reminisce about playing football for the university back when the mascot was the bulldog and the school was called the Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Mula, who is a Morgan City native, served as the quarterback of the football team in 1960 and 1961 when the university was a fraction of the size and the team played at the now-razed McNapsy Stadium.
After earning a degree in education in 1962 from USL, Mula served as a teacher in Abbeville, where he currently lives.
Mula said he likes to attend games at Cajun Field, where everything is much grander than it once was.
"It’s beautiful," he said. "Just the field and everything is first class."
Chantalyn Jackson (Photo: Megan Wyatt)
Chantalyn Jackson, a junior psychology major at UL, doesn’t normally attend the Ragin’ Cajun football games.
She couldn’t resist attending homecoming Saturday though, in part because of the beautiful fall weather.
"I’ve only been to about three games," Jackson said. "But it’s homecoming. I couldn’t miss it and the weather is so nice."
The Amite native arrived at Cajun Field a few hours before kickoff and said her favorite part about tailgating is visiting the different Greek organization tailgate spots.
"I’m looking forward to the game," she said. "And hopefully a win."
Nathan Pool (Photo: Megan Wyatt)
Instead of a foam finger or bright poster, Nathan Pool, who graduated from UL in May, brought a more creative prop for cheering during the homecoming game.
Ragin’ Cajuns backup quarterback Brooks Haack’s blown-up face was plastered to a stick that Pool carried about Cajun Field Saturday.
"He helped us win the Georgia State game," Pool said. "He’s going to be the star next year."
Pool attends all the home games and cheers on Haack in part because he is the brother of Pool’s girlfriend.
The best part about homecoming to Pool is seeing the enthusiasm of the fans.
"I just love seeing all the fans," he said. "Seeing all the excitement. That’s definitely my favorite par."
Judy Blanchard (Photo: Megan Wyatt)
In the recreational vehicle tailgating section at Cajun Field, one spot stood out not because of the motorhome but because of a Cajuns-themed antique roadster.
Judy Blanchard of Parks says the car was a gift from her boyfriend and that she’s had the vehicle for about two years.
It’s not just for decoration, though.
"A lot of people like to keep cars indoors," she said. "I drive it all the time – to church, to pick up the kids from school, to the grocery store. I like to see people give me a thumbs up or the UL sign, stuff like that."
Blanchard became a Ragin’ Cajun fan because of her son and son-in-law, who both graduated from the university.
"We love the RV tailgating," Blanchard said. "We come on Friday and don’t leave until Sunday. We just love it."