The Lutes football team took on the Tigers of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and won 38-14 last Saturday. This special three-day trip was much different than any other away game. During the three days, the Lutes made the most out of their trip and took the time to visit the city of San Antonio. The trip started with an early morning 6 a.m. wakeup call for the 55 players that were selected by the coaching staff to represent PLU and the rich tradition that the team holds. After all the players gear was packed up and ready to go, each player checked in with his position coach and loaded the team bus.
The Trip Begins
Many of us have heard the Lutes’ famous “attaway” cheers during our time here at PLU, but might not know what this simple cheer means.
The first “attaway” cheer goes to the team’s bus driver. Many teams countrywide never take the time to recognize those who make the logistics of an away trip work, but that’s not the case for the Lutes. When the bus finally arrived at Sea-Tac airport, all of the players made sure to take the time to shake the drivers hand, look him in the eye, and say “thank you”.
As the Lutes boarded the plane and readied themselves for takeoff, they took special attention to the flight attendants and made sure everyone else on the plane is paying attention. All of us who have been on a plane probably have ignored the flight attendants while they explain the safety aspects of the plane, but not the Lutes. As the flight attendants explained the safety procedures, the Lutes made sure to copy all hand movements and repeated certain phrases such as “buckle up” and “be kind to those around you.”
As silly as this may seem, this is the Lutes’ way of showing that they really are paying attention. In addition, the Lutes threw their hands up when the plane took off, mimicking riding on a roller coaster. Shortly after arriving at the hotel, a special “inner-circle” time starts, where no coaches are allowed. This “inner-circle” meeting is player-run and a time for team members to speak any feelings that they have about either the upcoming game, or just a comment or opinion that they think will contribute to the focus of the overall trip.
After this meeting is over, the Lutes kicked back, watched TV and then got some shut eye, keeping in mind the real reason they came to Texas. When game day finally came around, the Lutes were woken up by coaches calling their rooms to come down for breakfast, where pancakes, bacon and eggs were served in enormous portions. It really is true that everything is bigger in Texas.
The Lutes packed into the visitor’s locker room to ready themselves for the ensuing game. Usually, each player has headphones on, listening to all different kinds of music ranging from calming reggae to some pretty interesting dubstep remixes. As the Lutes took the field, they all took part in warm-ups and complete their famous “go-drills”. These “go-drills” took the Trinity players by surprise, leaving the majority of them with a confused look. When the game finally finished, the team took part in an after game recap, where the players, PLU fans and coaching staff pack the visitors stands and begin to praise players for certain things that they did throughout the game.
Lutes Hit the Town
The third and final day in San Antonio is where the Lutes really took the city by surprise. The team was surprised with an all day trip to downtown San Antonio, where they visited the Alamo and the nearby mall.
The team split up into groups where some learned about the history of the Alamo and some took the time to spend money at the downtown mall and even check out the local shops to see if they could buy an authentic Texas cowboy hat. Some were successful, and some came back with belt buckles and boots instead. The second surprise of the day took place when the team found out that they were going to able to trip the famous riverboat ride through San Antonio.
For senior safety Derek Kaufman, this was really exciting. “I’ve heard about these river-boat rides from family members of mine, but I’ve never been on one myself,” Kaufman said. “I’m really excited to see what this tour has to offer.”
The Lutes took this opportunity to sing a handful of songs during the hour-long riverboat tour. Those songs included “Call Me Maybe” and “Country Roads.” The Lutes were encouraged by the local people who took pictures, laughed and even sang along. After spending all day in town, the Lutes finally wrapped up their trip and took their talents back to Tacoma. Kaufman said he was happy to be home, but already missed Texas.
“This Texas trip really was amazing, and I’m so glad that we got the opportunity to play football and visit the town,” said Kaufman. “I’ll never forget that weekend”. For the Lutes, it was a trip to remember, and for the city of San Antonio well, let’s just say that the Lutes will be remembered in Texas for a long time.