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Meet the Crocketteers

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England’s Liverpool FC has a slogan: “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The San Antonio Scorpions won’t walk alone either, but unlike the English powerhouse, they have not one, but three groups of fans, and they got them way before the team was even created. They’re called the Crocketteers, the Alamo City Ultras, and the Bexar County Casuals. But the Crocketteers are the loudest and biggest of them all.

“We were here before the Scorpions,” said Chris Hockman, a youth pastor and San Antonio journalist who writes about soccer for examiner.com.

The group was formed three years ago and have organized a variety of viewing parties for different events. During the 2010 World Cup, they sold out two theaters of the Alamo Drafthouse for the USA vs. England game. In February, they chartered buses to go to Dallas and see the women’s USA-New Zealand friendly game, and they’re now ready to give their full support to the Scorpions.

“One of the things that [team founder Gordon Hartman] expressed to me earlier is that one of his deciding factors in bringing a team into San Antonio was the fact that there was already a group of supporters,” said James Hope, the Crocketteers' president. “So we said, ‘We will continue building the support, and here we all are today. We are going to be the ones who will be harassing the referees and goalkeepers, chanting, standing for 90 minutes, and wearing our scarves in 100-degree weather. That’s soccer.”

They can also stand temperatures as low as 30 degrees and five-hour bus drives and early morning wake up calls, as they did on their trip to Dallas.

For soccer to survive, and continue to thrive in America, support groups such as the Crocketteers are a necessity. They are soccer’s backbone, what soccer stands for. Aside from the fun part, drinking beer and enjoying the game, the Crocketteers — just like the Scorpions themselves — also support various organizations around town, such as Haven for Hope and Morgan’s Wonderland.

“We take advantage of the fortunes that we have and give back,” said founding member Michael Macías.

The Crocketteers have 720 official members (almost 400 of which are paid members), six adult teams, and one U-14 team.

“The initial 250 members became the Travis 250, who represent the nearly 250 people who died during the 13 days of glory back in 1836,” said Steve Arters, the Crocketteers VP of media/marketing, in a reference to the Battle of the Alamo. A $25 membership gets you the latest Crocketteers’ scarf and a membership card good for a 10 percent discount at Lion & Rose, Freetail Brewing, and other sponsors.  The Crocketteers will host a watching party at the Lion & Rose on Blanco for the away season opener against Atlanta on April 7, and hold a huge tailgate prior to the home opener against Puerto Rico on April 15.

“If the Scorpions could get between 5,000 and 7,000 fans through the season I’m sure they would be very happy,” said President Hope, who does not represent the Scorpions management. “We have already sold in our section close to 180 season tickets, and we hope to sell them all by the start of the season.”

For more information, check out the Crocketteers at crocketteers.com or follow them on Twitter at @crocketteers.

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