They wear Lely football T-shirts, hats and ring Lely-colored cow bells. They sit in their stadium seats, clapping on good plays, cheerleading efforts and the Lely band.
They hail from England where there is no football extravaganza every Friday in the fall.
Phillip and Catherine Wilkins of Bristol, along with David and Elizabeth Robinson and Dick and Pauline Kilby of Bedfordshire, cheered Lely to victory on Friday night.
Phil and Catherine went to three games last season. They even drove up to Dunbar to see Lely in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, until Friday, they had only seen losses.
Rain brought out the humidity and when Lely had a huge 34-3 lead at half time many fans left.
Not the English mates.
“I have sat through Lely losses, I am not leaving until the game is over,” Phil said. “I want to enjoy every minute of this victory.”
For the Robinsons and Kilbys it was their second Friday night.
“I found the game extremely interesting and as I picked up more of the rules I began to understand what was happening and why,” Dick Kilby said.
He didn’t understand time outs or water breaks that occur in each quarter.
“Time outs don’t happen in our soccer and rugby football games,” he said. “It appeared to me that it interrupted the flow of the game. I learned that time outs were also part of the tactics, part of the strategy that appears necessary.”
He also appreciated the precision and enthusiasm of the cheerleaders and the band.
“They add so much to the atmosphere of the game that we don’t have in the UK, but it would be great if we did,” he said. “I want to thank the Trojans for some marvelous entertainment.”
Pauline Kilby took in all the Friday night atmosphere. “My first taste of American football was amazing,” she said. “There was so much to watch. I could not pick up the rules of the game very well. The support for those youngsters is so good. There are some very talented athletes. We see nothing like the cheerleaders and marching bands. It is very colorful.”
Liz Robinson spoke of the commitment from everyone.
“It creates a great team spirt for the youngsters,” she said.
However, she doesn’t like the yelling done by the coaches.
“There was one guy (coach) who just ranted at the players,” she said. “I would rant back.”
David Robinson gave his take on the experience.
“Well, what an experience,” he said. “The entertainment a the game is so different from our football. The marching band, the cheerleaders with their acrobatics and the drive of the game goes together to make the experience superb.”
The game itself is an experience for Robinson.
“The tactics, time outs, skills of the players and the intervention by the coaches all add up to making a thoroughly enjoyable evening. My understanding of the actual game improves each time I watch the Trojans.”
Phil Wilkins likes the excitement of a fast play and the family atmosphere in the stands.
“The cheerleaders do a great job and the band is wonderful. We go to the games with a group of neighbors and win or lose we have a good time,” he said. “I have met some of the players and have always been impressed by them.”
Catherine Wilkins enjoys many aspects of the evening.
“Foremost are the skills and dedication of the team and the clear sense of community,” she said. “We are very impressed by the behavior of all the young people we see in the team, band, cheerleaders and the stands. They are a credit to themselves, their families and the school.”