We’ve got a new author for our Living Louligan series: Claude Karraker.
Claude and his wife Michele came out the the AGM last year, and have been a vital part of the expansion of this group. Not only are they great people, but are fixtures at every event…shows what happens when you take a chance and come meet this wide range of people.
Around this time, just a year ago, my wife Michele and I were looking forward to Saint Louis FC’s first season. We had been long-time fans of the game, supporting the mighty Manchester United, but were never able to really get into an MLS team because they weren’t “ours”. Funny how much easier it is to throw support behind a foreign city than it is to US cities that we’ve all grown up rooting against. So, when we heard that Saint Louis FC was really going to happen, it seemed like our chance to have a team of our own. We quickly bought our season tickets and waited for the fun to begin.
Before the pre-season kicked in, I began following the team through social media. During this period, I first learned of the St. Louligans. I’ve never been much of a joiner so I just quietly followed along. Over time, I interacted with Kyle Scarborough and Matt Bird through various posts and was impressed by the passion that both showed for the team, the Louligans, and the sport. When the AGM was announced, I showed it to Michele. We were intrigued, but neither of us was too excited. We decided to give the group a try and I’m glad we did.
The day of the AGM, we arrived fully expecting to not know anyone and to be ignored by everyone. But, we quickly learned that is not the case with the St. Louligans. Immediately upon entering iTap, I was met by Matt Bird, who even called me by name because he recognized me from my Facebook picture. Matt introduced us to Mitch and Brad, who introduced us to Liz. To my surprise, everyone was friendly; not the hardcore soccer fan BS that you see in the media. The only goal is to grow the group and grow the sport in St. Louis. The group has committed to Saint Louis FC to be responsible and to foster an inclusive environment and they take that commitment very seriously. Michele and I had a good afternoon, signed the membership list, and the rest is history.
In short, showing up at the AGM was a great things for us. We immediately made new friends that will stand the test of time and together enjoyed one of the best sporting seasons I’ve ever been a part of. Now, as we approach the 2016 AGM I am going into it with a different state of mind. I’ve missed my friends and can’t wait to start planning events for Saint Louis FC’s season two.
If anyone reading this is curious about our group, I suggest that you come out to the AGM. Everyone is welcome and you will have a good time. And if you don’t, it didn’t cost you anything.