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Yotes win season opener 31-3, College of Idaho's tailgate culture brings Yotes community together

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Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 20:54:36-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — The College of Idaho Yotes started their season on Saturday with a 31-3 win over Montana State-Northern in Caldwell.

The College of Idaho athletics tries to bring in people from the Caldwell community. People also travel from other states like the Killians, who made their way from Modesto, CA to see their grandson, Ashton Patterson, play in his first college football game. An experience they say they wouldn't have missed for the world.

“We’re going to cry," said Karen Killian, Patterson's grandmother.

“I’m retired law enforcement and you see a lot of kids struggle through life," Tom Killian, Karen's husband, added. "So, you always have that hope and dream that your kids, your grandkids, will become successful, and it's just another step in a long journey for (Patterson).”

The Killians say they were overwhelmed to see the tailgate and the support for the team. Tailgates are a part of the College of Idaho culture where alumni, students, family, and community members all gather to have fun before football games.

Mike Bolts, an alumni of the college and a resident of Caldwell, still helps out with the Alumni association. He cooks for the tailgates and even prepares pregame meals for the athletes.

He thinks that since football came back to the school in 2014, the community has rallied around the team.

“It’s pretty neat in the town," Bolts said. "I mean there is a lot of buzz. You start seeing businesses that say 'hey wear purple' or 'discount for purple', or 'go Coyotes' and we didn’t have that before."

There are also organizations that are around during the tailgate that help bring the community and team together. One of those is the Yotes QB Club.

Greg Dohmen, a member of the QB Club says the organization also tries to help the athletes on the team learn life skills.

“We’re all student-athletes here, we come here to be students," Doehmen said. "We’re here to get an education. Football is something that you know is something that is a wonderful thing, it helps develop you as a person. But getting really prepared to go out into the real world, we’re not all going to play football forever, it’s just how it works.”