November 15, 2010
Cortaca fans cheer on college pride
Captain Cortaca among the many students, alumni rooting for Cortland
Binghamton resident and 1994 SUNY Cortland graduate Kevin Jester has a Cortaca tradition of his own.
Dressed as “Captain Cortaca,” he toured the tailgaters outside the football stadium as he does every year, dressed in a wrestling uniform, long underwear, sporting a football helmet and red towel cape.
“It’s my alumni, it’s cool. As long as everyone is enjoying it, I don’t have any problem with it,” Jester said, referring to reaction to his costume.
The “Captain Cortaca” idea was originally just a joke between friends at school, he said, but then it escalated and become his alter ego of sorts each year.
“I just do it to have a good time, no more, no less,” Jester said.
He wasn’t the only one dressed up for the fun this weekend.
In the stands during the game, sophomores Dan Gray, Anthony Boccio and Ethan Tyrell cheered on the Red Dragons, their bodies covered in red makeup and wearing bright-red wigs.
They said they dressed in red for a simple reason.
“Because we’re pumped for Cortaca!” Gray shouted during the game. Bleachers bathed in SUNY Cortland red and Ithaca’s yellow during Saturday’s game stood in stark contrast.
The SUNY Cortland Red Dragons won the 52nd annual Cortaca game Saturday against Ithaca College, but the cheering and celebrating was apparent in the stands, around the college campus and downtown this weekend.
“We came back and dominated,” SUNY Cortland junior Veronica Montrose said after the game ended.
SUNY Cortland students, alumni and their friends turned out Saturday morning to have tailgate parties in a parking lot outside the football field.
But the weekend is more than just a football game to some college students and alumni, it’s about school pride.
“It’s a cool tradition and it’s a good time in the semester,” SUNY Cortland student Whitney Battin said before game time.
The game draws many college alumni each year, looking to either recapture the fun of their days at school and to cheer on their alma mater.
The college’s Alumni Association sponsored events for alumni and guests at Alumni House and Dark Horse Tavern during the game. One tailgate party at the stadium attracted about 25 alumni of the football team, from the 1970s to last May.
“We’ve been coming since 1998 and seen some of the most tremendous finishes in every game, and you just wait for a classic every year,” said 1980 graduate John Simek.
He was tailgating before the game with several friends.
“It’s been about college pride, but we’ve been coming so long, we take it personally now,” Simek said.
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