Among thousands of fans, Bobcat Grannies are a Refugio staple
BY THE NUMBERS
24: Charter buses carrying Refugio fans to Arlington
353: Miles from Refugio High School to Cowboys Stadium
105: Number of teams in Texas 2A Division II
No. 1: Refugio Bobcats in Texas 2A Division II
ARLINGTON - At any other game, they're easy enough to spot, Refugio fans said.
A trail of gray-topped heads, decked out in orange and black accessories - a rowdy bunch that mimics the cheerleaders a quarter their age.
At the Refugio state championship game Friday afternoon, the group of ladies dubbed the "Bobcat Grannies" proved more elusive among the orange mob infiltrating Cowboys Stadium.
But then all of a sudden, there they were, just as so many people had described them.
"I went to my first game in 1949," said Llyn Daniels, who just celebrated her 88th birthday. "I had to stand up the whole time."
"She was young then," Phillis Linscomb, 69, quipped.
The ladies were quick-witted and fresh-faced before kickoff, despite staying up in the hotel until 12:30 a.m. talking about - what else? - Bobcat football. They're making a girls' getaway out of the championship game, staying in Arlington Friday night, too.
The original Bobcat Granny clan began in 1989, with four couples who started going to games and creating homemade Bobcat gear. Daniels is one of the pioneers of the grannies, who came to the 1968 Refugio championship game, which the Bobcats lost.
She was back with a vengeance, with Linscomb and Martha Wallace, 81, who sported custom shirts and handbags, among their orange necklaces and earrings.
They each have their roles to play on these long road trips during long, winning football seasons.
Linscomb is the driver and Daniels is her trusty navigator.
"I make them be good," she said.
Refugio pride is basically bred in them, the grannies said.
"Everybody who's born there has black and orange blood," Daniels said.
In a town of just under 3,000 people, fans said they heard 2,400 tickets to the championship game were sold before Friday. Two levels of Cowboys Stadium were overrun by Refugio fans cheering their team to the state title.
The Refugio team is special, the ladies said, because everyone's known the boys on the field since they were little tykes around town.
The Bobcat Grannies have seen their share of boys come and go. They've seen plenty of wins and losses and said goodbye to some of their fellow fans over the years.
But as long as Bobcat football remains, so will the Bobcat Grannies.
Some rookies are coming up in the ranks, like Linscomb, who said she's known about the grannies for years.
"I've been driving for them ... then I just became them," she said. "I never really considered myself one, but I guess I'm old enough."