#SpursUp tour begins with huge crowd in Lancaster

#SpursUp tour begins with huge crowd in Lancaster

**Story and photo by Kyle Heck**

The annual Spurs Up tour started off with an absolute bang on Tuesday at Catawba Fish Camp in Fort Lawn. The Lancaster County Gamecock Club hosted the event, and head football coach Will Muschamp was joined by a special guest – national championship-winning women's basketball coach Dawn Staley.

Around 500 people showed up at the well-known restaurant, and it was the largest crowd for a Lancaster County Gamecock Club event in at least 15 years. 

"It was really great seeing the crowd," said Joe Grier, the president of the Lancaster County Gamecock Club. "The enthusiasm has really picked up since this event was announced. We put ourselves on the map, and everyone was tickled to death."

Along with enjoying an excellent dinner, Muschamp and Staley signed posters for fans. Staley was the first one to speak, and was of course wearing her net-lace. She thanked the fans for supporting her team during their run to the program's first-ever national title. 

"That was awesome to have coach Staley," Grier said. "Look at how many people we had out here, you could just tell that everyone was excited for this huge event."

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Around an hour and a half before the event even started, fans were lining up outside the doors, waiting to get in. 

"I think it's very indicative of Gamecock Nation," Staley said. "This is their way of showing their appreciation. I'm always amazed at the people that come out and support it. You kind of think you would get full of it, but every stop that we make, they always seem to bring out something better. This is no different."

Muschamp then spoke to the crowd, and also thanked them for their support of the team last season. He then talked about this year's current team, and took questions from the crowd. 

The excitement about the offense was the most prevalent topic as everyone is excited to see how Jake Bentley, Deebo Samuel, Rico Dowdle and others handle themselves after a year of experience last season. 

"I really appreciate our fans," Muschamp said. "It's a very small gesture to thank them for supporting Gamecock athletics and our football program. We've got the most loyal fan base in the country, and I really appreciate them and how they supported us this past fall."

Tuesday's event with the Lancaster County Gamecock Club was the first of the six-stop edition of this year's Spurs Up tour. If this event was any indication, it will be extremely tough to get a ticket at the remaining five stops of the tour. 

"It's great to be back in Lancaster," Executive Director of the Gamecock Club Patrick McFarland said. "Over 500 people tonight at the Catawba Fish Camp, and that just says a ton about the excitement in this area for Gamecock athletics. I appreciate people taking time out of their schedule and evening to come celebrate everything Gamecocks with us."