A Texas-sized tailgate

Zach Hake

Sports Blogger



Tailgaters Debbie MacDonald, Allen Ripley, Kim Hurst and Melissa Ripley have been traveling up from Texas for the past six years. (Zach Hake/O'Colly)
Tailgaters Debbie MacDonald, Allen Ripley, Kim Hurst and Melissa Ripley have been traveling up from Texas for the past six years. (Zach Hake, O’Colly)

The Cowboy family reaches far beyond the borders of Oklahoma.

With students from more than 100 countries and nearly all 50 states, the Oklahoma State University culture extends across the globe.

One of the most entertaining traditions is the campus wide tailgate found at OSU on game days.

Prior to the matchup against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, a group of loyal Cowboy fans, who were a long way from home, gathered near the Seretean Music Center.

The HKMR Texas Posse, named for the families who participate, consists of four families: the Hursts, Kanes, MacDonalds and the Ripleys.

The mastermind behind this setup – Allen Ripley.

“This is all my doing … with a little help from these three,” Ripley said.

Ripley and his wife Melissa are Dallas natives but remain loyal Cowboys fans. Melissa Ripley is a Southern Methodist University graduate, but she married into the Cowboy family and has two children who attend OSU.

This matchup against the Longhorns was not the HKMR Texas Posse’s first rodeo. The group has been tailgating at Cowboy football games for  six years.

“My son, when he was a freshman, was in the drum line, and so they warm up right next to us, so we could go over there and watch them get ready,” Melissa Ripley said.

One of the best parts of tailgating is the family atmosphere. This includes extended family, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers and everything in between.

Debbie MacDonald and Kim Hurst,the M and H in HKMR, were Alpha Delta Pi sisters during their time at OSU. The MacDonald and Hurst families have been close for years.

“Kim and I were sorority sisters and we lived together my freshman year,” MacDonald said.

Debbie MacDonald and her husband John are the parents of former OSU wide receiver and 2014 graduate Patrick MacDonald. Patrick is now attending the University of Kansas’ law school in Kansas City, Debbie said.

Kim Hurst, a Houston native, is also an OSU alumna and has two Cowgirls of her own.

Marie Ripley and Morgan Hurst are the youngest members of the HMKR Texas Posse but have one of the most important positions. The two OSU students set up camp Thursday evening to ensure the HMKR Texas Posse gets their spot between the Seretean and Old Central.

The tailgate itself takes up nearly two spaces and contains tasty food, a flat screen TV and tons of games and laughter for all.

Despite being almost eight hours away from home, the Texas natives are no strangers to the Cowboy family and pregame tailgate traditions.


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