By Aaron Tomich/NPSL.com
It all started with enjoying good beer among the company of friends while watching a soccer match.
What followed, and has since lasted, was a newfound love for a sport and the unbeatable environment and community that becoming a supporter affords to any fan.
For Eric Fehrm, an avid Denton Diablos FC supporter, the appeal of watching sports in person makes for an incredibly enjoyable experience. Working nights, Fehrm rarely has the time to follow sports on television while they play live. But, he finds time to attend Diablos matches in which he connects with friends and other familiar faces in the crowds.
Oh, and he’s not hard to find at most home contests.
“I don’t let others out-chant me,” said Ferhm, who made himself easily heard during the NPSL National Championship, where the Diablos hosted Tulsa Athletic on their home turf. “Because of that, I still don’t have all of my voice back after I lost it at last week’s championship.”
Denton Diablos FC owner Damon Gochneaur also recognized the immense passion Fehrm and the other fans had during the national championship match.
“We are humbled and honored by every one of our fans, but will always have a special place in the club’s heart for the 2,390 friends and family that shared a magical August evening in beautiful downtown Denton, Texas,” said Gochneaur.
Fehrm often can be seen at matches as a “capo”, who helps lead chants during the 90 minutes of play. Some chants he starts himself; others are requested by fellow supporters, in which he leads the chorus.
After attending FC Dallas MLS matches with friends a few years ago, Fehrm got hooked on the soccer experience in its totality. A Denton area native, Fehrm said that Denton Diablos FC is a fantastic contribution to the local community.
“The city of Denton is a great community,” said Fehrm. “I feel a lot of love when I’m in Denton. To have a team in that town – especially one that just won a national championship – I think it’s a new, good way to start bringing people together.”
Fehrm said that the city has a lively bar and restaurant scene where many groups of people converge. Because of that, he sees a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about Denton Diablos FC, in which he can grow his supporters’ groups for his local club.
Like in many sports supporters’ groups, beer and friendship go hand-in-hand while watching your team throughout the season. For Fehrm, it is a way to connect with soccer supporting friends and colleagues across the greater golden triangle of north Texas (Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth). If he cannot make it to a road match, he and others are able to watch Diablos FC from a local bar.
Even more so, that connection between brews and becoming a soccer superfan, Fehrm has grouped with other Denton supporters to create a smaller subsection of the Denton Harbingers in the stands called Triple D (Denton Drunken Devils).
“The Harbingers continue to lead the way in how you support and help create the club and game day atmosphere you want to see,” said Gochneaur. “It simply would not have been as special without each and every one of our Harbingers.”
Beyond the beer, Fehrm is grateful for the connections he has made since his interest in soccer began. His love for live sport and his passion to be there physically has afforded him new opportunities to be with others and collectively experience similar joys of theirs.
“It’s very small right now, but we are building it into something bigger,” said Fehrm, talking about Denton Diablos FC supporters’ sections. “Shout out to Damon for bringing this team to the city as well as Randy and Al for putting together the supporters’ group the Harbingers and making the whole experience great.”
Photos Provided by Denton Harbingers, Eric Fehrm, and Ross James/NPSL.com