TOPEKA (KSNT) – The saying goes ‘Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,’ or at least, that’s true for one K-State super fan. He’s still cheering the ‘Cats on at age 96, and regardless of where he’s at, he never misses watching a game.
Not only is August ‘Gus’ Bogina a Wildcat through and through, but he’s also a Kansan through and through. Bogina grew up in Arma, Kansas before attending Kansas State at age 16, where he played football.
He said players at that time played both sides of the football, but defense was always his favorite.
“First game I ever played in college was against Wichita State, which doesn’t have a team anymore,” Bogina said when recounting his favorite memory as a player. “I started that game against Wichita State, started the next game and started quite a few games through my college career.”
He played for two seasons (1944-1945) before serving in the army, but he returned to play two more years for the ‘Cats (1948-1949) after completing his service. He recalls everything from the old equipment players had to wear to playing in K-State’s Memorial Stadium, which preceded Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Years later, Bogina went on to serve in the House of Representatives for six years and the Senate for 16 years for the state of Kansas.
“Gus is amazing,” Terri Bogina, Gus’ daughter-in-law, said. “Even at 96, Gus is amazing. He remembers everything, he can tell you about bills that passed 30 years ago, he remembers who was involved, he’s incredible.”
Terri, who is married to one of Gus’ sons, has known her father-in-law for almost 50 years. She said he attends several K-State games with his sons each season. Over the course of his 96 years, he’s been to over 300 K-State games in total, including multiple bowl games.
When he’s not physically in the stadium cheering on his Wildcats, Bogina makes sure he has a front row seat for the game. Even if that means watching from his recliner in his living room in Topeka.