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Fans React to First Glimpse of 2016 Chargers

Much like an NFL team, the fans at the Chargers' third practice of training camp were a mix of rookies and veterans.  Frequent training camp visitors and some of the newest attendees took in the sights and sounds of the team's third day of camp Monday morning.

"We came last year but this is our second day here," mentioned John Obispo who came to watch with his daughter.  "We're hoping to come to every open camp practice."

While Obispo came from Chula Vista, Mike Karaer and his son Michael came from Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.  The former San Diegans were on vacation and didn't want to miss their opportunity to see this year's squad in action and picked a perfect day with the team in pads.

"It's an up close and personal (look) at the team seeing them prepare for the season," Karaer said.  "Hopefully get a chance to meet some of the players up close and maybe get my son some autographs.  (We'd like to) hopefully see some hits and some grunting.  We'll see some action, but hopefully everyone will stay healthy."

Much like seeing the team bond on the field, families like the Obispos and Karaers use training camp as a way to not only share their Chargers fandom with their children, but also to teach them lessons that the game of football presents.

"You couldn't ask for anything better to share with my boy," Karaer said.  "Hopefully he'll take that on when he grows older and share that with his son or daughter."

"I'm trying to get my daughter involved in football," added Obispo.  "We're all decked out in (Chargers gear) and I want her to get a feel for the team.  Since I was small, this was my childhood.  I'm a lifelong Chargers fan so (it's important) for her to understand the sport and it sounds cliché, but appreciate that there's much more to (the game) than just winning; there's hard work."

As Karaer alluded, one of the best parts of coming out to training camp is getting a chance to meet players.  But for some fans, it's also a chance to reconnect with old friends.  Pomona resident Phillip Pena waited at the gates along the field to catch a glimpse of wide receiver Dom Williams. 

"I'm excited to see him," Pena mentioned.  "I've known him since elementary school and it's a surprise that someone from our hometown is starting to come up.  I'm proud of him."

After Williams made an impressive catch, Pena said he was excited for his former teammate and all "pumped up" for the season.

Expectation are always high, but upon seeing the team in action, fans are hopeful for what the 2016 season can bring. 

"I hope that they can win their division but more importantly than the team doing well, I hope that they stay in San Diego.  I hope San Diego can vote to get that stadium built and keep the Chargers in San Diego forever."

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