HOT Bowl lived up to the hype

Jack Welch | On the sidelines

Two great games took place last Saturday at Bulldawg Stadium.  Trinity Valley Community College scored 10 points in the last minute to squeak by the defending national champion Garden City team in the morning junior college matchup.  Then in the nightcap, Washburn University defeated the Angelo State crew in the NCAA Division 2 game.  
This year served as the 17th annual CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl contest.  This college football doubleheader lived up to its promise of bringing top ranked teams drawing fans from Kansas (where two of the teams came from) and Texas to our local area.  Both of the Champs HOT Bowl games were televised lived on Fox College Sports.  Over 25 million homes received the games. CenTex Central Radio provided worldwide coverage on the internet. An event like this provides our local merchants an influx of tourism guests.  It just does not get much better.
The weather, along with the excellent teams, helped draw the best crowd attendance ever at the HOT Bowl.  Out of town guests provided a good economic windfall for the area merchants.  Motels, restaurants and gas stations benefitted from the increased out of town guests. 
Bowl director Vance McAnally will be the first to say the volunteers (Quarterback Club, Lions Club, coaches, Champs kids and many other local folks) were the key to pulling off such an undertaking.  The City of Copperas, CCISD, and sponsors’ support made this event possible.  
To be able to accommodate both teams, there are two back to back banquets.  A great group of workers clean and setup for both banquets.  A big thank you goes to Renee and Sherry and their helpers.  Sherry Hoffpauir and the banquet setup crew was well organized.  Master of Ceremonies Joe Lombardi kept the flow and direction headed in the right direction all evening.
There were a lot of highlights in this year’s bowl setup.  The team’s shared their excitement about the banquet that took place the night before the games.  The food was fantastic, the setup crew did a fantastic job and the band entertainment was as excellent.  Numerous comments, drawing praise, was about the band and music.
Coach Brad Smiley of Trinity Valley has coached in five previous bowl games.  He was quoted as saying all the banquets and hospitality of previous bowls were fantastic and did not think anything could improve until this year’s banquet took place.  “I’ve always loved the Hot Bowl but I must say this year’s entertainment raised the bar.  The music and fun of the singing along with every song was definitely a highlight.” 
The players were singing along with the music of Neal Sharpe (formerly of The Drifters) and the Chainlink Band.  The last song (My Girl by the Temptations) had a competition sing off between the two head coaches.  As usual, the coaches ended in a tie.
Now, it is time to flood Bulldawg gym in support of the Dawgs and Lady Dawg basketball teams.  Supporting these kids make a difference in the home court advantage.  Both teams are off to a great start.  The Lady Dawgs are currently ranked 8th in state.  As of Thursday morning, the boys are sporting a 11-1 record.  Come out and join the fun and support your local student-athletes.
Thought for the week, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

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