Teams announced for 17th annual CHAMPS Bowl

By DAVID MORRIS
Cove Leader-Press

For just the second time in program history, the Trinity Valley Cardinals and the Garden City Broncbusters will face off with championship implications. Twenty years ago, they played for a national championship. On December 2 in Copperas Cove they will play for the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl title. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.at Bulldawg Stadium in Copperas Cove, Texas. The #8 ranked Trinity Valley Cardinals (8-3) will face the #12 ranked Garden City Broncbusters (8-3).
“We are looking forward to playing in the Heart of Texas Bowl again,” said TVCC athletic director/head football coach Brad Smiley. “We have had great experiences in Copperas Cove and we are excited to play a team that year in and year out is one of the best in Kansas.
“It is also really cool we are playing on the 20th anniversary of the national title game.”
Hailing from the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference the Busters will pair up with the Cardinals, of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference for only their second meeting in school history.
The Cardinals and Broncbusters played for the national championship on a cloudy, cold day in the now- defunct Red River Bowl at Pennington Field in Euless. The Cardinals scored a 42-16 win to claim the college’s second title.
The Broncbusters ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak, outscoring their final two opponents 106-0.
“We had four different bowls in four different states courting us,” Garden City Athletic Director John Green said. “Winning our last game 69-0 made things difficult in the bowl process and we have chosen to go to Texas to play in the Heart of Texas Bowl. It’s just a short 10-hour trip away.”
The Cardinals have won each of their four previous appearances in the C.H.A.M.P.S. HOT bowl 2002, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
The Washburn Ichabods (6-5) will face off with the Angelo State Rams (6-4) in the NCAA Division II contest set for 6 p.m.
“As the Bowl Director, I am constantly asked about who we are looking at or if we have chosen the teams yet,” said Vance McAnally. “This year’s action in the Lone Star Conference and MIAA provided excitement all the  way to the last weekend of games.” 
Washburn comes from the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association and finished the season 6-5 with a heartbreaking loss to Emporia State 26-20.  
“We are honored the Heart of Texas Bowl selected us for the game,” Ichabod head coach Craig Schurig said. “This is an awesome opportunity for our seniors who will get an extra game after putting in all the work in our program as they have now have helped lead our program to back to back bowl games. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to play a tough Lone Star Conference opponent facing Angelo State for the first time in program history.” 
Angelo State hails from the Lone Star Conference and finished 4-4 in conference play winning three straight games.  
“It is an honor to be selected to play in the Heart of Texas Bowl and to face a quality opponent in Washburn from the MIAA Conference,” Angelo State head football coach Will Wagner. “It is a great opportunity to extend our season and the extra game will be a benefit to our program with extra practices. It will be another chance for our players to showcase Ram football.” 
The 17th Annual C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl will be aired live through the Fox College Sports network.  Kickoff for the National Junior College Athletic Association contest is set for 11 a.m. and will pit Trinity Valley Community College with Garden City Community College.  
“This is exciting for the Heart of Texas Bowl and Copperas Cove,” bowl founder Jack Welch said. “This truly puts the bowl center on the national stage.  We have an exciting lineup of games in the double header.” 
Dish customers can tune to channels 442-446 and DirectTV customers channel 608.  Spectrum customers can tune to channel 372-374 to watch the games live.  Those wishing to stream the game can do so through the app found at foxsportsgo.com
The 17th Annual C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl is sponsored by the City of Copperas Cove, Hoffpauir’s Auto Group, SprintTurf and Carter Construction Company. Reserved seating tickets are on sale for $20 and can be purchased on the campus of each university. General admission seats are available at the gate on game day for $10.

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