BILOXI—Before No. 7 Co-Lin and Garden City Community College tangle at Sunday’s 5th Annual Mississippi Bowl, players, coaches, and fans from both teams are soaking in plenty of South Mississippi hospitality this weekend. Both teams arrived Friday in Biloxi and attended the Bowl’s annual kickoff dinner hosted by Keesler Air Force Base.
“We traveled about 18 hours to get here,” said Garden City head coach Jeff Tatum, “But my in-laws live down here so we had planned to come down here anyway. It also gives a great opportunity to play a Mississippi team in this bowl game.”
Tatum’s 6-4 Broncbusters from the Kansas Jayhawk Conference will battle against the 9-2 MACJC Champion Co-Lin Wolves Sunday at 2 p.m. at Biloxi Indian Stadium.
“It’s exciting to me to see how these two leagues match up on the field,” Tatum added. “We play kind of like the Big-12 while the Mississippi teams are sort of like the SEC.”
For Co-Lin, the party hasn’t stopped since a 41-37 win over Gulf Coast in the MACJC title game back on Nov. 10. It’s the first State Championship for Co-Lin since 1985.
“This is what you play for and you coach for,” said Wolves head coach Glenn Davis. “You want to win at the highest level. We’re all excited about the game. One of our assistant coaches, Calvin Green, played on the ’85 Championship Team. It’s really exciting for him. He’s been all over Facebook talking about it this week.”
Those at the Mississippi Bowl Kick-Off Dinner also got to hear from former NCAA head coach Jackie Sherrill, the event’s guest speaker who knows a thing or two about coaching football in the South. Sherrill lived in Biloxi as a youth and coached at several high-profile colleges including Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State.
“It’s not hard to get me to come back to the Coast,” Sherrill said. “Junior college football has produced some fantastic players, and I’m sure many more will come out of this game.”
Saturday both teams will have walk-through practices at Biloxi Stadium and also visit local Boys & Girls Club locations on the Coast.
Fans can watch all the action Sunday at 2 p.m. via streaming video at www.mississippibowl.com.