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Bowl game a learning experience for AWC
COPPERAS COVE, Texas — The Arizona Western football players and coaches are in Texas to play in a bowl game.
School administrators, in addition to supporting the team, have a secondary mission in Texas.
Call it a fact-finding mission.
The Matadors have travelled to Mississippi and Texas for bowls the past two years. In 2011, Arizona Western is hosting its own bowl game, and school officials are using the past two trips to see what they like, and don’t like, for next year.
Athletic director Jerry Smith said the biggest thing is making sure there are plenty of organized activities to keep the teams busy.
“Obviously in Mississippi last year there was a lot of good organization, events for the coaches’ wives and such,” Smith said. “That’s what we want to incorporate into ours. We’ll see through, as the week goes on here, and take the good points for the teams and try to incorporate those into our game next year.”
The Caballeros de Yuma is helping the college put on the event next year. Smith said more school officials came on the trip this year than last, and members of the Caballeros made the trip as well.
Dennis Booth falls into both categories — he’s a Caballero as well as president of the Matador Athletic Association.
He went to Mississippi last year in addition to joining the team for this year’s trip. In addition to cheering on the Matadors, he’s also information gathering.
“The main thing is to show how proud we are of Yuma, of our county and to maybe promote tourism in the future,” Booth said. “I think we can do a lot.”
Booth said he noticed that the Heart of Texas Bowl didn’t have a website. He said that’s just one of the things he, Smith and the other bowl planners have noticed.
Smith said the idea was to take the best of the various bowls and weed out some of the weak points.
“Hopefully what we can do is take the positive points from both places and incorporate those into are plans,” Smith said. “Our plan with the Caballeros for next year is the team that comes in gets the best bowl game in America.”
And he said that will be done by spotlighting Yuma and the surrounding areas, inundating visitors in the culture and activities Yuma has to offer.
“They’re looking for things to do,” Smith said. “Our plan four our game is to highlight Yuma and highlight the desert southwest. We’re going to let people see what Yuma’s like from an agriculture standpoint and a business standpoint.”
Click here to listen to the Creatively Titled Sports Podcast interview with AWC wide receiver Ge'shun Harris and his thoughts on the upcoming game.