Miss. Bowl coming back

Published 5:12 am Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Special to the Item

For the second year in a row, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will host The Mississippi Bowl Sunday, Dec. 6 as the 2009 Mississippi Community College/Junior College state champion and another highly ranked team in the nation does battle. Three fun-filled days of local entertainment, food and football will welcome the teams and their families, friends and special guests.

“We are truly excited to be hosting the Mississippi Bowl again in 2009,” said Ladd Taylor, Gulf Coast athletic director. “The overwhelming success of the 2008 contest made the decision to come back for a second year a no-brainer.”

On Dec. 7, 2008, No. 7 ranked Gulf Coast defeated No. 3 Georgia Military College 41-7 in front of 5,000 fans at Biloxi Indian Stadium.

All revenues of this association are for the benefit of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Foundation. The Mississippi Bowl payout for each team will be $10,000, compared to the $7,500 per-team payout from other bowl organizations.

South Mississippi automobile/RV dealers Barry Harper and Dub Herring are once again serving as co-title sponsors for the event. Harper, a Grenada native, played football at Delta State University from 1977-81 and currently owns Barry Harper Dodge and Harpertowne RVs in Poplarville. He also serves on the Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees.

Herring, also a well-known car and RV dealer, owns Dub Herring Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Dub Herring Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, and Paw Paw’s Camper City in Picayune. He also played football at Holmes Community College in Goodman. Harper spent 21 years working for Herring and is Herring’s son-in-law.

The three-day event will also feature other off-the-field activities. In 2008, the team attended a professional hockey game and also spent time with local children at two Boys and Girls club locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The kids took part with team members in activities like kickball, touch football, and basketball.

“Last year we really learned a lot,” Taylor added. “I think it was a huge success, and I expect this year to be even better.”