This year’s Killeen Daily Herald C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, presented by the City of Copperas Cove, is set for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Bulldawg Stadium in Copperas Cove, featuring not one, but two college games in a day-night doubleheader.
Game one at 11 a.m. will feature top teams from the National Junior College Athletic Association, with the Texas Junior College Football Conference champion going against an at-large team.
Like last season, the Heart of Texas Bowl has an agreement with the Lone Star Conference and in the night game at 7 p.m., NCAA-Division II takes the spotlight, with a matchup pitting the highest-ranked Lone Star Conference team not in the playoffs and an at-large team, possibly from the Great American Conference, the Rocky Mountain Conference, or the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. The teams competing in this year’s games will be announced once NCAA Div. II playoff pairings are finalized and the TJCFC playoffs are concluded.
During C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl weekend, the event makes a major economic impact on the area, filling all available hotel rooms in the city, with overflow reaching to Killeen and Lampasas.
“It does have quite an impact,” said HOT Bowl committee member Sherry Hoffpauir. “You figure that each person who comes to the game will spend $100-$200 per day. Base that on a round figure of 5,000 fans and the city could realize as much as $100,000.”
There’s much more to the Heart of Texas Bowl than just clanging cash registers, though.
“This is a way we give back to the community,” said Copperas Cove Independent School District Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jack Welch, who founded the game in 2001. “It’s a chance for local folks to come out and enjoy a full day of some of the best college football anywhere. Many of the players you’ll see in the junior college game will be playing at the highest levels of college football in the near future and the NCAA Division II teams are right there. We’re proud to be able to do this.”
The C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl is named after a program which is a part of America’s Drug Free Productions, a 501c3 organization founded by Welch. C.H.A.M.P.S. (Communities Helping Americans Mature, Progress and Succeed) is open to any CCISD student who pledges to live an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle. The group takes part in many activities, such as fishing, hunting with cameras, horseback riding, video game tournaments and many more, plus members are involved in community service projects.