The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 13, 2012

Golden Norsemen bound for Citizens Bank Bowl


From staff reports

— The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football team is going “bowling.”

And the Golden Norsemen have to love their travel plans for the matinee game on Dec. 2.

NEO (9-2), ranked ninth by the NJCAA, will face No. 15 College of DuPage (8-2), Glen Ellyn, Ill., in the fourth annual Citizens Bank Bowl in nearby Pittsburg.

Kickoff is scheduled at 1 p.m. at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium on the Pittsburg State University campus.

“We are incredibly excited about the matchup for our bowl game,” Dean Mann, owner and chairman of Citizens Bank, whose main branch is located in Fort Scott, said during a Tuesday press conference. “NEO and College of DuPage are high-caliber teams and we are proud to bring such a great event to Pittsburg and southeast Kansas.

“The bowl game provides a tremendous opportunity for area football fans to see the best of what junior college football has to offer,” Mann said. “This year will follow that tradition.”

Tickets are available at the PSU ticket office and through the school’s online ticketing. General admission seating tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students in K-12. Reserved club seating on both the west and east sides of the stadium is available for $15 per ticket.

More information on the game is available at www.citizensbankbowl.com.

The first two years of the Citizens Bank Bowl the game was designated the national championship game by the NJCAA.

Blinn, led by future Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, beat Fort Scott 31-26 in 2009. Navarro, in 2010, won the first of its back-to-back titles by nudging Butler County (Kan,) 13-12.

Butler County rallied to beat Trinity Valley 21-17 last season.

NEO’s last bowl appearance was in 2005 at Coffeyville in the Dalton Defenders Bowl. The Golden Norsemen beat Mississippi Gulf Coast 21-19.

Said NEO president Jeff Hale: “The more we discussed it and the more we talked to J.D. (game director J.D. Ettore) about the opportunity at Pittsburg State, the more clear it became to us that what a great option this was going to be for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

“It will be a chance to get our band, our cheer squads, our fans and families right up the highway to Pittsburg,” Hale said. “It made great sense.”

Dale Patterson’s Golden Norsemen finished second to Navarro in the finals of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference playoffs. DuPage, coached by Gary Thomas, has lost only to No. 1 Iowa Western and Ellsworth (Iowa).