The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 9, 2013

Joplin Crusaders to play in bowl game at Cowboys Stadium

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— The Joplin Crusaders are going bowling.

The Crusaders, 11-0 and champions of the non-pro Central Football League, will play the North Texas Stampede (8-4) in the Summer Bowl on July 27 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:45 p.m.

Crusader spokesman Sam Sturgis said Tuesday that team travel and lodging expenses are expected to reach $15,000.

The Crusaders will have a barbecue at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Leonard Park in Joplin on W. 7th St. Cost is $5 per person.

“It’s very important,” Sturgis said of the barbecue. “We’ll have several ways at the barbecue to help raise money  Also, we want to create more interest in the Crusaders.”

Early pledges and contributions have raised about $2,600, Sturgis said.

Game tickets are $25, Sturgis said, with parking and a stadium tour included in the cost. Plus, the ticket will admit fans to another football game before the Crusaders and Stampede.

“Those $25 tickets represent a savings of about $40,” Sturgis said.”

The Crusaders are ranked No. 2 nationally in Double A by the American Football News. The Boise (Idaho) Generals are No. 1.

The Stampede belong to a higher classification, Triple A, and they were coming off three undefeated seasons,” Sturgis said. “Their record this season could be deceptive because they were competing in a stronger league.

“The Stampede, based in Bedford, are the oldest non-pro football team in Texas,” Sturgis said.

Sturgis can be reached at 417-438-1234.