By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Sam Sturgis, spokesman for the Joplin Crusaders, had a smile worth about $8,500 on Tuesday.
Well, we really don’t know that — it was a telephone conversation — but Sturgis was his usual enthusiastic self in detailing the non-pro Crusaders’ jaunt to Arlington for the Summer Bowl on Saturday night in Cowboys Stadium.
“We’ve raised about $8,500,” Sturgis said. “That includes ticket sales and sponsors.
“We aren’t finished with fund-raising, either,” Sturgis said. “Fans still can contribute at any Southwest Missouri Bank.”
Sturgis said the Joplin entourage will meet at 3:45 p.m. on Friday at Missouri Southern and depart at 4:30.
“We’re taking a couple of vans and car-pooling,” Sturgis said. “Vans and cars, rather than charter, will save us considerable money. Having those cars also will allow us to get around easier.”
The Crusaders are scheduled to pick up their Tulsa players at 6 on Friday night. They hope to arrive by 11 at the Comfort Suites in Arlington.
“Some of our players won’t get off work until the afternoon, of course,” Sturgis said. “That’s why we aren’t leaving until 4:30.”
The group will have breakfast at 9 a.m. on Saturday before leaving for Cowboys Stadium. They will watch another game before their kickoff at 8:45 against the North Texas Stampede.
It isn’t all fun for the Joplin players, Sturgis insisted, with watching film of their opponent on Saturday and later a practice or walk through.
The Central Football League champion Crusaders are 11-0 and ranked second nationally in their division.
Head coach Dave Pitts also is defensive coordinator and Brenden Gubera is offensive coordinator.