The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 7, 2013

Tomorrow's stars play today in juco bowl at PSU

Football Capital of Kansas Bowl director J.D. Ettore touts the fifth annual game at Pittsburg State’s Carnie Smith Stadium as a showcase of tomorrow’s stars.

Looking at the bowl game’s list of notable alumni, Ettore’s claims certainly have merit.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David and LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger have all played in the annual game previously known as the Citizens Bank Bowl.

This year’s meeting will feature Tyler (Texas) Junior College and Garden City (Kan.) Community College. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. today at Carnie Smith Stadium. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.

“One of the great things, if you’re a football fan, is the talent that plays in this game,” Ettore said. “Tyler has 17 all-conference players. Garden has numerous all-conference players. On that field, you’re really seeing the stars of tomorrow. It’s a great venue at Carnie Smith Stadium. You’re really getting an overall feel of a Division I game.”

Tyler (8-2) lost to Navarro 88-24 in the semifinal round of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference playoffs. The Apaches’ other loss came 55-31 at No. 6 Trinity Valley.

Tyler’s roster boasts several players who are already committed to NCAA Division I schools for the 2014 season, including wide receiver Joshua Reynolds (Texas A&M), offensive lineman Frank Kee (TCU) and defensive linemen William Coleman (Mississippi State) and Drew Sarvary (Texas Tech).

Garden City finished the season with a 5-4 record, but technically enters the game at 2-7 after the Broncbusters were forced to forfeit three victories after an NJCAA audit.

“Garden City has some very talented players,” Ettore said. “The talent is there, and it is rich. They had to forfeit three games for eligibility purposes. They didn’t have the paperwork correctly filed … So their record really isn’t indicative of their team. If you just look at 2-7, you think that’s an awful team. No. They would have been the third seed in the playoffs if they had continued. They’re a very talented team.”

The Broncbusters are loaded with Division I prospects. Offensive lineman Dontavius Blair (Tennessee), linebacker Dvonta Derricott (Kansas State), running back Tyreek Hill (Oklahoma State) and wide receiver Brandon Snell (Utah) have all committed to D-I schools. Linebacker Errol Clark reportedly has interest from the likes of Auburn, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas and others.

General admission tickets are $12. Tickets for elementary and high school students are $5. Tickets for college students also are $5 with a valid student ID.

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