Gumbo is on the menu when Cardinals and Bobcats dine together for the Bayou Bowl Scholarship Banquet hosted by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, Monday, Nov. 1. The banquet is a community event that raises scholarship money for a Bridge City and Orangefield senior athelete.

Chicken and sausage gumbo, potato salad, desert and soft drinks will be served.

It is the second year that the chamber has hosted the banquet to be held at the Bridge City High School cafeteria at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at a variety of locations including the chamber office. Nominees for the scholarships are chosen based on good sportsmanship on and off the field.

The banquet begins a week of Bayou Bowl activities that has become a tradition among high school football fans in the annual get-together. The finale comes on Nov. 5 when the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club awards the Buzzie Gunn Trophy immediately following the game.

An autographed football signed by the players of Bayou Bowl XI will be auctioned during banquet festivities that include food and entertainment. Master of Ceremonies again this year is Jerry McInnis. School superintendents Jamey Harrison and Phillip Welch are among the speakers along with Gary Stelly for KOGT.

“The banquet is designed to bring our communities together for an evening of levity and goodwill,” said McInnis. “At the same time we are raising money for scholarships and showing our appreciation and recognition to our local athletic programs.”

The chamber awards two $1,000 scholarships from the banquet. Recipients for 2009 were Bridge City quarterback Josh Lemoine and Orangefield quarterback Corey Huckabay.
Chairing the event with McInnis this year are Bette Smith, Angie Trevino, Marlene Deslatte and Mark Dunn.

A friendly rivalry surrounds the Bayou Bowl that began in 2000 when UIL district realignment re-assigned Bridge City from Class-4A to Class-3A. The change pitted the Cardinals with district repercussions against the neighboring Orangefield Bobcats.

The Penny Record newspaper came up with the game-name “Bayou Bowl.” The newspaper sponsored and promoted the event the first four Bayou Bowl contests. In 2004 the paper turned the trophy presentation over to the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club. This year the Rotarians will provide a spaghetti dinner just prior to the game on Nov. 5 at the Bridge City Middle School. The meal will be served between 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 each with the proceeds going towards a significant community project.

The Buzzie Gunn Trophy remains with the winners until the next Bayou Bowl is played. It is regarded as a symbol for good sportsmanship and memorializes local photographer and Orange County football enthusiast the late Buzzie Gunn. Gunn and his father, T.L. Gunn, were pioneers in photographing the early years of Orange County football for the local media. Buzzie eventually became the second generation owner of Gunn’s Studio in Orange after shooting for various publications including Sports Illustrated. Today the studio is owned by Buzzie’s son, Chris Gunn.
Bayou Bowl Banquet Tickets can be purchased from the BCCC at 150 W. Roundbunch in Bridge City. Other locations include Bette’s Gifts and Boutique, 2011 Texas Avenue in Bridge City, Trophies by Lee, 9123 Stonewood in Orangefield and COS Printing, 1600 Texas Avenue in Bridge City.

Sponsors for the Bayou Bowl Scholarship Banquet include, Dishon Surveying and Drafting, Inc., Hyde Environmental, Capital One, Total Impressions, Bridge City Little League, Ice Cream Club, Orange Oilfield Supply, Peggy’s on the Bayou, Economy Insulation Co., All-State Insurance Misty Walters, Farmers Insurance Scot Shaffer, David Self Ford, Bill Nickum Insurance, BCISD, John Dubose CPA, Bridge City Bank, LaQuinta, Golden Triangle Family Care Center, Dr. John Hackbarth, DDS, and Gina Mannino.

Providing food and other donations are K-Dans, Wal-Mart, Central Office Supply, Trinity Storage Services, L.P., Trophies by Lee, Bette’s Gift Shop, Cardinal Athletic Booster Club, The Record Newspapers and TheRecordLive.Com.