Chili 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. 5. The banquet is a community event that raises scholarship money for a Bridge City and Orangefield senior athlete.

It is the fourth year that the BCCC has hosted the banquet to be held in the Bridge City Elementary School cafeteria at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at the door or through the chamber. 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. 9 when the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club awards the Buzzi Gunn Trophy immediately following the game.

An autographed football signed by the players of Bayou Bowl XII will be auctioned during banquet festivities. Master of Ceremonies again this year is Jerry McInnis. Guest speaker is former Cardinal and Tulane football player Cody Sparks.

“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.

A friendly rivalry surrounds the Bayou Bowl that began in 2000 when UIL district realignment reassigned 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 coined the game-name “Bayou Bowl.” The newspaper sponsored and promoted the event the first four Bayou Bowl contests. In 2004 the newspaper turned the trophy presentation over to the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club.

The Buzzie Gunn Trophy remains with the wining football team’s school 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 Buzzi Gunn. Gunn and his father, T.L. Gunn, were pioneers in photographing the early years of Orange County football for the local media. Buzzi 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 Buzzi’s son, Chris Gunn.

Bayou Bowl Scholarship Banquet tickets can be purchased from the BCCC at 150 W. Roundbunch in Bridge City.