Spaghetti 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, Oct. 31. The banquet is a community event that raises scholarship money for a Bridge City and Orangefield senior athelete. The guest speaker will be Mike Defee, longtime area football referee. Mike is currently calling games in the Big 12 Conference.

It is the third year that the chamber has hosted the banquet to be held at the Orangefield Elementary cafeteria at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at a Bette’s Gift Shop, located at 2011 Texas Avenue in Bridge City, or Trophies by Lee, located at 9123 Stonewood in Orangefield. Nominees for the scholarships are chosen based on good sportsmanship on and off the field.

Raffle tickets for footballs that have been autographed by each football team will be sold at the next home game. The proceeds will be applied toward the scholarships. Please find the tables where the tickets will be sold and participate in this fundraiser. The footballs will be given away at the Bayou Bowl Banquet.

“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 2010 were Bridge City lineman Shane Stankus and Orangefield quarterback Quinton Evans.

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 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 Friday, Nov. 4 when the Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club awards the Buzzie Gunn Trophy immediately following the game.

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.

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.

Tables that will seat six people are being reserved for $200, or tickets will be sold at the door for $12 each. Tickets may be purchased at Trophies by Lee or Bette’s Gift Shop. Reserved tables may be decorated to honor a favorite player or student, or to represent local businesses.
The following businesses are sponsoring the 2011 Banquet: Allstate Insurance, BC Bank, Bridge City Police Officers Association, Bridge City Independent School District, Bridge City Little League, Bill Nickum Insurance, Capital One, David Self Ford, Dishon Surveying, Judge Courtney Arkeen, Donovan Industrial Services, Dr. John Hackbarth DDS, Family Clinic, Firestone Credit Union, Gina Mannino, Golden Triangle Family Care Center, John Dubose, Economy Insulation, LaQuinta, Orange Oilfield Supply, Farmer’s Insurance, K-Dan’s, Walmart, F & F, Central Office Supply, The Record Newspapers, Wayside Florists, Trophies by Lee and Bette’s Boutique and Gift Shop.

Contact Jerry McInnis at 409-882-2237, or Bette Smith at 409-670-8566 for more information or tickets.