RCTC/North Star Bowl fb 11-13
Still one spot open for North Star Bowl
By Guy N. Limbeck
What if you threw a party and no one decided to come?
That’s the situation the North Star Bowl committee in Rochester seems to be facing.
The first-ever two-game, four-team football event is scheduled for Nov. 22 at the new Rochester Regional Sports Stadium. But so far the committee is having a tough time trying to fill the field. A number of teams have already declined an invitation to the junior college bowl event.
"If they aren’t willing to come down and play, you can’t force them," said Ed Hruska of the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission and a bowl committee member.
The game that’s a go right now is Rochester Community and Technical College against the Lackawanna Falcons out of Scranton, Pa. Both teams are 7-2; Lackawanna has one game left this Saturday. RCTC is ranked 18th in the country, and the Falcons are 21st.
Two berths were supposed to go to teams that reached the finals of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference. But both state champion Mesabi Range and Vermilion declined invitations.
Hruska said Mesabi declined because it didn’t like the opponent it might have been going up against. Vermilion’s president would only grant the request if the Ironmen were the state champions, and they lost to Mesabi 6-0 in the state title game.
The featured game was then going to be a pair of Kansas teams — Fort Scott Community College against Hutchinson Community College.
"Hutchinson agreed, but today (Wednesday) they called back (and pulled out)," Hruska said.
The committee had shown interest in about a dozen other teams, but several contacted said they didn’t want to play. Hruska admitted that it was a long trip for some of the schools, and the allure of playing an outdoor game in Minnesota in late November isn’t the most appealing.
"And everyone wants to play someone they figure they can beat," Hruska said.
He was hoping to find the fourth and final team by noon today. He said what was frustrating was that schools couldn’t officially sign a bowl contract until Nov. 17.
"It’s getting to be short notice," Hruska said.
"If we have to we’ll chop it down to one game," he added.