The Pointers meet Missouri A&T in the 2010 Spud Bowl
by Bryon Graff
STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - Each year the UW-Stevens Point football team plays a game called the Spud Bowl.
Sure, potatoes to come to mind.
But it celebrates a deep-rooted tradition in the Portage County area.
Potato skins meet pigskins.. in the annual Spud Bowl. But what exactly is the connection here?
No, just one game a year.
Not really, Waldorf.UW-Whitewater and Northern State are the only schools to have played in at least two.
Do they win a potato trophy?
Now, that would be something for the trophy case. They're 21-2 overall.
Steve Menzel/Spud Bowl Committee Chair: "Yes, I think students coming in, especially freshmen probably wonder what this Spud Bowl thing is all about. I think by the time they're seniors they're probably pretty familiar with it."
It's an annual football game that celebrates the ag-business industry in the Portage County area. And potatoes are huge in this area.
/Potato Grower: "Portage County is the leading area in potato production. It's about 30,000 acres here. The total state is around 58,000."
So to keep those ag roots alive, scholarships are awarded annually to UWSP students from the 13 county area with an ag background.
Kelsey Lynn/Spud Bowl Scholarship Recipient: "I hope people appreciate that farmers work 24/7 to provide our local grocery stores with dairy products and other products that we enjoy at our table everyday."
Through Spud Bowl history more than $80,00 in scholarships have been given to almost 90 students.
Wysocki: "Staying connected to the university is important because it lets you know what's going on in town. A lot of times if you're in a rural area you're not connected much anymore."
Now Pointers and potatoes, and spikes and starch, go hand in hand in the Spud Bowl. The scholarship winners are honored and potatoes are promoted.
Menzel: "Who can go wrong having a good baked potato. I mean, who doesn't like potatoes?"
During Saturday's game you can get a baked potato with all the fix-ins and a t-shirt for $5.
Kickoff with Missouri A & T is set for 1pm at Goerke Field.