Hundreds of fans travel to Salem for the Stagg Bowl

By Rob Manch - Reporter
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SALEM (WSLS 10) - The biggest game in Division Three college sports kicked off at Salem Stadium.

The Stagg Bowl brought hundreds from across the country to watch the two teams compete.

In the end Mary-Hardin Baylor would take home the win over Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Some of the first to arrive Friday were the local fans, like Rick Hall.

After 10 Stagg Bowls, he's a veteran at tailgating in any weather.

"We've got a fire going because you've got to stay warm, that's the most important. You don't want to go into the game freezing, because you definitely will come out of the game freezing," said Hall.

Pretty soon, hundreds of people from Texas and Wisconsin filled the lot in front of Salem Stadium, not letting freezing temperatures get in the way.

Layton Lively and several other former Mary-Hardin players flew in to support the team.

They haven't been to the Bowl since 2004.

"All those other 12 years, the only reason we didn't make it is because all of us retired and we weren't playing any more, so it took them a while to find some more talent," said Lively.

On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin Oshkosh fans hoped the chill would give them an advantage.

"Our kids are used to playing in this, that doesn't bother them one bit so, I don't know if that will play a factor or not, but it certainly doesn't hurt us," said Brad Fuller, whose son plays for Oshkosh.

From the music, to the tailgating, to the parking lot football, for these two teams, win or lose, the Stagg Bowl was a celebration.

"I can't believe that it's happened," said Mike Amato, whose son also plays for Oshkosh.

Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved