Heart of Texas Bowl logo

TJC’s bounce back football season keeps getting better as the Apaches are going bowling.

On Tuesday, Tyler Junior College accepted a bid to the 19th TIPS-C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, which is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 in Commerce.

The Apaches, ranked No. 15 with a record of 6-5, will face No. 11 Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College, which sports a 6-2 record.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. and will be played on Earnest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

TJC was runner-up in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, while the Red Ravens were the regular season Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference champions.

The acronym “C.H.A.M.P.S.” stands for “Communities Helping Americans Mature, Progress and Succeed,” which is a nonprofit group focusing on improving drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, mental health, and preventing teen suicide. An additional title sponsor, is TIPS (The Interlocal Purchasing System).

Tyler’s last bowl bid was in 2013 when the Apaches, under Coach Danny Palmer, defeated Garden City (Kansas), 47-21, in the Football Capital of Kansas Bowl in Pittsburg, Kansas.

This will be the third time the Apaches have participated in the Heart of Texas Bowl. The two previous games were in held in Copperas Cove with TJC defeating Rochester (Minnesota) 55-3 in 2003, while falling to Hutchinson (Kansas) 15-10 in 2004.

Coffeyville played in the inaugural Heart of Texas Bowl in 2001, defeating Navarro 49-14. The Kansas squad played in the 2014 event as well, losing to Trinity Valley 27-24.

For tickets to the game go to https://www.champsheartoftexasbowl.com/.

Also, Navarro College accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Scooters Coffee Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Broncbuster Stadium in Garden City, Kansas.

The Bulldogs (5-4), making their first bowl appearance since 2018 and their 21st in school history, will face 12th ranked Garden City (7-3), the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference’s runner-up.

SWJCFC champion New Mexico Military Institute has qualified for the first-ever NJCAA Division I Football Playoff. The Broncos (10-1) are the No. 2 seed and will host No. 3 Northwest Mississippi (9-2) on Sunday, Dec. 5 in Roswell, New Mexico. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. (Central) at the Wool Bowl.

The other semifinal has No. 1 Iowa Western (9-0) meeting No. 4 Snow (Utah) (7-1) in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Reiver Football Field.

The winners of the semifinal contests will advance to the 2021 NJCAA Division I Football Championship, presented by Bob McCloskey Insurance, set to take place in Little Rock, Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium. The championship will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17.



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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.