Football fans will note a number of local players on the Trinity Valley Community College football team.
The Cardinals will face Garden City Community College at the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl doubleheader in Copperas Cove today. The eighth-ranked and 8-3 Cardinals will face No. 12 Garden City Community College, also 8-3, for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
The nightcap is a NCAA Division II matchup between Angelo State and Washburn.
Shoemaker High School graduate Tyri’k Barnes is a wide receiver and kickoff return specialist for Trinity Valley. Barnes has caught nine passes for 85 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. He has also averaged nearly 22 yards per return.
Three local players are linemen for the Cardinals. Temple High School graduate Jermaine Townsend, Khalil Corbett-Canada from Harker Heights and Darrius Mosley of Killeen High School are listed as offensive linemen on the roster. Mosley is a sophomore and Townsend and Corbett-Canada are freshmen.
Belton graduate Ryan Johnson is listed as a linebacker for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are averaging more than 450 yards per game, have rushed for more than 2,000 yards in 11 games and averaged 40.7 points per game.
Trey Baldwin leads the defense with 68 tackles and Blake Stephenson has added 61 stops for the Cardinals.
Garden City coach Jeff Sims said his team wanted to play Trinity Valley.
“Our guys wanted a good test,” he said. “And we are going into this game like it’s the Super Bowl.”
Sims and company will try and do something that hasn’t been done in nearly 30 years — win back-to-back bowl games. The last time a Garden City team took home consecutive bowl titles was 1989 and 1990 when they beat Ricks in the Real Dairy Bowl in back-to-back years under Brian McNeeley.
The Heart of Texas Bowl enters its 17th year, and ironically, Sims is the last coach to lead a Jayhawk Conference school to a win in the game, guiding Fort Scott to a 30-14 victory over Blinn in 2008. Trinity Valley is 4-0 lifetime in the bowl game, which includes a 34-24 victory over Northwest Mississippi in 2016.
This will be the Broncbusters first appearance in the Heart of Texas Bowl, and their second bowl game in the Lone Star state. Garden City lost to Trinity Valley 48-13 in the 1997 National Championship Game (Red River Bowl).
“Our guys have earned the opportunity to play in a bowl game,” Sims said. “What a great thing to have more practice time and more exposure.”
Garden City leads the all-time series with Trinity Valley 2-1, beating them 28-19 in 2007 and 21-17 in 2006. This is the Broncbusters 23rd bowl game in program history; they are 10-11-1 all-time.
The Broncbusters averaged 375 yards per game, running for 206 yards per game and 169 passing. Garden City scores 34.2 points per game.
Charles West has rushed for 954 yards this season and Daniel Davis has caught 58 passes for four touchdowns. Nigel Kilby caught 38 passes from quarterback Terry Wilson for eight scores. Wilson has thrown 22 touchdowns this season for Garden City.
Matt Terrell leads the defense with 83 tackles and Auston Robertson has added 73 stops for the Broncbusters.