Contact: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi will compete for a good cause Monday [Nov. 14] in the third annual Unified Egg Bowl.
The 6:30 p.m. flag football game pits MSU and UM students, partnered with Special Olympics Mississippi athletes, against each other. In addition to the field competition, fans at each state institution are seeking to be tops in raising money for the Madison-based organization that sponsors year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The game takes place at the MSU intramural fields on Stone Boulevard Extended. A tailgate cookout will precede the competition.
Members of the Famous Maroon Band and MSU spirit squads also will be on hand for the festivities.
Jim Beaugez, Special Olympics Mississippi director of public relations, said the Unified Egg Bowl was started in 2014 as a way to capture some of intercollegiate football’s excitement for a worthy cause. Over the previous two years, the game has raised a total of $15,000, he added.
“The Egg Bowl is a huge rivalry, so we thought it would be cool to unite the state around one of its most intense athletic rivalries,” Beaugez said.
Jason Smith, a Special Olympics athlete from Brandon, is among team members looking forward to helping MSU register its first win.
A defensive standout who hopes to keep the Rebel quarterback scrambling, Smith clearly enjoys the competition. “I just go right at them as fast as I can,” he said.
For Bulldog coach Cody Sheeks, a kinesiology major from Memphis, Tennessee, Smith and other participants help embody valuable lessons on sportsmanship and bigger-picture perspectives of the intense November rivalry.
“They show me what the game is about,” Sheeks said. “I’m competitive and I want to win, but no matter what, they just love being out there. Even last year after we lost, they just loved being out there on the field.”
For more on the Unified Egg Bowl or to make a donation, visit www.unifiedeggbowl.org.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.