Ole Miss and Mississippi State are beginning a new Egg Bowl tradition this year that will involve Calhoun County .
Army ROTC soldiers from Ole Miss will carry the “game ball” from Oxford to Calhoun City on Monday, Nov. 25 where they will meet soldiers from the Mississippi State ROTC at approximately 11 a.m. who will then carry it on to Starkville for the Thanksgiving night Egg Bowl game.
“I wanted to start a tradition here and at MSU every year involving the military, football and Thanksgiving,” said MSG Matt Hayes, a senior military instructor for Army ROTC at Ole Miss. “I thought, what would be great for the community and military is to start what is called ‘the egg bowl run.’ Since MSU is hosting the game this year, myself and about 20 cadets will take the game ball from Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze and begin our trek to Calhoun City on foot. We will meet MSU ROTC in Calhoun City and exchange the game ball where MSU will begin their trek back to Starkville and present the game ball to MSU head coach Dan Mullen.”
Each group will run 40-50 miles to Calhoun City for the exchange.
“We will have vans and will basically take turns running with the ball until we reach our half way point, which in this case will be Calhoun City . About a mile or so from the exchange point, all cadets (minus drivers) will run in a formation with the American Flag and the University flags.”
The runners will have a police escort and they welcome people to get along the route and cheer for their respective teams.
“We want to encourage the public to cheer Ole Miss on or MSU as we run,” Hayes said. “We’re hoping for a community presence, veterans and football fanatics cheering on each program.”
Due to safety reasons, private citizens will not be allowed to join in the run unless they remain well behind the soldiers.
“We ask for the public to come out, please wear the school colors you are rooting for,” Hayes said.
– Joel McNeece is the publisher of The Calhoun County Journal