Oil Bowl Hoping To Make A Resurgence in 2011

The Oil Bowl isn't high school football, but it's about as close as you can get.  The charity game pits some of the best football players from Texas against those from Oklahoma.  All 79 players just graduated high school a few weeks ago.

Chairman Gary Hill is hoping to fill Memorial Stadium this weekend.  But the game put on by the Maskat Shriners has been in a slump.  Last year, it grossed less than $2,000.  Hill wants to make it a community event once again this year.

"We bring a lot of people to town that bring a lot of revenue for our community, and we need for our community to get behind the game and let's really make this thing a success," he said.

The charity game gives the Texas half of the revenue to the North Texas Rehabilitation Center.  Director of Marketing Susan Knowles-Martin says even when it's small, they appreciate each year's contribution.

"Obviously we're hoping for a big attendance and lots of folks comin' out because that means that more dollars to us and more folks that we can help that need that care," she said.

Any revenue is a big boost for the rehab center's Sponsored Care program -- physical, occupational, or speech therapy for people who can't pay for it themselves.

"We do see kids and adults come through our doors every day that really desperately need that help and cannot afford that care," Knowles-Martin said.

Hill hopes the game brings in about $150,000 this year.  For this decades-old tradition, this year could be the resurgence Shriners are hoping for.

"It's gonna be a great game, some great kids.  Come on out and show them that you appreciate them," Hill said.

"Even if you don't know anybody in the game, even if you're not a big football fan, it's always a great event.  It's always a lot of fun," Knowles-Martin said.

The Oil Bowl is this Saturday at 7:30 PM at Memorial Stadium.

You can purchase tickets at the Maskat Shrine at 5101 Henry S. Grace Freeway, Bobby Evans Sporting Goods, or Jerry's Sporting Goods.  You can also order over the phone by calling 940-766-4511.

Reserved Seating:   $11.00
General Admission:  $9.00
There will be a tailgate party from 10:30 to noon in the parking lot of Memorial Stadium (near the Gregg Road entrance)
Also, the Oil Bowl Banquet will be Friday the 10th at the MPEC at 7 PM.  Tickets for the banquet are $15.