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Each year in Saline County, a mass exodus takes place as fans and families make their way to the Promised Land of football in the South. The destination of battle is Central Arkansas’s finest arena, War Memorial Stadium. Home of Salt Bowl XV. While some fans bleed maroon and others bleed blue, it’s undeniable that this rivalry both divides and unifies the county and its towns. Fans will arrive in epic proportions to cheer on their beloved athletes and alma maters.
“In a way, the Salt Bowl divides our county.”
I had the privilege of interviewing a senior hero from each team. Each of these young men feel the tension, excitement, and pride that rides on this game. These athletes are eager to bring pride to their hometowns as they fight for the trophy and reign of victory. In a way, the Salt Bowl divides our county,” said Benton senior linebacker, Brandon Black.”The rivalry is year-round whether it is as intense now as it is a month after the game. The towns, however, become more unified individually. As a senior, I have dreamed about the Salt Bowl since I was a future Panther and now is my last chance to change the culture so there is pressure that is oh so bitter sweet. There is a lot of pride in this county because a rivalry as big as this brings in so much money that we would not have otherwise. We have over 30,000 people come to the game, so our game is legendary. This rivalry never dies. This game (the Salt Bowl) is a life dream,” said Black. Bryant senior wide receiver Brushawn Hunter agreed that the Salt Bowl both divides and unifies. “It unifies Benton and Bryant because both sides of the city limits come together to watch and celebrate the Salt Bowl. Also it divides both Bryant and Benton because of the competition between the teams and the drive to beat each other. The Salt Bowl is a big game that I will never forget throughout my high-school and college career.” The thrill of the Salt Bowl is practically tangible. As these teams continue to practice and prepare the anticipation rises. Saline County residents and football fans alike will not want to miss the show down of talent as the Salt Bowl ushers in a new season of football. The game is scheduled to take place Friday, September 5th at War Memorial Stadium. The best tailgating of the year begins at 5:00 p.m. and kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. Wear maroon, wear blue, wear strips, but just be there. *Photos provided by Emma Shock
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