By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Missouri Western football team is postseason bound in the first year of the Tyler Fenwick era.
The Griffons were officially selected Wednesday to participate in the Farmers Bank and Trust Live United Bowl in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The game is set for Saturday, December 2 at noon. Missouri Western will play Southern Arkansas (9-2) from the Great American Conference.
"I grew up back in the day when bowl games were big deals," Fenwick said. "For me to be able to take our team and give them that experience and go to a bowl game is a lot of fun to think about."
The Griffons won the Live United Bowl in both 2018 and '19. In fact, Missouri Western beat Southern Arkansas, 30-25, in the 2018 matchup.
Fenwick has been a head coach in three Division II bowl games in his career. He took Missouri S&T to a Mineral Water Bowl victory in 2018.
In 2021, he led the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm to a 37-34 win over Emporia State in the Live United Bowl.
"They really do a great job," Fenwick said of the bowl, which is played at Razorback Stadium in Texarkana. "It's first class, it's very organized, it's a great experience. Honestly, it's a very eye-opening experience with some of the community service stuff that the kids get to experience and go through and help out with."
The Griffons finished the 2023 season with an 8-3 record, just missing out on the Division II playoffs after a 47-41 double overtime loss at Missouri Southern this past Saturday.
Despite the tough loss to end the season, Missouri Western athletic director Andy Carter is proud to see how far the program has come just 11 months after he hired Fenwick to lead the Griffons.
"The end goal is something greater than (a bowl)," Carter said. "It's not always about football. It's about developing young people to be the best versions of themselves.
"We want to chase a national championship, and to do that, you have to start in places like this. So, I don't know what my expectations (for Fenwick's staff) were other than culture and they've knocked that out of the park."
Missouri Western has been to 11 bowl games in its history, going 8-3 in those contests.
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