OXFORD, Miss – As the sun rises Monday (Nov. 25) over the city of Oxford, University of Mississippi ROTC cadets will begin a trek to Calhoun City with this year’s Egg Bowl game ball.
It will be the first leg of the inaugural Egg Bowl Run.
UM cadets will run the football 45 miles, from campus to Calhoun City. Upon arrival, Mississippi State University’s ROTC cadets will take the ball and complete the second leg of the run into Starkville for the Egg Bowl showdown on Thanksgiving Day.
Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork will be on hand for the ceremony, which will take place on the town square.
Between both ROTC programs, the run will cover more than 90 miles on foot in one day.
They hope to start a new tradition for the communities of Oxford and Starkville and add to the tradition of the already historic rivalry.
“You’ve got Thanksgiving, you’ve got football and you’ve got our veterans doing this,” said Master Sgt. Matt Hayes, UM senior military instructor. “It’s going to be great.”
The Ole Miss cadets share the sentiment with their instructor. They are motivated to run as a unit and have a little rivalry fun with the MSU cadets.
“There will be some rivalry between the ROTC programs,” said John Bolding, cadet battalion commander for UM ROTC. “I think we will see who can get to the halfway point the fastest.”
Twenty Ole Miss cadets have volunteered to complete 10 four-mile legs of the journey to the rendezvous point. Each cadet will have a running partner for added motivation.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” Bolding said. “Running 40 miles all the way to Calhoun City with my battalion will be motivating.”
UM cadets will arrange themselves in a military style formation and march the last mile to Calhoun City as a full unit.
Communities along the road from Oxford to Starkville are encouraged to come out and show support for the cadets running the football.
Cadets will form up outside Barnard Hall at 5 a.m. and start moving toward Calhoun City.
The route will proceed along Student Union Drive and Grove Loop to University Avenue. The cadets will then head east on University Avenue to Highway 7, where they will run south to the Highway 7-Highway 9 split. They will take Highway 9 straight to Calhoun City, where they will stop in the city square at a small pavilion to hand over the ball to the MSU group and relax with some refreshments before heading back to Oxford.