Fifth annual Bemis Bowl expands to 2-day event

The new Bemis Field at Notre Dame Preparatory. (file photo)

The new Bemis Field at Notre Dame Preparatory. (file photo)

The Fifth Annual Bemis Bowl will be played on Bemis Field at Notre Dame Prep’s recently completed sports complex, Wednesday, Nov. 25 and Thursday, Nov. 26.

The field was dedicated in the name of late Notre Dame Prep football coach, Scot A. Bemis. Last year, the stadium was under construction, so this will be the first time many alumni see the finished product.

“To host the Bemis Bowl in our new stadium, means to bring Scot’s legacy full-circle in our community,” stated Tro Panosian, a 2011 NDP graduate and Team Bemis co-founder, in a press release.

More than 2,000 people attended last year, either as a participant or a spectator.

“At this cherished annual event, we gather with our families, pray together, display competitive sportsmanship, and foster the continued growth of our young school’s core traditions,” Mr. Panosian stated in the release.

Tro Panosian (submitted photo)

Tro Panosian (submitted photo)

When Bemis was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011, his students and football players started Team Bemis to show support for him and his family, to raise money for lung cancer research and establish a scholarship to support the tuition assistance program at NDP.

“The kids wanted to do something to help him,” stated former NDP dad and Team Bemis member Kirk Tushaus, in the release.

A group of students started Team Bemis and from that, created Bemis Bowl.

This year, in order to make sure every participant gets to play in the stadium, the event will play out over two days.

“Plus, we want to respect people’s time on Thanksgiving Day,” Mr. Tushaus stated in the release.

The pre-qualifying games for current NDP students will be held 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 9701 E. Bell Road in Scottsdale.

Alumni are encouraged to attend the Wednesday night event to draw their game times for the next day and to reconnect with old friends.

On Thanksgiving, games will begin at 7 a.m. and end by 1 p.m.

“This is a chance for alumni to celebrate Coach Bemis and the school’s student legacy which he would be proud of,” stated Matt Rylski, admissions director of NDP who was an assistant coach and friend of Bemis, in the release.

His family established the Scot A. Bemis fund with Catholic Community Foundation to further efforts to find a cure for lung cancer and to provide academic scholarships. The net proceeds from Bemis Bowl will be added to this fund.

“I’m sure in many ways, Scot would be apprehensive about having fields or awards named in his honor. He never liked the limelight,” tated Mr. Rylski in the release. “However, an annual Thanksgiving football tournament played by hundreds of his family, friends and students that would suit him just fine.”

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