the Soul Bowl

The thing that we love more than football…is more football. We hate to see the season end.

Being able to play in bowl games are usually the culmination of a good season.

They come on different levels and are almost a mini season within themselves.

Some of college football’s most notable bowls are the Rose Bowl, the Peach Bowl and the Orange Bowl, which takes place right here in South Florida.

In the ranks of the National Football League, there is the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, both of which will be taking place in the state of Florida for the year 2020.

As for the high school teams, the All-American Bowl and the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series are the ultimate thrill games garnering national coverage.

But there are times when the bowl games are for something as simple as pride and bragging rights within the district.

Broward County has the Broward Rivalry Series between top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas and Deerfield Beach High School.

Miami-Dade County has its series with a twist called the Soul Bowl between the Miami Northwestern Bulls and the Miami Jackson Generals.

The twist: this rivalry is between predominately Black-students-attended schools.

Simply put, the Soul Bowl is about “Black folks,” said Keith Woodberry a Miami Northwestern Senior High alum.

The annual rivalry involves football, culture and history for the kids, the parents and the grandparents of both programs.

“Back in the day, Jackson used to be a white school but now it’s a Black school. All the Blacks playing against each other,” said Woodberry.

The competition is about who has the best bands, students and football teams and “it’s a nice culture to get together. Soul Bowl – Black folks getting together and enjoying each other and have bragging rights.”

“It’s two schools, two rivalries and everybody comes out and have a good time enjoying each other. And to see who won,” fondly remarks Woodberry, as those same bragging rights extend to the alumni.

The Soul Bowl may not get all the pomp and circumstance as some of the bigger bowls, but it matters to both programs. And we don’t have to wait until the end of the season to get it going.

Well que the lights and let the games begin.

The Bulls and the Generals squared off on Friday, Oct. 25, at the neutral site of Traz Powell Stadium in Miami.

Northwestern scored 35 unanswered points until Jackson finally located the endzone in the second quarter to score it only touchdown and avoid a shut-out. They would miss the extra point.

It was all Bulls all night showcasing their dominance.

The premise behind the rivalry was much more intriguing than the game itself. But the battle of the bands, the emotions of the kids, alumni and family members, and the tail-gaiters’ food and music made for an electric atmosphere and fun night.

Drum roll….

And the bragging rights go to the Bulls this year, as they rode roughshod over the visiting Generals 49-6 to improve to 7-2. The Generals fell to 3-6.

Northwestern won the very first game in this rivalry series back in 1967 at Traz Powell Stadium. And some 52 years later and after a couple of stops at the Orange Bowl and Dolphins Stadium, they’re back at Traz and winning just like they began.

Until next year’s bowl …”We wish you love, peace and soul” in my Don Cornelius voice.

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