Carroll's big games:
The Graphic Edge Bowl
ESPN broke a story late Tuesday night that you care a lot about if you're an Aggie, a big-time, or even just a passing, fan of Texas A&M football.
The Aggies signed Butler (Kan.) Community College outside linebacker Tommy Sanders, a junior college standout ESPN ranks highly.
So this is an important college football story, a major Aggie move.
And it means to something to Carroll, Iowa.
Because Sanders isn't the only one who earned ink in the story. So did the sponsor of the last game Sanders played in with the Butler Grizzlies - the Graphic Edge.
ESPN.com notes that Sanders and the Grizzlies "made it all the way to the Graphic Edge Bowl, the NJCAA's national title game."
Butler lost 27-7 to Iowa Western Community College in The Graphic Edge Bowl - a fact that Iowa papers covered. So did the Wichita Eagle. And ESPN. And other media outlets.
John Reglein, president and founder of Graphic Edge, said the bowl named after his 240-employee, Carroll-based company, is a key marketing tool. Graphic Edge has sponsored the bowl for 12 years and has a verbal agreement with community college athletic leaders to continue putting its name behind the games at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
"You try to promote your name and do something positive," Reglein said in an interview.
Before it was the Graphic Edge Bowl, the game had other sponsors, including RC Cola.
The Graphic Edge Bowl is actually two games, although there is something of a main event and an undercard. Four top community college teams are invited to play with the best match-up getting the media title of the bowl.
The winner of that game earns what Reglein refers to as a "mythical" national championship for junior colleges.
"It's more of a perk for a good season," Reglein said.
Of course, major universities see it as a scouting opportunity for players like the aforementioned Sanders. Reglein attends the Graphic Edge Bowl and says he regularly sees scouts from Division I programs like Alabama and Clemson and Maryland as well as Iowa and Iowa State.
The games were played on Sunday, Dec. 2, this year, and Reglein estimated representatives from at least 50 Division I schools were in the Dome.
"It was outstanding," Reglein said. "It was exciting."
Reglein counts his company as fortunate to be associated with the bowl. There's a banquet the night before the game and lots of opportunities to mingle with coaches and players and others in the sports world, all with an eye toward building connections that help Graphic Edge, a growing sports-apparel operation.
"It's a great environment," Reglein said.
So as the college football bowl season begins in earnest for the Division 1 schools, as the floats line up in Pasadena, Calif., for the Rose Parade, let's not forget that Carroll, Iowa, has a home-grown and locally managed company with its own bowl game - one that's serious business to the college football coaching and recruiting ranks.
How many cities of 10,000 people can say that?
It is, in a word, cool.
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