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More than 3,000 expected to attend Fortuna Bowl during Homecoming

More than 3,000 expected to attend Fortuna Bowl during Homecoming

Caption: This year's Fortuna Bowl features a rematch of last year's game between Dynasty and Beast Mode. The women's match-up will be between SWAT and The Bus Drivers. (CBU Photo)

RIVERSIDE (Nov. 1, 2012) - Homecoming 2012 at California Baptist University will feature the Fortuna Bowl, the championship game for intramurals. Sound lame? Not when you consider that the annual event attracts upwards of 3,000 people.

The intramural championship evolved into a bowl game in the late 1980s, under the leadership of Guy LeCompte, intramural director at the time.

“(LeCompte) had a desire to upgrade our intramurals by offering a championship under the ‘lights,’” said Kent Dacus, vice president for enrollment and student services. “Also, he really wanted to increase programming for our students who lived on campus. From those humble beginnings it has just taken off to now becoming the event of the fall, if not the whole year.”

Dacus attributed the event’s growth to Chris Hofschroer, director of community life.

“He has been the driving force in making the event really special,” Dacus explained. “It has been under Chris’ leadership that we have seen the involvement explode and have seen so many features added to the game.”

Hofschroer came to CBU as a student in the fall of 1999 and was impressed that the Fortuna Bowl featured “a couple of bleachers, lights and a microphone.” It was the first year the event was considered big enough to be mentioned in the yearbook. After graduating, Hofschroer returned to CBU in 2007 as director of recreational sports with the goal to make intramurals even bigger.

“It already had a little bit of steam,” he said. “At first, we added a few more bleachers, an actual announcer and painted lines in the end zone.”

His goal was to make the game feel as close to one in the National Football League as possible. In fact, throughout football season, intramural games parallel Monday night football games shown on television.

“Those nights are more like the Fortuna Bowl was when I was a student,” he said. “We put in the bleachers and the lights. We mike the referees, and concessions are free, paid for by Community Life.”

The teams who will participate in the Fortuna Bowl attend a formal spaghetti dinner the night before the big game, and their captains talk about why the other team is a worthy opponent “to create a level of respect for each other that carries through the game,” Hofschroer said. This year’s match-up for the women will be between SWAT and The Bus Drivers. The men’s game will be a rematch of last year’s Fortuna game between Dynasty and Beast Mode.

Hofschroer says the event has snowballed to become more what he had in mind when he began. “Our staff has grown to a point that we could start doing some things,” he said. “I really wanted to add fireworks at some point and we put them in last year, thanks to Taylor Neese.” Neese is assistant director of community life at CBU.

The Homecoming edition of the Fortuna Bowl will feature a tunnel with fog machines and strobe lights for the teams to run out on the field, as well as painted end zones and bleachers that create a horseshoe-shaped stadium. Vendors will be moving up and down the stands to sell their items, and the evening will conclude with a fireworks show. This year’s Fortuna Bowl is sponsored by Lexus of Riverside.

“We are humbled and moved that Homecoming centers around Fortuna Bowl,” Hofschroer said.

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