The Chili Bowl History
If you attended any of the San Antonio (Texas) Independent School District Schools (SAISD), you know the Chili Bowl's history. If you weren't fortunate enough to attend one of these schools, read on and discover the unique experiences of Fox Tech High School and Sidney Lanier High School Alumni.
The Chili Bowl is perhaps one of San Antonio's oldest traditions experienced by several family generations attending either Fox Tech or Sidney Lanier. The tradition itself has its origins in an annual football game played at the famous Alamo Stadium located in San Antonio, Texas, near the Brackenridge Park and Trinity University. In fact, this is a tradition that endured from September 1942 through November 2009, for a total of 67 years. It was a sad day for students and alumni from both schools when it was announced that the Chili Bowl tradition would finally come to an end.
Although the focus was on the football game itself, several activities before, during, and after the game were a solid part of the Chili Bowl experience. For example, students from their respective school celebrated with spirited Pep Rallies in a homecoming/color day setting. Students always attempted to deface the other school with "appropriate" colors. Of course both student bodies respected each other to the point of carrying out these activities with enormous pride and enthusiam yet without any permanent damage to school or personal property.
Then there were the after-the-game events such as cruising the downtown streets of San Antonio and eventually meeting up at the Malt House, the Pig Stand, Jim's, and countless other venues. These were fantastic scenes. Lanier students proudly showing their blue and white while Tech students were waving their red and white. Students always dressed in their colors and their automobiles were equally decorated. Cheers, yells, and cars honking added to the spirited Chili Bowl rivalry. No other SAISD high school activity compared to this rivalry.
And finally there was the football game itself. Even when both teams had losing seasons, the Alamo Stadium could always anticipate its largest attendance of the season. It wasn't unusual to see attendance just short of 20,000 at this annual event. The Bands, Pep Squads, Cheerleaders, ROTC members, Faculty, and student bodies were fired up and always looked forward with much anticipation to this annual football game. Win or Lose, each school always claimed some victory over the other.
That my friends is a brief summary of the Chili Bowl tradition.
NEW Chili Bowl Spirit
Although, the Chili Bowl Football Game tradition has ended, the Spirit itself continues. That’s right! While the game is history, many who graduated from both Fox Tech and Sidney Lanier simply will NOT let go of the unique Bowl Spirit.
The game's demise has created other opportunities that will serve the tradition as well. Almost in unison, many former students from both schools stepped up and decided that the tradition should be kept alive even without the Bowl game. Needless to say, the tradition would have to take a different form. Being the spirited alumni that we are, the tradition will continue for years to come with a totally different purpose and emphasis.
While the Chili Bowl tradition from 1942 through 2009 was a football game rivalry, the NEW emphasis behind the Chili Bowl Spirit is one of Unity for alumni and Support for current enrolled students at both schools in the form of scholarships to deserving students. With this in mind, the first event for this NEW tradition, the Chili Bowl Gala, was held in November, 2010. In an effort to avoid confusion between the "Chili Bowl (football game)" and "Chili Gala (fundraising event)," the Committee renamed the Gala. From this point forward, the Gala will be known as the "Chile Bowl Gala." Regardless of whether it is referred to as "Chili" or "Chile," the event promises to become a well established tradition.
What Is The Chile Bowl Gala?
The visionaries behind the Gala are Dr. Joe Bernal (Lanier) and Dr. Carlos Raul Orozco, M. D.(Fox Tech). Neither of these gentlemen are strangers to civic contributions. Dr. Orozco is the current Chairman of the Advisory Committee For The Central City Health Career High School at Fox Tech. Dr. Bernal also serves as a member of the committee.
Early in 2010 Dr. Bernal and Dr. Orozco came together with their vision of this Gala and surprisingly, they found an enormous swell of community support. Alumni from both schools are participating on the Gala committee and, corporate sponsors and supporters are also showing ongoing support for the Gala event.
This Gala was conceived with the primary goal to provide support to students at both Lanier and Fox Tech in the form of scholarships. Proceeds from the gala go towards these scholarships. Support is also provided to the Health Careers program at Fox Tech.
Both co-chairs have emphasized that San Antonio, as well as our nation, is in a healthcare crisis. There is a shortage of healthcare professionals to include medical doctors, nurses, lab technicians, X-Ray technicians, and physical therapists. With this in mind, The San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) and the University Health System recently teamed together to help address this crisis. Through their efforts, along with several concerned members of the community, the Central City Health Careers High School has been created at Fox Tech High School, which opened in the Fall semester of 2010. Its hub location and proximity to several hospitals, colleges and universities will provide a unique educational opportunity for students not only from SAISD but the entire Bexar County area. It uses the newest technology and approaches (e.g. project-based learning and robotics) to teach the “internet-oriented” student of today.
What does the Gala offer? The First Gala was be held on November 6, 2010 at the Joe Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall. The Gala included a Dinner, Dance, and Silent Auction. The event also honored two well known and distinguished alumni, Lionel Sosa (Lanier) and Jesse Trevino (Fox Tech). Dr. Joe Bernal and Dr. Ricardo Romo, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio, served as event Emcees. The 2011 Chile Bowl Gala will be held on Saturday, November 5th.
Won't you join us at the second Chile Bowl Gala?