The Altus Firefighter Combat Challenge team was recently invited to compete at the Cotton Bowl Invitational in Arlington, Texas. A small group of Firefighters from the United States and Canada were invited to compete, based in their performance at the World Championships in Las Vegas in October. The competition took place inside the gates of Cowboys Stadium prior to the OSU-Missouri bowl game.
The “Team Dr Pepper” relay team ran short handed and finished in the middle of the pack, (8th place), which wasn’t bad considering the competition. “It was an honor just to get the invite,” said Drew George. “We knew we were short handed, but we weren’t going to miss the opportunity.”
Jimmy Rogers won the over 50 individual competition, edging out the defending U.S. National Champion from Nebraska. “It was a brutal course, and everyone’s time was slower,” said Jimmy. “I was fortunate to have a clean run and finish on top.”
After the event, the firefighters got to be involved in the pre-game ceremonies and helped spread the flag that covered the entire football field. “It was an awesome experience to be on the field and be a part of the National Anthem,” said Michael Grayson. “The flag weighed over 2500 pounds and we had to carry it a long way, now we know why they invited us to help!”
The next scheduled event is the Daytona 500 competition in February, but the team hasn’t decided if they will make that trip. “We have to buy some new gear for the young guys this year, so the budget probably won’t allow us to go,” said Jimmy Rogers.
The team is sponsored by James and Carla Thompson from Vernon Dr Pepper, as well as local businesses and citizens that purchase burn out shirts.