OU NROTC makes traditional run to deliver Cotton Bowl game ball

WHITESBORO, Tex. (KXII) -- Nearly 200 miles, two days and 44 runners: that's what is takes for the OU Naval ROTC to deliver the game ball to the Red River Showdown.

Thursday afternoon, we caught up with some members in Whitesboro as they handed the ball off to another shift within the unit.

"I know everybody has a great time doing it. It's fun to get out here and kind of get away from the stress of school and the stress of you know, just everyday life as a college student," said Cole Watson, battalion commander and midshipman for the OU NROTC.

It's a tradition ahead of the Red River Showdown that's more than two decades old. We're told their always start their journey on the Wednesday before the game.

"It's tiring but, it's one of those traditions we've had with our unit for really long time and you push through it, you focus on the end goal," said Watson.

He tells us they're all assigned six to seven hour shifts and split the miles among the members.

"I mean we'll stop every once in a while to get a break, whatever we need to do, but we're out here running 24/7 until we get down to Dallas," said Watson.

While they are running down to Dallas, the UT Naval ROTC unit is running up.

"Done it every year, love it," said Justin Keohacksa, said midshipman and OU senior.

Keohacksa said they get a lot of support along the way.

"It's really fun when we're running the ball and you'll hear guys just honking and just Boomer Sooner and whatnot," said Keohacksa.

One of his favorite things about the tradition is the intramural flag football match they play the Friday before the game with the UT Naval ROTC.

"I mean there's a lot of trash talking here and there but in the end, we're all one team," said Keohacksa.

Right before the kickoff on Saturday, the units will present the game balls to the head coaches.

"Yes, we run back. I'm not about to run back," laughed Watson.

"Boomer Sooner, beat Texas!," said Keohacksa.



 
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