Bud Bowen Q&A: Championship Edition

Staff Writer

The Daily Times Leader caught up with West Point radio announcer Bud Bowen to get his take on the Green Wave’s 2017 state championship win over Hattiesburg.

Q: What are your thoughts on the season, as a whole?

A: “I’m very happy that we won it, but I’m very sad that this bunch of kids will be graduating.”

Q: Would you consider this the best team in West Point history?

A: “Well, I don’t like going out on a limb in terms of who’s the best and who’s the worst, but I will say this much: Right now history says it is.”

Q: How special is the undefeated season and the school record 15 wins to you?

A: “It means all the world. To watched these kids pay the price when they were sophomores and to build into this type of powerhouse is just a wonderful experience for them. To me, whether they win it or lose it, I still love them all the same.”

Q: At what point did you think to yourself, ‘This team has a realistic shot at 15-0’?

A: “This might seem different to a lot of people, but last year, when Starkville jumped us right from the gun. We battled back and eventually lost the ball game, but I knew then that it was going to take a really really good team to beat us. We won the state title and haven’t looked back since.”

Q: Hattiesburg was able to move the ball some through the air. Did it surprise you to see them have some success against West Point’s defense?

A: “Not really, because they were a very prolific passing team. You’ve got to remember, if you take away those three long plays they had, they didn’t have any yardage hardly. Other than those three plays, our defense stoned them all night.”

Q: West Point had three interceptions down near scoring territory. Can you talk about how big those ‘drive killers’ were for the Green Wave defense?

A: “Turnovers are a defense’s best friend. When you can force turnovers, it means you’re doing something right; you’re in the right position at the right time.”

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Marcus Murphy’s performance, with him winning the Class 5A state championship game MVP?

A: “When I knew Magic Man (Murphy) wasn’t going to be back anymore, I had tears in my eyes after that game. He has always been one of my favorite players. I don’t put any player above the other, but there’s something about the Magic Man, by me giving him that nickname, I bonded with that kid. He’s a winner. He will always be a part of my heart, as will all the rest of them.”

Q: West Point really didn’t have any close games this year, with the closest being the 19-point playoff game against Grenada. How does it feel to just win every game comfortably?

A: “This ball club was just so dominant that I just put it on cruise control and rode all the way to the title with them.”

Q: This was the school’s first time to play in a Gridiron Classic at Oxford. How did you enjoy the trip, as an announcer?

A: “Ole Miss had excellent facilities, as far as the press box. I was really impressed with their courtesy and the way that they handled themselves.”

Q: West Point is going to lose quite a few key players from this championship team. Do you think next year will be more of a rebuild?

A: “Every year, pretty much, is a rebuild, but I think this spring will be really important. Our coaches are such good coaches that I think they’re really going to work hard this summer to get the players ready for next fall. The spring is going to be real key to how we approach next year.”