Souper Bowl adds extra spice to county rivalry

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Dean Lee has always been a big fan of the annual Carroll County Super Bowl. That makes sense, considering he’s a Berryville High School alum.

When he was named executive director of the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, he started thinking about ways to make it better. His biggest idea was to add another contest, sort of a sideline endeavor to the yearly football game between Green Forest and Berryville, the inaugural and aptly named “Souper Bowl.”

“I was trying to look at new activities and events and things of that nature,” Lee said. “I have always loved the Carroll County Super Bowl and I’ve told the coaches and superintendents, you need to trademark that because I don’t know of any other school rivalry within Arkansas that tags that ‘Super Bowl.’ It hadn’t really ever been labeled that or copyrighted anyway, but it’s been that for at least three decades, probably close to four decades. This is obviously a play on the words and a way to make money for both schools.”


The Souper Bowl is less about soup than it is chili, and offers a chance for community chefs to put their best beans — or no beans — forward and maybe earn a trophy or some bragging rights along with extra funds for their favorite school.


All proceeds from the event — from its $50 entry fee, the $5 tasting bowls and the voting, which will be done by adding cash to each competitor’s vote jar — will go to either the Green Forest athletic booster club or the Berryville athletic department, depending on the wishes of the competitor.

“That, obviously, is a major shot in the arm and a boost [for both programs] from that side,” Lee said. “We did get a presenting sponsor, Anstaff Bank, and any sponsorship money we get will be equally split, as will the $5 chili bowl. But each contestant, they can determine, ‘Hey, I want my entry fee to go to Berryville or Green Forest, or I want it to be equally split.’ ”

That, Lee says, should provide a little incentive for competitors to show some hustle.

“If their son plays football for one schools, they can say, ‘I want all my money going to them,’ ” Lee said. “With both of the organizations receiving it, that’s kind of incentive for them to go out and hustle and get more sponsorships or get more contestants for their particular organization.”

This year’s version of the annual rivalry game will be played at Tiger Stadium in Green Forest, which required a bit of additional planning from Green Forest superintendent Matt Summers.

“It’s been going good,” Summers said Friday, Oct. 29. “The 10-day forecast shows us no rain either Thursday, Friday or Saturday, but it’s going to be cold. It is November, so that’s just part of it. Other than being a little chilly, it should be a good night. We’ve, got pretty much everything in order, ready to go. We’re looking forward to that being a neat addition to an already big, big night.”

Neither Summers nor Berryville superintendent Owen Powell expect either school to be directly involved in the competition, although there may be a few clubs or classrooms that take part.

“Hosting the game and all the things that go along with that is going to keep our coaches, our admin at max capacity,” Summers said, “so if that does come, it would probably come from some grade levels, or campuses. At this moment, I have not heard of anything.”

Powell expressed a similar view, saying he was excited to see how it all plays out.

The six judges for the contest will be split between Green Forest and Berryville and will rate each contestant on appearance, aroma, flavor, texture and originality. The People’s Choice award will be based on votes submitted by the public, with $1 representing one vote.

The competition will take place during and after the Berryville-Green Forest game, with awards being presented on the field between the third and fourth quarters, with awards presented for Best Overall and People’s Choice, along with the winners of any direct challenge matches between competitors.

For an entry form and complete list of rules, visit or search for “Carroll County Souper Bowl” on Facebook. Contestants must preregister and the entry deadline is 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4.

Those wishing more information may also contact Lee 870-423-0800 or Green Forest Chamber director Buddy Fry at 870-480-2595.

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