Jacob “Timbo” Fontenot (left), Co-Founder of the Tee-Cotton Bowl, poses with his dad Tim (right) and the Tee-Cotton Bowl Trophy. The Fontenot duo have put the Tee-Cotton Bowl on the national map since its inception in 1999. The Tee-Cotton Bowl is slated for September 1. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Fontenot)
A number of people know the effort that Tim Fontenot has put out for the previous Tee Cotton Bowl and the monstrous renewal game coming up on September 1.
But, few people realize that since the inception of the “Game” there has been another person that has produced a number of ideas and concepts that are utilized in the pre-game ceremonies, as well as the contest itself.
That person is none other than Jacob “Timbo” Fontenot, who just happens to be Tim’s son. Jacob is most definitely considered the “Co-Founder” of the Tee Cotton Bowl and is more responsible than anyone else for the game itself.
In 1999, as a junior football player at Sacred Heart, Jacob and his teammates had just gone through a losing effort to Ville Platte High in a district contest. After the game, he remarked at how fun and special the game had been to him and his team. From there the concept of the Tee-Cotton Bowl was born.
“Even though we had just lost to Ville Platte, I told my dad that I had never played in such a competitive and fun game,” stated Fontenot. “I said to him that this game could become something special. So, from there we just starting brainstorming about how to make it more than just a game.”
And as we know today, the game has blossomed into an event to be taken, even if you do not have a dog in the hunt.
When asked if he ever thought that the Tee-Cotton Bowl would have ever reached the notoriety it has achieved today, Fontenot was quite frank in his answer.
“To be quite honest, I never thought it would receive the amount of attention it has, especially on the national level,” said Fontenot. “It is truly unbelievable it has reached this level. What really amazes me is the football savvy people around the state that ask about the game all the time. I mean when you have people like J.T, Curtis telling you that he would love to come and see the game, that is pretty cool.”
Fontenot was particularly excited when the Tee-Cotton Bowl was given new life this upcoming season.
“When the game first got cancelled, I thought to myself ‘Why can’t we have anything nice,” said Fontenot. “But, when we found out it was back on, my dad and I were on the phone immediately game planning on what we needed to get done. Since that day, I think we haven’t gone a day without talking to each other about the game.”
Having played in the first Tee-Cotton Bowl, Jacob understands how important the game has become for the players and especially the community.
“The way I view the game is two prong,” stated Fontenot. “First, the money that it brings in for each school is so valuable for their athletic programs. Secondly, I feel it brings an emotional aspect to the community. Everyone in the community owns the game and we all have an investment in it. It allow everyone to bring their talents for a common cause, unity.”
With that attitude and dedication, we can all rest assured that the Tee-Cotton Bowl will be in great hands for a very long time.