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Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl 2023 is Dec. 15, mayoral challenge accepted


The excitement is building as the 2023 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl approaches, and this year the event promises to be more than just a football game. The City of Cortland Mayor’s Office, in collaboration with the City of Naperville, Illinois Mayor’s Office, is proud to announce a friendly Mayoral Challenge to foster community spirit and support for local collegiate sports teams.

Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli is oftentimes seen attending events around town sporting North Central College red. Last Saturday, Mayor Wehrli attended Tuba Christmas just before heading home to watch the Cardinals in the NCAA Division III Semi-Finals.

To encourage engagement and solidarity, Cortland Mayor Scott Steve has invited Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli to participate in this unique challenge revolving around this Friday night’s Stagg Bowl Game in Salem, Virginia. The game pits first-time bowl participant SUNY Cortland Red Dragons against defending NCAA Division III Champi­ons, the North Central College Cardinals.

The initiative is a friendly competition between the two cities to show support for their respective hometown teams. The losing Mayor has agreed to wear the winning team’s jersey to a City Council meeting. In contrast, the winning Mayor will be awarded unlimited bragging rights, symbolizing victory in the challenge and their city’s passion for local collegiate sports and town/gown unity.

“This Mayoral Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for our communities to come together and celebrate our local sports talent,” expressed Mayor Steve.

“As a North Central College alum, I’m incredibly proud of our student-athletes,” said Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli. “Good sportsmanship and being your personal best on and off the field is part of the Cardinal culture, and this friendly competition helps us celebrate those important life lessons. That said, I can’t wait to see Mayor Steve wear a slightly different shade of red to a Cortland Council meeting.”

“We encourage everyone to show their support for our teams and join us in making this year’s Stagg Bowl an unfor­gettable celebration of sportsmanship and community. And I hope that Mayor Wehrli looks good in SUNY Cortland red,” added Mayor Steve.

Editor’s Note / Stagg Bowl: North Central College Cardinals vs. Cortland Red Dragons, NCAA Division III National Championship is slated to begin 6PM Fri., Dec. 14. Watch live on ESPNU and ESPN+. Game played at Salem Stadium in Salem, Va. Watch parties in downtown Naperville: The Lantern, Club Mamalu, JoJo’s Shake Bar, Empire Burgers + Brew. Go, Cardinals!

Update, Dec. 16, 2023 / In a heartbreaker, Cortland SUNY Red Dragons beat defending champion North Central College Cardinals 38-37 for their first-ever NCAA Division III championship, ending the Cardinals’ 39-game streak of victories. The Cardinals were playing in their fourth straight championship game, vying for their third win. They won the 2019 national title in addition to 2021.

Even without the Division III Championship, the season of play with all its momentum provided plenty of loyal fans with great football under the leadership of Coach Brad Spencer and many reasons to return to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium next fall.

Update, Jan. 16, 2024 / Known to be a man of his word, Mayor Scott Wehrli made good on the bet placed in advance of the Stagg Bowl in mid-December. The Naperville Mayor wore “SUNY Cortland red” during the first City Council meeting of 2024.

Good sport Mayor Scott Wehrli is pictured in a SUNY Cortland football jersey at the first City Council meeting in the new year, January 16, 2024. (PN Photo)


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About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving City consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The City is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The City’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.