PHOTO GALLERY: UNK Football uses Husker practice facility for Mineral Water Bowl prep

The University of Nebraska at Kearney football team practiced at the Hawks Championship Center Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s noon kickoff at the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

The Lopers held their morning practice at the indoor facility in Lincoln – home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers – while traveling to Missouri.

After arriving in Excelsior Springs, UNK players, coaches and staff were treated to a team dinner at The Elms Hotel and Spa, where they were joined by their opponent Winona State.

This is the 12th postseason appearance in the 113-year history of the UNK football program. The Lopers’ only other bowl trip came in 1955 when then-Nebraska State Teachers College beat then-Northern State Teachers College, 34-13, in the Botany Bowl in Shenandoah, Iowa.

The Mineral Water Bowl dates back to 1947 and in its long history the game has involved high schools, junior colleges and “small” colleges. Among the participants in the last five decades are Hastings College, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Drake, Wayne State and eight current MIAA members. Winona previously played in the game in 2000, 2002 and 2012.

The Lopers (6-5) are 0-1 all-time vs. the Warriors (8-3) from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Saturday’s game is played at Tiger Field, home of the Excelsior Springs High Tigers.

Photos by Todd Gottula, UNK Communications