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University of Missouri

Bringing Their ‘A’ Game

The Mizzou Atlanta Alumni Chapter gets this SEC party started down in the Big Peach.

Mizzou in Atlanta

Jim Pierobon, left, of Leesburg, Va., and Tom Flint, Lake Forest, Ill., cheer on the Tigers Friday at the Buckhead Saloon in Atlanta.

Mizzou fans and alumni traveling to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game between No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Missouri Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, were greeted by record high temperatures in the 70s Friday.

For Mizzou alumni residing in the Big Peach, record highs are nothing new.

Mizzou Buckhead Saloon

The Buckhead Saloon was packed with Missouri fans Friday evening.

Friday night, nearly 400 feisty fans decked in black and gold fill Atlanta’s Buckhead Saloon, a hopping joint that, for a few hours anyway, could have passed for downtown Columbia.

These Tigers have made us happy, proud and excited all season long, so they deserve all the support we can give,” says MU alumna Lexy Martin, a Carthage, Mo., native who made the 2,636-mile trip from her Seattle home. “We weren’t going to miss it.”

Other traveling Tigers endured longer‐than‐anticipated road trips Friday as rain and snow snarled highway travel through Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Chad Bozarth

Chad Bozarth, president of the Mizzou Atlanta Alumni Chapter, has seen growth of the group since MU joined the Southeastern Conference.

The party’s host, the Mizzou Atlanta Alumni Chapter, is the one of the largest Mizzou Alumni Association chapters outside of Missouri and the largest in the southeastern U.S. This year, thanks in part to the enthusiasm of chapter president Chad Bozarth, BJ ’95, the group achieved “Capstone” status from the Mizzou Alumni Association by hitting numerous membership, event and fundraising goals.

When I moved here in 1997, we hosted strictly watch parties,” says Bozarth who was informally nominated to lead by former MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton at a 2012 SEC‐welcome party. “We’re a well‐oiled machine now. We have a student sendoff for local high school students attending Mizzou, and we helped Hands On Atlanta gather and deliver food in the area.”

Former MU student‐athletes, including softball catcher Cat Lee of Covington, Ga., and linebacker Brandon Barnes of Sikeston, Mo., attended the event, as did former MAA President Melodie Powell of Kansas City, Mo.

Brandon Barnes

Former Mizzou linebacker Brandon Barnes attended the Atlanta Alumni Chapter event.

Most fans planned to attend Saturday’s official MAA tailgate from noon to 3 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B1. Tickets are available at the door for $5, and there will be a livestream of the Mizzou‐UCLA basketball game that tips off at noon ET at Mizzou Arena.

But the main attraction is the SEC Championship, and the black‐and‐gold‐clad revelers unanimously predict a positive outcome.

Auburn has a great run offense, but we have a better run defense,” Barnes says. “We’ve got the guys to stuff the middle. We’re gonna’ win. We’re gonna’ win. We’re gonna’ win.”