Local athletes benefited from Nosser’s generosity

Published 6:55 am Thursday, September 7, 2017

The city of Vicksburg lost a great man this week.

Rowdy Nosser’s death at the too-young age of 55 took from the community a friendly leader who loved this town and its people. He enjoyed promoting it and was proud to be a part of it.

There probably isn’t anyone who’s lived here for more than a few years that didn’t know Rowdy. If you grew up here in the past 20 or 30 years, you almost certainly did.

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You see, Rowdy wasn’t just a friend of the city. He was a benefactor to its young people, sometimes in ways they knew and many times in ways they didn’t realize.

Rowdy’s love of sports went well beyond fandom. He was the guy people called when they needed help with a project. It might have been a request for money to help buy uniforms. Perhaps they needed some catfish for a fish fry fundraiser, a sponsor’s sign on the outfield wall, or a couple of new baseball bats.

There’s no telling how many ads and signs he bought over the years, from the Red Carpet Bowl to the Run Through History, in every sport and event.

Whatever they needed, whenever they needed it, Rowdy did his best to provide it.

Rowdy’s son Regan, who is taking over the family’s restaurant business, was a star football and baseball player at St. Aloysius. Regan’s participation almost certainly gave those teams favored status in those years, but Rowdy’s generosity was not limited to just one school or one sport.

When Porter’s Chapel Academy won the MAIS Class A boys’ basketball title in 2013, Rowdy helped pay for the team’s championship rings. Other athletes from Vicksburg, PCA and Warren Central got to attend camps or received equipment through Rowdy’s donations.

Countless others worked at Rowdy’s Restaurant or Taco Casa in high school. He opened his home to a few, mentored dozens, helped hundreds in ways that went above and beyond what could ever be expected of anyone, without expecting anything in return other than a thank you.

“Whenever you asked him, ‘What do I owe you?’ he’d smile and say, ‘Just win, baby,’” Warren Central football coach Josh Morgan said.

The financial side of the restaurant business can be volatile, but Rowdy rarely if ever turned anyone away.

“Everybody loved Rowdy,” said former Red Carpet Bowl chairman Travis Wayne Vance.

Yes, they did. And they always will.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 139-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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