Excitement building as Council Bluffs’ Duggan to play in college football national title game

It’s not every year that one of the stars of the college football National Championship Game is from the metro.
Max Duggan, the pride of Lewis Central High School, is getting recognition from his hometown of Council Bluffs.
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:18 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s not every year that one of the stars of the college football National Championship Game is from the metro - but it’s different this year.

In bars and restaurants in Council Bluffs where you might normally find Iowa or Iowa State fans, you may now see more Texas Christian University fans.

“I am definitely rooting for TCU. Definitely,” says Bill Nanson, as he watches Monday Night Football at the Railway Inn in Council Bluffs.

“Are you going to be a TCU fan just for one day on Monday?” 6 News asked Council Bluffs resident Jack McCart. “Yeah, for more than one day, but, we’ll see.”

It’s all thanks to Max Duggan. The senior quarterback for TCU is a Council Bluffs native, graduating from Lewis Central High School.

“It’s pretty cool,” says Sarah Gatzemeyer, a bartender at the Railway Inn. “It gives kind of a hometown hero feeling.”

Gatzemeyer says the bar has been packed for TCU games, and she expects it to be the same next Monday during the championship game.

“He’s taken the team on his shoulders,” McCart says.

“I mean, the kid came in start of the season, lost his starting position, came in to take over after an injury, and carried them on his back,” says Ian Mass at Oskies on Monday night.

Mass’ kids went to Lewis Central with Duggan -- he says he remembers how polite, humble and kind Duggan was, and is thankful to him for putting Council Bluffs on the map.

“People always look down on us from the other side of the river, but we’ve got great people over here, and I mean, Max is a great kid and he is who you see on TV.”

“You don’t hear about Council Bluffs, you don’t ever see us on the map, so it’s kind of cool because people realize we’re a city, we’re a town, not just some part of Omaha,” Gatzemeyer adds.

“From the people that I’ve talked to from this community, you know, they think he’s a great representative for Council Bluffs,” Nanson says.

Nanson lives in Omaha but teaches in Council Bluffs. He admits there’s some jealousy - he wishes Duggan would’ve played for his team.

“You know, we kind of lost out on that as far as the Cornhuskers go.”

But despite the team, these community members are supporting the Council Bluffs native, and hope to see him come home with a national title ring on his finger.

“Go TCU!”

The third-ranked TCU Horned Frogs take on the first-ranked Georgia Bulldogs next Monday at 6:30 p.m.