Littlefield, Sears Named Grand Champion Hopkins County Stew Winners

2019 Hopkins County Stew Contest winners

Top honors at this year’s Hopkins County Stew Contest, awarded Saturday, Oct. 26, for the first and only time in honor of the festival’s 50th anniversary, went to Steve Littlefield and Dwayne Sears.

Grand Championship

Grand Champion Hopkins County Stew Winners Steve Littlefield and Dwayne Sears

This contest featured only previous first place super stew champions, competing for the title of Grand Champion.

Grand Champions Littlefield and Sears’ stew was purchased by Grocery Supply Company and Fidelity Express. Their $700 prize money was provided by City National Bank. They were sponsored by Ben E. Keith

Only nine cook teams entered this competition. All were recognized for being among the best of the best in beef and chicken, competing together for the Grand Championship. Four received Honorable Mention.


Honorable Mention in the Grand Champion category went to the following teams:

  • #29, Nancy Fite and Larry Fite, sponsored by Berry Appraisal Services
  • #48 Garrett Glass and Brandon Williams, sponsored by Guaranty Bank and Trust
  • #117, John Mark McAfee and Bambi McAfee, sponsored by McAfee Farms
  • #9, Don Sapaugh and James VanWinkle, sponsored by City National Bank
Hopkins County Stew Grand Champion Contenders

Other Grand Champion contest contenders included:

  • Site #30 Steve Littlefield and James McMahan
  • Site #92 Richard Brantley and Ashley Brantley
  • Site # 125 LaWana Hohenberger and Broc Hohenberger
  • Site #M-L David Joslin and Robert Edwards

Super Stew Chicken

The first place Super Stew Chicken winner was team # 86, Elaine Merrell and Doris Humphrey, sponsored by CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Sulphur Springs. Their prize money of $500 was provided by Circle E Western Wear. Their winning quart of Super Stew Chicken was purchased for $900 by Interstate Body Shop.

Second place Super Stew Chicken award was won by # 21 Wayne Caldwell and Lyndsay Palmer, sponsored by Mattison Insurance. Their prize money of $250.00 was sponsored by Jay Hodge Chevrolet. The second-place Super Stew Chicken was purchased for $ 500 by Sister Babyz.

The third place Super Stew Chicken award was won by site # 43, Carmen Crouse and Craig Clifton, sponsored by SomeThing 4 Every Season. Their prize money of $100 was sponsored by Advantage Copy Systems.
Their third-place Super Stew Chicken was purchased for $300 by Peoples.

Honorable Mention in Super Stew Chicken went to site M-W, I.L. Balkom IV and Cathy Carr, sponsored by The Lazy B Ranch.

Super Stew Beef

The first place Super Stew Beef winner was the team of #62 Tonya and James Ross, sponsored by Alliance Bank. Their cook on the team was Brent McClendon. James began competing in the contest with his dad in 1984. Their prize money of $500 was provided by Janet Martin Realty. Their winning quart of Super Stew Beef was purchased for $900 by Clayton Homes.

The second place Super Stew Beef award was won by cook site # 111, Wade Juarez and Anida Reed, sponsored by Diamond Bar J. Their prize money of $250 was sponsored by Atmos Energy. The second place Super Stew Beef was purchased for $500 by ONCOR.

The third place Super Stew Beef award was won by site # 15, John Wilburn and Rudy Ellis, sponsored by CD Ballard Trucking. Their prize money of $100.00 was sponsored by Jiffy Signs. Their third-place Super Stew Beef was purchased for $300 by Corner Grub House.

Honorable Mention in the Super Stew Beef category went to cook site #77, Katie Patterson and Linda Henton, Sponsored by Alliance Bank.

Chicken Stew

First place chicken stew winner was the team of #25 Kimberly Kirkland and D’Anne Chaney, sponsored by Net Data. Their prize money of $300.00 was provided by Hollis Mechanical. Their first-place chicken stew was purchased for $600 by GDC Industrial.

Second place chicken stew winner was the team of #16 Kathy Lennon and Chris Black, sponsored by JKL Farm. Their prize money of $150 was provided by East Texas Physical Therapy. Their second-place chicken stew was purchased for $450 by Farm Country.

Third place chicken winner was the team of #13 Debbie White and Ann Tanton, sponsored by Hopkins Rains Farm Bureau. Their prize money of $100 was provided by 4-J’s Body Shop. Their third-place stew was purchased for $250 by Legacy Ag Credit.

Honorable Mention in the Chicken Stew category went to site # 20, Nikole Lamb and Sharon Sink, sponsored by Sulphur Springs ISD.

Beef Stew

First place beef stew winner was the team of # 37 Joe Wallace and Breanna Yager, sponsored by Saputo Dairy Foods. Their $300 prize money was provided by Hampton Inn. Their first-place stew was purchased for $600 by Texas Heritage National Bank.

Second place beef stew winner was the team of #8 Bruce Millard and Trevor Reger, sponsored by Sulphur Springs Professional Firefighters. Their $150 prize money was provided by East Texas Physical Therapy. Their second-place stew was purchased for $ 450.00 by Farm Country.

Third place beef stew winner was the team of # 91 Debbie Jones and Mariah Edwards, sponsored b: Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab. Their $100 prize money was provided by VF Outlet. Their third-place stew was purchased for $250 by Legacy Ag Credit.

Honorable Mentio in the Beef Ste competition went to campsite # 87B, Greg Cravens and Stacy Cravens, sponsored by Ocean Spray Cranberries.

Super Campsite/Costume

The John Chester Award for Super Campsite winner was site #7 Chris Gibbins and Scarlett Gibbins, sponsored by, Texas Heritage National Bank
Their $250 prize was provided by Sulphur Springs Centre for Dance.

Honorable Mention in the Super Campsite/Costume category went to campsite 18B, Amanda McKinney and Darel Roach, sponsored by Roach Construction.

Campsite/Costume

Campsite and costume winner this year was site # 111, Wade Juarez and Anida Reed, sponsored by Diamond Bar J. Their $200 prize was provided by Best Western.

Honorable Mention in the Campsite/Costume contest went to site # 84, Phillip Gabbert and Kathy, sponsored by VFW Post 8560.

New Events

Hopkins County Sheriff Lewis Tatum and Kenneth Dean and crew had the best appetizer.

Because so many enjoy the atmosphere and meeting and interacting with fellow stew chefs, and consider it a tradition to be set up the night before a couple of special events were added this year: a stew pot race and an appetizer contest.

For the race, people dressed as a chicken, cow and stew pot raced the sidelines. For the appetizer contest, cook teams were encouraged to submit whatever items they prepared Friday night for a cash prize; those who chose also contributed funds for a side bet or drawing.

Recognized for their appetizer was Lewis Tatum’s team. They went home with nearly $500, according to Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Lezley Brown.

Also new this year was the Stew Market, a place for local vendors to set up tents and offer their products, services and information during the stew festivities.

50 Years Strong

Jo Marie Neal ‘s family was recognized for 50 years of participation in the Stew Contest.

One family received a special award, one of the Chamber’s special commemorative 50th anniversary Christmas ornament. Jo Marie Neal family’s dedication to the annual event has spanned five decades.

Neal told Brown her family has been at the annual stew contest every year its been held. Members of her family have been at their camp site rain or shine, sunny or overcast, despite injuries and health challenges.

Community Support

The stew is an event that brings people representing all facets of business, organizations and backgrounds together to enjoy fellowship, outdoor cooking and friendly competition as a community.

It’s a big undertaking that would not be possible without community support, from donations of funds, foods and equipment to the innumerable hours put in by not only Chamber staff, board and ambassadors to numerous youth and others who pitch in with a willingness to serve when a need arises.

Volunteering their time staffing the stew contest were:

  • Alliance Bank and Galyean Insurance
  • CNC Pro Audio Video
  • Latson’s.com
  • Chili’s
  • CBJ
  • State Representative Dan Flynn
  • Carriage House Manor
  • Central Baptist Church
  • Pizza Inn
  • Rock Creek Health & Rehab
  • Super Handy
  • Sunny Springs Nursing Home
  • Joe Bob’s Convenience Stores
  • The Sweet Grind
  • Dr. Liao Ortho Center
  • Sign Gypsies
  • Hope Family Fellowship
  • Fix ‘n Feed
  • 95.9 Star Country
  • KSST
  • Cheyenne Smithers with Preuss & Flecker
  • Bright Star Baking Company

Recognized for providing products for the event were

  • Brookshire’s—Title Sponsor
  • Down to Earth Services – Down to Earth Friday Night
  • Clarion Pointe – Hotel Sponsor
  • Saputo – Cheese Sponsor
  • Southwest Dairy Museum – Cheese Sponsor

Service tents were provided by

  • Hopkins/Rains County Farm Bureau
  • ETC- Environmental Tank and Container
  • CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs

Additional sponsors included:

  • Alliance Bank and Galyean Insurance
  • CNC Pro Audio Video
  • Latson’s.com
  • Chili’s
  • CBJ
  • State Representative Dan Flynn
  • Carriage House Manor
  • Central Baptist Church
  • Pizza Inn
  • Rock Creek Health & Rehab
  • Super Handy
  • Sunny Springs Nursing Home
  • Joe Bob’s Convenience Stores
  • The Sweet Grind
  • Dr. Liao Ortho Center
  • Sign Gypsies
  • Hope Family Fellowship
  • Fix ‘n Feed
  • 95.9 Star Country
  • KSST
  • Cheyenne Smithers with Preuss & Flecker
  • Bright Star Baking Company

Author: Faith Huffman

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