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November 2012 Archives

SEC Championship: Coverage Information

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Hey Bulldog Nation, we're exactly 24 hours from kickoff in the 2012 SEC Football Championship between your Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide. If you're going to the game, we hope you are safe and have a great time, but if you're not going, below are some handy ways you can watch, listen, or follow along to the game as the Dawgs play for a spot in the national championship game!

National television: CBS (check your local listings); CBS will also offer a live web stream here.
Radio: Bulldog Radio Network (list of affiliates is here).
Georgiadogs.com: Listen live with a subscription to GTV by clicking here. Or, live stats can be found here
Satellite radio: SiriusXM channel 91
Social media: 
*Live in-game updates will be provided on Twitter (@UGAAthletics). Our blog account is @UGAHedgesBlog and will be tweeting some behind-the-scenes action as well.
*Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaBulldogs)
*Last but not least, right here on Between the Hedges blog we will be offering an hour-by-hour timeline of what's going on at the stadium beginning in the morning, so STAY TUNED!

As always, GO DAWGS!

Kudzu Hill Renovation

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Upon moving to Georgia from New Jersey, I had never heard the word "kudzu" before, but now I am pleased to talk about the new renovations taking place on Kudzu Hill at Foley Field!


 

photo.JPGConstruction has begun on what are being referred to as "perimeter improvements" at the UGA baseball field, with the project to include a retaining wall beyond right field in the area known as Kudzu Hill to stabilize erosion on the existing bank. That will also allow for a new plaza to be constructed with portable bleachers. And as you can see above, the stadium is getting a new scoreboard! 

 

The renovations will be completed in February prior to the start of baseball season.

Approaching 800

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As some know, but most probably don't, as these things tend to slip under the radar with those types of coaches who never want the recognition for themselves, Georgia women's basketball head coach Andy Landers is one win away from his 800th at Georgia. He won an additional 82 games while coaching at Roane State (a junior college) from 1975-79, but the NCAA doesn't recognize those wins - meaning that in their eyes, tonight is the true No. 800. 

We will be on hand for the game tonight, live tweeting updates from our Twitter account @UGAHedgesBlog, so be sure to follow along as one of the greatest Bulldogs ever chases history.

For now, here is some afternoon reading on Landers' milestone:





SEC Digital Network: Landers goes for win 800


UGA Athletics ranks in social media top-10

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia Bulldogs are used to top-10 rankings on the playing fields, but now the UGA Athletic Department has stacked up in another area: social media.

According to lists compiled by the University of Oklahoma, the Bulldogs are ranked No. 4 among FBS institutions in Twitter followers and No. 9 in Facebook "likes" on their official pages as of Nov. 7. As of Nov. 19, Georgia's official athletic department-wide accounts had 65,371 followers and 468,283 "likes."

Below is a glimpse into what the Bulldogs are doing on Twitter. 

Screen shot 2012-11-19 at 4.41.16 PM.pngOfficial hashtags: #godawgs #CommitToTheG

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Official Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics): 65,371 followers/5,768 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Don't forget to listen in to AT&T Bulldog Hotline tonight at 8pm- Do you have a question for Coach Richt? Tag it #bulldoghotline"

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Georgia Football (@WeRunThisState): 19,837 followers/1,084 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Check out @ajgreen_18's one handed TD catch against the Chiefshttp://www.nfl.com/videos/cincinnati-bengals/0ap2000000097347/QB-Dalton-to-WR-Green-4-yd-pass-TD ..."

Georgia Men's Basketball (UGABasketball): 2,295 followers/889 tweets

Most recent tweet: "We are in the Big Apple! #Dawgs vs. No. 1 Indiana tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn! Who's coming? #CommitToTheG"

Georgia Gymnastics (@UGAGymnastics): 7,221 followers/1,996 tweets

Most recent tweet: "The Gymdogs didn't get on the jumbotron but look who did! @dannadurante#GoDawgs http://instagr.am/p/SNew6LL8yw/" 

Georgia Men's Tennis (@UGATennis): 1,758 followers/3,232 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Brand new video recapping the ITA National Indoor doubles final and the fall season:...http://fb.me/1MXdESqSc "

Georgia Women's Tennis (@UGAWomensTennis): 96 followers/120 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Fall Tennis Winding Down....Here's an update from Saturday's action:http://gado.gs/13k "

Georgia Soccer (@UGAWomensSoccer): 702 followers/1,228 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Bulldogs named NSCAA Academic Team for 10th straight year: http://gado.gs/141 "

Georgia Volleyball (@UGAVolleyball): 870 followers/912 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Georgia fighting to hold on but it's too little too late and the Dawgs fall 17-25 in the fourth set. Kentucky wins 3-1."

Georgia Equestrian (@UGAEquestrian): 841 followers/1,317 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Congrats to UGAs Sara Parr on winning most outstanding player in horsemanship against SDSU #GODAWGS"

Georgia Softball (@UGASoftball): 5,634 followers/2,838 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Congrats to former Bulldog @KSandberg23 on being named the NPF Rookie of the Year! Second year in a row that it went to a #bulldog!"

Georgia Men's Golf (@GeorgiaGolf1): 484 followers/146 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Nationally rated prospects Branson Davis, Parker Derby and Greyson Sigg have signed with the Bulldogs. http://gado.gs/145 "

Georgia Women's Golf (@UGAWomensGolf): 318 followers/290 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Our 2013 recruiting class is now 3: welcome to the Bulldog Family, Harang Lee#godawgs"

Georgia Swimming & Diving (@UGASwimDive): 870 followers/500 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Georgia's swimming and diving teams shook things up in Friday's 3meet with Division III power Emory. http://gado.gs/147" 

Cheerleading (@UGACheerleading): 1,914 followers/890 tweets

Most recent tweet: "It's Tech Week! #nuffsaid #GoDawgs #cleanoldfashionedHATE"

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Football coach Mark Richt (@MarkRicht): 50,683 followers/193 tweets

Most recent tweet: "DawgNation. Get some sleep friday night n be ready to get up early on Saturday. Fill Sanford stadium to the brim. Sr day. Tech. Enough said!"

Men's Basketball coach Mark Fox (@coachmarkfox): 11,784 followers/920 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Game day . . . In Brooklyn"

Women's Basketball coach Andy Landers (@UGACoachLanders): 1,676 followers/445 tweets

Most recent tweet: "#IfItWasUpToMe you'd #CommittToTheG tonight at 7:00pm. It's Game Time..pic.twitter.com/TO04ugKw"

Men's Tennis coach Manuel Diaz (@CoachMannyDiaz): 1,252 followers/1,920 tweets

Most recent tweet: "@Sports_HQ: Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. -Paul Bryant"

Women's Golf coach Josh Brewer (@CoachJoshBrewer): 418 followers/2,825 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Interesting #bcs"

Gymnastics coach Danna Durante (@DannaDurante): 431 followers/181 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Gym Dogs finish the week with a fantastic showing in the intrasquad! So good to see some of our most devoted fans in the gym! #lovethisteam"

Volleyball coach Lizzie Stemke (@CoachLStemke): 275 followers/222 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Thanks to a great flight crew! #smoothtravel pic.twitter.com/XN91hZoK"

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Hairy Dawg mascot (@UGAHairyDawg): 8,206 followers/754 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Last time UGA had a freshman run for over 1,000 yards. 1980. Bama finished 2nd in SEC. UGA beat Notre Dame for the National Championship."

Between The Hedges, UGA Athletic Association Blog (@UGAHedgesBlog): 2,626 followers/854 tweets

Most recent tweet: :Monday morning thought: It's Georgia Tech week! #godawgs #CommitToTheG#GATA"

Football equipment staff (@UGAFBEquipment): 1,897 followers/114 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Movin on up! #SEC #closertothetop"

Facilities (@UGAFacilities): 509 followers/303 tweets

Most recent tweet: "I know its cold, I know its early, but I just wanted to make sure you know...pic.twitter.com/wQ1YYIdg"

Compliance (@UGACompliance): 610 followers/65 tweets

Most recent tweet: "With today being the first signing day of the National Letter of Intent (NLI), here's some compliance trivia:... http://fb.me/1YuhH6G5s "

Nutritionists (@DawgSportsNut): 790 followers/349 tweets

Most recent tweet: "High protein, low calories? → 3 oz Baked Skinless Chicken Breast = 26 g protein, 140 calories"

Student Services (@UGASAAC): 309 followers/26 tweets

Most recent tweet: "Saac meeting today!! Also, hunger bowl donations at rankin are looking great! Keep it up! pic.twitter.com/UFC5BsFQ"

Dawgs take over Cincinnati

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Have you ever seen so many Georgia Bulldogs in one NFL city? We haven't! Check out the story below - it's set to run in tomorrow's Georgia Southern football game program, and it features the Bengal Dawgs!

BengalDawgs12AndyWare.jpg

By Loran Smith

CINCINNATI, Ohio - Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Cincinnati Bengals, sits stately by the Ohio River, where six former Georgia football players are making a contribution to the central objective of a team that last sniffed a championship in 1988.

         The Bengals are the brainchild of the legendary Paul Brown, whose genius went beyond coaching.  The Bengals were originated by Brown in 1966 but have been a small market club without big-salaried players, which has led them to lowly finishes throughout their recent history.  At Cleveland, Brown and the upstart All-America Football Conference rivaled the National Football League in the forties.  Brown had won four AAFC titles when the Browns merged with the NFL in 1950.  Brown, the classic innovator, proved that he could compete in any league.  The Browns won the NFL title in 1950-54-55 after which their coach was let go by principal owner Art Modell.  Brown went looking for a franchise and settled on Cincinnati as the place he would like to start a team.  The NFL looked with favor on Brown and Cincinnati as a place to locate an NFL franchise.

         In the early seventies, Cincinnati was a perennial playoff team.  Later the Bengals won AFC titles in 1981 and 1988, but lost in the Super Bowl both times to the San Francisco 49ers.

         Brown retired from coaching in 1975 and died in 1991, having turned the team over to his son, Mike, who has had difficulty fielding a contending team.  That began to change when he hired Marvin Lewis to coach the team.   These Bengals have a new mission, which they refer to as "DNO," which means "Destination New Orleans," site of the next Super Bowl. 

"We certainly believe we can get there," Clint Boling, starting offensive guard who was a starter and a letterman for the Bulldogs in 2010.  "We have to believe in ourselves and we do," he said at Paul Brown Stadium following a recent practice.

         In addition to Boling, the Bengal roster includes former Georgia lettermen Dennis Roland (2002-05), Robert Geathers (2001-03), Orson Charles (2009-11), Geno Atkins, (2006-2009) and A.J. Green (2008-10).  Green, the outstanding rookie of a year ago, is one of the most popular athletes in Cincinnati. 

         "We saw what he did at Georgia," Boling said of his former Bulldog teammate, "and we told people when the Bengals signed him that they would be seeing a great NFL receiver.  Some people thought we didn't know what we were talking about, but A.J. showed them what he could do from that first day in training camp.  Everybody is a big fan of his now."

         Roland, who started his NFL career with the Cowboys and then spent two years with the Tampa Bay Bucs, came to Cincinnati in 2008 as a tackle but has often lined up at tight end. 

"If David Pollack hadn't gotten hurt, we might have seven Bulldogs on our roster," Roland laughed.  Roland and Geathers are the old timers of the Bulldog sixsome.  

         Following is a summary of the season for the six players through week 10. With a 4-5 record and having lost four games by 10 points or fewer, the Bengal-Dawgs still believe they have a shot at getting to the playoffs.  They remember what took place last year with the New York Giants.  The Giants were 9-7 in the regular season and won the Super Bowl.

         Geno Atkins, DT:  Started all nine games and leads the league in sacks by an interior defensive lineman with seven and that is tied for third overall among all players; Also tallied 28 tackles.

         Clint Boling, OG: Started all nine games at guard this season.

         Orson Charles, TE:  A backup at tight end, he has seen action in all nine games this season with two starts and has five catches for 70 yards.

         Robert Geathers, DE: Starter at LDE in all nine games with 19 tackles and 3 sacks.

         Dennis Roland, T/G:  Played in all nine games with two starts along the offensive line at tackle, guard and tight end.

         A.J. Green:  Started all nine games and ranks among NFL leaders with 58 receptions for 820 yards and nine touchdowns. Also, Green was named the AFC offensive player of the month for September.

(Photo Credit: Andy Ware, Cincinnati Bengals. L-R: Orson Charles, A.J. Green, Clint Boling, Geno Atkins, Robert Geathers, Dennis Roland).

SEC Digital Network: From Marine Corps To UGA

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**The following story was published by the SEC Digital Network on Georgia track & field athlete Elizabeth Tepe. Tepe is was a member of the Marine Corps from 2006-10, before competing for two years in junior college and transferring to Georgia this year. Beginning this spring, she will compete for the Bulldogs in the hammer throw, ready to use her many life lessons.**

By: Sean Cartell


SEC Digital Network

ATHENS, Ga. - She may have been just 18 years old, but Elizabeth Tepe could feel her life spiraling off course.

Her grades were poor, her home life even worse and her outlook for the future dim. A prep softball player at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colo., Tepe was a non-qualifier out of high school with few options available to help recalculate her path.

 "When I was in high school, I had kind of a rough home life," Tepe said. "I moved out of my house when I was 16. I didn't have much experience or knowledge of the world, and that comes with being young."

Tepe, now a junior on the University of Georgia track and field team, knew she had to make a change. Following her high school graduation, Tepe enlisted in the Marine Corps.

"I decided that I just needed to find a better path in life," Tepe said by telephone on Thursday. "I enlisted in the Marine Corps, graduated a month later and was in boot camp. It's one of those things you just know in your heart that you need to do."

Perhaps looking at the surface, one might not have been able to predict a bright future for Tepe. But if there was an understanding of the importance and maturity of her extreme perceptiveness and self-awareness, one would have felt the extraordinary character and determination she has always exuded.

"I think having to grow up quickly makes you bet on yourself a lot more," Tepe said. "Sometimes we're afraid to take a chance on ourselves and trust that we're going to do everything we can to make it. I was kind of forced to do so from that perspective."

*****

From 2006-10, Tepe served as an ammunition technician in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in California, where she supported Combat Logistics Regiment-15 for training and deployment exercises.

"You don't find out right away what you're assigned to until the end of boot camp," Tepe said. "Essentially, I was a BB counter. I counted bullets, got them to units, went out in the field and traveled with them to field ops taking ammunition, making sure the ammunition was accounted for and everybody knew what they were doing. I moved to more of an administrative unit, where I was over a unit of more than 1,000 Marines."

The experience in the Marine Corps provided Tepe with much more than practical experience. It also introduced her to fellow female Marines who carried themselves in a way in which she wanted to emulate.

"I think being a female Marine is even a little bit more poignant for me," Tepe said. "It's hard to find good female role models. It was good to see women alongside me who were strong and motivated to do good things with their life. Serving your country and putting on that uniform, you realize who you want to be and who you can be. I took so much confidence from that and it made everything else just seem easy."

Her time in the Marine Corps helped teach Tepe everything she expected and much more. She emerged a highly confident and disciplined individual, and had married fellow Marine Jarrod Tepe.

"I went in knowing I needed discipline, knowing I needed to find a little direction," Tepe said. "When I came out, I had gotten married and I had experienced so many amazing things. You learn self-confidence, self respect and really, all the way around, I grew as a person. I became a woman and I became more athletic. I was always an athlete, but I became a little more pointed in my direction. I knew I had the confidence that I could really handle anything I needed to."

*****

Following her time in Marine Corps, where she received the Good Conduct Medal, Tepe enrolled in Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., a two-year community college. Her husband had recently deployed and Tepe was looking for an activity to fill her time.

"I had gotten an exit in the Marine Corps and school, at that point, was a little too easy," Tepe said. "You need to be preoccupied when your spouse is on deployment. I thought I would go out for track and I was attempting to run a 200. The throws coach, Shawn McGinley, came up to me and asked if I was interested in throwing the hammer. I told him that I didn't know what it was, but I would try it."

Tepe found that the hammer throw, surprisingly, had a direct correlation to some of the skills she had perfected in the Marine Corps.

"I tried it and just really fell in love with it," she said. "In the Marine Corps, you drill a lot and there is a lot of footwork. With the hammer, there is a lot of intricate footwork, so it sort of came naturally."

For Tepe to say the hammer throw came naturally is a bit of an understatement. She thrived in the event, setting the national junior college record in the event with a personal-best mark of 186-9 her sophomore season. That was nearly a two-inch improvement from the previous record set by Michelle Amete of Mesa [Ariz.] College in 2006.

Tepe finished third at the California Community College State Track and Field Meet in 2012, helping her team to a tie for sixth place overall. It marked the best team finish for the Saddleback women's program since finishing fifth in 1986.

Tepe's successes, however, weren't just limited to the track. She finished her junior college career with a 4.0 grade point average and was named the U.S. House of Representatives Student Veteran Leader of the Year.

"By the time that I got to junior college, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do," Tepe said. "I was hungry to know about the world, and junior college presented that to me with books and class and learning. I wanted it. Before I joined the Marine Corps, I knew I wasn't ready. I just needed to grow."

*****

Tepe's impressive performances didn't go unnoticed. Several coaches on the West Coast, including legendary UCLA throws coach Art Venegas, took notice and passed the message along to Georgia throws coach Don Babbitt, a former UCLA letterwinner.

That led to a conversation between Babbitt and McGinley that ultimately helped lay the path for Tepe to attend the University of Georgia.

"I learned about Elizabeth from her junior college coach, whom I spoke with while on a trip to the West Coast," Babbitt said. "He told me she was a very good athlete, learned very quickly, and she was a good person."

Though Tepe is a relative newcomer to the event, given her track record, Babbitt knew that she could immediately be a strong contributor on his team.

"I think she can be very good," Babbitt said. "She is still very new to the event, but she has good base technique and leans very fast. She should score well at the SEC level and has a great shot to make it to NCAAs."

Since arriving in Athens prior to the 2012-13 academic year, Tepe has been made to feel at home, affirming her decision to move across the country.

"The team is awesome; I couldn't have expected anything more," Tepe said. "Everybody is so nice, making sure that I'm adjusting well. Moving 3,000 miles away from home is not easy, but the team definitely made it a lot easier. School was rough at first, trying to balance my practice schedule and classes, but I've definitely gotten used to it. I'm having a good time."

Tepe is certainly at a different stage of her life than the majority of her teammates, but that hasn't prevented her from fitting in well among her team and throws group.

"They keep calling my husband my boyfriend because they're not used to it," Tepe said with a laugh. "I think everybody's been very accepting of it. I just try to be a good role model and do the right thing. I wish I had somebody when I was 18 or 19 that was 25 that I could look up to. I hope to be that for them."

Babbitt agrees, saying that he is excited about the positive influence Tepe can provide for her teammates.

"I think she will be a voice of reason and experience, and help keep things in perspective for the younger throwers," Babbitt said. "She has a good outlook on life, and realizes what is truly important and what is not important. I think she has a great perspective and is thankful for the position she is in. I think this could be very, very beneficial for the team and her teammates."

*****

Tepe will begin competing for the Bulldogs this spring and Babbitt believes that his newest pupil has the ability to accomplish even greater things at the NCAA Division I level.

"I think she can be top eight at the NCAA level and she has a shot to win the SEC title down the line," Babbitt said. "She still has a ways to develop, but I can see she has tremendous potential."

Tepe's time in the Marine Corps prepared her to achieve far more than she ever thought possible. That is one key attribute she has carried over to her collegiate athletics career, along with many other transferrable abilities.

"I think that they go hand-in-hand," Tepe said. "There are so many things that you need to be an athlete and that you need to be a Marine or person in the military. You have to have discipline, judgment and justice. When you see somebody do something wrong, you have to call them out. You have to have your own set of morals established and then there is the whole physical side of it. The transition from the Marine Corps is hard, but to go into something like athletics seemed very natural."

Her coach agrees, saying that her accomplishments have been nothing short of impressive.

"I think she has had to stay very motivated and disciplined these past few years," Babbitt said. "That is hard to do. Many can't or don't do that at her age. I am very impressed by it. She will be very successful in the future because of her attitude."

Experience is a valuable asset and Tepe has more than most 25 year olds. She hopes to be able to use her knowledge to help others achieve their dreams, including her own teammates.

"I hope they can see what I've done and not compare themselves, but understand that anything is possible," Tepe said. "Something I always go by is that it's not the fact, but your attitude toward the fact that determines the outcome. I try to pass on that you need to do the right thing, even if it's a hard situation. You are able to get through it if you have the right attitude."

Being Hairy Dawg

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Ever wonder what it's like to be Hairy Dawg? Wonder no more! Thanks to Parker Moore, one of the four UGA students who split time serving as the Georgia mascot, we get a glimpse inside that life. 

This story originally ran in the Georgia Football game program distributed at the Ole Miss game. 

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Georgia Spotlight on Hairy Dawg: An Insider's Look At The Bulldog Mascot
By Parker Moore

My love for all things Georgia (minus Tech) did not come through environmental influences in my geographical culture. I was born in Columbia, S.C. where seldom was heard an encouraging word about UGA. When I was less than a year old, we moved to New York City where indifference and apathy reign supreme when it comes to college football. Phrases like "Hunker Down Hairy Dawg", and "Gooo Dawgs, sic em" could be taught as a foreign language in NYC public schools. "Between the hedges" is where your property line ended, and prophesies like "Man is there gonna' be some property destroyed tonight" were sometimes heard but had nothing to do with a celebrating a win over Florida. The football universe for the average New Yorker starts with the Giants and ends with the Jets who play in the same building across the Hudson in New Jersey.

My love for Georgia football can be traced back to my mother, Anna, who grew up in Armuchee near Rome in Floyd County. She met my father, Ed, in 1982 at Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens when they were both students at UGA.  At the time, he was on the football team. He didn't grow up loving the Dawgs as my mother did. He grew up in Western Pennsylvania and transferred to Georgia from Pittsburgh as a sophomore. After college, they married and my dad went into the ministry. In 1992, he accepted a call to be the pastor of a small Baptist church in Queens (NYC), and they have been there ever since.   We would try to travel to a game each fall where I would get to see Athens in all its glory.  It was a thrill to walk out onto the field at halftime when my father's teams would be recognized.   But primarily my love for and knowledge of Georgia came from inside the home. In a city of eight million people, we were, to the best of our knowledge, the only family who decorated the house and the yard in Red and Black every autumn Saturday. I am a New Yorker to the core who loves the Georgia Bulldogs.

As a home-schooled student, I never had an opportunity to play football growing up.  My sports career consisted of Little League baseball in the spring and touch football in the fall.  When I transferred to Armuchee High School for my senior year, I was on the football team and played on special teams and as a back-up defensive end. That was the first time I had ever put on a football uniform. So I find it a bit comical that I am the only one from my high school team that still suits up in full pads every weekend. 

I also have the privilege of wearing silver britches with a tail on the back of them, a football #1 jersey, oversized paws with only 4 fingers, and an enormous bulldog head commonly known as Hairy Dawg. Contrary to popular belief, the suit itself has no ventilation system, which means temperatures in the suit rise anywhere from 25 to 30 degrees hotter than the immediate surroundings. There are only a few students that get to assume the responsibilities of Hairy Dawg. One student suits up for the pregame Dawg Walk, another works the first half, and the third handles the second half. We rotate each week.

In addition to UGA sporting events, we are often called to make appearances at private and corporate functions as a goodwill ambassador for the University.  From the perspective of the attendees, Hairy Dawg just appears. My highest profile "gig" to date was an opportunity to shoot two commercials in Bristol, Conn., at the ESPN studios.   ESPN contacted UGA this past January and asked for Hairy Dawg to make an appearance in a commercial with former Bulldog and current NFL quarterback Matthew Stafford. Also, they shot another one with Hairy Dawg and Robinson Cano from the New York Yankees.

The ESPN gig was a thrill, but it does not rank as my highest honor serving as Hairy Dawg.  What brings me the most joy while being the mascot is being able to brighten the day of those who often need it the most. I often get to visit hospitals, assisted living facilities, special education classrooms, and even handicapped sections at sporting events. There is no greater feeling than seeing a little boy in a hospital bed light up, or being able to hold the hand of a child in a special education classroom or hug those in wheel chairs who are unable to stand up; that rare opportunity is the primary motivation for why I am the mascot. Being Hairy Dawg gives me a unique chance to bring joy to so many different types of people. It truly is an honor.

In order to assume the reigns of the great Hairy Dawg, one must try out. A two-minute dance or skit must be performed in front of former Hairy Dawgs, the dance coordinator, the cheerleading coach/spirit squad coordinator and various judges. I have always loved to dance so naturally, my tryout consisted of mostly dancing. The first time I had ever put the suit on was the day of tryouts, and I was scared to death. Fortunately, the judges liked my routine enough to select me as one of the next Hairy Dawgs. The position is not handed down from year to year so I had to try out again this year. Being a returner, I knew my tryout had to top all others (and there were 22 of us trying out). I pulled a few strings and actually recruited 20 members of the Red Coat band to come to the coliseum. For my grand finale, I lead the band in a rendition of "Shout It Out." The judges approved, and I am currently in my second full season as Hairy Dawg.

14Mascots.jpg

The role of Hairy Dawg is shared between four Georgia students including (l-r) Colton Fowlkes, Charles Purcell, Parker Moore and Billy McWhorter (not pictured) {Photo by Lindsay Boyle}

Bulldogs to host more championships

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**Very exciting news out of Athens today as UGA was selected to host the 2014 NCAA Men's & Women's Tennis Championships as well as one of the 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Regionals. Georgia consistently bids on hosting opportunities, and is often awarded those championships. The Bulldogs have hosted the tennis tournament more than any other school in the country - now 30 times for either men, women, or both. We know the players and coaches and are pumped and the staff is already updating its to-do lists!**

Below is the full release that ran on Georgiadogs.com today.

Also noteworthy, Georgia will host the 2013 NCAA Women's Golf Championships this spring.

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The University of Georgia will host the 2014 NCAA Men's & Women's Tennis Championships as well as a 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Regional, according to an announcement from the NCAA on Thursday.

The Dan Magill Tennis Complex has hosted the men's tournament 24 times and the women's event three times, in addition to three combined tournaments for a total of 30, most recently in both 2010 and 2012. The event has been combined since 2006. The Georgia men's tennis team has won six NCAA titles on the men's side - five of which came while playing in Athens. The women claimed the national title in 1994 and 2000 - the former coming at home.

The NCAA has recognized a national champion in men's tennis every year since 1946. It has done so in tournament format since 1977. The first women's championship was held in 1982. The tournaments have undergone some changes since their inceptions, including moving from a 16-team field to the current 64-team field in 1999. The first two rounds are held at on-campus sites, followed by the Round of 16 and beyond at the designated NCAA Championship site.

In the inaugural men's tournament held at the University of Georgia, Stanford defeated UCLA in the team portion while the Cardinal's Matt Mitchell was the singles champion and Bruce Manson and Chris Lewis of Southern California claimed the doubles crown. In the first women's tournament, Stanford defeated UCLA in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Cardinal's Alycia Mouton won the singles championship and the Bruins duo of Heather Ludloff and Lynn Lewis took the inaugural doubles honor.

"We are extremely excited to have been selected again," said 25th-year men's tennis head coach Manuel Diaz. "It's a credit to the many wonderful people in our athletic department who make the event so special, as well as all the volunteers in our community and the fans from around the country who make it the best collegiate event in our sport. Our athletic director [Greg McGarity] and everyone here at UGA are committed to continuing to host championships."

"This is fantastic news for the University of Georgia and the community of Athens. We're very excited and honored to host the incredible NCAA Tennis Championships again," said Jeff Wallace, in his 28th season as the head coach of the women's tennis team. "It all started with Coach Dan Magill in the 1970s and his vision to make Georgia the 'mecca of college tennis,' which it became under his leadership. Some of the greatest moments in our program's history have taken place at the complex that most deservedly bears his name. We're looking forward to having the nation's best players and teams come to Athens, and our staff and community always do a tremendous job of supporting the event."

Georgia is also one of six host sites for a 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Regional. The regional competition will be held at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Teams and all-around competitors advancing out of the regional championships will compete at the 2014 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by the University of Alabama and the Alabama Sports Foundation.

The other five host institutions for NCAA Regionals include Arkansas, LSU, Minnesota, Penn State and Washington. Georgia has served as host of a regional 11 times, most recently in 2011.

"To be able to host a regional championship is a bonus for our fans and our team," said first-year gymnastics head coach Danna Durante. "Georgia always puts on well-run championship events, and Stegeman Coliseum is an outstanding venue for a regional championship and the teams traveling in. Looking at our 2014 schedule, we have tough road meets against several national powers, so for us to be able to host regionals is really beneficial from a planning standpoint. We are looking forward to it."

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