Philip Ogletree and Noel Couch
Dec. 31, 2012
Jingle bells...jingle bells...Gym Dogs all the way! Oh what fun it is to go to a Gym Dog meet today, HEY! Keep your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations going all the way to Jan. 5 when the Georgia Gym Dogs take on the Oklahoma Sooners in our opening season meet. We are putting the final touches on our routines and hosted our annual Sneak Peek before leaving for break. It was a good dress rehearsal for the real deal as the red and the black teams faced off against each other in our practice gym. The gym was filled with dedicated fans who came out to show their support. Afterwards we chatted with many of the young gymnasts who were ecstatic to be there. Some of them were even sporting leotards for their own practices they had to attend that day!
We were able to compete at Sneak Peek with clear heads and calm schedules after the wrath of finals had finally ended. Our team spent the past week studying hard for the exams we had to take to finish up the semester. We focused in on our studies and were well prepared...no need to sleep with the books under our pillows!
I even had to great opportunity to attend the SEC Championship football game. My father, who I get my love of football from, flew down from Jersey to attend the game with me. I wore my new red and black cowboy boots with a big Georgia “G” on the front of them that received a lot of compliments from Georgia fans as we walked through the crowds. We had such a fun day hanging out in Atlanta before the game and then cheering on the Dawgs. Papa Couch was cheering loud and jumping up and down like he was in the students’ section at our home football games! Although we didn’t come out with the win, it was still an exciting game and definitely a day we will remember forever. Now the entire Bulldog Nation is looking forward to the wrath we will bring to the Capital One Bowl to kick off the New Year celebration.
I have to give a shout out to our women’s basketball team. They are 12-1 right now and have been dominating out on the court! Many of the Gym Dogs and I attended the home game on Sunday before break and cheered them on as they defeated Lipscomb 93-42. For those of you that couldn’t do the math on your own, that’s a win by more than 50 points...WOW! Keep it up ladies!
The Gym Dogs could have been found hopping from place to place around Athens recently as we passed out posters and schedule cards to many local businesses. We were each assigned a partner and an area of town to visit. Sarah Persinger and I were designated to the area on Baxter Street. It was nice to meet many of the locals at businesses who support our team and we were even stopped by a few customers who also wanted to chat and take home a poster. One worker asked us when the next “party” was. After being a little confused by his question we eventually realized he was talking about our meets. But I suppose with the fireworks, music, and giveaways, our meets could be compared to a party!
Before heading home for our own family Christmas fun, we had a fun team Christmas party hosted by Phil and his wife, Jill. We had a delicious meal, painted ornaments, and exchanged Secret Santa gifts. Phil and I coincidentally had matching fedora hats on. What can I say, great fashion minds think alike! While I was home my cousins Samantha and Jessica, along with my sister Mikayla, and I ventured into New York City for the day. We saw the Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall, took pictures in front the giant Christmas tree, went ice-skating at Rockefeller Plaza, and checked out all the beautifully decorated store windows. Christmas was wonderful as always. It was great to see family and friends and be able to go home to such a wonderful home. However, it’s also so exciting to come back to Athens knowing that the opening meet is only a few days away! I hope Santa was good to everyone and left some Gym Dog tickets under the tree. It’s time to pack away the red and green and whip out the red and black because the Gym Dogs are back in action Jan. 5...see you then!
Noel Couch, an All-American from Towaco, N.J., is a senior on the Georgia gymnastics team.