Bulldog Monthly December 2018

dates and deadlines

December 31: 2018 Year-End Giving Deadline

February 15: 2019 Hartman Fund Priority Deadline

March 31: 2019 Football Season Ticket Priority Deadline

Bulldogs Primed for Sugar Bowl, Bright Future

After an 11-2 regular season and a second-straight SEC Championship appearance, the Bulldogs are headed to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana in the New Year. The future is bright.

In New Orleans, senior Jonathan Ledbetter will play his last game in a Bulldog uniform before joining outside linebacker D'Andre Walker and long snapper Nick Moore at the Reese's Senior Bowl on January 26 in Mobile, Alabama.

At the Team Gala this year, Ledbetter was named a team captain, voted on by the players, and received the Vince Dooley Defensive Player of the Year honor alongside senior cornerback Deandre Baker and the Defensive Up-Front Award with Walker.

"It's bittersweet, but I'm excited," Ledbetter said. "I told my teammates, I'm passing the torch to them after this one. I've got one last pow-wow with them, and I'm going to give them all I've got. And then I have to worry about me, and they support me, and the coaches support us. It's getting older; we're growing up."

Sophomore inside linebacker Monty Rice will join Ledbetter as a leader of the defensive attack at the Sugar Bowl. Despite battling injury this season, Rice tallied up the second-most tackles on the year, and will continue to pace a defensive front that finished 2018 ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 18.5 points per game.

"It's the next game for me," Rice said. "I'm motivated, we're motivated. We want to beat them just as bad as we wanted to beat Alabama or Florida or anybody else."

In the midst of the Sugar Bowl preparation, Georgia welcomed a 2019 signing class to the mix, a group littered with young talent that will make a difference in Athens as soon as January.

"I don't try to convince them of anything," Rice said on hosting the potential signees. "I just tell them how it is and how it's going to be here. I tell them, 'If you want to come play for a good coach with other good players around you, then come here. If not, this may not be the place for you.'"

The Sugar Bowl is slated for an 8:45 p.m. ET start time at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The contest will be aired on ESPN.

Georgia and Texas have met on four previous occasions: Jan. 1, 1949 Orange Bowl, Texas 41-28; September 21, 1957 in Atlanta, Texas 26-7; Sept. 20, 1958 in Austin, Texas 13-8; and Jan. 2, in the 1984 Cotton Bowl, Georgia, 10-9.

This will be Georgia's 55th bowl game appearance including last year's national championship game—fourth most of any team in the country. The Bulldogs' all-time bowl record is 31-20-3. This is the 22nd consecutive season the Bulldogs have earned a bowl appearance, which ranks as the second longest active streak in the country.

Georgia's senior class is 42-11 in their career with three bowl wins (TaxSlayer, AutoZone Liberty, Rose), two SEC Eastern Division championships, 2017 SEC title, 2017 College Football Playoff national runnerup, and pending trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Game Info, Bag Policy

Kickoff: 8:45 PM EST/7:45 PM CST

Gates Open: 2 hours prior to kickoff

Will Call: Gate H Plaza, opens at 4:30 PM CST

Bag Policy

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of hand and no larger than 6.5” x 2” x 4.5” with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.

29 UGA Student-Athletes Receive UGA Degrees

Twenty-nine University of Georgia student-athletes received undergraduate or graduate degrees during the fall commencement exercises at Stegeman Coliseum.

Among the 29 UGA student-athlete graduates are 10 from football; seven from track and field; three from baseball; two each from men's golf and swimming; and one each from gymnastics, soccer, softball, volleyball and women's basketball.

Baseball (3): Chase Adkins, General Business; Blake Cairnes, Consumer Economics; Mitchell Webb, Sport Management.

Football (10): Kendall Baker, Sociology; Michael Barnett, Communication Studies; Rodrigo Blankenship, Journalism; Lamont Gaillard, Sociology; J.R. Reed, Communication Studies; Keyon Richardson, Sociology; DeAngelo Tyson, Housing Management and Policy; Steven Van Tiflin, Real Estate and Finance; Nick Williams, Communication Studies; Shakenneth Williams, Sociology.

Gymnastics (1): Gigi Marino, Human Development and Family Science.

Men's Golf (2): Zach Healy, Sport Management; Jaime Lopez Rivarola, Kinesiology.

Soccer (1): Delaney Fechalos, Finance.

Softball (1): Lindsey Miles, Early Childhood Education.

Swimming (2): Gunnar Bentz, Management; Stephanie Peters, Sport Management.

Track and field (7): Sarah Gardner, Kinesiology; Cejhae Greene, Consumer Economics; Addy Lippitt, Management; Anna Machovec, Computer Science; Chanice Porter, Kinesiology; Karl Saluri, Food Industry Marketing Administration; Kendal Williams, Communication Studies.

Volleyball (1): Sarah Lagler-Clark, Psychology.

Women's basketball (1): Simone Costa, Communication Studies.

Hartman Fund Renewal Info

With the 2018 football season quickly coming to a close, it is almost time for our 2019 football season ticket renewals! With a home schedule featuring opponents like Notre Dame and Texas A&M, 2019 will be a year to remember Between the Hedges.

2019 Hartman Fund donor guides will be arriving in mailboxes in January, and are available online by clicking here. The deadline to renew your Hartman Fund donation is February 15th. Ticket applications will be available in the first week of March, and the deadline to submit your application is March 31st.

Year-End Giving Information

Donations to any of TGBC's four annual funds as well as Magill Society pledge payments can be made online by visiting our website or by calling 706-542-9220 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on December 31st.

Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, no charitable deduction is allowed for amounts paid to the UGA Athletic Association after December 31, 2017 in exchange for the right to purchase season tickets for The University of Georgia home athletic events. Accordingly, in the absence of additional guidance from the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Treasury, your seat-related contributions for home events are no longer tax-deductible. We recommend that you consult your tax adviser to determine the potential tax-deductibility for gifts made above and beyond your per-seat-related contributions.

Keturah Orji Wins the Bowerman

Georgia track and field legend Keturah Orji has been awarded The Bowerman, which is given each year to the top male collegiate student-athlete and top female collegiate student-athlete in the sport of NCAA track and field.

This marks the award's 10th year in existence. The honor is given each year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). While there have been four winners from the Southeastern Conference on the men's side through 2017, Orji has become just the second winner from the SEC in 2018 for the women and first since 2012 (LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan). Orji was already the first three-time finalist in the history of The Bowerman for the women.

Orji edged Kentucky freshman Sydney McLaughlin and Arizona senior Maggie Ewen for track and field's version of the Heisman Trophy.

The NCAA Woman of the Year from of Mount Olive, N.J., was 7-0 during her 2018 indoor and outdoor triple jump competitions, including setting American and collegiate indoor records (47 feet, 8 inches), a collegiate outdoor record (47-11.75) and capturing the SEC and NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the event.

In her second event, the long jump, Orji set a school record outdoors (22-4.25) to win the SEC crown and locked down her first NCAA championship in the event after taking second in both the SEC and NCAA indoor meets in the long jump in 2018. Her 18 points indoors helped allow the Lady Bulldogs to collect their first NCAA team title while her 20 points outdoors helped give Georgia its second straight runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.

On top of being the SEC Field Athlete of the Year indoors and outdoors and the league's Scholar Athlete of the Year, Orji was named the USTFCCCA National Women's Field Athlete of the Year during both seasons last year.

Orji — who was fourth by only three centimeters in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro — is a 15-time First Team All-American and eight-time NCAA individual national champion (four times in the outdoor triple jump, three times in the indoor triple jump and once in the outdoor long jump). Her outstanding performance in those events helped Georgia win its 2018 NCAA indoor team title and finish as the national runner-up three more times.

Orji holds the American and collegiate records for the indoor triple jump and the collegiate record for the outdoor triple jump. She was a four-time USTFCCCA National Women's Field Athlete of the Year, and she is the only woman in history to be a three-time Bowerman finalist. She completed her collegiate career 31-1 overall in the triple jump and currently owns the top eight indoor marks in NCAA history and the top six performances outdoors.

Orji, a former Bulldog team captain, served for three years on the UGAAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), including as vice president during her senior year. A four-year attendee of the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy, she founded Amara's Pride in 2017, an after-school mentoring program for middle school girls, focusing on self-worth, the importance of education, social media influences and the power of perseverance.

Orji also worked with an income tax assistance program, spent time with children whose parents were incarcerated during the holiday season and served as a United Team leader, through which she mentored other student-athletes through weekly small groups and Bible studies.

A 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, Orji was a member of Georgia's Sphinx Club honor society, the oldest honorary society in Georgia history, and Blue Key Honor Society, whose members are committed to leadership in student life, high scholastic achievement, service to others, citizenship and adherence to principles of faith. She was named the 2018 SEC Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, her third honor of this kind, and the university's Joel Eaves Scholar-Athlete of the Year presented to the female student-athlete who has the highest GPA going into their senior year.

Orji received the SEC's H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship, presented to the conference's top male and female scholar-athletes. She was recognized by the USTFCCCA as the 2017 Indoor and Outdoor National Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, also giving her three of those honors in her career. She is now pursuing a graduate degree at Georgia and is a volunteer assistant with the Bulldog track and field program.

Baker Wins Thorpe Award, Named Walter Camp All-American With Thomas

Georgia senior Deandre Baker became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back at the ESPN College Football Awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

The Thorpe Award has been presented for the past 33 seasons. Baker, a native of Miami, Fla., was joined by LSU's Greedy Williams and Notre Dame's Julian Love as finalists for the award. The only other finalist in Georgia history was Champ Bailey in 1998.

In addition, Baker was included on the 2018 Walter Camp All-America Team, giving the Bulldogs two players on the First Team in as many years (Roquan Smith, 2017). Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield since Bacarri Rambo in 2011 and the first Georgia defensive back to receive the Walter Camp designation since Greg Blue and Thomas Davis garnered the honor back to back in 2004-05.

In addition, sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas earned Walter Camp Second-Team All-America honors after being named a Freshman All-American by several outlets in 2017.

Baker will be honored at a Thorpe Award banquet in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5, 2019.

A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia. He has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.

Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs' 13 games, missing only the Middle Tennessee State game due to an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.

The Bulldogs averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his teammates in the trenches were named a Joe Moore Award finalist earlier this week for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

Baker and Thomas are 15 of the SEC players included on the 50-man Walter Camp All-America teams. Players were selected by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaches and sports information directors. This marks the 129th edition of the Walter Camp All-America teams.

The Bulldogs have earned 37 Walter Camp All-America First Team honors dating back to 1922. The 2018 Walter Camp All-America teams will be honored at the organization's 52nd annual national awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Bulldogs Debut at No. 13 in Preseason Rankings

The University of Georgia checks in at No. 13 in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I pre-season poll presented by Big League Chew bubble gum.

Georgia welcomes back 25 returning lettermen from a squad that posted a 39-21 mark including 18-12 in the SEC a year ago. The Bulldogs were a national No. 8 seed and played host to an NCAA Regional where they reached the final to cap their finest season in a decade. Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin is in his sixth year with the Bulldogs. Georgia opens the 2019 season on Feb. 15 at Foley Field with a three-game series against Dayton.

The preseason poll features nine Southeastern Conference teams: LSU (#1), Vanderbilt (#2), Florida (#6), Ole Miss (#11), Georgia (#13), Auburn (#23), Arkansas (#25), Miss. State (#27) and Texas A&M (#29).

Season Tickets On Sale

Season tickets for 2019 continue to be one of the best deals around for baseball fans. The Georgia Bulldog Club operates the Georgia Baseball Fund (GBF), which serves as the priority-seating program for Georgia Baseball. GBF donors are eligible to receive exclusive benefits including renewable season tickets, reserved parking, first priority for Georgia Baseball postseason tickets, and more. To learn more about the GBF, call The Georgia Bulldog Club toll-free at (877) 423-2947 or view the GBF brochure by clicking here.

G-Club Spotlight: Lenore Thawley

Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon is a long way from Athens, but UGA Volleyball alum Lenore Thawley (BSFCS '96) is still making an impact on those around her. Lenore and her husband, Todd, founded the Healing Hunter Foundation 8 years ago after their son, Hunter, passed away in 2010 after a long battle with leukemia.

The Healing Hunter Foundation works to improve and uplift the lives of young children while they battle cancer. Their mission is to provide a small ray of light for both children and their families as they go through the trials and tribulations of overcoming cancer at a young age.

This year, the Healing Hunter Foundation transformed the oncology unit at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital into Whoville. The stunning holiday display is for the kids to enjoy.

The foundation blanketed the walls with Grinch decorations, wonky trees, and giant candy canes. In addition to sprucing up the halls for the holidays, the foundation also filled surprise Seuss Sacks that were snuck into the patients’ rooms on Christmas Eve.

The project takes several hours of shopping and organizing and makes for a very busy week before Christmas. Click here more information on the incredible work Lenore and her husband continue to do.

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