If you're around Athens, you enjoyed lovely shorts and flip flops weather at Christmas, only to feel the bitter cold of winter during the first week of the new year. Georgia weather is confused too, always very confused. But with that in mind, and the semester break soon over, we thought it'd be a good time to see how Georgia's fall sports did outside the hedges. We all know the comings and goings inside the hedges, and the coaching offices at Butts-Mehre. But Georgia competes for titles, or at least should, it a lot more than just football, y'all. And I'm gonna tell you about it now.
The men take on Missouri tonight in their SEC home opener at 6:30. It'll be on SEC Network if you can't attend (I'll be there). The ladies have their home opener, also against Mizzou, tomorrow evening at 7. Those Tigers are ranked 20th in the nation, and first year head coach Joni Crenshaw's 12-2 squad will be looking to get back on the winning track.
The 9th ranked GymDawgs will open their season at 7th ranked Michigan on Saturday. Vineyard will be along later this week to give a full season preview (post edit- click this link for that article). But if you can't wait, check out their routines from the annual Sneak Peak last month.
Manuel Diaz signed a member of the Polish National Team and former Gold Medal winner at the 2014 Youth Olympics, as well as his son, and three others including the top ranked prep player in the country. His men finished the fall strong at the Bulldog Scramble, and will start their season at Georgia Tech on January 16th. Over the holidays, senior Austin Smith just went to Paris to help Team USA win a title, nothing big. Jeff Wallace's women start on January 22nd with Old Dominion, Tulane, and Wyoming coming to town. He also signed one of the best in Spain. The women open the season ranked 4th nationally, while the men sit seventh.
GlimmerTwin will bring you up to date on all the Dawgs' pro golf happenings (post edit- click this link for that article). And for his thoughts collegiately, "Both mens and womens teams are off until February (men to Puerto Rico, women play in Athens). The only real news is that both are ranked at the moment after the "fall campaign". The men signed three players for next fall, one out of Marist, one out of Gainesville, and one out of Inman, SC. All three look pretty good. Brewer signed a decent player for the women's team as well." The men sit 9th, with Auburn in the top slot, while the ladies are ranked 8th nationally after being as high as 4th in the fall season. Also, for a little football talk, our gridiron competitors love some stick. We also have freshman Bailey Tardy looking to land a spot in the Curtis Cup, where the best female amateur golfers from the US take on their counterparts in the United Kingdom.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
The pool is open, thanks to being an indoor pool. Georgia finished the fall winning the UGA Fall Invitational. Over the break, coach Jack Bauerle and some of his squad helped team USA find success. Now they are back home, and already at it with the UGA Diving Invitational ending yesterday, and a trip to Texas A&M Friday for an SEC meet.
TRACK AND FIELD AND CROSS COUNTRY
Cross Country ended their fall campaign in November with solid results. Track underwent a bit of a coaching change as Petros Kyprianou stepped up from an assistant's role to the full head man. He added 13 new athletes in the fall signing period. Sophomore Keturah Orji is among those on the short list for the Bowerman Award (the nation's top college female track athlete), along with junior Kendall Williams. The men and women both enter the season ranked among the top 10 nationally.
Georgia went 3-0 at home this past fall, but lost their top ranking thanks to a road loss at Auburn. They also signed 14 new riders for next season, and will get the upcoming season underway on January 30th at Texas A&M.
It wasn't a very good season for Lizzy Stemke.
Billy Lesesne didn't have a great season, his first for UGA, either.
Fall ball finished up with the Black team sweeping the Red. Starting SS Nick King has had successful ankle surgery, and potential top 5 MLB draft pick next summer, Robert Tyler, is a preseason All-American starting pitcher. Scott Stricklin brought ina good fall signing class. And scheduling notes on a season little more than a month away from starting, Georgia's 1st pitch banquet willfeature former Brave and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones on February 11th. Meanwhile, our friends up in the Charlotte area can catch the Diamond Dawgs first hand on March 8th at BB&T Park, home of the Chicago White Sox AAA affiliate, when they play the Charlotte 49ers (formerly UNC-Charlotte).