RUTLEDGE – An annual summer rite for the Georgia football team is a visit to Camp Sunshine, the retreat for young cancer patients. Head coach Mark Richt led a contingent of about 20 Bulldogs on Wednesday, and here were a few highlights from their two-hour visit:
– A spirited dodgeball game involving players and campers, a snippet of which you can see in the video below this story. Now technically players are out when they’re hit, but the game broke down quickly into just an excuse to throw balls at each other, with players not going out.
– Isaiah McKenzie, the speedy and diminutive sophomore, seemed to be involved in almost every activity, whether it was dodgeball, archery or putting on earrings designed by campers. McKenzie was sort of everywhere on the trip.
– Nick Chubb, when not doing a tomhawk dunk on the basketball court, posed for a lot of pictures with campers.
“It’s a great experience,” Chubb said. “It’s totally different for me to come out here and see these kids, seeing what they’re going through, and to be so strong and have a good time, and not have a care in the world right now. They’re going through one of the worst things ever and are just freely running around, having fun. So it’s really great to see them not really worrying about what they have.”
– Keith Marshall was on the trip for the fourth straight year. He actually wasn’t on the original list to go on Wednesday, but found out about it just beforehand and grabbed a seat on the van.
“He could’ve very easily stayed in there and taken a good nap, because of all the hard work, and it’s 105 degrees,” Richt said. “But he said, ‘No I gotta go. I wanna be there with those kids.'”
– Quarterback Faton Bauta was also very active, talking with a couple campers on a walk from the field to the basketball court. One camper appeared to be a Tennessee fan, and Bauta informed him that was all right.
“To see all they go through, there really are some strong-willed kids, strong-minded,” Bauta said. “I know even to run around with us was tough for some of them. But they’re out here, they love the Dawgs, and we love being out here. It’s a joy, really.”
– Senior offensive lineman Hunter Long did some karate with some campers.
– Senior inside linebacker Jake Ganus, the transfer from UAB, introduced himself to the campers this way: “My name is Jake Ganus, I play linebacker. This is my first year here (visiting Camp Sunshine), but it won’t be my last.”