From The Editor: Get Better 2024

Home >

From The Editor: Get Better 2024

Vance Leavy
Vance Leavy

Get Better, 2024 – it’s happening every day on the campus of Georgia

as Bulldog teams continue to work hard for wins and championships!





It’s great to be back with our first issue of 2024. Yes, like many of you, there is still a sour taste in Team BI’s mouth for how the 2023 season ended. Of course, I’m not talking about the 63-3 FSU shellacking in the Orange Bowl. Instead, it’s still hard to believe that the brain trusts with the College Fooball Playoff kept out the back-to-back national champions, who had just completed their third straight undefeated regular season.

    With those final words, we now turn the page towards the upcoming 2024 season.

    Our men in Red and Black have been practicing hard the last month during spring drills. Coach Smart always demands this out of his players. However, from his opening spring press conference, he has been consistent in reminding folks that this year’s team is full of youngsters. There are also new coaches that are onboarding to the program this spring.





    I’m relaying this message not as a cause for concern, but merely to reinforce Coach Smart being absolutely forthright when saying these 15 days of spring ball have been all about “getting better.”

    Get Better, 2024!

    As you will read beginning in our Sports section (page 13), Kirby’s Dawgs are absolutely focused on getting better. Enjoy reading about the progress occurring in Athens. Like the Georgia team, our team here at Bulldawg Illustrated has many new faces. We welcome Noah Carney, Matthew Herring and Will Hearn. And we appreciate Hamilton Culpepper doing a great job as this semester’s Student Editor. Cheri and I are still in denial that Hammy graduates in May.

    Continuing on the sports front, don’t miss Greg Poole’s Exploring NIL and Beyond feature (pages 41, 42). While Greg doesn’t have a magic fix, his story sheds great insight on understanding where college football currently finds itself.

    As JD writes about on page 10, spring time in Athens certainly rivals fall on the gridiron. UGA sports on campus are virtually happening everyday. And like our football team, getting better has certainly occurred of late for the other Georgia teams. Be sure to get updated by reading our Winter/Spring sports story (page 47). The Diamond Dawgs (and Softball team) are the hottest squads on campus this spring. Hamilton Culpepper’s interview (page 46) with new baseball skipper, Wes Johnson, is excellent. I love that Coach Johnson’s priorities (in order) are the Lord, his family and baseball. And we should all heed his advice and get out and see this current 2024 team because several of the players are sure to be Big Leaguers.

    Finally for our team sports related content, enjoy getting to know more about the players who signed with Georgia football on National Signing Day back in February (pages 44, 45).

    Now to the bittersweet portion of my note.

    Long time Georgia sports information director, Claude Felton, retired earlier this year. What a career Claude had and he did his job each and every day for the betterment of our University. Our tribute to Claude begins on page 37. As I’ve done a few times over the last few years, I brought BI’s longtime contributor, Murray Poole, out of retirement to write the main story for the tribute. This was a no-brainer because of the decades the two of them had working together (Claude with UGA and Murray with The Brunswick News and BI). Jeff Danzler’s closes out Claude’s tribute with a marvelous column that starts out, “Claude Felton is one of best men I have ever known.” Drop the mic! Thank you Claude Felton. Your service to Georgia is unmatched. And I personally thank you for all your support of Leavy publications.

    Our Social section begins on page 23 and I must say the BI camera has been quite active in the off-season. Enjoy seeing all those smiling Bulldog faces. And don’t miss our Georgia Girls feature with Jarrett Kemp (pages 24, 25) and Proust Q&A with Ben Hartman (page 28). Jarrett has done great things since taking over the ownership of the Athens institution Appointments at Five. And you are going to love Ben’s quote to live by. Great stuff from two great Dawgs.

    That’s going to do it for me. Please enjoy this Spring/G-Day issue of BI. We will see you back with our Season Preview issue in late June. Finally, I encourage everyone to live life to your fullest. The Bulldog Nation lost Kevin “Catfish” Jackson in early April. He will be missed by so many, but from what I knew of him, his life was completely full with faith, family and friends. Rest in Peace, Catfish!





share content