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Tech Hosts Fan Photo Day, Kickoff Celebration

Aug. 12, 2002

Georgia Tech fans can meet head coach Chan Gailey and the 2002 Yellow Jacket football team at the annual Fan Photo Day, Saturday, Aug. 17, from 4-6 p.m. at the Griffin Track.

Coach Gailey, his staff and the entire Tech team will be available for photographs and autographs. Buzz, the Rambling Wreck and the Tech cheerleaders will also be on hand, and free Georgia Tech football posters will be distributed. Concessions will be available, and the Georgia Tech Bookstore will have Yellow Jacket apparel and memorabilia on sale.

Admission is free, and free parking is available in the Alexander Memorial Coliseum and O’Keefe lots. Fans should utilize the Griffin Track entrance on Fowler Street, adjacent to the Bill Moore Tennis Center.

Tech fans are also invited to the Metro Atlanta Georgia Tech Clubs’ 12th annual Kickoff Celebration, Friday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian Ballroom, featuring an appearance by Coach Gailey.

For reservations, fans should contact the Georgia Tech Alumni Association at 404-894-7085 or register on-line at www.gtalumni.org. Tickets are $30 if purchased by Aug. 12 and $40 after Aug. 12, and proceeds will benefit the Metro Atlanta Georgia Tech Clubs’ academic and athletic scholarship funds.

The Yellow Jackets open the 2002 season Aug. 31, when they host Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. With the first game less than three weeks away, the Tech team practiced in full pads for the first time Monday.

“There was good enthusiasm and some decent hitting,”said Gailey following Monday’s morning workout at Rose Bowl Field.

“With the pads on, we’ve cut way back on installation, but we’ve got to get used to tempo, speed and hitting. We took a step back in execution because of the intensity and everybody being so fired up to go hit somebody. We have to learn to put all that together, and hopefully as time goes on, we’ll do that.

“I thought the defense was way ahead of the offense today,” continued Gailey.

“You don’t really get much of a chance to see what’s going on with the line when you’re in shorts, so today we got a good look at that, and I thought the defensive line dominated today.”

The defensive front returns three of four starters, led by all-America defensive end Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.). Senior Gary Johnson (LaGrange, Ga.) and sophomore Alfred Malone (Frisco City, Ala.) return at the tackles, and talented sophomore Tony Hargrove (Punta Gorde, Fla.) steps in at the other end position.

With Tech’s top two fullbacks nursing minor injuries in redshirt freshman Brian Johnson (Augusta, Ga.), ankle, and sophomore Johnathan Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla.), shoulder, true freshman Ajenavi Eziemefe, a 6-1, 225-pounder from New Orleans, La., got a look at fullback.

“We put Ace Eziemefe in there today, and he played really well,” said Gailey. “He did very well for the first day.”

The Yellow Jackets return to the practice field Monday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. and continue two-a-days at 9:15 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. every day this week except Wednesday, when they will only practice in the afternoon.

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