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Tech Kickoff Celebration Gets Juices Flowing

Aug. 19, 2011

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2011 Pre-Season Central

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

Chances are that if you’re reading this your heart has picked up a few beats recently because, after all, football season is nearly here. The season is less than two weeks away, and there’s no need to wait that long to get juices flowing.

The third annual kickoff luncheon will be next Friday at the Galleria, replete with head coach Paul Johnson, players, the Georgia Tech band, cheerleaders, Wes Durham on the mic and a couple of special guest speakers.

This is such a cool time of year, discounting the ambient temperature outdoors and perhaps your blood pressure if you had to spend time in an automobile on campus Thursday afternoon (what about that?).

Durham and Johnson will be at times funny and insightful up front, and Wes will “interview” a handful of players. Tech gear will be available and the unique perspectives of a couple young men will be highlighted.

“It’s a great day to celebrate the start of the season,” said Tech associate athletic director Wayne Hogan, “and we’ve decided to bring in a little surprise, a great American folk hero to address the crowd, Sean Bedford.”

No need to recap Bedford’s history, as it is surely well known to those reading here, but it’s worth pointing out that Hogan chuckled when he continued.

“He’s been best known recently for his penmanship (if you’re not in the know on this, run “Bedford and NCAA” in a search engine), but we really want him to talk about his success story at Georgia Tech,” Hogan said.

“He walks on, faces adversity, switches positions, majors in aerospace technology — which is nearly impossible — and becomes All-ACC and wins a national award.”

Bedford, who is preparing to begin law school at the University of Florida, will have help up front.

A-back Roddy Jones, who is about to become a four-year starter, will also take a turn with the microphone. If you’ve never heard Jones, you should know that’s a different kind of treat. He’ll speak on behalf of this year’s team.

“Wes always does a little question-and-answer with some of the guys on the team and it will be capped off by Paul `s `Rah-rah, here we go speech,’ ” Hogan said. “[Chaplain Derrick] Moore will do an inspirational speech. He’s not a guy who will just stand up and pray. He’ll give you a few minutes of fire and brimstone.”

The event will begin at noon, but Tech officials encourage early arrivals as there will be opportunities for fellowship and gear will be available for fans. Seats will be $40 for individuals, and $350 for tables of 10.

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