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Training for victory

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December 30, 2007

New Orleans -- It takes more than just players and coaches for the Georgia football team to take the field.

Behind the scenes are more than a dozen trainers and managers who do their part to make to make sure the Bulldogs are at their best, and two South Georgian's are key members of the UGA team.

While the Georgia football team practices in the Louisiana Superdome for their Sugar Bowl game with Hawaii, Kevin Purvis is in their locker room making his own preparations.

The Ocilla native is Georgia's assistant equipment manager.

He may never throw a touchdown or intercept a pass, but Purvis knows his role with the team is just as important.

"If I don't do my job correctly, it could probably cost us some big plays and possibly change the outcome of the game," says Purvis.

As assistant equipment manager, Purvis was in on the greatest secret in Georgia football history: The decision to wear black jerseys for the Auburn game.

"I had to keep it a secret even from the 12 students who work for me," says Purvis.

There was speculation the week of the Auburn game but no one knew for sure until the Bulldogs took the field.

"Some people thought they knew for sure," says Purvis. "They really didn't until the game. It was great."

When her Georgia softball career ended last spring, Leesburg's Becky Mohl still wanted to be around athletics.

So she combined her love for sports with her love for sports medicine.

"It just kind of fell in my lap," says Mohl. "Here I am doing my work as an athletic trainer and going to grad school at Georgia."

From taping ankles to making sure the players have water, Mohl and the rest of the student trainers work long hours doing the season.

The only difference is the girl trainers are not allowed in the locker room.

Mohl says, "The girls are left out on the field to carry the war chest. The war chest has all the training supplies on board. It may be on wheels but it still heavy."

Besides taping and providing water, Mohl is sometimes called on to deliver messages.

"If it is to 'stay low' or 'stay high.' The coaches give me messages when I go out on the field for water breaks during time outs," says Mohl.

The hours are long but Becky Mohl says there is one fringe benefit to being a student trainer and that is a free trip to New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl.

Mohl will work as trainer next year for a high school in Oconee County.

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