January 08, 2013
Well, I suppose it's time to get back to the grind.
My much-needed break over the holidays was fabulous, but I admit it: I miss you guys. So, welcome back!
For the first issue of the new year, we'll be looking back at everything that happened during the 366 leap-year days of 2012 — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Here's a recap at what went down.
• Metter High School teacher Mary Ann Stanley was one of only 15 chosen to participate in the second-ever “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament. Stanley said she was excited to have the chance to live out a lifelong dream: meeting Alex Trebek. Stanley racked up $22,300 in the first round and advanced to the semifinals, where a wrong answer during Final Jeopardy cost her a spot in the $100,000 Finals.
• For the second year in a row, Georgia Southern University was ranked one of the top 10 most popular universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. At the No. 7 spot, GSU was the only university from the southern United States to make the top 10.
• Former Atlanta Brave pitcher John Smoltz headlined the 2012 “Evening with the All-Stars,” presented by the Georgia Southern Baseball Dugout Club.
• For the first time ever, Zach Deputy brought his full band to the Boro for a free show at GATA’s.
• Dr. Love, Connect’s relationship expert, made his or her debut. If you have a question for Dr. Love, don’t be shy — send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Brothers Johnnie and Duncan Penn, two of the four stars from MTV’s reality show “The Buried Life,” were the keynote speakers at the opening program of GSU’s “Life After College” event, held at GSU’s Performing Arts Center. The men offered advice on and motivation for accomplishing your goals and achieving your dreams.
• After 21 years with the Lady Eagles, women’s basketball head coach Rusty Cram resigned.
• Georgia Southern announced the formation of the new Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology (CEIT).
• The inaugural Statesboro Music Festival welcomed spring with over 20 different musical performances from across several genres. The two-day event was held at the Statesboro Kiwanis Fairgrounds.
• The GSU chapter of Invisible Children held a special on-campus screening of the documentary “KONY 2012.” The purpose of the film, which spread virally via YouTube and social networks, is to expose Central African rebel group leader Joseph Kony and the atrocities he is accused of committing in order to raise support for his international arrest.
• Georgia Southern’s annual Arts Fest celebrated its 30th anniversary with a day full of art, music, dance and more at Sweetheart Circle.
• Two major acts were featured as co-headliners of GSU’s spring concert when The Band Perry and The Fray rocked the stage at Paulson Stadium.
• The second annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo once again rode into town, drawing sold-out crowds with its calf roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and more.
• Brian Graves’ short film “Save As…” took home top honors in the fourth annual Statesboro Film Festival hosted by the Averitt Center for the Arts.
• Georgia Southern officially announced interest and intent to move its football program to the NCAA’s highest level, the Football Bowl Subdivision.
• More than 2,000 students — a record — graduated during GSU’s 84th annual spring commencement at Paulson Stadium.
• The Eagles softball team became Southern Conference champions, earning only the third tournament title in program history.
• The Averitt Center for the Arts hosted the first public premier of The Asylum film studios’ production “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies,” which features Statesboro resident Jason Vail.
• Seven regional bands — Bonobos Convergence, The Woodgrains, Back City Woods, Domino Effect, The Suex Effect, Those Cats and Tent City & Friends — lit up GATA’s stages for the fourth annual Summer Jam music festival.
• After 17 years as director of athletics at Georgia Southern, Sam Baker relinquished his duties.
• The Eagles football team was ranked No. 1 in preseason polls.
• Christian rock band Jars of Clay made a stop in the Boro for a concert at First Baptist Church Statesboro.
• Georgia Southern students voted overwhelmingly in favor of the school moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision, pending an invitation to join an FBS conference. Students also voted to fund an expansion of Paulson Stadium and approved a new green fee.
• Luke Bryan brought his annual Farm Tour back to the Statesboro area for a show at Longneedle Farm in Claxton.
• Statesboro’s “stars” cut a rug at the second-ever Dancing with the Statesboro Stars. The event raised about $30,000 for the Safe Haven Domestic Violence Shelter of Statesboro — almost $20,000 more than it did in its inaugural year. Eagle head basketball coach Charlton “CY” Young and partner Melanie Lewis, dance instructor and owner of N-Shape Fitness, took home top honors.
• GSU football great Adrian Peterson visited Statesboro for the release of his autobiography, “Don’t Dis my Abilities.” A day after the book’s release, during halftime of the Eagles football game against Samford, Peterson was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame.
• The Eagles sported custom camouflage jerseys for the Military Appreciation Day game against Wofford. This marked the first time the team wore something other than their traditional blue or white jerseys.
• For the first time, Statesboro’s Historical Society hosted a historic Eastside Cemetery tour, “Tales from the Tomb.”
• Tom Kleinlein was introduced as GSU’s new director of athletics, who came to Statesboro after serving as the deputy athletic director at Kent State.
• A local woman’s racist Facebook post regarding the re-election of President Barack Obama went viral in just a few hours. The woman had been working at an area doctor’s office but was no longer employed at the clinic the following day.
• The Eagles claimed the Southern Conference title in football once again — the 10th time since joining the conference in 1993.
• Georgia Southern University and Georgia Eagle Media settled a contract dispute that had lingered for more than a year. Georgia Eagle Media, which has several radio stations in and around Statesboro, plans to resume broadcasting GSU athletic events in the 2013–14 season.
• A statue of legendary GSU football coach Erk Russell, put in place in front of the Bishop Fieldhouse at Paulson Stadium, was officially dedicated before the Eagles’ Dec. 1 playoff win over Central Arkansas.
• The Downtown Statesboro Development Authority’s annual F1rst Friday Downtown Holiday Celebration included two major new events: the first-ever Run the ‘Boro 5K and the inaugural Frills 5th Avenue Christmas Window Design Challenge, which showcased the window display work of six teams of Georgia Southern students.
• After defeating both Central Arkansas and Old Dominion in the playoffs, the Eagles lost 23-20 to North Dakota State in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals in Fargo, N.D. It was the third straight year GSU lost in the semifinals and the second straight year it was to North Dakota State.
• The world didn’t end Dec. 21, despite some people’s widely publicized interpretation of a Mayan calendar that ended on that date.