Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012

UGA's Richt encourages Atkinson pupils to eat well, learn

By W. WINSTON SKINNER

winston@newnan.com

Coach Mark Richt of the University of Georgia Bulldogs visited with students at Atkinson Elementary School in Newnan on Tuesday morning – encouraging them to eat right and study hard.

Richt told students “to listen to and obey their parents, teachers and coaches” as well as to “eat a good breakfast and do well in school,” according to Jessica Pope, the media specialist at the school. The coach read to kindergarten and first grade students.

He also appeared on the schoolwide morning TNN broadcast and spoke at two assemblies.

Tray Matthews of Newnan has committed to play collegiate football with the Georgia Bulldogs. His mother, Sonya Matthews, is the Early Intervention Program teacher at Atkinson Elementary.

Atkinson observed Richt-Matthews Day on Tuesday – paying tribute to the legendary coach and to the future Bulldog player from Newnan. Richt, 52, spent much of the day with Tray Matthews and his family.

The school sign announced Richt’s visit to Atkinson. There also was a festive display in the school’s entryway that included a Christmas tree bedecked with UGA decorations.

“The tree was decorated by a group of teachers here at Atkinson,” Pope said.

Richt was born in Nebraska. He coached in Florida and North Carolina before becoming head coach for the Bulldogs in 2001.

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