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June 20, 2014

Although Unofficial, A Distinguished Father-Son Duo

After more than 70 years, pictured Vason 
McWhorter's lettering in 1930 should be
rewriting the UGA record books. 
Several years ago, UGA released a seemingly "official" listing of father and son groups to have played football for the Bulldogs.  Based on the list, I posted at my "UGA Football" page on Father's Day information on Georgia's original father-son pair, which actually happened to be a Bulldog family trio: grandfather Morton Hodgson (lettered in 1906), son Hutch (1933), and grandson Pat (1963-65).
As I indicated then, Morton first became affiliated with UGA as a child as the baseball team's mascot.  He was a four-sport star for the Red and Black, including in football in 1906 and 1908 (although he lettered in just the former season).  According to UGA, it was against Auburn in 1906the initial season forward passing was allowedthat Hodgson recorded the program's first interception.
Morton's son, Hutch, was also a standout swimmer for Georgia.  Grandson, Pat, led the SEC in receiving in 1963 as a sophomore, and is best known for his role in the famous flea-flicker touchdown which defeated Alabama in 1965.
Within a day or two of my Father's Day Facebook post, I carefully looked at UGA's fathers-sons listing, and was soon taken aback.  Nowhere listed was the father-sons trio I blogged about several months ago; missing were the Kimseysthe father-son pair which includes UGA football's oldest living letterman; and where were Nate and Tony Taylor, who both ended their Bulldog careers amongst the school's top-20 tacklers of all time?

As I've said before, it takes a special individual to strap on the red helmet, don the silver britches, and represent one of the greatest traditions in college footballa dream that so many of us have had, but so few have actually fulfilled.  And, not every one of those special individuals earn a letter, and for a father and son to both letter as Bulldog football players is obviously rather noteworthy; therefore, to leave a pair off the list is, in my opinion, unacceptable.
I spent part of this past week researching and creating the unofficial "Bulldog Fathers and Sons" listing arranged below.  The 32 groups, which only include lettering football players, are divided into four family alignments and listed in order according to when the group became a father-son pair.  If you notice any error or omission, please comment or email me at patrick@patrickgarbin.com. 
Joe Tereshinski, Sr. (1942, 1945-46)Joe Tereshinski, Jr. (1974-76) and Wally Tereshinski (1976-77)Joe Tereshinski, III (2004-06) 
Morton Hodgson (1906)Hutch Hodgson (1933)Pat Hodgson (1963-65)
Forrest "Spec" Towns (1936-37)Bobby Towns (1957-59)Kirby Towns (2000, 2002-03)
John McKnight (1933-35)David McKnight (1966, 1968-69) and Larry McKnight (1970-71)
Vason McWhorter, Jr. (1903)Vason McWhorter, III (1930-32)
Ivy "Chick" Shiver, Jr. (1926-27)Ivy "Chick" Shiver, III (1949-50)
James Harper (1919-20)Jimmy Harper (1952-55)
Don Leebern, Sr. (1936)Don Leebern, Jr. (1957-59)
Tommy Paris, Sr. (1929)Tommy Paris, Jr. (1958-60)
Oliver Hunnicutt (1937-39)Pat Hunnicutt (1962-64)
Porter Payne (1946-49)Billy Payne (1966-68)
Jim Cavan (1936-37)Mike Cavan (1968-70)
Tom Nash, Sr. (1925-27)Tom Nash, Jr. (1969-71)
Cliff Kimsey (1939-41)Bucky Kimsey (1969)
Bob Poss (1942)Bobby Poss, Jr. (1969-71)
Floyd Reid (1945-49)Andy Reid (1973-75)
Richard Raber (1949-51)Mike Raber (1975-76)
Billy Henderson (1946-49)Johnny Henderson (1976-77)
Knox Culpepper (1954-56)W. Knox Culpepper (1981-84)
Langdale Williams (1959-61)Todd Williams (1982-84, '86)
Marion Campbell (1949-51)Scott Campbell (1983)
Tommy Lewis (1957-59)Tommy Lewis (1983)
Leroy Dukes (1962-64)David Dukes (1984-87)
Glenn Creech (1964-65)Glenn Creech (1986)
John Kasay, Sr. (1965-66)John Kasay, Jr. (1987-90)
Ray Rissmiller (1962-64)Scott Rissmiller (1990-92)
Steve Greer (1967-69)Michael Greer (1997-99)
Curtis McGill (1967-69)Curt McGill (2000-01)
Willie McClendon (1976-78)Bryan McClendon (2002-05)
Nate Taylor (1979-82)Tony Taylor (2002-03, 2005-06)
Kevin Butler (1981-84)Drew Butler (2009-11)
Mitch Frix (1981-82)Ty Frix (2009-12)
After compiling the list, I noticed another important omission besides the aforementioned: Morton and Hutch Hodgson were not the original Bulldog father-son pair as indicated by UGA football recordsrather, a couple of Vason McWhorters should actually hold the distinction. 

There are seven McWhortersall relatedwho have lettered at Georgia, including most notably the legendary Bob McWhorter and most recently Mac McWhorter, a standout lineman for the Bulldogs in the early '70s and a recent retiree after a 40-year football coaching career.  However, of all the McWhorters to have played for the Bulldogs, there is just one father-son pair: Vason, Jr., who started games at center and right halfback for Georgia in 1903, and Vason, III, who was a standout center in the early '30s and captain of the Bulldogs' 1932 team.  Son Vason's lettering in 1930 came two years prior to Hutch Hodgson's, resulting in him and his father being the initial Bulldog father-son pair originating in 1903, rather than Morton and Hutch Hodgson in 1906.

As a side note, there must have been something in the water when UGA football records were being kept back in 1906.  Besides Hodgson's "official" father-son origination, there's the omitted victory over Dahlonega that season that should be an official victory.  Plus, as far as Morton Hodgson's interception against Auburn in 1906, which is regarded as the program's first pass interception...

Hodgson's feat has been mentioned in the annals of UGA football history, including by yours truly (after seeing it published multiple times).  However, I decided to take a careful look at his apparent achievement after inspecting the Bulldog fathers and sons.  I was taken aback for a second time.  You see, according to detailed accounts from the 1906 Georgia-Auburn game from three different newspapers, no interception by any player ever resulted in the contest.  Therefore, and with all due respect to the acclaimed Morton Hodgson, his official defensive accomplishment, like his father-son origination, should likely be more so an "unofficial" one.


Anonymous said...

wasn't there a third leebern grandson that played during the 80s?

Patrick Garbin said...

Thanks for reading and your comment. Yes, there was a Don Leebern III who was on a couple Georgia teams during the early to mid-80s; however, he never lettered.--Patrick