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A Rundown on the Gators Opponent Previews The Big Three to Fill the Gaps





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COO Bernadette King

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ON AND OFF THE FIELD SWAMP SPOTLIGHT 10 SEC Preview 12 Florida Gators 15 Opponent Preview: Texas A&M Aggies 16 Opponent Preview: Tennessee Volunteers 17 Opponent Preview: Kentucky Wildcats 18 Opponent Preview: LSU Tigers 23 “The Prep Zone” Insider 35 SEC Trivia 38 Fishing Report 40 Gadgets

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Lauren Kolansky Daniel Sutphin

Roberson Returns Chemistry Set for Florida OL Three By Three Potential Playmakers Character Counts QB Battle to Lead New Offense




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FACT: In 1992, Arkansas and South Carolina joined the SEC, which was then organized into two divisions of six teams each.


OPPORTUNITY ROCKS I love this time of the year because of the anticipation that comes with it as football season kicks in. It’s a great opportunity for new or unknown guys on the team to step up and shine, or for stars to show what more they can do to thrill us on the field. On top of that, I’m eagerly anticipating the change in our schedule with new rivals Texas A&M and Missouri this season. Speaking of change and new guys, we’ve been busy (and thrilled) this past month with a spate of new roster additions ourselves. Let me tell you a bit about each of them: First we have our new full-time reporter in Ben Cornfield. He’s an unusual talent that comes with an eclectic background. He’s a University of Wisconsin double major in Political Science and Religious Studies, was team captain of the Rugby team, was Teacher of the Year in South Korea, and also became a yoga instructor while in India. What excites us most is Ben’s way with words. He’s a real word slinger who brings a lot of personality to the table as well as unique insights most haven’t thought of. He comes to us from the fine folks at There’s David Parker, a fiery yet knowledgeable personality coming back home as a columnist. As our resident Gator Guru, David will bring his famous insight, analysis and FACT:

extraordinary humor that has a bite to it. He’s also vehemently active on our message boards, both entertaining and angering fans. Then we have Brent Mechler, whose name may ring a bell to some as he’s rather well known around these parts as a columnist for Florida Fishing magazine. He’s also an excellent angler in all things Florida Gators basketball and will be sharing his intimate knowledge and insights of the sport. It didn’t hurt that his brother-inlaw was a member of the team when the Gators won their first SEC championship, either. Finally there’s Dan Thompson, whose prior stint with UF football as a Recruiting Ambassador gave him unusual insight and access to the program, which translates into thought provoking columns in football and recruiting. Check out one of his columns in this issue as well. As you can see, we’ve got an All-American lineup of our own at Gator Country and I’m excited to see what they can do to satisfy your hunger for Florida Gators news. Be sure to tune into often and see for yourself. Here’s to a great season for all of us and you!





These are REAL emails from REAL Gator Country readers that come through our inbox each month. Readers can send questions, comments and suggestions to Put “Cheers & Jeers” in the subject line and your email could end up in this feature that we share with the rest of our readers in each issue.



Well, young iPadawan, it’s easier than you might think. Just email a couple stories (that you’ve written) to bernadette@ and cc them to mike@ We read every submission we receive and consider all who ask for positions as interns, free contributing writers and paid columnists. Many people want to write for GC because of the instant visibility it offers them in the world of sports journalism as well as the expert mentoring that GC is legendary for. And GC always has its Gators’ eye out for talented and passionate newcomers who can help give our fans the most and best Gators news around.

You actually have a huge opportunity to stand out from all the other college hopefuls begging for the coveted intern positions. Take for instance Adam Silverstein of With his own two little hands, a bunch of initiative and his enormous intellect, he’s created a Gators news website that gets hundreds of thousands of pageviews and he has 17K-plus Twitter followers. Further, he’s monetized his own site. Adam’s an amazing testament to what independent thinking and today’s technology can accomplish. When Adam finally does accept a sports news company’s offer, he will be able to command a much larger salary because he already has a following. It’s your thing. Do what you wanna’ do!


It’s all about YOUtube. And Vimeo, Facebook, etc. These days you can’t wait ‘til ESPN comes knocking on your door or you knock on theirs glowing from graduating with a degree in multimedia but no real world experience. You kids today have the world literally in the palms of your hands and plopped right in your laps. By shooting and loading your own vids, you can start creating your own personal brand. It’s as simple as outlining what you want to report on, researching it, shooting the video (or streaming live) and that’s that. Yes, you want to appear professional but your video doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production. Viewers are interested in your personality and the integrity of your information. Finally, GC is always on the lookout for those who only want to shoot, produce and or star in video. Feel free to send a few clips to and cc


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FACT: 8/20/12 11:38 AM






SCARY NECK INJURY SIDELINES CORNERBACK AFTER PROMISING TRUE FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN FACT: Former Gator Josh Fogg started Game Three of the 2007 World Series for the Colorado Rockies against Boston but was on the hook for the defeat


“IT MEANS A LOT TO HAVE HIM BACK. HE MADE A LOT OF PLAYS LAST YEAR AS A FRESHMAN, AND HE IS GOING TO MAKE EVEN MORE THIS YEAR AS A SOPHOMORE,” SAID FLORIDA CORNERBACK CODY RIGGS “Honestly, I don’t feel like I got hurt. I’m just ready to go get back in that rotation and get better every week to do what I can to help this team to the next level,” Marcus Roberson said Aug. 2 at the Florida football team’s media day, flashing a big grin. Of course, Roberson was hurt last Nov. 12 at South Carolina. At first, Florida coach Will Muschamp said it would be a “four to six week injury,” but Roberson ended up having to wear a neck brace for much of the next two months. Losing the freshman was a sizeable loss for the Florida secondary. Prior to the injury, he had been one of the most consistent defensive backs on the team. Roberson finished 2011 with 22 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. He also picked up a half tackle for a loss. Following the long process, he is back healthy. Roberson was fully cleared to participate with the team this fall and showed no fear of contact on his return to full contact. He participated in spring camp, but was not cleared for contact and had to sport an orange jersey. For the former elite prospect, being able to fully participate in practice with his teammates was a long time coming. After an injury of such magnitude, some players appear to lose the aggressiveness they once had. Roberson said he expects to bring the same level of toughness and aggression, if not more, than what Gators fans saw from him before the injury. “I don’t think of that [his injury] because when you think about it, it becomes a problem for yourself mentally,” he said. “I just play football, man.” FACT:

In his absence, Florida used a combination of Cody Riggs, Loucheiz Purifoy and Jaylen Watkins in the defensive backfield. For Riggs, having watched Roberson play since high school, he knows the type of impact he can make on the field. “It means a lot to have him back. He made a lot of plays last year as a freshman, and he is going to make even more this year as a sophomore,” he said. More than X’s and O’s, the return of Roberson is an emotional boost for a Gators team that watched one of their own go through a difficult injury. “Marcus is like my little brother. I still remember it like it was yesterday. He came in for his official visit. My roommate at the time was Janoris Jenkins, so we hosted Marcus. He was a shy kid, a little kid,” Omar Hunter reminisced. “You hate to see something happen like that to someone so young, really anyone, but he has been working so hard so it’s good to see him come back from that injury.” “It boosts me up,” Earl Okine said when talking about the return of Roberson. “It boosts the whole front up because he is a playmaker. He is a dynamic player. Wherever the ball is, you can almost always see him there. Him coming back is going to help our team drastically.” For a team hungry to make a statement, the return of one of their own is motivation to keep working. For Roberson, he just plans to take it one step at a time. “I don’t plan on doing too much,” he admitted. “I just plan on getting better. Myself and my technique.” GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012




The SEC preseason media poll is historically about as accurate as a weatherman or an economist. In the past two decades, voters have picked the correct conference champion exactly four times. If the trend is to be reversed this season, LSU will again be SEC champions. First, they must win the SEC West, the toughest division in the country’s toughest conference. LSU received 132 first-place votes in the Western Division. Other teams earning first-place votes were Alabama (72), Arkansas (6), Auburn (4) and inexplicably, Ole Miss (1). Here is the SEC West in order of media projection:


Texas A&M’s Christine Michael is returning from a seasonending injury, but should be one of the league’s top rushers.

After releasing running back Michael Dyer from his scholarship in the offseason, Auburn will miss his production. Dyer was the first running back in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. The search for a consistent quarterback continues after using three last season. Clint Moseley is projected as the starter to open the season.


First-year coach Kevin Sumlin leads his program into a new conference looking to surpass expectations. With him, Sumlin brings new systems on offense and defense. LSU Offensively, the Aggies will air it out more Last season’s national runner-up returns six than years past with a talented wide receiver starters on both offense and defense. Zach group. Defensively, A&M is rather shallow, Mettenberger replaces the Jarrett LeeJordan Jefferson combination at quarterback. but the combination of its 12th man at home and adrenaline in an inaugural season, Defensively, it is more of the same. Junior Texas A&M will be a tough opponent. cornerback. Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman finalist last season, was kicked off of the team for a violation of team rules, but the Tigers still have NFL-caliber talent all over the field, particularly in a deep defensive line

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin joins the Aggies after piloting a high-powered offense at Houston.


Alabama comes in at No. 2 behind No. 2 overall LSU in both the SEC West and after being voted in at No. 3 in the national poll. Similarly to LSU, the Crimson Tide is once again loaded on defense. The difference could be the inexperience of Mettenberger compared to Alabama junior quarterback A.J. McCarron. Battle-tested, McCarron has the leadership to carry Alabama to back-to-back titles. Running back Eddie Lacy is a breakout candidate as he replaces Trent Richardson.


Dan Mullen’s process of turning Mississippi State into a winning program enters its fourth season. Despite taking a step back last season, Mullen’s crew capped the season with a win in the Motor City Bowl. This season, fans are hoping for the next step forward. Leading the charge will be quarterback Tyler Russell, linebacker Cameron Lawrence and defensive tackle Quay Evans.


Bobby Petrino built Arkansas into a contender in 2011 and promptly became the punch line in many offseason jokes. Replacing Petrino is John L. Smith, who has exuded confidence since coming to Arkansas. Last season, the Razorbacks led the conference in total scoring and offense. An equally impressive offense should be expected behind Tyler Wilson, who was voted to the preseason All-SEC First Team. 10 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012


Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze joins the Rebels after a successful stint at Arkansas State. FACT:

Perhaps a voter misunderstood that Eli Manning no longer is the Ole Miss quarterback. After failing to win an SEC game last season, it seems ignorant to cast a vote for this team to win much of anything. For Ole Miss to surprise people, the winner of the Barry Brunetti-Bo Wallace quarterback battle better be fully vested with magic fairy dust.



Of the 28 first teamers on the preseason All-SEC list, 21 were from the Western Division. The Eastern Division has taken a step back recently, not having boasted a national champion since Florida in 2008. Georgia received the most first-place votes with 132. Other teams receiving first-place votes were South Carolina (72), Florida (12), Tennessee (4) and Missouri (2). Here is the SEC East in order of media projection:




Isaiah Crowell was expected to carry the load; instead he was dismissed from the team following an arrest stemming from weapons charges. Georgia will rely on redshirt junior quarterback Aaron Murray. The biggest concern for last season’s All-SEC Second Teamer is interceptions. He threw 14 last season and will need to take better care of the ball this season.


Expectations are high for South Carolina after winning 11 games for the first time in program history last season. Marcus Lattimore should return to form after suffering a season-ending knee injury midway through the season in 2011. Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney are as formidable a one-two punch as there is along the defensive line.

With an 11–14 record through two seasons, coach Derek Dooley needs to turn around his floundering program. Quarterback Tyler Bray will have one of the best sets of wide receivers at his disposal, as Tennessee looks to rebound after winning only one conference game last season. Dooley has said to expect more aggression from a defense that was passive in 2011.

After earning a trip to a bowl game for just the second time in the past 30 seasons last year, Vanderbilt is looking to maintain its momentum. Quarterback Jordan Rodgers has helped lead the rebirth of the Commodores, as has running back Zac Stacy who set school records in rushing yards (1,193) and touchdowns (14) in 2011.


Riding a five-year bowl streak, Kentucky crashed to the earth in 2011 with a disappointing 5-7 season. Coach Joker Phillips will look to right the ship once again. Without the scholarship talent of other SEC teams, Kentucky will continue to struggle. The winner of the Max Smith-Morgan Newton competition will be the quarterback.

Missouri’s James Franklin will be one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the SEC. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel gets Gatorade poured over him after the Tigers’ win in the Independence Bowl last season.


Florida will be paced by its veteran defense. Returning an overwhelming majority of its talent from last season, the defense will have to make more plays to take the pressure off an offense led by Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel – whoever wins the quarterback battle. Mike Gillislee should offer Florida more smashmouth running than in years prior, while new offensive coordinator Brent Pease will look to improve an offense that was disappointing the past two seasons.


Transitioning to the SEC, Missouri will need consistent production from dualthreat passer James Franklin. He is recovering from offseason surgery but is expected to be ready to start the season. Dorial Green-Beckham and the loquacious T.J. Moe will be two of Franklin’s top targets. The biggest question facing Missouri, like Texas A&M, is depth. FACT: Darren O’Day appeared in the 2010 World Series for the American League Champion Texas Rangers against the San Francisco Giants.




Jon Bostic

Josh Evans


Colors: Orange and blue Location: Gainesville, Fla. Enrollment: 49,785 Conference: Southeastern Conference, Eastern Division




Florida will be led by its defense in 2012. Returning 10 of 11 starters and 15 of their top 16 tacklers from a year ago, the veteran defense will be counted on to help offset offensive growing pains. A quarterback battle between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel should be decided before the season opener, although both are expected to take snaps this season. New offensive coordinator Brent Pease is expected to bring a balanced attack from Boise State that features lots of pre-snap motion and misdirection after the snap. If the offensive line can improve to help establish a consistent running game, the Gators should surpass their 2011 win total in 2012. Florida avoided its first losing season since 1979 by beating Ohio State 24–17 in the Gator Bowl to conclude last season. 12 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012


The biggest question facing Muschamp is which quarterback will lead his troops into battle. Sophomores Brissett and Driskel both struggled in 2011 when starter John Brantley went down with a myriad of injuries. Brissett finished the season 18–39 for 206 yards. He threw two touchdowns and four interceptions. Driskel went 16–34 for 148 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. At the Florida football media day, wide receiver Andre Debose said, “I have a lot of confidence in both of them. God has given both of them the ability to make plays. I know whoever gets the job, he is always going to have to keep a chip on his shoulder because the next guy behind him is just as good, maybe better.”

Coach: Will Muschamp, 2nd year 2011 records: 7–6, 3–5 in SEC Offensive coordinator: Brent Pease Offensive formations: Pro-style, multiple Defensive coordinator: Dan Quinn Defensive formations: 3–4, 4–3 hybrid Key returners: DL Sharrif Floyd, LB Job Bostic, LB Jelani Jenkins, S Matt Elam, WE/KR Andre DeBose, OT Xavier Nixon, K Caleb Sturgis Key newcomers: LB Antonio Morrison, DL Damien Jacobs, WR Latroy Pittman, RB Matt Jones



FACT: Mike Stanley was a member of SEC All-Tournament squads in 1982, 1984 and 1985 and helped the Gators take home the top prize in both 1982 and 1984.



Mike Gillislee

“My goal is to take my team, put them on my back, get 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns,” starting running back Mike Gillislee stated at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. He will be counted on to be the premiere back. In 2011, the running styles of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey forced Florida into running mostly outside the tackles. Gillislee is more of a punishing back who will fight for the tough yardage inside. Expect contributions from Chris Johnson, Omarius Hines and freshman Matt Jones, as well. Fullback Hunter Joyer will be counted on to open holes for the backs, as well as see carries in goal line and short yardage situations.


The name of the game for the receiving core is turning potential into production. It is a solid group but lacks any household names. Last season, tight end Jordan Reed led the team in receptions with 28. He is expected to once again be an asset for whichever quarterback is under center. The wide receivers are led by Debose, Frankie Hammond, Jr. and Quinton Dunbar, along with freshman Latroy Pittman. Pease has worked diligently with the group to improve on finding soft spots in the defense for more consistency across the board.


Injuries and lack of production saddled the offensive line last year. The poor performance of the quarterbacks who were often given little protection highlighted the inadequacy of the group. It will be vital for the line to step up this season. Featuring a power back in Gillislee, the line will need to open holes in the trenches, as well as give the quarterback more time to scan and read defenses. Florida has a nice mix of veterans and newcomers with the return of Matt Patchan, Xavier Nixon and Jon Halapio, coupled with the additions of freshman Jessamen Dunker and D.J. Humphries.


Sharrif Floyd and Dominque Easley lead the defensive line. The charismatic buddies offer strong leadership on and off the field. With Muschamp employing a hybrid defense, each will bounce around along the line to create confusion. Also in the mix is senior Omar Hunter. Florida tied for 44th nationally in sacks last season. That is a number that needs to improve. Ronald Powell continues to rehab from an injured

knee. His return, along with the play of Easley, Floyd and Hunter, will be key for Florida in not just raising its sack total, but also creating more turnovers in 2012.


Jon Bostic recorded 94 tackles (10 of which went for a loss) and three sacks in 2011. He was Florida’s leading tackler and will be counted on for the same type of production this season. Jelani Jenkins, who was third on the team in tackles with 75, also returns. Darrin Kitchens, Lerentee McCray and Michael Taylor will also be important for Florida. The offense is expected to improve, but the emphasis will still fall on the defense – starting with this group of guys.


The secondary is led by safety Matt Elam, Florida’s most talented defensive player. He was one of five Gators to start in all 13 games last season. He finished with 78

FACT: Former Florida All-American and recent San Diego Padres’ shortstop David Eckstein appeared on the cover of the Nov. 6, 2006 issue of Sports Illustrated.

tackles, two forced fumbles and a teamleading 11 tackles for loss. Senior Josh Evans will start opposite Elam at the right safety position. The return of Marcus Roberson from injury rounds out the cornerback position that also features Cody Riggs, Loucheiz Purifoy and Jaylen Watkins. Jeremy Brown continues to recover from a broken right wrist.


After being plagued by injuries last season, Caleb Sturgis returns this season. One of the nation’s most talented kickers, Sturgis can be counted on once Florida approaches the 35-yard line. Sophomore Kyle Christy returns as the punter. Returning kickoffs will be Debose, though kickoffs being moved up to the 35-yard line this season may limit his ability to have an impact. A number of players are in the mix to return punts, including Debose, De’Ante Saunders and Hammond, Jr. GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012 13



The second Saturday of the 2012 college football season will be one for the history books. It’ll mark the first SEC games for Missouri and Texas A & M. The Missouri Tigers will welcome the Georgia Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators travel to the Lone Star State to give the Aggies a taste of SEC football. Here’s a fun fact: The Aggies have played 133 games against SEC teams with an overall record of 58-80-6. In the past few seasons the Aggies have little to brag about. Sure, in 2006 and 2010 they finished 9–4, but other than that Aggies football has closely resembled last season’s mediocre ending. They were one bad game from a losing season and blew five second-half leads. The offense has seven returning starters while the defense has six. Joining the SEC is only one of the many adjustments A&M will make this upcoming season. The Aggies also had some major coaching changes. Kevin Sumlin was brought in as head coach. Kliff Kingsbury, who worked with Sumlin at Houston, and Mark Synder were hired to fill in the offensive and defensive coordinator positions. The Houston Cougars put up 8,387 yards and 93 touchdowns under Sumlin in 2011.

both return along with an intact starting offensive line including All-American left tackle, Luke Joeckel. Swope caught 89 passes for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, while Nwachukwu caught 50 throws for 639 yards and a pair of touchdowns.



With Ryan Tannehill over on South Beach with the Dolphins, Texas A & M needs to decide on a replacement. Filling the void left by Tannehill isn’t going to be easy, and much like Florida, the Aggies have their own quarterback battle brewing. Freshmen Johnny Manziel and Matt Davis and sophomore Jameill Shower are all in the running in a battle that could run up through the season opener.



The Aggies put up some impressive numbers on the offensive side of the ball. They ranked amongst the top 25 nationally in several offensive categories, most notably they were 11th in scoring with an average of 39 points per game. All five starters from last season are returning including senior center, Patrick Lewis. The 6-foot-2 , 305-pounder has started since he was a freshman and is expected to anchor the offense.


If the 2011 A&M offense was considered stellar, then the defense was the polar opposite. They were ranked 70th nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 28.2 points. That would explain the whole blowing the game in the second half thing. However, the defense isn’t completely hopeless.

Senior linebacker Sean Porter had 9.5 sacks in 2011 and, according to NFLDraftScout. com, he is ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker for the 2013 draft. The 6-2, 230-pounder, along with the rest of Aggies, led the Big 12 with 51 sacks last season.


The Aggies’ secondary is the weakest link. They were 109th nationally vs. the pass in 2011. Sophomoe cornerbacks Deshazor Everett and Floyd Raven reportedly made marked improvement during spring practices. Junior college transfer Otis Jacobs could help at cornerback, which would allow Everett to play safety.

At running back, senior Christine Michael has had a career filled with injuries, including a broken leg as a sophomore and season-ending torn ACL last year. When healthy, he’s a force to be reckoned with. He rushed for 900 yards and eight touchdowns SPECIAL TEAMS before his knee injury last season. Senior Dustin Harris led the nation in 2011 with an 18.6-yard punt return average. Redshirt freshman place-kicker Taylor RECEIVER Bertolet will have to fill Randy Bullock’s Whoever the quarterback is will have two seasoned receivers to look for down the field. shoes. Bullock made 29 of 33 field goal attempts last season. Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu will FACT: UF also ranks No. 3 on SmartMoney magazine’s list of colleges and universities that help graduates get top salaries (2011).


Colors: Maroon and white Location: College Station, Texas Enrollment: 39,148 Conference: Southeastern Conference, Western Division


Coach: Kevin Sumlin, 1st season 2011 records: 7-6, 4-5 Big 12 Offensive coordinator: Kliff Kingsbury Offensive formation: Spread Defensive coordinator: Mark Snyder Defensive formation: 4–3 Key returners: LB Jonathan Stewart, LB Sean Porte, DE/LB Damontre Moore , WR Ryan Swope, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu , RB Christine Michael , OT Luke Joeckel, C Patrick Lewis






After being hired in 2010, Derek Dooley has yet to have a winning season with the Volunteers. In SEC play, Dooley is 4–12 and only 1–7 last year. The Vols return 19 starters, 10 on offense and nine on defense. Assuming junior quarterback Tyler Bray manages to stay healthy, paired with having an almost intact roster coming back, Tennessee has the potential to shake things up. However, the Vols need to improve significantly on both sides on the ball. The defense finished 11th in the SEC with 15 sacks in 2011. The offense didn’t do too much to improve the situation. Players are adjusting to a new staff with seven new hires for the 2012 season. The two remaining assistants are coaching new positions.


Last season, Bray’s loss gravely hurt the Vols. Before breaking his thumb the first week of October he had completed 116 of 176 pass attempts for 1,579 yards and 14 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Providing he stays injury free, the Vols offense will see major improvements.



It was clear to all who watched last year the Vols struggled immensely running the ball. For 2012, they have several players to help fix that. Among them are left tackle Antonio Richardson and Dallas Thomas, who will most likely be moved inside to guard, alongside rising redshirt freshmen Kyler Kerbyson and Alan Posey.


The Vols’ defense only forced 18 turnovers in 2011, ranking them 91st nationally. Tennessee’s new DC, Sal Sunseri, plans to install a 3–4 defensive scheme. In theory, the 3–4 is designed to stop the run-based offenses the SEC has been known to favor. Junior Maurice Couch is expected to have a big year for the Vols after coming on strong late last season.


Keep an eye out for sophomores A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt. Both sophomores impressed as freshmen and were named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team in 2011. Johnson was second on the team in tackles, recording 80, and Maggitt tallied 56.

After struggling in the run game with an average of 2.76 yards per carry, the Vols will rely on youth to step up. Look out for guys like Marlin Lane, who was explosive as a freshman, and Rajion Neal. Neal is a blazing playmaker with 4.4 speed at 6-foot, 205 pounds. As a freshman he didn’t produce much and was moved to receiver as a sophomore. Heading into his junior year, he’s moved back to running back.




As if losing Bray wasn’t enough, receiver Justin Hunter was injured in Week 3 and sat the remainder of the 2011 season. Tennessee was hurt down the stretch, going 2–5. The return of Bray and Hunter coupled with receiver Da’Rick Rogers and tight end Mychal Rivera, Tennessee’s offense has promise. Junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson is expected to contribute. 16 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012

Seniors Prentiss Waggner and Marsalis Teague headline the group with Justin Coleman and Eric Gordon also returning experience. Newcomers Tino Thomas, Daniel Gray and Deion Bonner are angling for playing time while Dallas and Naz Oliver have been moved from receiver to shore up depth and increase athleticism in the defensive backfield.

The Vols are looking for more consistency in the kicking game. They were last in the SEC in punting in 2011. Matt Darr appeared to have an early advantage in battling Michal Palardy for kicking and punting duties. Palardy has six touchbacks on 88 kickoffs in two seasons to his name. If they don’t produce on field goals, incoming freshman George Bullock could take the job.


Colors: Orange and white Location: Knoxville, Tenn. Enrollment: 21,393 Conference: Southeastern Conference, Eastern Division


Coach: Derek Dooley, 3rd season 2011 records: 5–7,1–7 SEC Offensive coordinator: Jim Chaney Offensive formation: Pro-style Defensive coordinator: Sal Sunseri Defensive formation: 3-4 Key returners: QB Tyler Bray, WR Da’Rick Rogers, WR Justin Hunter, TE Mychal Rivera, LB AJ Johnson, CB Prentiss Waggner Key newcomers: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, DT Daniel McCullers, DB LaDarrell McNeil, K George Bullock



FACT: No. 6 on’s list of universities that offer the best return on investment for undergraduate education (2011).



After ending their run of five straight bowl appearances, coach Joker Phillips and the Kentucky Wildcats look to bounce back and there is no place to go but up. On the offensive side, the Wildcats finished 118th in the nation, averaging just 260 yards per game, and was 117th in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per outing. With seven offensive starters returning, Phillips will hope for experience to improve a desolate attack. On the defensive side, the Wildcats finished 58th in the nation and 10th in the SEC. Six of 11 starters on defense are returning this season. They will be losing playmaking linebacker Danny Trevathan and his 143 tackles last season. Kentucky is a bottom feeder in the SEC and can only improve at this point.



Veterans Larry Watford and Matt Smith will need to step up this season with all the new talent around them. There is upside with the young guys coming in, but the unit just needs improvement all around after last season. There was no ground game and the offensive line allowed a whopping 35 sacks.


The veteran leader will be Collins Ukwu on this defensive line, but it will need more than just one veteran to make a difference. The defense as a whole came up with just 20 sacks and 64 tackles for loss without enough of that production coming from the line. The unit will have to be more aggressive to get it done this season.

With a passing attack that was 114th in the nation and 118th in efficiency, the Wildcats need to improve and that is what sophomore Maxwell Smith offers. Over four games, Smith completed 55 percent of his passes for 819 yards with four scores and four picks. Senior Morgan Newton will take the backup seat after his ineffective past few seasons.




Because of a non-existent passing game, the running game suffered last season as well. Senior CoShik Williams led the team with 486 yards and three scores. This year there are much more experienced backs who will touch the ball with even more quickness than last season. Once again though, these backs are at the whim of the passing game.


This receiving corps needs a No. 1 threat and La’Rod King needs to be the one to offer that. The senior caught 40 passes for 598 yards and seven touchdowns. The rising star is sophomore Demarco Robinson, who had nine catches for 146 yards in the spring game. This group has the size and speed, but need to make the big plays.

After losing their ultimate playmaker to the draft, the Wildcats will be looking at Avery Williamson to be the new star for the linebacking corps after making 49 stops with a pick. The group will be a young, athletic bunch that will be able to cover up some mistakes with its speed.

Senior Martavius Neloms will hold down the safety position finishing third on the team with 71 tackles with a sack. Senior Mikie Benton broke up seven passes and made 28 stops. These two will look to lead a lackluster secondary against strong offensive attacks in the SEC.


Senior Craig McIntosh nailed 12-of-14 attempts last season and looks to have another solid year. Kentucky’s punting game was among the best in the nation, averaging 39.58 yards per kick. Joe Mansour and Landon Foster will battle over the position. It is up to Ashley Lowery, who averaged 21.4 yards per kickoff return, to field kickoffs while punt returner is still up in the air.

FACT: Job recruiters ranked UF ninth on the list of Top 25 places where corporations prefer to recruit new employees (2010).


Colors: Blue and white Location: Lexington, Ky. Enrollment: 28,098 Conference: Southeastern Conference, Eastern Division


Coach: Joker Phillips, 3rd year 2011 records: 5-7, 2-6 in SEC Offensive coordinator: Randy Sanders Offensive formations: Spread, Pro-style Defensive coordinator: Rick Minter Defensive formations: 33 stack, 3-3-5 Key Returners: OG Larry Warford, WR La’Rod King, SS Martavius Neloms, LB Avery Williamson, DT Mister Cobble, DE Collins Ukwu Key Newcomers: K Landon Foster, DT Thomas Chapman, QB Patrick Towles, OG Jordan Watson






The LSU Tigers defense will be the cornerstone of the team as in year’s past. Five of 11 starters are returning. Last year the Tigers were embarrassed on the big stage by Alabama, losing 21-0 in the BCS title game. This year coach Les Miles has six of 11 offensive starters returning and will rely on a deep running attack and powerful offensive line to lead the way for junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. This team will have a chance to play in the big game again, but Miles will be looking to have an improved offense.


Mettenberger has everything he needs to put together an impressive season. His 6-foot-5, 222-pound build and cannon of an arm are the assets every quarterback dreams of. What he lacks is experience. Up to this season, Mettenberger is 8 of 11 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown. His backups are two redshirt freshmen with even less experience.


The offense will be carried by a ground and pound running attack featuring up to six potential backs. Juniors Spencer Ware and Michael Ford combined for 1,463 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and will lead the way this year. With the amount of options in the backfield, it’ll be hard for any back to get enough carries to have a 1,000-yard season.


With Mettenberger at the reigns, the Tigers’ receiving corps will benefit with more downfield passes and big plays. The ball will be spread around throughout these receivers, but it is time for sophomore Odell Beckham Jr. to shine. The former All-SEC Freshman was second on the team with 41 receptions for 475 yards and two scores. 18 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012

The Tigers’ entire offensive line features NFL-caliber players. Led by junior Chris Faulk and senior P.J. Lonergan, this unit will dominate the trenches for LSU’s running game. The only question is pass protection. Last year this unit let up 18 sacks in 279 pass attempts as a team with a mobile Jordan Jefferson. All statistics aside, this line is stacked and has great depth across the board.


Colors: Purple and Gold Location: Baton Rouge, La. Enrollment: 28,771 Conference: Southeastern Conference, Western Division


The stars of the defensive front will be NFL prospects Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. Together these defensive ends combined for 17 sacks, 28.5 tackles for loss and 95 tackles. The tackles, Anthony Johnson and Josh Downs, average out to about 291 pounds and will be a mountain for any running attack to try to climb. This is a top-tier collegiate line.


If there is any weakness on the defense, this is as close as it gets. The only standout in the middle is junior Kevin Minter, who finished with 61 tackles, a sack and 3.5 tackles for loss. The rest of the linebacking corps will be made up of reserves from last year and freshmen. Where this group lacks experience it should be able to make up with pure athleticism.


Coach: Les Miles, 8th year 2011 records: 13-1, 8-0 in SEC Offensive coordinator: Greg Strudrawa Offensive formation: Pro-style Defensive coordinator: John Chavis Defensive formation: 4–3 Key Returners: DE Sam Montgomery, S Eric Reid, DE Barkevious Mingo, OT Chris Faulk, OG La’el Collins, RB Spencer Ware Key Newcomers: QB Gunner Kiel, WR Avery Johnson, DE Danielle Hunter, LB Lamar Louis, WR Travin Dural


No one will want to mess with this secondary. Junior Tharold Simon to cover opposing receivers. The safeties will include Eric Reid and Craig Loston. This secondary screams playmaking ability, but the only question is its depth.


Senior kicker Drew Alleman will continue to be a rock this season after hitting 16-of-18 field goals last year. Sophomore punter Brad Wing averaged an impressive 44.1 yards per kick last season while putting 23 inside the 20. Beckham Jr. will take over kick return duties.


9/1 NORTH TEXAS 9/8 WASHINGTON 9/15 IDAHO 9/22 @ AUBURN 9/29 TOWSON 10/6 @ FLORIDA 10/13 SOUTH CAROLINA 10/20 @ TEXAS A&M 11/3 ALABAMA 11/10 MISSISSIPPI STATE 11/17 OLE MISS 11/24 @ ARKANSAS FACT: The inaugural Capital One Cup went to the Gator men’s program.

SCENES FROM THE SWAMP Fans cheer to try to get the attention of a TV camera during a Gators game last season. Photo by Tim Casey

Two-time 2012 Olympic gold medalist and former Florida Gators swimmer Ryan Lochte, right, and a friend pose for a picture during a game last season. Photo by Tim Casey

FACT: With 139 teams advancing to NCAA postseason competition, the SEC continued to solidify its place as the nation’s premier conference.


TOGETHER AT THE FRONT Xavier Nixon was named to All-SEC preseason third team by the league coaches. Photo by Tim Casey


CHEMSITRY SET FOR FLORIDA OL GATORS EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINEMEN ARE CLOSER THAN EVER “Our chemistry definitely starts with the o-line. Those guys are always together. They’re eating together, they’re working out together and they even room together,” said sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel. Despite a couple of coaching changes this offseason, the Florida offense – especially the big men up front – are closer than ever. With the addition of offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis, the Florida offense has had some adjusting to do. At 20 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012

Florida media day on Aug. 2, displays of unity, excitement and optimism filled the Touchdown Terrace room at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Florida Gators struggled immensely on offense last season. With Charlie Weis over in Kansas, the Gators needed a new offensive coordinator and they found one in former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Once the coordinator position was filled, the focus turned to replacing former offensive line coach, Frank FACT:

Verducci, who followed Weis to Kansas. Florida head coach, Will Muschamp, looked to a former colleague, Tim Davis. Davis and Muschamp worked together for a season back in 2005 with the Miami Dolphins. Davis has more than 25 years of coaching experience to his name. He spent the 2011 season at Utah and was also a part of the 2002 Southern California National Champion team. The players seem to be gelling well with the new coach. At media day, all had nothing but positives to say about the offensive line coach. Fifth-year senior James Wilson even said Davis is the O-line’s new dad. “From the first and second week, he’s always been there,” Wilson said. “He has his office open non-stop. We can come in and talk to him about anything.” The 6-foot-4, 323 pound lineman joked about his plans to avoid injury this season. “If I have to do a séance or something I’ll do it. Just keep doing what I’m doing. I made it through the spring.” Heading into his 6th season with the Gators, Wilson said he hopes to leave his mark and give everything he’s got to the team this season. Fifth-year senior lineman Sam Robey echoed Wilson’s feelings on Davis by saying, “He’s somebody that’s easy for everyone to go in and talk to on any given day or to call up. He’s door is always open.” The 6-foot-3, 305 pound Kentucky native added that while Davis and former O-line coach, Frank Verducci, have different coaching styles both know the game and taught the line a lot. “Verducci was more business, more about keeping it professional, I guess you could say. “Davis is lighter hearted. The biggest difference would have to be their attitudes/ approach.” “One thing Davis has definitely brought is his

intensity on the field. He gets people going,” continued the lineman. Both Robey and redshirt junior Jon Halapio agree in saying Davis brings a healthy dose of intensity to the field. “He’s very passionate about the game,” Halapio said. “He’s just like coach Muschamp. Coach Davis is a guy who’s fired up about everything on and off the field. If you’re walking down the street and you see him, he’s fired up about everything.” Speaking of off the field, the 6-3, 321-pound Halapio lives with fellow offensive linemen Jonothan Harrison and Kyle Koehne. The chemistry at home is carried over to the field according to Halapio. “We’re close. We’re always hanging out in the living room and joking around. We bring that same closeness to the practice field and work hard together. Living together definitely helps” Ann offensive line essentially has to be five wheels all rolling in the same direction. They have to know each other’s tendencies, weaknesses and strengths. They


have to be there to help out when the guy next to them may let a defender pentrate. Their footwork has to be precise, so they don’t trip one another up when switching, stunting, pulling or whatever a specific blocking scheme calls for. They play off each other, on the field, and off it. “We’re really tight. Real bonded,” Harrison said. “We do a lot of things together. We do everything together basically. Off the field we still try to keep that togetherness just because that increases the potential of our offensive line while on the field.” Harrison’s roommate, Halapio, says the chemistry on the line has been significantly better than last year. “As a unit we have one year under our belt,” Halapio said. “We definitely needed that year to play together to understand our weaknesses and strengths.” In the weight room, the line has made strides as well. Along with the new offensive hires, Florida hired Jeff Dillman to replace Mickey Marotti, the school’s former director of

strength and conditioning. Marotti was brought to Gainesville by ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer in 2005. Not surprisingly, Marotti left Florida for Ohio State shortly after Meyer signed on with the Buckeyes. The move may have been a blessing in disguise as the line is feeling stronger and faster thanks to Dillman’s Olympic-style lifts. “He’s (Dillman) done great. I know I’ve gotten stronger. My body has changed over the summer. “ Wilson said. The Gators were outscored 72–22 late in last season’s games. Muschamp blamed that on the weight room. “A lot of strengths have been built on both the lines,” said Robey. ”In the long run, it’s really going to help us out. The numbers people were putting up were bigger than anything I’ve seen in the past four years I’ve been here.” The future looks promising for the Florida offensive linemen because they’re bigger, but more that that, they’re close. They’re five on the field. But one in their hearts.

Florida offensive linemen, from left, Jon Halapio, Matt Patchan and Jonotthan Harrison during a game last season. Photo by Tim Casey




Florida coach Will Muschamp disputes a call during a game last season. Photo by Tim Casey

Florida’s Michael Taylor (51), Josh Evans (24), Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam (22) and Omar Hunter (99) sandwich a Florida State’s Lonnie Pryor (73) last season. Photo by Tim Casey

Florida’s Sharrif Floyd, left, and Leon Orr embrace after last season’s 22 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012




You won’t have to go far to catch some of the top high school football games in North Central Florida this fall. Past history suggests that this region will continue to produce at a high level. The region’s largest city, Gainesville, has certainly produced its share of talent over the last century. Dale Van Sickel, who starred at Gainesville High School in the mid 1920s, is generally regarded as the best high school player out of a Florida high school prior to the 1930s. He was the Gators’ first All-American and led the nation in scoring in 1928 (336 points) as a running back for the University of Florida. In the modern era, Eddie McAshan (GHS, 1968) became the first to be named state Player-of-the-Year for football and basketball. McAshan (Georgia Tech) finished his prep career with 4,289 yards passing, 1,134 yards rushing and 61 touchdown passes. Clinton Portis (GHS) rushed for 2,036 yards and 26 touchdowns during his senior campaign with the Purple Hurricanes. He also led the University of Miami to a national championship and played seven seasons as the starting running back for the Washington Redskins. Just to the north of Gainesville, there’s another region with a storied past. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren helped Union County (Lake Butler) win three consecutive state titles, including a then state-record 52 consecutive wins from

FACT: Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American collegiate athletic association that grew out of the Southern Conference.

the nation’s top offensive tackle and a top five recruit overall.

HOW ABOUT THE TOP TEAM IN 2012? GHS returns several key members from last year’s team that lost in the regional finals to the eventual state champion. Running back Ralph Webb (Utah commit), WR Chris Thompson (UF commit) and QB Mark Cato, who threw for 2,102 yards and 22 TDs as a junior, are back. Plus, Buchholz transfer Tony James adds more speed in the backfield. Columbia visits GHS on Thursday, September 6, marking one of several top games in the month of September, along with Vanguard at North Marion (9/7), GHS at Trinity Catholic (9/14) and Jacksonville Bolles at North Marion (9/28).

LIKE I SAID, YOU WON’T HAVE TO GO FAR. Mike Ridaught hosts a weekly high school show

p.m. at Sonic on 39th Avenue in Gainesville. He also handles play-by-play for high school football on ESPN Radio (AM-1230 Gainesville & AM-900 and FM-100.1 in Ocala), and he hosts a weekly SEC/Gator football show called, “The Drive to Atlanta,” every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon on 105 The Game (104.9 FM).



1994–96. The former Gator was drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns. Ten years later, running back C.J. Spiller (Clemson/Union County) was drafted ninth overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2010 draft. Spiller finished with 5,511 yards on 541 carries (10.2 avg.) and 93 TD’s for the Tigers. North Central Florida’s southernmost county, Marion, is home to quarterback Daunte Culpepper (Vanguard/UCF), who was drafted 11th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1999 NFL Draft. Quarterback Johnny Brantley (Trinity Catholic/Florida), who led the Celtics’ to a state title and was the Gatorade National Player-of-theYear in 2006, wide receiver/defensive back Latroy Pittman (North Marion/ Florida) and PJ Williams (Vanguard/ FSU) were prep All-Americans the last six years in Marion County. So, who will be the next star in this tradition-rich north-central part of the state? Maybe it will be offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (6’6’’, 295 lbs.) of Lake City Columbia, who is considered


Water Wasters: A Drain on the Environment and Your Wallet

GRU customers use water efficiently, using significantly less than the regional average. Nevertheless, unsuspected culprits and practices can quickly waste water and cause unnecessarily high water bills. GRU suggests that customers make a few simple changes to become more water efficient.

Bathroom A leaky faucet may seem like just a few lost drops of water, but it can drip away up to 500 gallons of water each month. With the sink, toilet and shower, your bathroom can account for 50-75 percent of your home’s indoor water use and can be the biggest culprit of wasted water. Turn the water off when brushing your teeth or shaving. Leaving the water running for one minute can waste 2 gallons of water.

Kitchen The amount of water used for cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking can be significantly reduced by making a few small changes to your kitchen habits and equipment. Wait to run the dishwasher until it is completely full. Each cycle can use up to 15 gallons of water. Swap out your old dishwasher for an energy-efficient one. Dishwashers made before 1994 can cost up to $40 more per year than newer, ENERGY STARÂŽ models.

Landscaping An improperly maintained in-ground irrigation system can leak water and waste money. Inspect systems annually to prevent over-watering, breaks, leaks and backflow into drinking water lines. Add a rain sensor to an in-ground irrigation system to keep your system from running when there has been sufficient rain. GRU offers a $25 rain sensor rebate. Find more information on using water efficiently, including details on the latest irrigation rules, by visiting

One community. One request. One hundred years of GRU service. GRU Centennial sponsors:


EVERY DROP COUNTS Yes, water is considered a renewable resource, but that doesn’t change the fact that Alachua County has been in an extended drought for the past few years (even with the daily afternoon showers). Tony Cunningham, a Water/ Wastewater Engineer at Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), was kind enough to take a moment to speak with us at Gator Country about water conservation. WE ARE CURRENTLY IN A DROUGHT SITUATION AND HAVE BEEN FOR SEVERAL YEARS. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE SEVERITY OF THIS?

The impact of the drought is that our water supply comes from the Floridan aquifer – from ground water and rainfall that builds up the aquifer with water. So when we haven’t had much rainfall and have had more drought conditions, there is a lowering of the aquifer. We have two big things that really impact the level of the aquifer, everyone’s water use and rainfall. With lower rainfall we’re in a situation where we pay closer attention to water usage.


Any rainfall helps, so yes. But I think part of the challenge is, as you had first mentioned with the effect of an extended drought, it’s going to take a while to bring it back up. So we need a lot of rainfall over a long period of time, not just one big event.


Our philosophy when it comes to water conservation is pretty simple: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Water conservation is the easiest way to reduce water use. To promote this effort GRU uses a combination of public education and conservation programs. For example, we offer rebates on low-flow shower heads, irrigation and rain sensors, faucet aerators and, most recently, we began a pilot program for low-flow toilets and commercial spray nozzles for restaurants. In addition to voluntary programs, water use restrictions are an important part of water

conservation efforts, so we work to educate customers on these rules. Another reason that overall usage has decreased is because GRU provides reclaimed water (water treated to high levels at wastewater treatment facilities) to some customers for irrigation purposes to reduce the amount of groundwater used. GRU is expanding the reclaimed water system to serve more customers. On recycling, water that is used by customers is treated at regional treatment facilities to allow beneficial reintroduction to the environment, 70 percent of water used by GRU customers is recycled into the environment in environmentally appropriate ways.


The Gainesville Community is doing a great job when it comes to water conservation. GRU works hard to help educate customers on ways to save water, and we have seen customers respond to our tiered rates. Specifically, over the last 10 years, the per capita water use has dropped significantly among GRU customers – almost 30 percent. This is a direct result of citizens conserving water.


We are working with the water management district on what our long-term water supply needs to look like. How will we do it? We are planning for ways that are protective of our environment and also allow us to have a sustainable water supply for our area.

FACT: In Softball, seven teams represented the league in the NCAA Tournament with Florida and Alabama advancing to the Women’s College World Series.



Sharrif Floyd visits with reporters during Florida’s media day on Aug. 2. Photo by Mike Capshaw



FACT: UF is consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities: No. 17 in U.S. News & World Report “Top Public Universities” (August 2010)


THE THREE GATORS WHO WILL HELP TURN AROUND THE GATORS THREE PROBLEM AREAS The Gators 2011 season was marred by more bad than good. The offense struggled moving the football, the offensive line was porous and the defense struggled to turn the ball over. However, the Gators have now completed their second offseason under Coach Will Muschamp and look to make some gazelle leaps forward. There are three areas that the Gators stand to make the most improvement and there are three key players that will propel the Gators forward. Primarily, the Gators need to cause more turnovers. However, it is not going to be a member of the secondary that propels the Gators to more turnovers, no, it is going to be defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. Floyd will move back to his natural position of defensive tackle, after playing defensive end most of last season. His push in the middle will force opposing quarterbacks to make quicker decisions. The Gators defensive backfield is stellar with Matt Elam, Marcus Roberson, Jaylen Watkins, Louchiez Purifoy and De’Ante ‘Pop’ Saunders leading the way. With Floyd’s push, the defensive backfield will become even more dynamic. Equally if not more important, will be the establishment of a north-south running attack. While the Gators offensive backfield of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey in 2011 averaged 5.3 yards per game, the Gators offense is tailored for a north-south running attack, running between the tackles rather than sweeps to the outside.

Senior running back Mike Gillislee now has his opportunity after playing third fiddle for three seasons. Gillislee will asked to keep up his 6.8 career yards per carry average for a full season. He will be the Gators first northsouth running back starter since Kestahn Moore in 2008. Gillislee’s vision, quick feet and size will help carry the Gators offensive attack with the help of Chris Johnson and Mack Brown. Finally, the Gators will need significantly better offensive line performance to be successful in 2012, and will call on senior left tackle Xavier Nixon to lead the charge. After starting has a freshman in 2009, Nixon regressed for the next two seasons as Nixon’s weight slimmed. After a strong offseason where Nixon grew to a healthy 309-pounds, Nixon should be ready to anchor the ‘blind side’. The Gators 2012 offensive line, which has 50 combined total starts, will need Nixon’s experience and leadership to become a better unit; a unit that gave up 1.77 sacks and 7.38 tackles for loss per game. If Nixon can improve, the Gators will improve; if Nixon struggles expect the Gators to struggle … immensely.

Dan Thompson is a 2010 University of Florida graduate who spent three years working with the Gators football team as a recruiting ambassador, dealing daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines and the UF coaching staff. Check out more of Dan’s columns at

FACT: In 2010-11, 222 University of Florida student-athletes earned spots on SEC Academic or SEC First-Year Academic Honor Rolls





FACT: The SEC was formed in 1932 when its members left the 11-year-old Southern Conference, believing that it had grown too large for competitive balance.

MEETING EXPECTATIONS Quinton Dunbar listens to coaching from Aubrey Hill, who resigned as receivers coach for “personal reasons” a week into fall camp. Photo by Tim Casey The word “potential” is a double-edged sword. With it comes the hope of one day progressing into production, into ability, into results. However, until that time comes, potential is nothing more than added expectations. For Florida, the hope is that time has come for its group of promising receivers and with it the return of what was once one of the nation’s most fearsome passing attacks. Last season’s numbers from the group were disappointing. In fact, they were hideous. Certainly, watching starter John Brantley go down due to injury midway through the season didn’t help. The situation only got worse when the team’s two inexperienced freshman quarterbacks came in and played like, well, inexperienced freshman quarterbacks. Still, looking at the raw numbers is nothing short of painful for Florida fans. The team’s leading receiver was running back Chris Rainey, who caught 31 passes. Andre Debose paced the Gators in receiving yards with 432. To fully understand how underwhelming those numbers were, Rainey’s team-leading 31 grabs were the fewest number for the top Florida receiver since 1989 when Emmitt Smith caught 10 fewer passes. Debose’s yardage is also the fewest for a teamleader since that same season. Well, the only way to go is up, starting with the core group of receivers who will be responsible for consistently finding the soft spot in the defense and moving the chains. Debose has entrenched himself in the Florida record books as a return man, but it is time he becomes a factor in the offense. His back-to-back games with 65-yard touchdowns, against Alabama and LSU no less, show the greatness he has inside him. He just needs to capture it. Debose knows all too well what a season of inconsistent FACT:

performance looks like. So does fellow receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. Hammond thought about it all offseason. “It hurt. Nobody wants to go through that again,” he said. “At the end of the day, we just didn’t get the job done.” This year, it is important they do. While the team has no household names, it is a group of guys that are capable of performing. Along with Quinton Dunbar, Debose and Hammond form a strong top three. The addition of freshman Latroy Pittman, who has drawn rave reviews from teammates and coaches since reporting early in the summer, helps round out an athletic group for whoever wins the quarterback battle between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel. Though the past is less than stellar, the confidence of the group is not waning a bit. “There’s a lot of guys more than capable of being competitive in our league,” Debose said. “But we want to let our game on the field do our talking.” Whether the desired results come this year or not, the process will look much different. After running a vanilla offense under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Brent Pease takes over this season with a system built on shifts and motion. “We are going to make the defense think this year,” Debose said. “We didn’t do that too much last year.” As a whole, the receivers didn’t do too much of anything last year. They didn’t catch too many balls, gain too many yards or score too many touchdowns. This season, the team is counting on them to do those things. It is counting on them to turn potential into production. “It’s been a long time coming,” Debose admitted. “But we have to come out this year and be the fire of this team.” GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012 29




As Florida’s football media day began, Sharrif Floyd pulled his chair closer to his pal Dominique Easley, sat back and smiled. The No. 1 and No. 2 defensive tackle prospects in 2010 have transformed from simply two teammates who happen to play similar positions. They have become best friends, two guys who are almost assuredly going to give you a smile and crack a joke about the other. In doing so, the two have changed more than just their own outlook on the game. They have brought the entire defense closer together. “They’re characters,” senior safety Josh Evans said. “But they keep the practice fun, and they keep us going.” Coming into college together, the two have a bond that has become almost magnetic. It is hard to be around them without smiling yourself. 30 GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012

For Easley, during last season, it wasn’t particularly easy to smile at times. In the Florida State Nov. 26 game, he tore the ACL in his left knee forcing him to miss playing in the Florida 21-14 win against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. It was a disappointing season as a whole for the Gators. Defensively, the team held serve in many statistical categories. Florida was eighth nationally in total defense after giving up just 299.5 yards per game. It was tied for 20th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 20.5 points per game. However, despite the strong numbers, the team faltered. Behind an injured and inconsistent offense, the team struggled to score points. While the defense was often able to limit the damage, playing from behind virtually eliminated any chance of forcing turnovers

late in games. As a result, the losses piled up. After a 48–10 dismantling of Kentucky to begin the season 4–0, the Gators reached a more trying part of its schedule. The result was four consecutive losses. From there, the team alternated wins and losses the rest of the season, never gaining any significant amount of momentum. It was a frustrating time, Easley admitted. Coming to Florida, nobody expects to go through those types of growing pains. Nobody expects to lose that many games. It would have been easy to come into 2012 with a frustrated outlook. Instead, the pair of Easley and Floyd decided to take a positive approach. “Life is too short to be upset, angry or in a negative frame of mind,” Easley said. “We like to have fun,” Floyd added. The pair’s looseness has brought the

FACT: At the 2011 ESPYs, Florida received the Capital One Cup trophy and a $200,000 donation to fund student-athlete scholarships.

COMING TOGETHER AS A UNIT Dominque Easley blows by a blocker during last season’s win against UAB. Photo by Tim Casey entire defense together. “I can’t say enough how close our defense is right now,” Lerentee McCray said. “We all get off the bus together, we shower together, we do everything together. When our defense steps on the field, everybody should be scared because it’s going to be crazy. I’m getting tingles on my fingers just thinking about it.” Along with Floyd and Easley, McCray will also play an integral part in Florida’s defense this season. After Ronald Powell went down with an injured knee in the Orange & Blue Debut, it was clear he would not be 100 percent for the start of the season. Powell was the teamleader in sacks last season with six and was expected to be the guy at the buck position this season. Instead, it will be McCray filling the buck duties to start the season when the team lines up in its hybrid defense. His flexibility, similar to that of Easley and Floyd who will also swap spots at defensive tackle and defensive end depending on the situation, has the rest of the defense confident it will not miss a beat. “I came in with Lerentee, and I know how hard he works,” defensive tackle Omar Hunter said. “He’s a leader on this team and up for the challenge of helping replace Powell.” “Helping” being the key word. Replacing a player like Powell, no matter how short the time he ends up being out may be, is a collective effort. In addition to McCray, the defense will be counting on the contributions of freshmen in the front seven. Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler, Jr. will both be looked at to help plug holes while the Gators are short-handed. “Dante Fowler will do a very good job,” Okine said. “Out

running drills, he is very quick and very explosive. We have a lot of players and a lot of depth that we haven’t really had in a while that will help us.” Another thing the team hasn’t really had in a while is trust. At least not this level of trust, the type that comes from forming a truly meaningful relationship with another human being. It’s not the type of trust that can be built solely on a football field, but the kind that grows through having a deep-rooted interest in another person’s well being. That is where having guys like Floyd and Easley is so special. They set the tone for that type of commitment and caring. “The whole defensive line is learning from them to legitimately care about one another,” Okine said. “No matter what, if anybody has a problem, the whole defensive line hits them up.” Coming together as a unit off the field is something players said they were confident would make a positive difference on the field. “It’s about trust,” Easley said. “You don’t have to look on the side of you and wonder what the next person is going to do. You know.” It remains to be seen whether Florida can improve from 2011 to 2012. There are still plays to be made and games to be won or lost. Still, having high-character guys like Dominique Easley and Shariff Floyd has brought the entire defense together. It is no longer 11 guys on a field. It is one team. One unit. One family. Whether they win or lose, surprise or disappoint, they have vowed to do it together. “We are as focused as ever,” Easley said. “We are ready for anything that is put in front of us.”

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FACT: UF faculty members have earned a Fields Medal, two Pulitzer Prizes, NASA’s top award for research, and Smithsonian Institution’s conservation award.


A BATTLE OF ARMS Jeff Driskel looks to pick up yards open receiver during a game last season. Driskel is more mobile than Jacoby Brissett. Photo by Tim Casey





Fan opinions are split on who should lead the Florida Gators’ revamped attack under first-year offensive coordinator Brent Pease. The thing is, both sophomore quarterbacks likely will play, especially early in the season, regardless of whom gets penciled in as the starter. FACT:

Both have similarities and differences. Brissett may be a more polished passer on short, intermediate and deep pass routes while Driskel is the better athlete, who can turn a busted play into a positive gain. In Pease’s offense, it won’t matter who serves as the triggerman. The Gators can win with either Brissett or Driskel, something Muschamp and his players have maintained throughout spring and summer practices. “Everyone wants to ask me about the quarterback position,” Muschamp said at the team’s media day in early August. “I feel really good about that position because we have two players that are competing that are going to make each other better, our offense better and our team better.” The offense is expected to establish power running with plenty of misdirection after the snap and even more motions and shifts before it. The goal is to reach the goal line more often by confusing defenses and creating mismatches. While some players say it’s more complex than former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis’ scheme, a few players claim the only real difference is all the pre-snap motion Pease has installed. Pease has been showing both quarterbacks highlights of his former Boise State quarterback, Kellen Moore, who Pease said struggled early picking up the playbook. With so little time to install everything before the Sept. 1 season opener vs. Bowling Green State in The Swamp, Pease has scaled back how much he’s installing. “We won’t be, at this point in our season, able to throw the volume or the library of plays that we did when I was at Boise State. That was an accumulation of 12 years of schemes and teaching and coaching,” Pease said. “We can’t put those 12 years into seven or eight months.” Florida fielded one of its most inept attacks in the program’s history a year ago, especially during the months of October and November. The Gators posted a 2-6 record during that span with wins against Vanderbilt and Furman. They averaged 11 points per game in those six losses and posted their worst record since 1987. Both quarterbacks played as true freshman, but often had a deer-in-theheadlight look after starter John Brantley was injured. Team confidence suffered, and the result was a stagnant offense. The same true freshmen quarterbacks who were partly responsible for the struggles are now credited with giving hope as sophomores

A BATTLE OF ARMS season. Brissett may be a little sharper as a passer than Jeff Driskel at this early stage of their careers. Photo by Tim Casey because now, they have experience. Both Brissett and Driskel spoke about how that experience, as painful as it was to watch at times, has them more ready than ever to perform at a high level heading into 2012. “I just wasn’t prepared and that’s it,” Driskel said of last season. “Like I said, I’m going to be prepared.” Driskel said he has learned he needs to prepare harder than he ever did as a high school All-American. He “feels” like he has a better understanding of what is needed out of the quarterback position than he did in the spring. He’s more comfortable and more confident. Football is a sport Driskel has played his entire life, so he’s “just going to play and have fun.” Becoming the starting quarterback at the University of Florida is his goal and his dream. He said it would mean a lot to him to win the job because, “that’s what I came here to do.” “Everything is in front of me,” Driskel said. “Really excited and ready to go. Just have to go out and play.” Driskel said Muschamp lauded both quarterbacks for handling the quarterback competition “professionally” and that’s “helped the team.” For Brissett, he can still go around Gainesville virtually unnoticed despite being the possible Gators starting quarterback. The occasional fan does recognize him, but most do not. “It’s nothing to take pictures or autographs, but I haven’t done anything yet so there’s no reason to treat me like I’m anybody special,” Brissett said. Brissett said he spent a lot of the summer on a computer, watching highlights from the spring and other clips of Pease’s offense to learn everything about how it runs. He has improved mentally, and physically. He said he’s lost about 15 pounds, weighing around 225 or 226 most days. “I feel a lot lighter,” Brissett said. “I’m still slow, regardless (laughing). It’s something the coaching staff and (UF strength and conditioning) coach (Jeff) Dillman felt like I should do – lose some weight to be able to last the whole game.” While some say Pease’s offense is not quite as complex to learn as Charlie Weis’ was, tight end Jordan Reed disagreed. “There are a lot more shifting and motions in coach Pease’s offense than Charlie Weis’, although there are not much difference other than the shifting and FACT:

motions,” Reed said. “That makes it a little bit harder to learn because of all the shifting and motions, but we’re starting to pick it up.” Senior running back Mike Gillislee loves the new offense because the running game is more suited to his strength. “The running back has to be a lot more physical,” Gillislee said. “Running in the offense last year was a lot more outside running. This year is more zone running between the tackles. “(Pease) wants to have a physical running game, where we run more north and south. Our goal is to score more points and that’s what we’re going to do.” Other than having a more physical running game, the consensus was that the offense isn’t that much different. The difference is in the attitude. “Coach Weis was kind of an old-school guy,” Driskel said. “(Pease has) just brought

in a new energy and new life, so I feel like the guys are responding well.” Like Driskel, Brissett’s also more comfortable and confident than he was when he stepped under center to start against LSU in Death Valley. He also said the offense is pretty much the same other than the pre-snap motion. However, he admits it is a more exciting offense to run because it’s a little more imaginative. “It’s pretty much what you would draw up in the back of the dirt,” Brissett said. “We’ve got some stuff that you could draw up on an Etch-A-Sketch board and it’s going to cause some confusion. “Some things you just can’t wait to see how a defense is going to react. Just to see the look on their face when you’re holding up a touchdown sign.” As long as the Gators are holding up touchdown signs, it won’t matter which quarterback is leading scoring drives. GATOR COUNTRY | SEP/2012 33


TIPS FOR A FREE & CLEAR GAMEDAY During football season, Gainesville can come off like it’s nothing but a bunch of fun and games. For the most part, that is true, but there are many easy ways to ruin a great trip. Your car could be vandalized. You could get into a traffic accident. When it comes to tailgating, there’s always the potential doom of getting arrested for open container, public drunkenness or fighting. Many of these outcomes, however, can easily be prevented. The Gainesville Police Department launched the “Lock It or Lose It” program to remind people to lock their vehicle doors and not to leave valuable items in plain view. According to Sergeant Tscharna Senn, the GPD’s former public information officer (PIO), car burglaries tend to increase during home football games.


Between the traffic, the masses and the fact that many of the parties involved have been drinking, safety should be number one your game day checklist. Everyone enjoys a cold drink, especially on a hot afternoon, but there are laws to still consider. The city of Gainesville has a ZERO tolerance for open containers and underage drinking.


“Tailgating is fine as long as you are over 21 and drinking on private property,” Senn went to say that drivers should also expect traffic delays, Senn explained. especially after the game.

For more information, email the GPD’s “We have a good system in place, however it still takes time to clear out the congested streets and intersections.”

Valuri, at valuriam@cityofgainesville. org, call 352-393-7525 or visit GPD’s website at:



all doors when exiting the vehicle. Think “lock it or lose it”.

wallets, cell phones, change, or CDs in the passenger compartment of your vehicle. The trunk is a more secure place to store items.

away from shrubbery that would obscure the view to your vehicle.

cars. For example, don’t park a compact car in between two large vehicles.

FACT: Student-athletes around the league continue to excel in the classroom as well with more than 2,500 earning recognition on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.



1) Which school was not one of the founding members of the SEC?

8) The SEC won … National Championships in 2011-2012.

A) Sewanee B) University of Tennessee C) Tulane D) University of Arkansas

A) 8 B) 10 C) 12 D) 9

2) What year did Georgia Tech leave the SEC?

9) Of those National Championships, how many did UF win?

A) 1964 B) 1965 C) 1962 D) 1966

A) 5 B) 2 C) 3 D) 6

3) With the addition of two teams in 1990, what was the total number of teams in the SEC?

Capital One Academic All-Americans than any other Division I conference.

A) 8 B) 9 C) 14 D) 12

A) True B)False

11) How many Capital One Academic All-Americans did the SEC have in the

4) The Western and Eastern SEC Divisions were initiated with the addition of what A) 42 B) 53 two teams in 1991? A) University of Kentucky and University of Georgia B) Auburn University and Venderbilt C) University of Arkansas and University of South Carolina D) University of Tennessee and Auburn

5) How many sports does the SEC sponsor? A) 18 B) 20 C) 14 D) 21

6) Of those sports how many are women’s? How many are men’s?

12) In what year did the SEC assemble the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee? A) 1991 B) 1992 C) 1993 D) 1994

13) The founding members formed the SEC when they left the 11-year-old Southern Conference, believing that it had grown too large for competitive balance. A) True B) False

A) 11, 10 B) 8, 13 C) 13, 8 D) 12, 9

14) In what year was the SEC created?

7) In the fall of 2012, the SEC added two more teams. What teams were they? A) Clemson and Texas B) University of Missouri and Texas A&M C) Ole Miss and Jacksonville State D) Florida Sate and Bowling Green

C) 49 D) 48

A) 1934 B) 1933 C) 1932 D) 1936

15) The SEC was only the second school to establish a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A) True B) False

1–D, 2–A, 3–D, 4–?, 5–D, 6–D, 7–B, 8–D, 9–C, 10–A, 11–A, 12–B, 13–A, 14–C, 15–B




Fans cheer on the Gators during the 2011 season opener in Ben opens 2012 vs. Bowling Green on Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. in The Swamp. Photos by Tim Casey




Albert E. Gator chills out in the student section during a game last season. Photo by Tim Casey

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With the largemouth bass spawning period over, bass will move from the shallows to deeper water more frequently. Fish the vegetative edge in the early morning and late evening hours. Topwater frogs or Zoom Horny Toads have been productive lately. By mid to late morning most activity will stop near shore, so switch tactics and target bass in deeper water with associated submerged structure. Panfish spawning activity will peak this quarter. Look for beds in shallow or clear waters.


The prolonged drought in north central Florida has greatly influenced access to the fisheries at Newnans Lake. Access is currently only possible with small vessels that can be pushed off of their trailers



Water levels are low and shallow water is a result. Most of the fishable areas from the two docks are both too shallow and chocked with emergent vegetation. Concentrate your efforts from a small boat in the northern lobe of the lake. This area can be spotted by its lack of standing timber. The abundance of the flooded cypress offer bass the needed cover for ambushing unsuspecting forage.


Bluegill and redear sunfish should bite at the edges of grass on crickets and grass shrimp all summer. Seek out physical structure interface areas, such as maidencane/open water or lily pad/grass combinations. Earthworms fished off the bottom are also a good choice for both of these species. Black crappie fishing slows down in summer months; mid-lake would be the best bet for this species for those continuing to pursue them.

As of August 2012. Courtesy of Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.


Water levels and flow volumes in both of these rivers are near all-time lows. This is much more evident in the Santa Fe and from Branford upstream in the Suwannee. Most spring runs are productive areas to sight cast for striped mullet. Try filamentous algae wrapped around your hook and fished under a float. Water clarity and schooling mullet combine for a unique opportunity to target this species of fish. Look for surface ripples, and then simply cast your baited hook in front of the actively feeding schools at the river/ run confluence. In the Santa Fe, eelgrass beds in the upper and middle reaches hold fish. Try fishing for bass and panfish in deep grass beds or close to fallen trees with small jigs or mealworms.

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Where tailgating used to be only about the grill and the games, technology has brought a range of gadgets to the mix. Instead of wasting your car battery charging these devices, try using a more natural resource: the sun! The Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure



Kit is an ultra-lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket and can charge all your portable devices whether you are tailgating, hiking, at the beach, or anywhere else.

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FACT: The SEC had seven teams advance to postseason play in baseball, hosting three regionals with South Carolina, Florida and Vanderbilt advancing to the College World Series.



OF ALL THE LUCK Luck. It’s surprising just how much depth there is to the word. Some of its synonyms are blessing, happiness, health, karma, serendipity, smile and triumph. No wonder it’s one

As he stood to welcome me, 82-year-old back ramrod straight, silvery hair trimmed just so and sporting an orange and blue tie, Douglass’ gracious and genuine warmth instantly made me feel as though I were visiting a longtime friend rather than interviewing a Florida governmental legend. Stepping into his office on the Governor’s Square in our state’s capitol, Tallahassee, was at once an exhilarating and poignant experience. Exhilarating in that I would be spending time with the attorney who was Governor Lawton Chiles’ General Counsel, Al Gore’s lead counsel in the Florida Recount and served on the legal dream team which aided Governor Chiles in his history making victory over Big Tobacco. Poignant in that this was not the first time Douglass and I had met. The first time, 15 years previously, we were standing in front of hundreds of Florida citizens who had come to speak up for change, and he told me I looked beautiful. So how does it come to pass that a person achieves such great things and, in turn, helps so many? What drives them? Does anything at all? Does it really boil down to luck? The professional accomplishments mentioned earlier are merely the opening statements regarding a man who’s been coined “Florida’s Favorite Son.” In 2009, he was awarded University of Florida’s Distinguished Alumnus award and asked to deliver the commencement speech. In 2006, Douglass received the Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor for “...a career spent providing legal services to the powerless and for his chairmanship of the Constitutional Revision Commission in leading the commission through heated debates, extensive research, and public testimony to arrive at several constitutional 38 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012

amendments which were subsequently approved by the public” – The Florida Bar Foundation. Additionally, Douglass is a decorated war veteran having received the Bronze Star, the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Medal. When asked to comment on the honors, his eyes widened in bewilderment. “I’ve often wondered how in the hell I got those awards,” he said. “I think it’s just because I outlived everyone.” Given that he grew up during The Great Depression and his family, like most, lost everything and had to start from scratch, I asked if he was proud of what he’d made of himself. “I’m not one of those who think that I’m self-made,” he said. “I think a self-made man is very poorly put together. They’re usually so egotistical they think they’re God’s gift to the world. They’re very unsuccessful in getting along with people, generally. They’re very successful in making money. But anybody can do that. I’ve just always been lucky. I’ve gotten almost everything I ever wanted.” Is there a difference between a successful man and a self-made man?

happened to me were funny. I don’t dwell on the bad things. As an example, one time I had to use the restroom which was the bottom of a hill. As I was in “the position” I looked up and a mortar was coming straight at me. It fell behind me but was a dud. That was the fastest potty break in history. Just a minute later, I looked up again and another mortar hit right in front of where a fella was laying wire. Blew him to pieces.” Now, thousands more words could be written here about Douglass’ triumphs. After all, for more than three-quarters of a century, he’s had and still continues to “CERTAINLY. A SUCCESSFUL MAN IS ONE have – as he puts it – “a big time”. But my THAT HAS AT LEAST A FEELING OF VALUE FOR OTHER PEOPLE; THAT HAS A FEELING OF DUTY thoughts keep turning back to the AS A CITIZEN TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT AND Orphic nature of the word luck. Whose good or bad luck rubs off on THE PEOPLE. WHATEVER YOU’RE GOING TO BE, whom when people’s lives intertwine? Is YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE SOME FUNCTION TO BE luck bestowed or do we create our own? I SUCCESSFUL,” DOUGLASS BELIEVES. mean, here was the greatest of men telling me he’s had the luck of the draw over and Speaking of serving the government, over again. Further, I believed his sincerity. Douglass was a second lieutenant in the Army, seeing active duty during the Korean Douglass was not feigning humility. He is War, an experience that forever shaped him. a true servant of the people. As luck would have it, I have hard evidence “You gotta have some luck. I learned that there,” he said. “Most of the things that to support my claim. Mankind is made great or little by its own will. Friedrich Schiller


In 1997, Douglass chaired the state’s Constitution Revision Commission. That same year, my mother was admitted to a hospital in her hometown of Ocala, FL, whereupon the wrong chart was pulled and she was treated based on a stranger’s medical history. She died that day. At 61 years old. That’s when I first learned about Florida’s Wrongful Death Law. In the statute, it states the only damages surviving children over the age of 25 can recover in the event of a parent’s death due to medical malpractice/ negligence is funeral and medical expenses. I was not allowed by law to sue for mental anguish nor for loss of guidance and companionship. Discrimination based solely on age is clearly a violation of civil rights, so I signed up to speak before the Constitution Revision Commission, hoping they would take on the task of getting the age ceiling in the law declared unconstitutional, which would cause it to be removed. To this day, while other states have caps on how much can be collected, Florida is still the only state in the country which denies recovery of damages in such cases. Arriving at the public hearings in Orlando, FL, at 8:00 a.m., I signed in and, then, fought against my own terror for nine and one-half hours until being called to speak at 5:30 p.m.ish. There was no fear of speaking in public. I’d been doing that for years. But the night before, I’d called a respected family member, told them my plan for presentation and read them my speech. “If you wear what you say you’re going to wear and you read those words you will look like a fool,” the family member said. “Those are educated professionals you’ll be addressing. They want to hear facts and numbers, not an emotional, theatrical personal story. They don’t care and you won’t accomplish a thing.” With the words “ won’t accomplish a thing” taking up so much room in my head, it’s a wonder I heard them call me up to speak. I picked up the microphone, scanned the sea of grey, blue and black business suits and silently called out, “I love you mom. Help me do this for you and other families like ours, OK?” I began by turning to the audience and asking, “With a show of hands, who likes the outfit I’m wearing today?” Watered silk with deep purple pansies set against a burnt orange backdrop, it was a fabulous choice for a Jimmy Buffett-esque function. In that environment, well... other than a few shouts of laughter and one low cat call, the

proverbial strange hush fell over the crowd. I went on to explain, “Every time I had an important occasion to attend and asked my mom what I should wear, this outfit was her top pick.” A few more laughs. I waited. “The last important occasion I wore this to, was my mother’s funeral,” I said. If it’s possible for silence to get silent-er, it did. When I’d finished my speech, Douglass cared enough about one human he didn’t know enough to hold up the already interminable proceedings, reach out with compassion and say, “Young lady, I’m sure your mother would be proud of you, and you look beautiful in that outfit.” Several days later I got a phone call from ‘the relative.’ “Wow. I don’t know what to say,” they said. “Huh?” I stammered. “Have you seen the paper?” “You know I don’t read the paper,” I snapped. “Well, you’re gonna wanna read this one.”


The following is an excerpt from an article that went out to the papers statewide. It was written by Douglass: Bernadette Carter (maiden name) approached the microphone carrying with her a police officer’s jacket and a written testimony quite unlike any the Florida Constitution Revision Commission had heard in seven previous public hearings around the state. Like hundreds of others who addressed the Commission, the Royal Palm Beach woman wanted to propose a change to our state Constitution. Carter told of a medical-records mistake in Ocala that ultimately took the life of

Say what you mean and act how you feel, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. Dr.Suess

her mother, Patricia Carter, on Jan. 5. The commissioners listened intently as Carter described her mother as a courageous, caring and giving member of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. And Carter held up the jacket once worn by her mother for the hundreds in the Orlando audience to see. “You’d think I would be able to wear this jacket,” Carter said as she fought back tears. “But I haven’t been able to put it on yet because it’s a constant reminder that I’ve only got this piece of vinyl and a piece of cotton to wrap around me instead of my mother’s arms.” Regardless of Carter’s stance, her presentation represented the best of what proved to be a most democratic process. As the Constitution Revision Commission concluded its initial round of public hearings, its members were more keenly aware that the citizens of Florida do, indeed, have a voice in making changes to our state’s basic document. By the conclusion of the public hearings, the commissioners were worn from a taxing schedule, yet invigorated by a process that afforded a viable voice for the public. The 37 commissioners, all of whom accepted the responsibility to serve without remuneration, traveled nearly 2,000 miles to 12 cities in every region of the state over a nine-week period and heard almost 100 hours of public testimony from more than 600 citizens. But it wasn’t the number of people who left an impression on me and the commissioners. Rather, it was the passion with which the brief talks were presented. It was the depth of knowledge that speakers brought to the dais. And it was the belief that the citizens of the state have a voice in government and its process. These citizens addressed the Commission with verve and with an unwavering belief that their ideas and their words were important and should be a part of this historic process.” Of all the facts, of all the numbers, of all the addresses given by educated professionals, Douglass was compelled to write about one kid who was unlucky enough to lose her mom. In that, I would counter that Douglass’ monumental victories have been perpetuated less by luck, than by his own very large, very caring heart. In closing, I asked Douglass if through all the wars, Korean, legal or personal, did he still have faith in people? “Sure. You have too,” he said with the kindest smile. Hmph. How about that? He really is a lucky guy. FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012 39


Quote here. Person Name

It isn’t often that a cottage industry actually operates out of a real cottage. But for Jade & Pearl, Inc., where they specialize in “unique and natural products for men and women,” every workday is spent in the picturesque fields of their small organic farm and inside a fairytale cottage too adorable to be home to an international distribution corporation that’s in 40 countries worldwide and over 400 retailers nationwide. Long since nestled in Hawthorne, FL, the firm’s Founder, President and CEO Gloria Starita, PhD, moved there in 1974 from New York. Over the years, Jade and Pearl, Inc. has given birth (natural of course) to a number of very helpful products. A true DIYer, one day while tending her herbs, Gloria just couldn’t deal with the everpresent deer flies anymore and began searching for an all-natural insect repellent. At the time, the market for a chemical-free alternative for the standard repellent was sorely lacking. Cutter, Off, etc. used (and still use) DEET as their insect repellent. For Gloria, soaking her family in poison just wasn’t an option so she simply invented a natural alternative. Beat It! ‘All Natural Insect Repellent’ is made from a proprietary blend of essential oils and repels all biting, stinging and

sucking bugs for up to eight hours. Interestingly, the natural bug repellent is actually good for your skin as its active ingredients are an essential oil combination of Lemongrass, Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus, and Mint Oils blended with Aloe Vera in a base of pure water and coconut oil. It’s sold in recyclable aluminum bottles and is good for use on animals, children and babies. Visit to check out their natural products and order your can of Beat It! And don’t forget to look for it at the following local stores: both Earth Origins, Earth Origins in Ocala, Brasington’s Adventure Outfitters, Wards, Florida School of Massage, Satchels Lightening Salvage, Oaks Veterinary, Countryside Animal Hospital, Avalon Beads and The Citizens Co-Op storefront.


We convince by our presence. Walt Whitman

Where there is love there is life. – Gandhi


THE SECRET TO THE EASY GARDEN! September tends to bring fabulous weather in Gainesville. As the heat is cooling from the summer, it is the perfect time to start your own container garden – the easy garden. Luckily, the rain will stay around to assist you – just in case the watering slips your mind among all of the pickups and dropoffs, and groceries, and schedules and oh, just everything. Wouldn’t it be nice to just go outside and clip a little garden-fresh parsley or basil to go with that dish? There is just something so fulfilling about the first time you see your little seedlings pop through the soil and to eat what you grow. Starting a large garden in the earth can seem a little daunting, but that is exactly what makes container gardening so appealing. That and no weeds, of course! It really is quite easy to do and your children will love to help you “play in the dirt.” Here are a few tips to get you started...

better as it will hold more soil to keep in the moisture since small containers dry out very quickly in the heat. Glazed ceramic pots are best vs. wood that rots, terracotta that dryout, and plastic that breaks down in the Florida sun. You can always turn lots of household items into containers, so don’t be afraid to get creative – just be sure to add adequate drainage holes.


Check the seed package to see how much sun your plant needs and place accordingly. If you use large heavy pots, take into consideration that they may be too heavy to move once you have added the soil.


Start by filling your pot with quality soil, so the water can drain efficiently. There are many brands of soils and most don’t have enough fertilizer, so it can be a good idea to add it to the mix. Organic soil has been shown to produce produce with a CHOOSING YOUR PLANT’S NEW HOME! higher percentage of antioxidants and Look for pots that have their own drainage phytochemicals. Keep the seeds shallow and to avoid drowning the seeds with stagnant water. Self-watering pots can be beneficial if cover with soil and water slowly, so as not to you leave town often, but with all of the rain splatter the soil against the pot. Many herbs will sprout after a week (which is great for we get in September, they can sometimes hold too much water. The larger the pot, the impatient kids), but when the plant gets too Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel. Augustus Hare

large for its nursery pot, carefully change to a larger pot. When changing, look out for air pockets at the root which will dry it out, and don’t bury the root by adding too much soil above the root. Keep it at the level it was at in the nursery pot.


Herbs are a very fun way to start as they tend to grow in more difficult situations, and you can use them fairly quickly. If you are having a difficult time sprouting the seedlings outside, there are starter kits that come with lids, which help keep the soil moist – something essential for getting them started, and they are small enough that you can keep them on your window sill for a beautiful display.

Some of the best herbs to plant in September: Anise, Basil, Borage, Chevril, Marjoram, Parsley, Sesame and Thyme

HAPPY PLANTING! Click and Grow, pictured above is an electronic smartpot

according to the plant’s needs. Available at clickand FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012 35


Gator women are always looking for beautiful and new ways to wear orange and blue. If you’re looking to make a spirited statement this season, check out these must-have accessories.

HERSTAR™ Team Color Suede Pumps

Now your favorite classic pump is available in Orange and Blue! Bringing a whole new meaning to blue suede shoes, these heels say sassy and Go Gators all at once! $79.99 HERSTAR.COM

Jovan Jane Straw Fedora

Leave the caps to the boys and slip on this cute straw Fedora at your next tailgate. You can jazz it up with a different variety of orange and blue colored beaded and braided pieces and as well as ribbons for a versatile and fun new take on the season’s hottest accessory. $54 JOVANJANE.COM


The power of imagination makes us infinite. John Muir

Gator Head Stud Earrings

For subtle simplicity, these sterling silver studs will add just the right touch of Gator spirit. $35 AVAILABLE IN-STORE AT TIOGA TOWN CENTER AND LANGJEWELERS.COM

Emma Graham: Campus Collection

If you’re looking for something fun, flirty and stylish, check out Emma Graham’s latest campus collection! Emma Graham is available at,

select specialty retailers and through Design Consultants on college campuses in size 0–12; and ranges in price from $65–$202. KRISTEN SKIRT $108, BERKELEY SKIRT IN BLUE & ORANGE $98

Gator Head Pendant

For an elegant and classy way to wear the Gator head, slip this on your favorite chain. $85 AVAILABLE IN-STORE AT TIOGA TOWN CENTER

Chelsea Taylor Jewelry

Chelsea Taylor, the celeb-adored sterling silver and Swarovski™ crystal jewelry line, combines the classic American pastimes – football and fashion! These make a beautiful statement as a holiday present, personal gift, or thoughtful idea for the footballfocused wife, daughter, friend or biggest fan. For more information please visit www.chelseataylor,com. These collections can be found in Macy’s Department Store, The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ Bellagio, MGM, and retail jewelers and boutiques throughout the United States. CRYSTAL SUNGLASSES IN BLUE $44 , CRYSTAL SUNGLASSES IN TAN $44 , CRYSTAL RING $144.00. CRYSTAL PENDANT $108.00

Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes. Benjamin Disraeli

Gator Script Pendant

Written out for all to see, this Gator pendant will compliment any outfit, game or any other day! $55 AVAILABLE IN-STORE AT TIOGA TOWN CENTER


Be Fabulous!


Kick off the fall season with these must-have products that belong in every woman’s secret – and not so secret stash.

Glow All The Way Bronzer & Self Tanner

Unless you’ve remembered/ had the time to keep up your tanning salon visits, don’t forget to slather some of this Bronzer and Self Tanner on before you hit the next outdoor event.

Day & Night Neutrals Eye, Lip, & Cheek Palette


Pack this slender versatile makeup kit in your purse, gym bag, or travel bag as it has just what you need for any occasion. Whether you’re going from daytime diva to evening elegance, you’ll be able to transform with ease as the gorgeous eye, lip and cheek colors will flatter any skin tone. $37.50 SUEDEVITTBEAUTY.COM

China Glaze Nail Polish in Splish Splash

A new take on Gator Blue, this bright sky blue shimmer will remind you the sky really is the limit. $7CHINAGLAZE.COM; SALONS NATIONWIDE AND SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY AND ULTA STORES NATIONWIDE

China Glaze Nail Polish in Orange. You Hot?

Try these Gatorcolored polishes at your next tailgate to match your spirit. For a kick, this bright orange shade is touched with glimmering gold. $7 CHINAGLAZE.COM;SALONS NATIONWIDE AND SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY AND ULTA STORES NATIONWIDE

Natural Mineral Formula Sunscreen SPF 40

Watch out – that hot Florida sun feels like it just keeps getting hotter! So when you’re out protecting your skin from the harmful rays, don’t forget to protect it from potentially harmful sunscreens that contain nanoparticles and parabens. This sunscreen is specially formulated, with ingredients like Hydresia, which helps provide controlled release of moisture, as well as antioxidant vitamins C, D and E, to be tough on sun damage and gentle on you. $16.99 KISSMYFACE.COM, WHOLE FOODS, NATURAL SUPERMARKETS


Ideas shape the course of history. John Maynard Keynes

Lush Lime Shower Smoothie

What would Jimmy Buffet do? Go ahead and have a the shower! Made with strawberries, lime, fresh butternut squash, almond and olive oils, this fruity body wash smoothie is the perfect recipe for refreshed and buttery soft skin. $18.95 LUSH.COM

All Purpose Pure Castile Peace Soap

Finally, a cleanser that cleans everything! This all-in-one gentle and 100% natural soap cleans everything from your hair and body to your pets, clothes and even household cleaning. Feel clean on the inside too, as 10% of the profits go to the Seeds of Peace Organization, which helps young people in regions of conflict. $9.99 (17OZ) AND $14.99 (34OZ) WHOLE FOODS, NATURAL SUPERMARKETS, KISSMYFACE.COM, AND WHEREVER NATURAL BODY CARE PRODUCTS ARE SOLD.

PomPeptide Facial Moisturizer

If you think worrying and stressing out isn’t going to start showing on your face – think again! Let everyone wonder how you stay so carefree with this antioxidant-rich moisturizer, made with organic flaxseed and jojoba oils. Its organic grape and pomegranate extracts with line-smoothing peptides and firming Vitamin C will renew your complexion. $14.99 WWW.JUICEORGANICS.COM

Brightening Facial Serum

Start your mornings looking refreshed with this brightening facial serum. Soothe onto skin so the certified organic apple, lemon, and raw cane sugar formula can even out your skin tone leaving it soft, smooth and glowing. $19.99 WWW.JUICEORGANICS.COM

Hot Face Mask clickR Skincare

Didn’t budget in that spa facial treatment you’ve been craving? Try this deep-cleaning detox mask if you’re looking to brighten, smooth and nourish your skin. With non-greasy nutrients packed with antioxidants like Pomegranate extract, anti-inflammatory Arnica Montana-Flower Extract, and the sun-damage repairing Kaolin, you’ll go from a hot mess to just hot in no time.

Woman Power

Imagine spraying away your problems! This homeopathic oral spray temporarily relieves the symptoms of low female energy. Get your girl power on the natural way with ingredients like Damiana to promote sexual arousal and vitality, chaste tree to alleviate muscular weakness, arnica to fight off negative feelings, mineral salt to treat feminine dryness and an infusion of homeopathic phosphoric acid to fend off physical exhaustion. $32 SPRAYOLOGY.COM


The only thing that ultimately matters is to eat an ice-cream cone, play a slide trombone, plant a small tree, good God, now you’re free. Ray Manzarek


Oh My Gosh, You Won Again! BY BRIAN HODGES

How to keep game time fun without ‘letting kids win’. One night, several years before I became a dad myself, my wife and I were babysitting our three-year-old niece, Erin. She had recently received the board game Pretty Pretty Princess for Christmas and wanted nothing more than to play it with us over and over… and over and over and over and over. I obliged, of course, because I’m a good uncle. And since the goal of this particular game is to collect and put on various pieces of jewelry, you know just how much of a good uncle I was! Erin and I were bedecked and bedazzled with glittering plastic earrings, necklaces and bracelets, each of us needing only one more item – the game’s lone tiara – to win. So when the number on the spinner brought Erin one space short of the winning square, she simply nudged her marker that extra bit, grabbed the tiara and declared herself the prettiest princess in the land. Being a competitive little princess myself, 26 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012

I called Erin on her cheat and within seconds our fun little game had disintegrated into a crying fit, prompting my wife to scold: “You couldn’t just let her have the tiara? It’s a stupid game for crying out loud!” Now with my own kids approaching prime board game age, I often find myself thinking back to that night, wondering how I might handle the same situation. I know it was just a stupid game – and, Lord knows, I would never openly admit to making a young child cry, because I wanted to wear her tiara – but I couldn’t help but wonder if following my wife’s advice and letting my niece win was the right thing to do. Doesn’t letting a kid win all the time, or even some of the time, give them a false sense of reality and ill-prepare them when real competition arises? How are parents (and mean uncles) supposed to make board game competition realistic without every other bout of Pretty Pretty Princess ending in a tantrum?

To win or not to win

Before you worry about whether or not to throw another game of Candyland, Dr. Kal Heller Ph.D., a child psychologist of forty years from Needham, MA, stresses that, to a child, especially to younger children, playing games is more about spending time with the parent than it is about winning and losing. The games themselves are merely a context for parents to connect and build a relationship with their children. That being the case, Heller says that letting your kid win all the time “is really being deceitful and that’s not the nature of any good relationship.” On the other hand, there’s also no reason for parents to go to the other extreme and constantly beat their kids into the ground for the sake of “realistic competition.” Never forget that games, above all, are designed to be fun and nobody, adults or children, wants to play if they know they’re going to lose every single time.

Love and desire are the spirit’s wings to great deeds. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

With that in mind, there are several ways parents can foster those game-playing relationships without reducing their kids to tears and without having to say, in mock surprise, “Oh my gosh, you won again!” Luck-(or chance)-based games like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders don’t require players to make any decisions. You simply spin a spinner or draw a card, move to the space indicated and obey the rules of that particular space (lose a turn, climb the ladder, etc.). In games like these it’s literally luck of the draw, putting all players, young and old, on equal footing. There is really no reason to let a child win when playing games of chance. Just letting chance play out allows both the child and the parent equal opportunities to experience victory and defeat. Then again, probability can be a fickle mistress. If “bad luck” has caused your child to lose several games in a row and you sense he’s getting rattled, it’s perfectly all right to make sure he wins the next time around, reinforcing his pleasure in the game itself. Skill-based games like Memory, Checkers or Monopoly are different in that they require players to analyze their options and make decisions (Which card to I turn? To mortgage or not to mortage?). Parents have an obvious advantage over younger kids in these games simply because of their more developed intellect and analytical abilities. In games of skill, there are several approaches a parent can take that will give their child a better chance of winning on their own without simply handing them each game on a silver platter.

Talk Strategy:

Negotiate a Rule Change:

Keep it Fun:

You can often level the playing field by slightly altering one or two of the rules in favor of the youngest player. Rather than flipping over only two tiles per turn in Memory, allow your four-year-old to turn over three. In a game of Connect Four, make it so the parent has to get five in a row to win. Discuss the new rule before playing and make sure all players agree on its fairness. Once everyone is on even footing, you’ve eliminated the need to falsely lose and now everybody can play to win. Karen Kestrel, a mother of five, says of her own children, “They looked at these advantages as ‘training wheels.’” Rather than lulling them into a false sense of easy competition, she says it encouraged them to work harder and get up to speed as soon as possible, so they didn’t get stuck with what they considered the ‘baby rules.’

Children don’t always possess the abstract pattern recognition to look at a board, take in the big picture and weigh the consequences of one move over another. So help them along by talking them through their choices. “Let’s see, if you move there, I’ll be able to jump you with my king… Hmmm, is there anyplace where you could connect four diagonally…” If you notice your child about to do something that will cost him the game, say something like, “Are you SURE you want to make that move?” You don’t have to force him to make the “right” move; simply make him aware that there are choices to be made. Dave Jones, frequent gamer, father of three and proprietor of the online game store, also finds it beneficial to discuss the game afterwards. “Talk about the great move someone made, or ask what strategy they may want to try next time.” If you take the time early on to help kids consider the implications of their moves, “they will be doing a fair share of winning on their own,” he says.

Keep Playing:

As if you needed another reason to turn off the TV; the more often you play games with your kids, the more winning and losing becomes a part of their everyday experience, the less you have to worry about bad feelings when they do lose. Since Jones’s family has game night at least three or four times a month, losing is never a big deal. “Since we play so many games, our kids know there will always be more opportunities to win.”

Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that games are supposed to be fun. No matter what the outcome of a game, Dr. Heller and ‘gaming parents’ alike agree that it’s important to emphasize to your kids the joy of playing over the joy of winning. And the more fun a game is to play, the easier it is to concentrate on that joy. Look for games that are a hoot regardless of whether you win or lose. (see panel)

When losing becomes a problem:

Most kids are naturally competitive, and for some the hatred of losing constantly trumps the joy of playing. No matter how many games they win, one loss can be enough to reduce them to tears and tantrums where boards get flung and little plastic pieces fly everywhere.

It is not ignorance but knowledge which is the mother of wonder. Joseph Wood Krutch


The best games are fun no matter if you win or lose. Here are a few that will keep the whole family engaged and entertained regardless of the outcome: SNORTA Raucous-good barnyard fun. Players have to oink, moo and hiss in an effort to get rid of cards. Kids tend to do better than adults because they have fewer reservations about yelling out animal noises.

APPLES TO APPLES – JUNIOR EDITION Funny comparisons that the whole family can get in on. Leads to fun and animated discussions on whose comparison makes more sense, which can often open other doors of communication with your children.

PICTIONARY JUNIOR The classics never die, especially ones that involve drawing pictures. As long as players can avoid exclamations of, “Draw faster, draw faster, you fool, you fool!” the game always remains a favorite.

RAT-A-TAT CAT An easy introductory card and bluffing game that’s way more fun than Uno as players “get rid of their cats in favor of rats.” When you think you have the lowest score, shout out loud, “Rat-a-Tat Cat!”

TICKET TO RIDE Winner of all sorts of awards, players build train routes across America, and feel the tension and excitement mount whenever they compete for the same routes. Points aren’t tallied until the very end, so every game could be anybody’s game. FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012 27


Dr. Heller cautions parents not to automatically respond with yelling, punishment and threats to never play again. “The child is giving some kind of important meaning to losing,” he says. It’s important to talk with him and begin to understand what that meaning is, then try to figure out ways to work on it together. But what is a parent to do when talking it through, discussing self-control and the meaning of winning and losing only results in more tantrums? In situations like this, Heller suggests turning the tables on your kid, literally. The next time you lose, you flip the board over, scatter the pieces and say, “Man I hate losing!” You’ll likely get a shocked look from your child who’s thinking: Grownups aren’t supposed to act like that. According to Heller, “They see how foolish it looks and realize it’s no fun to be on the other end of that.” It doesn’t take long before they get the point and work on controlling themselves.

What about cheating?

The child picks up a card he doesn’t like so he puts it back. The “Go to Jail” spot suddenly ceases to apply to him. All of the ‘gaming parents’ I spoke to were unanimous in their policy on cheating. Even if it was “just a little cheat”, where the child moved one extra space hoping the parent wouldn’t notice, they all agreed cheating should never be tolerated. Dr. Heller encourages them to ease back just a tad. Rather than stopping the game for every questionable move made on the sly, simply let your child know you saw what he did by joking, “I guess you really didn’t want to land on that space did you.” This way, the child knows he didn’t get away with murder, but the game continues to be fun. Cheating does need to be dealt with however, when it begins to sabotage the game to the point where the other players no longer have any chance of winning. Point out to your child that the two of you are playing with completely different rules and the game is no longer fun for you.

Dr. Heller suggests once again turning the tables on your child by saying, “Those are some neat rules you’re using,” and then YOU start cheating too. This forces the child to decide one of three things. They can either: Start playing by the agreed-upon rules. Put the game away until everyone can play fairly. Say, “Forget the rules; let’s just have fun bouncing all over the board.” The thought of this tends to horrify most parents at first, says Heller. “Parents often get so rigid in the ‘follow the rules’ mentality that they lose sight of the fact that the game is supposed to be for fun.” But a brief descent into chaos can often be way more fun than the original game itself as you both start flipping Memory tiles this way and that, seeing who can put their checkers into the Connect Four board the fastest, or using your chess pieces to literally whack your opponents off the board. With fun like that, who even worries about winning?

How are you going to reach Gator fans? PHOTO BY TIM CASEY


Advertising in Gator Country Magazine and/or will help expose your business to well over 200,000 Gator fans in Gainesville and to millions that visit us online each year. 352-371-5881


Let us help your business or brand grow. 28 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012

It is always the simple that produces the marvelous. Amelia Barr

Tackle a Good Book This Fall BY CONNIE HOLUBAR

As the weather cools down, it’s time to finish off the “beach books” and pick up something to engage your mind. Here are a few highly recommended reads: THE HOBBIT BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN

QUICK FUN There’s a Hair in My Dirt by Gary Larson Fans of the twisted and often misunderstood Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson are thrilled to say, “He’s back!” with his first non-Far Side book. There’s a Hair in My Dirt: A Worm’s Story is a cartoon storybook that will make you realize your life is really not so bad.

With Part I of Peter Jackson’s epic movie coming out, it’s time to get a jump on this read, which was first published in 1937. The story of Bilbo Baggins is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s full of wizards, dwarves, orcs and dragons. Despite the trilogy’s film achievements, there’s something to be said for the magic that comes from letting your mind visualize the world of The Hobbit. Read it before the movie for the privilege of exercising your imagination, just as Tolkien intended.

Nothing makes one feel so strong as a call for help. Pope Paul VI


Speaking of movies, recall A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe. The movie took us on a sometimes confusing journey through the life and mind of an incredibly intelligent mathematician and Nobel Laureate, John Nash. You may not know that the book was not only a New York Times Bestseller, but it won the Critics Circle Award for Best Biography Read the book and it will change the way you look at “different” people forever.


If you have a soft spot in your heart for dogs, you won’t be able to finish this book without at least a few tears as you experience life from the vantage point of Enzo, a very loyal and intuitive long-time family pet. To tell a story from a dog’s point of view takes creativity, particularly when it’s a heartwrenching story of a struggling hero who battles unbearable heartache and drama in his personal life while striving for his dream of success as a race car driver. Enzo’s knowledge of racing and his wisdom he can’t share combine for a witty and poignant read.


Identical twins Stephanie Michelle and Susan Claire Browning knew we were coming so they, thankfully, started baking cakes. “We always knew we wanted to own a business. On family trips we’d be in the backseat of the car drawing plans for a bookstore,” the twins revealed almost in unison. “The choice to open a bakery specializing in cupcakes was purely a business decision. We had a really great mentor; another female business person who said, ‘Pick something simple.’” And, so, in a down economy, the cupcake contessas have given rise to not just one but two businesses: Sarkara Sweets and it’s fraternal twin sister store Ingenue Avenue. First came Sarkara Sweets. Sarkara is a Sanskrit word meaning sugarcane or granulated coarse sugar. Stepping through the front door is a Wonka-like experience. Per their Facebook page they have, “Vegan Cupcakes, wine, champagne, & other spiffy treats! Located @ Union Street Station across from the Hippodrome...” Stepping through the front door is a Wonka-like experience. The colors, textures and, mmmm, smells would make even a bah humbugger grab a top hat and cane and break out into “Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” Two doors down and brimming with a groovy blend of vintage clothing as well as brand new college budget couture, Ingenue Avenue is simply boutiqueaful. They also carry locally crafted bath and beauty items and dress sizes range from petite to plus.

So, two businesses, huh? Was that idea at all half-baked?

“We get that question a lot. We were thinking mathematically. You know, it’s like how when you have two cats, a third cat’s not a lot more. Plus, we are on an upward trend at Sarkara. Our comparisons are up over last year.” To Gainesville’s very own ingenue entrepreneurs Stephanie and Claire, congratulations on your sweet success. 24 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012

Cupcakes & Couture


Some sisterly advice for other fledgling free enterprisers STEPHANIE


Do your best to maintain good credit. Throughout college, I had a small credit card that I used, so I could build my credit. We worked jobs to save up money, so we didn’t get a business loan, but we did use credit cards to help finance the ventures.

On the woman side of things, it relates to your age and family status. We still wonder how we’re going to be able to have families and kids. Be aware of what you are or are not willing to do. Make a list of what you need for your life before you make a list of possible businesses.

IN TWIN-SPEAK Pay very close attention to all the feedback. You can really actually hear just about anything in our store, so we hear the customers talking. It’s really great to get all the blind feedback. You have to think, what’s the very worst that can happen and be OK with that. Be prepared to fail. Know that there will be times that you will crawl into a corner and cry, especially if you’re a girl. We sent letters out around the state to similar businesses and said, “Advice? Help? Anybody?” ONE person called from a cupcake bakery and said, “There will be a day where you wanna work at McDonald’s, and don’t want to do what you’re doing. But don’t do it! If you can get past that day, you’ll be successful.” We were so appreciative. This is kind of a weird analogy, but you know how they say, “When you have kids, and it’s so grueling, but six months later you can’t remember how much sleep you

didn’t get?” It’s the same. And we know each year will get better and eventually we’ll feel really glowing about it. The Internet will tell you anything you need to know. The most amazing thing ever for a small business owner. Just be sure you do the research. Concerning college, we’ve gone back and forth on this. Certain degrees are excessively useful. No, there shouldn’t be this blanket assumption everyone should go to college. It depends on your skill set and what your passions are. A lot of people in college are intimidated to own a business. They don’t feel they have anything to provide as a service or product. Let’s use the analogy of sports. How many times do you have to practice to get good at the sport? Apply the same principle of doing something over and over again, and you’ll usually get good enough to do it professionally. You don’t have to be the very best to start a business. You’ll get better. It is by acts and not by ideas that people live. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. nutmeg ¼ tsp. cloves ¼ tsp. allspice 1 tsp. salt 1 ⅓ cup shortening

1 ¼ cup sugar 1 cup light brown sugar 3 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla 1 cup raisins 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice 3 cups rolled oats sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, salt, oats, light brown sugar, sugar, and raisins. Add the shortening to the bowl and mix it in well. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and eggs to the mixture and combine. This mixture will seem quite stiff. Roll the dough into 1-ounce or 1-teaspoon sized balls. Dip the balls in sugar. Place the sugar-dipped cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies to the height you want them to be at when they are done baking. Bake for 8 minutes until golden but still moist beneath any cracks that appear. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

When deeds speak, words are nothing. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon


Don’t Miss It! Join us Saturday, September 29, 2012!

The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation’s annual fundraising event Noche de Gala has become a standalone event, unsurpassed in our region. Following last year’s sold out event, this year’s Noche de Gala promises to be packed with electrifying entertainment by Team iLuminate, made famous by America’s Got Talent, performances from Las Vegas illusionist Simon Winthrop, a silent auction featuring unique and extraordinary items, a Champion Paso Fino horse show, a live band, exquisite dining and much more! Noche de Gala will be hosted at the spectacular 643-acre Besilu Collection in Micanopy, Florida.

Children at the University of Florida

Join Our Growing List of Sponsors



Tips to Raise Your Credit Score



Credit scores. The one subject more taboo than politics, religion and sex. And if a person has a low credit score then they certainly don’t want to talk about it so they’re not judged to be irresponsible, right? For those who want to raise their credit score, we have a few tips, that you may not be able to find on the Internet, by speaking with Angela Reston, founder and CEO of Trinity Credit Services. Reston says that oftentimes negative credit can be removed from a report. “How a person handles their bills is up to their own ethical guidelines. No judgment here,” reported Reston. “My firm challenges companies to prove they’ve accurately reported the negative information which shows up on our client’s credit reports. Trinity Credit Services does not work to remove debt, only inaccurate information as well as information which was reported via violation of the FCRA and HIPPA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) reporting and privacy guidelines.



I started this firm because I had terrible credit. I genuinely want to help people who are in the same place I was. We get phone calls all the time that start out with, ‘This is so embarrassing but...’ We tell them, ‘Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there’. Removing one payment that is reporting as being paid thirty days late can raise your credit score usually by at least fifty points.” Reston also says it’s surprising how many consumers don’t know their own credit score or too much about credit in general. She advised that all consumers should pull a 3 in 1 credit report every year and check for discrepancies. At a consumer can download a report from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). This can be done for free one time per year. Another thing consumers usually don’t know is, if they have a collection on their credit and they pay the charge, often times it will start the reporting process all over again. A negative mark stays on a credit report for five to seven years. So let’s say that there’s a negative mark on a credit report that’s been there for three years. If the consumer pays that debt, often times, it starts the reporting clock again and the negative mark will stay on the credit report for seven year to ten years plus the three years original years. To combat this, a consumer can request that the company, who reported the negative credit, delete the negative information in lieu of a payment. The company would rather have their payment than not so it is not unusual for them to agree. Rebuilding credit and raising a credit score is not an overnight event. However, it can be accomplished and the sooner a person gets started, the sooner they can be back on track. What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Robert H. Schuller

JUST GRANTED $25,000 TO SPAY & NEUTUER CATS & DOGS IN ALACHUA COUNTY! Animal lovers take note! “More than 4 million pets are killed in animal shelters each year in the U.S. because of pet overpopulation. That’s one every eight seconds,” said Sandi animals lives by preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.” Why spay or neuter? According to Veterinarian, Randy Caligiuri, spaying and neutering is the #1 way to prevent pet euthanasia and reduce pet overpopulation. It not only reduces the number of dogs and cats killed, it helps animals to live longer and healthier lives by eliminating or reducing many of the health and behavior issues that result in so many animals being relinquished to shelters. No More Homeless Pets was recently awarded $25,000, by Florida Animal Friend Spay and Neuter License Tag and plans to use this grant at their high-quality, highvolume, low-cost spay and neuter clinic, Operation PetSnip, to spay and neuter 400

With self-discipline most anything is possible. Theodore Roosevelt

cats and dogs for free! Starting August 22, 2012, this grant will cover the cost of the surgery, pain medication and anesthesia to spay or neuter pets to qualifying, lowincome, Alachua County and surrounding rural county residents. For those who don’t qualify for the grant, Operation PetSnip offers low-cost surgery fees at $45 for cats, $75 for dogs and $40 for feral cats. Please call No More Homeless Pets at 352-376-6647 for more information and appointments or see us at 4205 NW 6th Street, Gainesville, Fla. You can also friend us on Facebook at No More Homeless Pets: Operationpetsnip or visit


Whether you’re selling FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or with an agent, it’s important to make your home look like a showcase to potential buyers as they drive by or come to your open house. As with everything else in life, it’s first impressions that count and help sway buyers the moment they see your home. You may be enamoured with your home, but buyers will have impressions of their own that may be different than yours. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, as they say! Here’s our top fifteen tips that will help present your home in the best light possible and even potentially increase the perceived value:

1) Make sure the is lawn regularily mowed and all shrubs trimmed. 2) Rake up leaves and bag them away. 3) If your lawn is sparse, buy a few sets of “color spots” that are pleasing to the eye. 18 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012

4) Clean all your windows so that they’re spotless, inside and out. This is an overlooked spot that can make a difference. 5) Make sure your garage is neat and tidy. If you’re using it for storage, Nothing turns buyers off more than a cluttered garage. 6) Before open houses, open all shades and drapes during daylight hours to let the sun in, making it warm and inviting. 7) Turn on all the lights throughout the house for the open house and be sure to replace any burnt out bulbs. 8) Make sure all personal items that are not contributing to the decor of your home are put away. This includes papers, tools, clothing, hats and family photos. The less clutter and personal items, the better as it helps buyers visualize what the home could look like for them. 9) Buyers are going to look in your closets, whether you like it or not –

clean them out and make them tidy and presentable. 10) Same thing for your kitchen – put all unnecessary items away, make sure cabinets are organized, and be sure all clean and sparkling.

are no “negative” odors like from pets or cigarette smoke. Don’t over do air fresheners, either. An apple pie candle is a common enhancement used by realtors. 15) If all the above seems overwhelming, it’s well worth it to your home and your time to hire professionals to clean your home for you.

around the house, especially in the bathroom. Speaking of the bathroom, close the toilet lid. 12) If you have carpets, make sure they are as clean and spotless as possible. Get them steam cleaned if need be. 13) Remove all posters from walls and rooms). Remove any tape, thumbtacks, smudges, scratches, etc. from the walls as much as possible. 14) There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh air. Make absolutely sure there


If possible, have your driveway and the exterior of your home pressure cleaned. It can make your home look brand new and shiny. Regardless of how you get this done, it will be well worth it. Buyers buy on emotion. Making your home clean, fresh, and cheerful will help enormously in increasing the appeal factor of your home. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression! The best way out is always through. Robert Frost

Stretch your body

STRETCH YOUR MIND ‘Ekagra’ – Always let go.


In the two years I have been teaching yoga since I returned from the holy city of Rishikesh, India, this phrase has been the most pertinent both in my own personal practice and with my students.

Especially beginning practitioners.

As much as I would love to see a classroom full of students with their eyes closed or simply not paying attention to anyone else in the room besides themselves, glancing to one’s right and left and drawing comparisons usually cannot be helped. Thus, no matter how fantastic the person to your left looks in their downward dog, no matter how terribly far away from your toes your hands might be, no matter. No hurry. Ekagra.

Always let go.

Easier said than done, however, and this I understand from experience. As a former football and rugby player, I knew I had the athletic ability to succeed as a yoga practitioner, but as soon as I saw someone working themselves far deeper into a posture than I was physically able to, I lost my concentration nearly every time. While training at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in the Indian holy city of Rishikesh, I asked my master, Roshan, for the tools to develop my practice more deeply. He smiled a knowing glow in his dark eyes and his thick mustache curling up to one side. He reintroduced me to the Pawanmuktasana Series. These very small, gentle movements are the deepest roots of the Hatha yoga practice, upon which Vinyasa and Ashtanga training have been built to appease those who need more of an intense

workout. The routine is comprised of several very small, simple movements. Done meticulously and slowly over the course of just a few minutes or for over an hour, toxins are gently moved out of the joints, breathing has been regulated, and one is refreshed without being made sore. To try at home, simply begin with your toes. Sit gently on the floor, legs straight out in front of you, keeping your quadriceps flexed. Now, point your toes inwards, seeing each bone and knuckle moving one at a time in your mind’s eye. As you do so, gently inhale through your nose. Push your toes outwards, and slowly, deliberately exhale through your nose. After taking five breaths in and five out, switch the focus from your toes and flex one of your knees in and out, keeping the breathing slow, gentle, and corresponding to the movements. After long, you will have done the same type of slow, light breathing work with your hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, and neck. There is no pressure put on any part of the body. It is safe for practitioners of all ages and all can benefit from the practice. I used the series as a building block towards more challenging asanas. I still go back to this old-school series often in order to breathe deeply, and remind myself of what’s really important in life. Family, friends, experiences. Sometimes, ‘ekagra’.

I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. Benjamin Disraeli


SEPTE SEPTEMBER 4 6:30 FREE Introduction to Square

UF Women’s Golf @ Cougar Classic

Dancing @ Carpenters Union Hall

UF Men’s Golf @ Kiawah Invitational

SEPTEMBER 5 1PM Verdant Earth and Teeming

6:30 FREE Introduction to Square Dancing @ Carpenters’ Union Hall

Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

SEPTEMBER 6 6PM Something New in Orange & Blue Fashion Show @ Mercedes Benz Dealership on Main Street

SEPTEMBER 7 5:30PM UF Volleyball Georgia Tech vs. Louisiana-Lafayette 7:30PM UF Volleyball Jacksonville

SEPTEMBER 8 10:00AM Re-opening Ceremony of Rotary Boys & Girls Club Mentor Center @ 1100 SE 17th Drive 10:00AM Volleyball Jacksonville vs. Georgia Tech 12:00PM Volleyball Louisiana-Lafayette 3:30PM Football @ Texas A&M 5:00PM Love That Dress! @ City of Gainesville Senior Center 5:30PM Volleyball LouisianaLafayette vs. Jacksonville 7:30PM Volleyball Georgia Tech

SEPTEMBER 9 UF Women’s Golf @ Cougar Classic UF Men’s Golf @ Kiawah Invitational

1:00PM UF Soccer New Mexico SEPTEMBER 10 UF Men’s Golf @ Kiawah Invitational UF Women’s Golf @ Cougar Classic

5:30 Young Leaders Society (YLS) CEO Chats @ United Way Office 16 FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012


SEPTEMBER 12 1PM Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

SEPTEMBER 14 UF Men’s Tennis The State of Florida Championships

6PM Habitat for Humanity Signature Event @ Alachua Habitat for Humanity 7:00PM UF Soccer @ Kentucky 8:00PM UF Volleyball @ Arkansas SEPTEMBER 15 9AM Walk To End Alzheimer’s @ Bo Diddley Community Plaza, Gainesville FL 12PM 11th Annual Downtown Latino Festival @ Bo Diddley Community Plaza, Gainesville FL. UF Men’s Tennis The State of Florida Championships 7:55AM UF Men’s Cross Country Mountain Dew Invitational 8:30AM UF Women’s Cross Country Mountain Dew Invitational 6:00PM UF Football @ Tennessee

SEPTEMBER 16 1PM Gainesville Duck Derby @ Westside Park, Gainesville FL UF Men’s Tennis The State of Florida Championships 1:00PM UF Volleyball @ Kentucky 3:00PM UF Soccer @ Auburn

Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back. Babe Ruth


Women’s Golf @ Dale McNamara Invitational

5:30 Young Leaders Society (YLS) CEO Chats @ United Way Office

SEPTEMBER 18 6:30 FREE Introduction to Square Dancing @ Carpenters Union Hall

SEPTEMBER 19 1PM Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

SEPTEMBER 20 8:30AM 18th Annual Tommy Usher Log-A-Load for Kids Golf Tournament @ Chiefland Golf & Country Club

SEPTEMBER 21 6PM United Downtown by United Way North Central Florida 6PM Girls Place Presents: SWAMP CHOMP! @ Whitehurst Ranch & Lodge 7:30PM Sister Hazel @ Phillips Center at the University of Florida, Gainesville FL 7:00PM Volleyball Missouri 7:00PM Soccer Tennessee

SEPTEMBER 22 1PM Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. UF Football Kentucky

SEPTEMBER 23 2:00PM UF Soccer Georgia SEPTEMBER 25 6:30 FREE Introduction to Square Dancing @ Carpenters Union Hall

SEPTEMBER 26 1PM Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art




SEPTEMBER 27 7:30PM Tannahill Weavers

@ Phillips Center at the University of Florida

SEPTEMBER 28 7AM Charity Golf Classic benefiting STOP! @ Haile Plantation Golf & Country Club 7:00PM UF Volleyball @ South Carolina 7:00PM UF Soccer Mississippi 7:30PM The Rolling Stones: Some Girls, Live in Texas ‘78 @ Phillips Center at the University of Florida

SEPTEMBER 29 7PM Farmers Insurance Presents Rascal Flatts @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville FL 7AM Alachua County Heart Walk @ North Florida Regional Medical Center Duck Pond 8AM Pancake Breakfast benefiting Gainesville Community Ministries @ Applebee’s 10AM Gator Gauntlet @ Gator Gauntlet 10AM 2nd Annual Sharkey’s Kids Golf Tournament @ Williston Highlands Golf & Country Club 10AM Thornebrook Art Festival @ Thornebrook Village 11AM American Legion Open House @ American Legion – Haisley Lynch Post 16 7PM Noche de Gala @ Besilu, Micanopy, FL 7PM Farmers Insurance Presents Rascal Flatts @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville FL

SEPTEMBER 30 UF Men’s Golf @ Olympia Fields Invitational

1:00PM UF Soccer Arkansas 2:30PM UF Volleyball @ Mississippi State

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Mahatma Gandhi


Membership to the Insider Authority on Gator Sports includes: s'ETTHE REAL





COLOR BY NUMBERS 1. Black, 2. Blue, 3. Green, 4. Red, 5. Brown, 6. Orange, 7. Grey.


© Lovatts Media Group Pty Ltd

Help the puppy find his bone.

Kids Color By Numbers 003 © Lovatts Media Group Pty Ltd

Kids Maze010_Dog_PUZSOL.eps © Lovatts Media Group Pty Lty


Belief creates the actual fact. William James


Help Lachlan find 15 things in this picture that begin with the letter ‘B’. SOLUTION: 1. BALL, 2. BALLOONS, 3. BANANAS, 4. BARN, 5. BAT, 6. BEAR, 7. BEE, 8. BICYCLE, 9. BLOCKS, 10. BOAT, 11. BONGOS, 12. BOTTLE, 13. BOX, 14. BUS, 15. BUTTERFLY.

Help Lachlan find 15 things in this picture that begin with the letter ‘B’




© Lovatts Media Group Pty Ltd






Solution: 1. Ball, 2. Balloons, 3. Bananas, 4. Barn, 5. Bat, 6. Bear, 7. Bee, 8. Bicycle, 9. Blocks, 10. Boat, 11. Bongos, 12. Bottle, 13. Box, 14. Bus, 15. Butterfly.












Replace COLOR-INthe 058 colored letters into theREPLACE crossword sothethat each the coloredgrid letters into crossword grid so that each line across contains letters of the same linecolor. across contains Only dictionary words canletters be used. of the same color. Only dictionary COLOR-IN ANSWER Placard, deluded, tremble, pod, all, add, words can bestunted, used. dud, eat, urn, ewe, sot, use, tub, dye.






Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. Democritus




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† On average, Medi-Weightloss Clinics® patients lose 7 pounds the first week and 2 to 3 pounds each week thereafter for the first month. Rapid weight loss may be associated with certain medical conditions and should only be considered by those who are medically appropriate. © 2012 Medi IP, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adventures in Fall

Don’t let another season slip through the cracks. Turn those precious memories into a project that yields even more precious memories with this great parent/child craft idea. Start by picking a story to tell that happens in the Fall. Some examples include the first day of school and Labor Day weekend fun. For a bonus treat, make up an event you can do together to document, like going on a Fall Leaf Hunt. Then grab some supplies, including an album, adhesives, contact and construction paper, tools and a waterproof/fade proof ink pen. Take photos of your moments together of the story you want to tell and keep an eye out for other memorabilia like letters, ticket stubs, or anything else that reminds of you the event. When you get home, you and your daughter can laugh and talk about the fun you had while putting together your scrapbook.

LEAF KEEPSAKES s #UTPIECESOFCONTACTPAPERTHATARETHESAMESIZE s 0EELTHEBACKOFFOFONEPIECEOFCONTACTPAPER!RRANGEYOUR leaves on the contact paper. When the leaves are stuck down, peel the back off the second piece of contact paper and carefully lay it on top of the first piece. This works best if you start on one side and “roll� the second piece over the first to avoid bubbles. Press the two pieces together well. s 2EPEATASMANYTIMESASYOUNEEDTOGETALLOFTHELEAVEShPRESSEDv


20 /14/



At Rembert Farm in Alachua from 4 -- 8 PM

Tickets $60 with T-Shirt before October 1, 2012 Sample and judge who has the best BBQ in Title Town Sponsorships still available visit Questions: email “Florida’s School Readiness Program is funded by both the state and the federal government as well as through local contributions. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of this initiative is funded through federal dollars in the amount of $7,743,264; 19% is funded through Florida state funds in the amount of $1,872,003; and 3% is funded through local dollars in the amount of $264,331.�

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil. Victor Hugo



Breaking The Cycle of Poverty Two At A Time

child abuse by giving these women a safe environment, assistance on parenting, and knowledge and skill-set that they’ll need when they do move on from here. They’re in a better place and have better parenting skills, which could possibly prevent child abuse and stop the cycle for that baby. We have women here that have been abused as children, so I look at it as not only a prevention of poverty for them but also a prevention of abuse, for while they’re pregnant and when they move from here.

How do you help prepare them for motherhood?

We refer each resident to Healthy Families, who teaches parenting skills, and Early Learning coalition, who assist the women throughout a very large parenting program called Parents as Teachers. In addition, they meet with each woman before and after she INTERVIEWED BY LAUREN DOUGLASS delivers to provide assistance with questions reason that makes Arbor House a true they may have about delivering. We also have Many Gainesville residents may have parenting classes, a counselor, and a life-skills heard of Arbor House in passing, but far too salvation for homeless women and their unborn children. I was lucky enough to meet coordinator. Everything we do here is geared little of the community actually knows the with Amber Crossman to discuss the towards self-improvements and improving true life-altering events that it has been amazing work she does and this is our their goals. Some women come in here and responsible for. On paper, Arbor House conversation. their goal is just to get through the week. So is a long-term home and safe-haven that we want to help them see that you can have shelters homeless pregnant women, who more goals than that. Everything that we do have nowhere else to turn. Some have Is there a typical background is to help them realize that they’re worth aged-out of foster care while others have story of a resident? something. Our life-skills coordinator works been abandoned or thrown out of their I don’t see them as typical because every with each woman on individual life-skills that homes. But in life, it does far more than that. woman has a different story. But some of they need assistance in: anger-management, Arbor House provides a two-to-four-year them are similar in that they come from program where the women are taught basic abusive backgrounds; women that have been parenting, house cleaning, being able to prepare a well-rounded meal – not just junk life-skills that they never had the talked down to, put down, told they’re not food and Ramen noodles. opportunity to learn from home. Aside from worth anything, which leads to self-esteem giving protection and ensuring prenatal issues, domestic violence, and staying in care, the women are privy to counseling, domestic violence, among many other parenting classes, and career counseling. problems. One woman who came to us had Each woman is required to follow been living with her grandmother, who then community rules, pursue educational passed. The rest of her family didn’t want enrichment programs, and is given the her around so she ended up on the streets. opportunity to have their savings, earned Statistically, women who come from a outside the house, matched. By the end of low income or homeless women with the program, it has prepared the pregnant children have very high abuse rates. I see woman to blossom into the self-sufficient Arbor House where not only are we helping mother, so that they may in turn change the women achieve the goals that they their and their child’s future into a possibility want and improve the life of the mother that breaks the cycle of poverty. It is this and child, but we are also preventing 8


Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn

One of the Residents, Ashley, on why she came to Arbor House...

I’ve heard that there is a savings program where you match their earnings, so they are able to acquire their own assets.

Yes! Once they have a job or if they come here with a part-time job, they’re required to participate in Bridges to Prosperity, a self-sufficiency program designed to provide financial education and personal development. They are given the opportunity to open up an IDA – an individual development account – where they save money towards housing, transportation, starting a new business or education. We match those savings up to $1500. This grant was provided by the Gainesville Women’s Giving Circle . It helps them for when they move out to have a nice savings toward rent deposit, utility deposit, or a new car. We have already had a resident who was working and doing the program. She actually saved up to meet her goal of buying a new car. We like to do shorter term goals, so they are more achievable.

What community rules must they adhere to?

Drug and alcohol use are strictly prohibited while they are here, and we have a weekly and weekend curfew. They are required to attend counseling and life-skills and case-management sessions along with group meetings. There is an educational requirement where they have to be working toward some sort of educational goal – whether it be their high-school diploma, a GED, an AA, a bachelors degree or technical training. In instilling personal respect, they have to clean-up after themselves, and there are weekly chores, just like cleaning your own house. We like them to feel that this is their home, so they treat it like their home. A No. 2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. Joyce A. Myers

What are your personal feelings about this program?

Honestly, I didn’t know a whole lot about Arbor House before Catholic Charities took it over. I had heard that it was in danger of closing, because it is very expensive to run. Thankfully, since the merger, it has allowed Arbor House to become an accredited program under the national Council on Accreditation (COA), and we now have access to more grants. But back then, when I first heard that Catholic Charities was going to be merging, I was just immediately drawn to it. I have a lot of experience with the Guardian Ad Litem Program, where I work with children in the dependency system. I advocate for them in court for what’s the best interest of the child in whatever family situation is going on – reunification with the parents, adoption or permanent guardianship. So when I heard that Catholic Charities and Arbor House were going to be merging, it just immediately was like, “Oh my gosh, I need to be in this place.” I have a passion for women and children, especially for women and children that have been in abusive and emotional situations. This is where I may be able to stop abuse before it even starts.

In a way, the community that you have helped set up is filling the roles of parents, do you agree with that?

Oh yes! I’m a parent to every girl here and their children. You know, it’s hard, because I spend a lot of time here. I mean, I’ve literally been here the past 72 hours, and I have a family at home too, but it’s like I almost don’t differentiate the family that I have (at home) from the family that I have here.

I don’t think I would have been able to get everything together that I needed to do in order to have this baby, because I was not prepared. I probably would have had to give it away, which just thinking about that breaks my heart, so I’m really glad that I found this place. I’m trying to do everything I can to make sure that my baby is going to have everything it needs. I want to make sure that if I do keep it, that I’m bringing it into a good environment. I was in a not-so healthy relationship with the father, and my parents didn’t want me hanging around with the baby. I thought just by coming here, it would show everyone that I am really serious about this. I think the structure of it all is really good for me. I don’t wanna party anymore or anything like that. They’ve helped me out with food stamps, financial aid for school and shopping for a place to live. People bring in stuff for babies like every other day. My baby already has more clothes than me. I’ve got diapers, all kinds of stuff – bath stuff, lotion. Arbor House provides a crib and changing table. That never would have happened if I was not here. No one’s just going to give me the stuff I would need. When I first moved in here, I just remember thinking that this is too good to be true.

What are your future plans?

Definitely to stay here as long I am able to, go to school, and possibly finish all my school by the time it’s time to move out of here. Then start my career and my life with my little one. By that time, hopefully, I think I’ll be okay. I’ll be raising a kid on my own with a career. All my school will be taken care of.

Do you know what you are having? It’s a boy.

To help raise funds for Arbor House, we are announcing their upcoming event! The “Embark…Celebrating the Lifelong Journey of Motherhood” Tea Party and Fashion Show will be held on October 21, 2012 from 3:00pm until 5:00pm at the Best Western Gateway Grand. We hope to bring awareness to the women of our community, so that they may help other less-fortunate women. For reservation information or sponsorship information, please contact Laurie Porter at lporter@ or Amber Crossman at so that you may help continue to change lives two at a time! Additional information about Arbor House can be found at FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012


How expensive is this to run?

We supply the women with diapers, wipes and any kind of toiletries that you can’t buy on food stamps – toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, personal hygiene needs and cleaning supplies for the house, in addition to bills of running a home. Some women who come here are homeless, and they have nothing, so we probably spend a couple hundred dollars on just getting her the essential things that are needed just to live for a couple of weeks. Part of the program here is building self-esteem, and part of that comes from having confidence in the way you appear. You want to be clean; you want to have clothes that you can put on that fit, that don’t have holes in them. So that is not a trivial thing by any stretch of imagination. We can get certain foods from the pantry at Catholic Charities, but they don’t always have cold foods like dairy, milk, or eggs, so sometimes we have to go buy food to last until they get their food stamps. We do have access to the food pantries as much as possible though, and we do have some


Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! Audrey Hepburn

county grants, but we are largely privately funded through private individuals, churches and organizations.

are available to everyone in the community. There are no religious requirements whatsoever.

How can the people within the community get involved?

Where do you need donations dropped?

Babysitting! We do have a lot of needs for babysitting. One of the even bigger needs is the donation of diapers, wipes, personal hygiene items, toiletries; things that the women really need. We have a little basket that we give every woman when she comes in that is full of personal needs items. And we rely largely on donations for that. When we don’t have donations, we do have to go buy those things.

Not only Catholics donate here - correct?

Absolutely right!! And you don’t have to be Catholic to live here. Catholic Charities really tries to make sure that everyone is aware that they don’t only offer their services to Catholics. All of their services

They can drop them at Catholic Charities or here. If they’re dropping them at Arbor House, please call first.

Do you still keep in contact with some of the ladies that have moved out?

making sure she’s still enrolling in Santa Fe and still doing the things that she really wanted to do. When she came here, she was still working on her high school diploma, which she was able to get. It was awesome to get to see her walk across that stage with that huge smile on her face. Now she’s doing EMT training, and she’s really excited about that. She’s told me that if it weren’t for Arbor House, she would never have gotten her high school diploma and she would have never gone to Santa Fe. She’s an amazing, wonderful parent. She has great parenting skills, and she says she learned some of that here, while she was at Arbor House. I just feel like if she didn’t come here, she would just probably not be in the same place today.

On, yes! We have a woman that moved out into her own apartment and another that moved into an apartment with her children and her children’s father. Another, that recently moved into her own apartment, decided to place her child for adoption, so she’s alone. I check on her to make sure everything is still going okay and to reassure her that if she needs anything, we’re still here. So we do keep in contact with In care of their work, a donation of Drinkable them for a time after they leave here. 100% Natural Prenatals was made to Arbor I’m actually helping one woman by House from

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. Nido Qubein



“So many of us are staying busy all day, but we’re not really being productive.”





Change your thoughts and you change your world. Norman Vincent Peale

Women in Action! Fresh off the release of her new book Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman, education company owner, Vickie Milazzo, discusses how the recession has changed some of the workplace “rules-of-the-game” for women, and how they can become their most successful selves.

What do you think stands in the way of most women reaching their professional potential?

Well, we’re what I call the CEO, or Chief Everything Officer. Not only are we the CEO of our career, but usually we’re the CEO of our family, our children, the meal planning, the transportation; you name it, we’re the CEO. I think women are capable of reaching their goals just as much as men are, but I think often we put our goals behind everybody else’s. We, too frequently, say yes by default. I think that it is important for women to have the ability to put some consciousness into what we say yes to, and not just say yes to every demand.

What is your opinion on the differences between men and women in the workplace?

I think businesses benefit the most when you have both present. One of the things that I think men really excel at is the ability to negotiate on their own behalf and their ability to make sure that everybody knows when they are successful for the organization. Women tend to not want to talk about their achievements as much. They think that modesty is an important trait. But unfortunately, a lot of times when you are in a corporation, if people don’t know what you are accomplishing than you

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. Theodore Roosevelt

can get bypassed for those promotions. Men are very good at that and very good at negotiating. We expect our bosses to do the right thing for us. The reality is that we have to put ourselves out there and ask for more than what we really want.

new things. You learn about what you can be passionate about by getting involved in as many things as you’re brought, providing you’re still doing your job.

If you aren’t working in a career that you are passionate about, but you have to stay there financially, what would you suggest?

They’re all the strengths that I talk about in the book – the fire, the intuitive nature, the engagement, knowing how to get big things done. It’s that agility, integrity, endurance; you know all of those strengths. I think, for me, it’s the combination that makes for the most successful. It’s really about achieving your personal success that you desire. Also, you have to be willing to take on tasks and be really open and agile in terms of the project and the work that you are willing to do. You have to be involved in the projects that matter to your boss, to your supervisor, and you have to have that endurance. But of course, assertion and confidence are key.

I think you have to remember that you might not have to throw away the job you are working at; you have control over the mindset that you work within the job. That’s where it becomes more important, because too often people will complain, “I’m not getting ahead, why am I not getting ahead?” In looking at that person, they come across as whiners and complainers. Nobody wants to advance a whiner or complainer. So many of us – we don’t have control over that job. So, what do we have control over? Ourselves and our mindsets. I always say that we don’t have to compartmentalize our career and our personal lives. In our personal lives, if we are in a bad relationship, it can impact our work performance. If we hate our jobs, that can impact our relationship at home. The more we can get those two compartments congruent with each other, the better. Also, do something that you can feel passionate about outside of work. So you have some extra joy.

If you’re uncertain about your passion, what would you suggest someone to do?

I get this all the time with women that I work with. They’re in their 50s, and they’ll come to me and they’ll say, “Well, what if I don’t know what my passion is?” That’s a reality. So what I always tell people is that you have to try

Are there key qualities that you’ve noticed over your experience of a successful person?

What is something that someone could do today that could really change their tomorrow?

I think one of the most important things is to really put that engagement strength to work and have a consciousness of sorts of how you use your time. I think that today, we have so much of an onslaught of distractions. So many of us are staying busy all day, but we’re not really being productive. It’s always asking yourself throughout the day, am I doing something big or important or am I really just getting distracted?

For more information on how to become your most successful self, pick up a copy of Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman by Vickie Milazzo – in stores and online now! FLOURISH MAGAZINE | SEP/2012



CEO Marc Douglass

COPY EDITOR Daniel Sutphin

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GRAPHIC DESIGN Daniel Tidbury Lisa Torres Jane Dominguez

PROMOTIONS Amanda Liles Karen Jones Hilah Driggers AnnMarie DeFeo

ACCOUNTING Lynsey Parrish


SPECIAL PROJECTS Lauren Kolansky Daniel Sutphin




Shane Howell Bryan Porter Matt Frey

CEO Raymond Hines III

COO Bernadette King

CFO Raymond Hines, Jr


STAFF WRITERS Andrew Spivey David Shepherd Dan Thompson Phillip Heilman

REPORTERS Drew Laing Max Mattern Elizabeth Rhodes


What’s Inside

6 Wicked Success: An Interview with Author Vickie Milazzo 8 Arbor House Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Two at a Time 14 Kid Games 16 Gainesville Events 18 For Sale By Owner 20 Tips for Raising Your Credit Score 21 No More Homeless Pets 24 Cupcakes & Couture 25 Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe 26 Oh My Gosh, You Won Again! Playing Against Your Child 4


Saj Guevara Jack Lewis

29 Books for Your Brain 32 Be Fabulous 34 Jade and Pearl’s Beat It! All-Natural Bug Spray 35 The Secret to the Easy Gardening 36 Building Green 38 Of All the Luck

Flourish Magazine is brought to you by Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. and What’s Happening Publications, Inc.

Flourish SEPTEMBER 2012



Breaking The Cycle of Poverty …Two At A Time


Getting Personal

With Dexter Douglass





A Chat with “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman” Author Vickie Milazzo

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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle Onassis

Welcome to the world of Flourish ‌ the unique new magazine for Gainesville and North Central Florida. We, at Flourish, like to consider ourselves to be the softer side of Gator Country, our brother publication, and have decided to try something different. We are a magazine within a magazine , and our intent is to bring you items of interest to enhance your life. By definition, to flourish is to be bold, to thrive, to prosper and to grow in a healthy manner. And that is exactly what we hope to bring to you and your family. The flipside of Flourish will remain to be Gator County, and will, as always, continue to be the top authority on all of our beloved Gator-Sport insider information. So open us up, share us with your family, and tell us your thoughts.

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See you next month, Lauren Douglass Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson


Flourish september 2012


North Florida

Breaking The Cycle of Poverty …Two At A Time

Tips to raise your credit score

Getting Personal

With Dexter Douglass FLIP F O GATO R COUN R TRY

A Chat with “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman” Author Vickie Milazzo

Gator Country & Flourish September 2012  

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