Bulldogg display erected at high school football stadium

WINDER - In a lot of ways, Winder-Barrow High School sits in the shadow of the University of Georgia.

They share the same colors, red and black, and Winder-Barrow even uses the university's fight song.

Until 20 years ago, they had the same mascot, too, a Bulldog.

That is, until Winder-Barrow High School voted to add an extra G to theirs to set themselves apart from UGA, at least a little bit.

That decision is now memorialized in a 3,500-pound granite slab displayed at the entrance of the school's football stadium.

The Bulldoggs are a different breed of animal than their single-G'ed cousin, the display proclaims.

"The B-U-L-L-D-O-G-G has a tendency to roam in a pack," it says. "It loves a challenge and should never be backed against the wall from where, legend has it, the DOGG gets its strength and courage."

The text of the display was written by Jimmy Terrell, now the county's director of corrections for the work release center, but a sportswriter for the Barrow County News at the time it was penned in 1993.

The Bulldoggs had just made it to the semifinals in football, and their extra G was starting to draw a lot of attention.

Jeff Beggs, the school's athletic director, said the second G is indicative of the extra effort Barrow athletes and students put into their work.

"In our mind, it makes us a success," he said. "It makes our kids successful. ... We always want to highlight it; we always look for ways to highlight it."

The plaque - although at 31⁄2 feet by 91⁄2 feet, the word plaque is misleading - was laid in front of the W. Clair Harris sign and under the stadium's flagpole after the final football game. Lights and landscaping will be added to the area, and Beggs said similar displays will be placed at other sporting venues at the school, whether they are pictures of the display or other memorials to the double G.

The granite for the memorial was donated by the college roommate of Assistant Principal Al Darby, himself a 1991 graduate of Winder-Barrow High School.

The double G is everywhere around the school, from the mascot - GG - to the highest level of contributions to Winder-Barrow High School. And although the school hasn't made a big deal out of the display yet, Beggs said they will.

"We talk constantly with our students about things they should get coming out of high school," Beggs said. "We talk to the faculty about the extra G. It's in everything they do."