Gators Pitch in for a Good Cause

With the start of football practice under a week away, the Gators will take the field in The Swamp on Friday night with an eye on the community. Florida players will split into teams representing six charities in the third annual Gator Charity Challenge.

"We are proud to put on what has now become an annual event," said Mickey Marotti, director of strength and conditioning at UF. "Each year there has been an increase in awareness and attendance, and we are eager to see it grow in both capacities this year. It is a great evening for families to come see the Gator football team and create awareness for the six charities involved."

The six teams will go head-to-head in three events. Last year, a crowd of 2,500 watched as teams competed in an obstacle course, sled pull and tire flip.

The event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but gates 1-4 on the west concourse will be open at 6 p.m. Cash and checks will not be accepted on site, but pledge cards will be available for each of the six charities. A concession stand will also be open at gate two.

Safety Ahmad Black will captain the Shands Cancer Hospital team. The rest of the team will consist of Marcus Gilbert, Nick Alajajian, Sam Robey, Chas Henry, Dee Finley, Carl Moore, T.J. Lawrence, Jeff Demps, Matt Elam, Moses Jenkins, Lerentee McCray, Jaye Howard, John Crofoot, William Green, Adrian Coxson, Tyler Murphy and Michael Taylor.

Defensive tackle Brandon Antwine will captain the American Cancer Society team. The rest of the team will include Michael Pouncey, Matt Patchan, David Lerner, Jon Bostic, Scott Peek, Deonte Thompson, Solomon Patton, Steve Wilks, Jordan Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Kedric Johnson, Jaylen Watkins, Brandon Sanders, John Fairbanks and Darrin Kitchens.

Linebacker Lorenzo Edwards will captain the STOP! Children's Cancer team. Jon Halapio, Ian Silberman, Cole Gilliam, Cody Hampton, Jelani Jenkins, Robert Clark, Justin Williams, Desmond Parks, Will Hill, Joshua Shaw, Shawn Schmieder, Mack Brown, Samuel Johnson, Ronald Powell, Jeremy Brown and Cody Riggs will fill out the rest of the team.

Linebacker A.J. Jones will captain the Ronald McDonald House team. Kyle Koehne, Carl Johnson, Gary Beemer, Christopher Guido, Neiron Ball, Andre DeBose, Chris Rainey, Jordan Reed, Trey Burton, Josh Evans, Omar Hunter, Leon Orr, Glen Watson, Mike McFarland and Chris Dunkley will complete the team.

Defensive tackle Terron Sanders will captain the American Heart Association team. The rest of the team will be Xavier Nixon, Maurice Hurt, David Young, Zack Brust, Michael Ross, Omarius Hines, Josh Postell, Gerald Christian, John Brantley, Ean McQuay, Chaz Green, Brian Biada, Tim Clark, Dominque Easley, Quinton Dunbar, Jonathan Dowling and Lynden Trail.

Defensive end Duke Lemmens will captain the March of Dimes team. Jonotthan Harrison, James Wilson, Billy Steinmann, Caleb Sturgis, Brandon Hicks, Stephen Alli, Frankie Hammond, Mike Gillislee, T.J. Pridemore, Miguel Carodine, Justin Trattou, Earl Okine, Lawrence Marsh and Gideon Ajagbe will fill out the rest of the team.

The Gators will open fall camp on August 5.

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