Oakland native, former Peru State Bobcat heading to Sugar Bowl as AFCA Good Works Team honoree
PERU, Neb. -- For just the second time in Peru State College football history, there will be a Bobcat representing the College as a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
Garrison Dodge, an Oakland native, will be flying to New Orleans Thursday to take part in the Good Works Team activities leading up to the Sugar Bowl game on Dec. 31. Dodge, who played wide receiver for Peru State collegiately, will be recognized, along with 21 other football players and a coach, at halftime of the game which begins at 11 a.m. CT. The game will feature the fifth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide versus the 11th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.
Dodge was selected to the team which is focused on a player's ability to excel not only on the field, but in the classroom and in the community. Five years ago, Gunnar Orcutt was the first Bobcat to earn the recognition.
"Amidst the rivalry, competitiveness and excitement of college football, the contributions made off the field by players like you can be overlooked," AFCA said in its statement recognizing the honorees. "This team was created to recognize your accomplishments and your efforts to improve the community in which you live."
Dodge has been a leader in terms of community service, with his biggest focus being Athletes 4 Children – a charity he and his father created while he was in high school. To this point, over $18,000 has been raised for the benefit of Children's Hospital in Omaha. In addition, Dodge has been very active on campus in a variety of other community service activities.
As part of the weekend, Dodge will meet his fellow honorees Thursday evening and then participate in a community event on Friday. Among the plans are to also participate in the Sugar Bowl Parade.
At halftime of the game, all 22 of the players and the coach will be honored.
Dodge said he is excited to be heading south in a few days.
"This will be the culmination of my athletic career," Dodge said. "I am more than pleased to be representing Peru State College and Athletes 4 Children at the Sugar Bowl this weekend...I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career and encouraged me to be an advocate for service."
Dodge will be student teaching next fall. He is presently substitute teaching, finishing his education course work, and is helping coach with the Johnson-Brock Eagles boys' basketball team. His father will be attending the game with him, along with four other family members.