Georgia football players help family of opponent's coach ahead of opener

Georgia football players support family of Austin Peay coach Joshua Eargle, whose daughter was diagnosed with  myoclonic epilepsy, intellectual disability, a congenital heart defect and immunodeficiency, among other things. (AP)

Georgia football kicks off its season September 1 against Austin Peay. But this story, which was first reported by Dawg Nation’s Chip Towers, has nothing to do with the game and everything to do with the power of sport.

Days ago, Kristen Eargle, the wife of Austin Peay offensive line coach and running game coordinator, Joshua Eargle, published a post on her blog “Ruler of Hope.” The post outlined the health of their daughter, Landrey. At age 5, Landrey has an incredibly rare disease that is somewhat of a byproduct of a mutation of the CSNK2B gene. Because of the disease, she is constantly sick and in pain.

By word of mouth, the story surfaced within Georgia circles, and a number of Bulldogs fans shared the story on social media, sparking a wave of support for the Earlge family. Fans also found their way to the Eargle’s Go Fund Me and assisted in raising $79,448 by Friday afternoon, which showed football’s force.

“I just started crying when I saw that,” Kristen told Dawg Nation, tearing up again. “It’s unbelievable that people we don’t even know would do something like this not expecting to get anything back.”

The Austin Peay website wrote up a piece about the family’s situation, and Governors place-kicker Cole Phillips, who is from Georgia, shared the piece with a hometown friend: Georgia baseball pitcher Emerson Hancock.

Phillips asked Hancock to share the story with the Bulldog fanbase, but Hancock took it one step further, sharing it with Georgia football players like long-snapper Koby Pryz. Social media sparked the movement, which has culminated in the money that will alleviate the family’s financial situation as it relates to paying for Landrey’s medical bills.

Landrey turns 6 on September 6, just days after the game between her father’s team and the team that has now come to her aid. Regardless of what takes place on the field, the family will be thankful for the gesture. And assuredly, Georgia fans will be thankful to have been able to show it.

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