Yellow Jacket Valentines
Cupid has matched-up many Georgia Tech student-athlete couples over the years
Feb. 11, 2013
Cupid is a sports fan. Who knew?
In the athletic department at Georgia Tech, and other schools as well, romances have been initiated in weight rooms, training rooms, dining halls and study halls for many years. It makes sense, actually. When not in class or at home sleeping, student-athletes spend the majority of their time in proximity of the athletic department. Men's and women's teams share weight training, sports medicine and academic tutoring facilities. Their paths cross often.
Golfer Matt Kuchar met his wife, Sybi, a Georgia Tech tennis player, while on the Flats. Yellow Jacket men's tennis coach Kenny Thorne met his wife Bridget, a Tech track athlete, when Thorne was a standout on the Tech tennis team. Those are just two of many examples.
With Valentine's Day approaching, Sting Daily caught up with a few of the Yellow Jacket couples:
Scott (Football) And Christy (Softball) Blair
SD:Tell us a little about how the two of you met and how your relationship evolved?
SD:What was it like dating another student-athlete in college?
As for me, I went to as many softball games as I could (unfortunately I got a speeding ticket trying to get to one in Columbus on time). I had a blast watching Christy and supporting the team. A few of the other softball boyfriends and myself would get together and yell chants and keep running tallies of home runs and other things. For the big games we even painted up. I always thought it was amazing to watch someone bunt, even when the other team knew it is coming, and beat out the throw with shear speed. I have never seen an athlete dive, crash through fences to catch a ball, and run as hard as Christy. I knew at that point if I ever did something wrong, I would not be able to outrun her.
SD:What is your favorite memory of playing sports at Tech?
Christy: My favorite softball memory was winning the ACC Championship in 2009. In our 2008 season, we struggled quite a bit. We went 9-11 in the ACC and I think we got eliminated from the 2008 ACC Tournament because of a rain delay and our low seed in the tournament. Well, in 2009 we went 17-3 in the ACC regular season. I remember being in left field (literally, not figuratively) when Kristen Adkins was pitching that final inning with a tight score and we won the battle. We all ran to the mound as fast as we could and celebrated a fantastic ACC battle.
SD:How did you propose marriage?
SD:Are either of you still active in sports, and how so?
SD:How closely do the two of you follow Georgia Tech athletics today?
SD:If you have kids, would you mind listing their names and ages?
SD:Anything else you want to add for this story?
Kenny (Tennis) And Bridget (Track) Thorne
SD:Tell us about how the two of you met and how your relationship evolved?
Our treatment times were scheduled at the same time. Gary Neibur also worked at putting us together. Eventually after Neibur's prompting, Kenny asked me on a date. We were engaged 20 months later and married after I finished grad school in September, 1990. Our trainers, Vicki and Arnold, were married three years after us. Kenny says that is why you should always be nice to your coaches and trainers because they can help you in numerous ways!
Now after 22-plus years of marriage, we have four kids that keep us really busy. Daniel (12) plays tennis. Kenedy (13) plays soccer and has started running. Zach (16) does three varsity sports: cross country, swimming and lacrosse. Rachel (17) just officially signed (a letter of intent) on February 7 to be a member of the GT track team in the fall. We are going to try to keep her out of the training room!
The Thorne family.