Clean Old-Fashioned Love
Nov. 21, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
Every week is a week for stories like the one about two young adults from small towns in north Georgia who met each other through their shared acquaintances and hit it off in fine fashion even though they attend different schools.
This is the week where it's by far more interesting that David Scully kicks off for Georgia Tech, and his girlfriend is a cheerleader for Georgia.
Seriously, sophomore Sidni Vaughn will be wearing the red and black Saturday in Bobby Dodd Stadium, and she'll cheer for the Bulldogs. Mostly.
"I want him to do well," she said of Scully. "My parents joke around and say they hope UGA beats Tech 50-3 and he kicks a field goal. It helps that he does kickoffs rather than scoring points. We do cheers if we block kicks."
Scully, who walked onto the football team in 2009 a few months after graduating from Dawson County High, has handled most kickoff duties for most of the season. He's also kicked an extra point.
If he weren't a kicker at Georgia Tech, he probably wouldn't be dating Vaughn. His roommate from last year, snapper Tyler Morgan, dates one of Vaughn's friends, but the these two actually met this time a year ago - between those damned hedges in Athens.
Vaughn and her fellow cheerleaders were actually trying to make life difficult for him and the other Tech kickers.
"I didn't exactly know him. So I'm like on the very end of our [cheer] lineup and I'm always besides the kicker and I'd give him a hard time," she said. "We'd stand in the way so they can't warm up."
That's an exaggeration, but it's not hyperbole to say that Scully has become something of a cult hero (or anti-hero) at Georgia. His neon yellow cleats caught the attention of fans in Athens last year, and Vaughn said some Georgia fans have built a fan page for her boyfriend on Facebook.
Soon after they met last November, Scully began spending time with a group of UGA students in orbit around Morgan and his UGA girlfriend.
Over time, as he began attending more UGA events, he became familiar to more and more UGA students. Scully, in fact, has been to a few Georgia games this year.
"He's more famous, I believe, at UGA, than at Tech," Vaughn said. "He came to our game against Auburn (a couple weeks ago), and our entire student section spotted him, `That's Scully!' They take pictures with him. They tell him happy birthday (Nov. 8).
"Some of our football players will be like, `You're dating the enemy.' David thinks it's funny."
Vaughn, who is from tiny Trion, Ga., near Rome, considered going to Georgia Tech only to end up at Georgia in part because of cheerleading.
There are several dozen cheerleaders on the squad, in fact, and they rotate games. That and the fact the Jackets have played twice at home on Thursday nights has enabled Vaughn to attend several Tech games. She followed the Jackets last month to Virginia, and took her mother to the Tech-Maryland game.
"There's always some friendly stuff going back and forth," he said "I try to make sure she's cheering for me. I'm hoping she'll just act like she's cheering [for UGA] this Saturday."
Vaughn is a biology and psychology major, and Scully is majoring in biochemistry. "I'll help her with classes, and when I find mistakes I make fun of her professors and things like that," Scully said.
Beyond their somewhat similar study patterns, Scully and Vaughn share somewhat physical hobbies.
Although he's a kicker, Scully has hurled himself into a few tackles on kickoffs, and Vaughn was recently sidelined for three weeks after suffering a concussion when she fell while practicing a toss (she was the tossee).
She'll be back on the sideline Saturday, cheering for all the Bulldogs and one Jacket.
"It's been a lot easier than I thought it would be for us being at different schools and it being such a rivalry," Vaughn said. "We've been having fun with it."
Vaughn said practically everyone in her church community back home had hoped that she'd go to Georgia Tech. She'll be there Saturday, with the enemy.
As for whether anyone among Scully's family and friends might harbor favor for the Bulldogs, he said, "Absolutely not."
Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.