The following, a weekly feature of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, allows our reporters to open their notebooks and provide even more information from our local teams that we cover daily. We think you’ll find it informative, insightful and fun.

A few wrinkles for G-Day

Everything is set for Georgia’s annual G-Day extravaganza April 13. However, don’t expect as big of a fuss as the Bulldogs usually make over their annual spring intrasquad football game, which will kick off at 1 p.m.

First off, Sanford Stadium still is undergoing construction work. Well, about a third of it is.

Construction is ongoing, with all the changes being made to the southwest corner of the 92,746-seat stadium. That’s where a new press box and some overflow seating will reside. The famous open-air Dan Magill Press Box that presided over the southside club level since the 1960s is being converted into premium seating for donors.

As a result, that entire south side will be closed on game day. As of this past week, UGA officials weren’t sure about seating capacity for G-Day, but it will extremely limited compared with a regular game.

Tickets already are on sale for $5 each at Proceeds will go to a local beneficiary, which will be determined by Georgia’s players. UGA students will be admitted free, but they also have to request tickets online by April 3.

A few other things to know in advance of the game:

  • The famous hedges that surround Dooley Field have been reinstalled and look great. New English privet hedge was grown off-site to replace the older bushes.
  • Concessions and merchandise will be available in all areas of the stadium.
  • The campus will be open to tailgating starting at 7 a.m.
  • Parking will be first come, first-serve and is free. However, the Tate Student Center and Stem decks will be closed, as will lots at Reed Hall, Psychology-Journalism, Railroad and Field Street.
  • Complimentary shuttle service will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. from the East Campus parking deck and shuttles will run two hours after the conclusion the game.

On the field, the team will be divided into “Red” and “Black” squads separated by the No. 1 offense on one sideline and the No. 1 defense on the other. Backups will be interspersed in between.

The Bulldogs, 42-2 the past three seasons, will be breaking in new starters at running back, center, tight end, inside linebacker and three defensive backfield positions.

Georgia also will feature four new assistant coaches: James Coley (wide receivers), James Crawford (running backs), Travaris Robinson (co-defensive coordinator and safeties) and Donte Williams (cornerbacks).

Yellow Jackets freshman finalist for national award

Georgia Tech forward Baye Ndongo is one of 30 freshmen named a finalist for the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to the top freshman in Division I by

A 6-foot-9 freshman, Ndongo started every game of the season after missing the first three with a hand injury. A Mboro, Senegal native, who prepped at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, Ndongo was one of two freshmen in Division I to average 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while making at least 55% of his shots from the floor. Only Chris Bosh (2003) and Derrick Favors (2010) achieved all those numbers as Tech freshmen.

Against ACC competition, Ndongo averaged 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds while hitting 55.4% of his shots from the floor and leading the team in blocked shots, with 20. For those efforts his was named to the ACC’s all-rookie team.

Ndongo led the Jackets in scoring 10 times and in rebounding 18 times while posting six double-doubles. He was named the ACC’s rookie of the week three times.

The recipient of the Kyle Macy Award is determined by a 10-member voting committee which consists of current and former head coaches as well as two senior staff members of The 2024 award will be announced in Phoenix in April.

Braves sluggers to receive awards during first homestand

Braves stars Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson and Austin Riley will be presented with their Silver Slugger Awards at a pregame ceremony before the team’s game against Arizona on April 6 at Truist Park. All three were selected the top offensive player at their respective positions in the National League last season in a vote of major league managers and coaches.

It was Acuña’s third, Riley’s second and Olson’s first. The Braves team will also receive the team Silver Slugger Award as the best hitting team in the National League, the first time that that prize has been awarded. A representative from Louisville Slugger will be on hand for the presentation, as will a Braves fan (Nancy St. Clair of Sevierville, Tennessee) who won a contest to be part of the presentation.

-Staff writers Chad Bishop, Ken Sugiura and Chip Towers contributed to this report.