Former Hawkinsville football player Charles Johnson has invited the school’s current team to the Georgia Dome to watch him play with the Carolina Panthers as they face off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Johnson, a 2004 graduate, reached out to Hawkinsville head coach David Daniell this week.
“(Johnson) sent me a text and said, ‘Coach, I want y’all to come to my ballgame. I can buy the tickets and transportation,’ ” Daniell said. “He gave us 60 tickets and a charter bus.”
While some Hawkinsville players are out of town for the holidays, Daniell said he can’t imagine there will be any empty seats on the bus.
“Most of my players have probably never went and seen an NFL game,” Daniell said.
The last time the Red Devils traveled to the Georgia Dome was Dec. 12, when they defeated Irwin County 15-6 for the GHSA Class A public school championship. It was the program’s first state title in a decade.
“(That) was probably the first time 90 percent of them have been in that dome, I’m sure,” Daniell said.
But it won’t be the first time the Red Devils see Panthers football players in action. Many of Johnson’s teammates come with him to Hawkinsville for a free summer football camp he offers, Daniell said.
“(Johnson) does something every time he comes home,” Daniell said. “We’re excited about it. We’re going to go.”
The Red Devils will board the charter bus and leave for Atlanta at 1 p.m. for the 4:25 p.m. game.