Gator Bowl teams gain inspiration, confidence from Wolfson children

By Adrienne Moore, Weekend anchor, reporter, amoore@wjxt.com
Nicholas Jones, Producer, njones@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 04:46:33 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 30 2013 10:24:20 PM EST

When Georgia and Nebraska face off in the Gator Bowl Wednesday - both teams will have some special local children on their minds. During the Dawgs' and Huskers' visit to Wolfson Children's Hospital today - players met up with patients who are bringing both inspiration and confidence leading up to game day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

When Georgia and Nebraska face off Wednesday in the Gator Bowl, both teams will have some special local children on their minds.

The Bulldogs and Cornhuskers took a stop Monday at Wolfson Children's Hospital and met up with patients who are bringing the players both inspiration and confidence leading up to game-day. 

Players like Malcom Mitchell, a wide receiver for the Bulldogs who suffered a torn ACL, are now more determined not only to fight, but to win.

"It lets me know that I need to keep pushing on because I see them pushing on in here," said Mitchell. "It makes me want to do the same."

IMAGES: Players spread cheer at children's hospital

Savanna Poland is a 5-year-old girl who calls Wolfson Children's Hospital home. She's been battling familial pancreatitis, and her grandmother JoAnn Miller said the visit from the players -- especially the cheerleaders, has helped take Savanna's mind off her next checkup. 

"She want's to be a cheerleader, that's her big goal." said Miller. "It thrilled her."

And it's not just the patients who walked away a little awestruck. Cornhuskers wide receiver Lane Hovey said the children's winning attitude is something he'll take with him on game day. 

"It kind of humbles you a little bit, you know," said Hovey. "Just seeing the kind of struggles they're going through. Fighting and winning every day -- makes you realize what's really important."

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