Border Bash celebrates spirit of UGA-USC rivalry

·3 min read

Sep. 18—The 27th annual Border Bash was held at SRP Park on Sept. 17.

The friendly rivalry event between the Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks featured musical acts Whiskey Run, Band of Oz and Guns for Hire.

The Bulldog cheerleaders and Hairy Dawg did not make an appearance due to UGA Athletics' COVID-19 regulations.

Performances from Cocky, USC cheerleaders and Augusta West Dance Company happened in the outfield and main stage.

Megan Luquire, the studio director for Augusta West Dance Studio, across the river in Augusta, choreographed a UGA vs. USC-inspired hip-hop routine about the Saturday game day atmosphere.

"My two great loves in life are dance and football," Luquire said. "I also figured why not combine those into one thing and celebrate the fact that we live right here on the border. So at our dance studio, we have a lot of Carolina fans, but we also have a ton of Georgia fans, and so I thought it would be really fun to incorporate that into a big dance production — and it's been the most fun I've ever had as a dance director in my entire life."

Dancers were dressed as band members, cheerleaders, fans and UGA/USC football players.

"I have to say, a lot of these kids have that same passion for football and team spirit that I do, and I think that comes out when they perform this dance ... I would venture to say this is probably one of their favorite pieces they have ever performed as well," Luquire said.

The performance won highest preteen production at DanceMakers Nationals in Myrtle Beach in June 2021.

USC assistant cheer coach Chris Hartshorn is excited for USC to return to Sanford Stadium for the rivalry game.

"It's a return to some form of normalcy," he said. "Things are a little bit different with some masks and some distancing ... We have a list of things that we have to do from the university, but to have it on the schedule and to get to travel to the away games ... this is a step in the right direction for them. They are enjoying it."

The last time the Gamecocks visited Athens, in 2019, the Gamecocks won 20-17 in overtime after a missed field goal from the Bulldogs.

Divided family Austin and Brittany Swearingen represented their teams with their 1-year-old son, Maddux.

"I am excited just to see ... everybody else and what teams they represent," Brittany Swearingen said. "My whole family (are Carolina fans) and that is where I went to college. We have a 1-year-old so he is also 'house divided' until he's old enough to decide which team he will pull for."

Following the Border Bash, the cities of Augusta and North Augusta challenged each other to a cleanup on the Savannah River. The event was created in the spirit of the UGA/USC rivalry. Later Saturday, the rivalry game will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 p.m.

"It's a good opportunity for us to get in front of fans in general," Hartshorn said. "There are a lot of Gamecock fans here and it's great to see them but (also) getting to be in front of the Georgia fans too. We get to represent our school and our university that they don't get to see every week. It may be their first time seeing us or they may come here every year to Border Bash, but hopefully we entertain everybody and we put on a good show for everybody."

Samantha Winn covers the city of North Augusta, with a focus on government and community oriented business. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews.

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