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Former Bulldogs captain died

POSTED: February 24, 2009 7:55 p.m.

Mike Merola, the captain of Georgia’s football team in 1950, has died. He was 81. The school announced that Merola died Monday after a lengthy illness.

A native of Newark, N.J., Merola enrolled at Georgia after World War II and caught the attention of the coaching staff during a pickup game. He was invited to spring practice, received a scholarship within a week and was a member of the 1948 Southeastern Conference championship team.

The following year, Merola became a starter at defensive end. As a senior, he was voted captain of the team that went 6-2-3 before losing to Texas A&M 40-20 in the Presidential Cup, a one-time-only bowl game played in College Park, Md.

Merola is survived by four daughters and four grandchildren.



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