In January 2018, 8-year-old Harrison Hooks was killed in an ATV accident near Thomasville, Georgia. The tragedy struck the community, which rallied around the Hooks family by wearing red and black colors in their son’s memory. According to Bill and Deren Hooks, Harrison’s father and mother, there are three things their son loved more than anything: faith, family and Georgia football.
Every aspect of Harrison’s life brought joy to the family, including his first UGA football game. The Hooks are season-ticket holders, and Bill Hooks recalled that during Harrison’s first-ever game at Sanford Stadium, they couldn’t leave their seats until every Georgia Bulldog football player had left the field.
“At seven years old, he informed us that he was going to Georgia to play football, and he knew who his roommate would be at Georgia (his best friend at elementary school),” Bill Hooks told DawgNation. “He would watch re-runs of Georgia games during the week on his iPad. He knew everyone’s jersey number. He just loved Georgia.”
To honor Harrison’s life, the family worked to erect a Georgia-themed headstone complete with the UGA logo, the names of the entire Hooks family on the back, the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 on the front, and a slab designed to resemble a full-length football field. The custom grave marker also has the famous UGA bulldog wearing a cross on its shirt at midfield.
“To see that football field laying in front of him … I can just see Harrison looking down and smiling,” Bill Hooks said.
Head coach Kirby Smart reached out to the family and offered his love and support to the life-long Georgia fans. The pain is still there, but Bill Hooks and his family are healing with the notion that this isn’t goodbye, but see you later.
“It’s one of those things where we’re not sad as people who have no hope,” Hooks said. “We have hope that Harrison is in heaven. We have hope that we’ll see him again one day. So that’s what keeps us going.”
Harrison Hooks was born to be a Dawg playing SEC college football in Athens, and with this incredible ode to his life, he’ll be remembered as a God-loving Dawg forever.