My First Chomp in the Swamp: UF Online Student Shares Experience

One lucky UF Online senior watched the gripping UF v. Tennessee game in person thanks to the University Athletic Association’s My First Chomp in the Swamp contest. Jackson Kewitsch, a Sport Management major, flew in from Minnesota to watch the Gators play in the Florida Stadium for the first time. Here, he recounts what it was like to watch the orange and blue victorious.

UF Online image of Sports Management major and My First Chomp in The Swamp contest winner Jackson Kewitsch giving a Gator chomp in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

“Hail Marys are not often that successful … at least, not when you are outside of The Swamp. However, this past weekend the Florida-Tennessee game was in Gainesville and I was beyond fortunate to be a part of the tradition. Having won the My First Chomp in The Swamp contest, I did not truly know what to expect from my first trip down to campus and Florida in general. I have lived in Minnesota my entire life and was already acclimating to the fall weather rolling in, so walking out of the plane on Friday was a hot and pleasant surprise!

This weekend provided me with some of the most memorable and amazing memories I will ever have. A lot of it stems from the generous hospitality, charm, and genuine kindness of everyone in the community and those involved with making the weekend a success. A few of the most memorable moments, however, had to have been networking with other students and professionals in the sports industry and getting to meet the professors I have had over the last two years as a University of Florida Online student.

Yes, meeting Coach Jim McElwain and Athletic Director Scott Stricklin was beyond my wildest dreams and I appreciated every second of it, but the real joy came from making connections with people who have helped me achieve my dreams and continue to push me to do my best in both school and life. As a sport management major, I knew that the industry can appear small due to the nature of how many individuals know each other and that was on display this weekend. While on the field for pre-game access, I was given the chance to speak with individuals who actually worked with coworkers of mine at the University of Minnesota. The world is a small place and getting to know these individuals better was a highlight that I will be able to think back to as I continue to build relationships with them and with my professors. This weekend will always be near and dear to my heart and there are so many people to thank. I want them to know how much it meant to be able to come to Gainesville and feel at home. Thank you!”

To read more about the contest and the winners, check out the UAA website.

See more photos from Jackson’s visit on our facebook page: