Ronnie Letson, Jimmy Ogle, Adam Ross and Tommy Joe Whiddon – collectively known by the team name “Swamp Donkeys” – won $500 each for their placement in Scale Back Alabama.
The contest drew 29,936 participants this year in a 10-week program that included weekly health tips and motivational lesson plans, according to a release from the Alabama Hospital Association, which worked with the Alabama Department of Public Health to run the contest. All contestants statewide lost a combined148,963 pounds.
The team prize winners were drawn from a pool of participants in which every member of the team lost at least 10 pounds.
Ronnie Letson is the Gamecocks' offensive coordinator. Ogle is running backs coach, Ross coaches the offensive line and Whiddon oversees tight ends.
Greg Seitz, JSU’s sports information director, said he did not know how much weight the team had lost, but that they had been working hard at it.
Scale Back Alabama is designed to help the state fight obesity, a health problem for which Alabama has among the nation’s highest rates of occurrence. The 2012 edition was the contest’s sixth year. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama helped to sponsor the contest.
Teams from Madison County won first and third place in the contest. “Chubbindor House” was the first-place finisher, its members earning $1,000 each. “The Team that Shall Not Be Named” was third, earning $250 each.