Fountain delights at Butler County Auburn Club meeting
Exclamations of “War Eagle!” echoed through the halls of the Greenville Country Club early and often as the Butler County Auburn Club hosted its annual meeting Thursday evening.
A night of food, fun and fellowship was capped off with a speech from special guest Scott Fountain, special teams and tight ends coach of the Auburn University football team.
Following a few humorous anecdotes, Fountain got down to brass tacks to discuss the Tigers’ path toward an improved season in 2016.
Fountain began with a frank, but unsurprising sentiment.
“Last season, we finished 7-6; we were not real happy with that. That was not what we wanted to do,” Fountain said.
“I look back on the kind of things that happened, and I feel like there are three things: one, we lost 14 players to the NFL—that’s more guys to the active NFL roster off last year’s team than anybody in the country. 14 guys left our program to play in the NFL and made the team. Eight of those guys were starters on offense, and that was a real blow for us.”
Despite the floundering 2015 season, Auburn’s special teams performed well.
Kicker Daniel Carlson had a great season, earning recognition as one of three Lou Groza Award finalists with multiple field goals of 50+ yards. In addition, Auburn’s special teams unit as a whole placed in the top half in all five categories in the SEC.
In addition, the kickoff return unit had the most return yards of any team in the country.
Fountain also highlighted a gruel spring training program that began in February with mat drills, which divided the team into green (the best) jerseys, blue (average) jerseys and orange (less than ideal) jerseys to find the cream of the crop.
The latter months of spring were dedicated to developing skills off the field with leadership sessions dubbed Manhood Meetings that focused on making good decisions and becoming a better person.
In addition to highlighting a number of promising starters, Fountain gave his own unofficial assessment of the Tigers’ quarterback situation.
“I think leaving the spring, Sean White’s definitely in the mix. I think leaving the spring, he threw the ball the best. The Franklin kid is very fast. He’s just got to be a kid who can, A., hold on to the ball, and B., throw the deep ball. If we can get that with him, I think he’ll be able to do those things for us. He’s a special talent and he works hard—he’s kind of become a leader for us on offense. And then, of course, you have Jeremy Johnson—I think those three will be in the mix.”
Fountain also expressed his positive thoughts on a tough early season, including the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU all within the first month.
“I’m glad we’re starting out early in the fire pit, because it gives us a chance to really get out there and see what type of football team we’re going to have,” Fountain said. “Our guys are really embracing that challenge.”
Last but not least, Fountain discussed Greenville’s own Marlon Davidson, an incoming freshman who’s been making waves since his January start at Auburn.
“He’s really good,” Fountain said.
“A lot of times, freshmen come in and they’ll start backing down or it gets overwhelming, but it’s kind of like he’s got an unfair advantage. He’s talked to his brother, who played at Auburn, and he’s been up there so many times and been around it that he feels like Auburn is his second home. He had a really good spring, and I expect him to play a ton of football this fall. I think he’ll make y’all proud.”
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s an old adage that applies to football and fundraising equally, and Greenville... read more