The Elmore County Auburn Club (ECAC) held its 2019 Kickoff Banquet at the Wetumpka Civic Center last Tuesday night. Auburn linebacker coach Travis Williams was the guest speaker for the event, addressing a crowd of 120 people to talk about Auburn athletics and the upcoming football season for the Tigers.
“It’s always good to get out and see the Auburn family,” Williams said. “I love seeing people fired up about Auburn athletics and Auburn football. I enjoy these; I really do. It’s a special part of the year.”
Williams, a former linebacker for Auburn, did not waste much time after arriving at the event. After being greeted by club board members, Williams took the next 30 minutes walking to each table and introducing himself to everyone in the room before settling in for the dinner.
“That’s just my personality,” Williams said. “It’s always good to go out and meet people to tell them you appreciate them. We have passionate fans so I think getting out and letting them know what it means to us is the right thing to do.”
The only thing taking the attention off Williams was when Aubie the Tiger arrived at the banquet. The crowd streamed toward the mascot for group photos and also joined Aubie and a group of Auburn cheerleaders in team chants.
Prior to Williams speaking at the event, there was a projector set up with highlights from past Auburn victories. While the focus of the banquet may have been on football, the recent success of Auburn’s basketball and baseball teams have pushed more interest in that direction.
The ECAC held a silent auction at the event with Auburn apparel, framed posters and autographed balls from head coaches. The Auburn basketball signed by coach Bruce Pearl finished with a higher price than the football signed by coach Gus Malzahn.
“We’re an Auburn family, not just Auburn football,” Williams said. “We just had Big Cat weekend this past week and we merged with the basketball team at the end of it. We just want to show we’re one unit that supports one another.”
The auction raised over $1,200 for the Auburn Alumni Association with the Auburn basketball being the highest seller. The ECAC has one more event scheduled prior to the start of the football season at the Auburn Women’s Football Camp to meet the coaches and go inside the athletic facilities and football strategy.
While Williams spoke highly of Auburn athletics as a whole, he admitted to being excited for the start of the football season. After finishing 8-5 last season, the Tigers are looking to bounce back and contend for an SEC Championship but Williams said the team’s only concern right now is its opening game.
“I don’t know much about the whole season, I just know about that first game,” Williams said. “We are focused on that first game right now with a really great opponent in Oregon. Our whole mindset is taking it one game at a time and right now, that’s Oregon.”