June 16, 2006
Tifton -- The Tift County YMCA is bringing in some well-known names to their third annual Athletic Fellowship Barbecue.
In its first year the Y-M-C-A welcoming in Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
This year the event will have an Auburn flavor, and they say bringing in big name athletes and coaches helps promote the Tift-area facility.
Rainy weather pretty much clearing out the Tiftarea Airnasium today, but organizers are expecting a big turnout Thursday when coaches and athletes from the University of Auburn arrive for the YMCA's third annual barbecue fundraiser.
Former Tift County football coach Roy McWilliams says, "It's just a great opportunity for them to come and be a part of our YMCA."
Event organizer Roger Deal says, "For the athletes and the kids that belong to the Tiftarea YMCA, we're trying to build up the image that we have here by bringing in coaches from different schools."
Jeremy Jones is an alumnus of both the Tift County and Auburn athletic programs, and is excited about the values the Tigers will be bringing.
"A lot of campuses will embarrass you. Auburn right now is one that, first of all, doesn't embarrass you on the field, and doesn't embarrass you off it either."
Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger and offensive line coach Hugh Nall will be two of the speakers at the event.
Nall was the center on Georgia's 1980 National Championship team.
Tiftarea YMCA CEO Missy Montgomery says, "Of course everybody loves the University of Georgia here in Tifton, but we want to offer the chance for every university to come out."
John Franklin played at Auburn from 1992 to 1995, and says he's happy to be bringing some Tigers into the area.
"Had a wonderful time there, had some great games. Good games against Georgia," says Franklin, with a smile. "A lot of great athletes came through at that time, and I'm looking forward to having some Auburn guys come over to Tifton."
The third annual athletic fellowship event begins Thursday at four o-clock at the Airnasium.
A ten dollar donation is requested.
Kids and athletes get in free.