Auburn football: One more spring game observation; an award-worthy duo

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss an observation from A-Day and the McWhorter scholarship nominees. 

A-Day appreciation 

It was easy to get caught up in the football action and news over the weekend.

The A-Day game was exciting. After a bit of a dead period, the Tigers ran out of the tunnel in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Good things happened for Kevin Steele’s defense and for Chip Lindsey’s new offense.

But there was one note that you probably didn’t read about in a news story when you got your recap of the weekend.

One of Gus Malzahn’s initial comments at his post spring game press conference was a thank you to the fans who came out and supported the Tigers on Saturday.

It was also the first thing out of many players’ mouths. After battling against teammates for weeks, Auburn players were thrilled to play in front of fans. Many said the experience was what helped them stay focused when practices picked up following a 10-day spring break.

It wasn’t just coach speak or players following instructions to say thanks, either. Several players spent a good bit of time signing autographs, taking pictures (the field was selfie central after the scrimmage). Many stopped chatting with friends and family to visit with appreciative fans.

At the end of it all, however, it’s hard to tell who was more appreciative.

ICYMI

Happening on the Plains 

Each year, the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship is handed out by the SEC.

This year, the nominees are Kasey Cooper of Auburn softball and Joe Patching of Auburn men’s swimming and diving.

Cooper was a member of the United States national team in 2016 and 2017. She was the espnW National Player of the Year following her 2016 season and a NFCA first-team All-America selection (and the list goes on and on).

Patching was a member of the Auburn record-setting 800-yard free relay at the 2017 NCAA championships. He also was the third-fastest performer in school history in the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes.

A committee of faculty athletics representatives from the 14 SEC schools choose the award recipients, who will be honored in early June in Sandestin, Fla.

Moving on up 

Auburn softball moved up to No. 2 in the RPI after its series win against Ole Miss on the Plains.

A masterful weekend

The Auburn women’s golf team earned one of its most significant wins in recent history over the weekend, defeating No. 2 Southern California at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.

With the SEC Championship just two weeks away, the Tigers went 2-0-1 in match play to conclude the regular season.

The victory wouldn’t have been possible without freshman Kayley Marschke, who carded four straight birdies over the final four holes.

The fifth-place finish was its best at this event since 2014. The SEC Championship, Auburn’s next event, will be held in Birmingham (April 21-23).

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