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From the Sideline: Housel event could be the start for the club

One thing that is absolutely undeniable for anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in Alabama is the passion for college football that exists in this state.

It is a fervor that borders on religion as people are expected to stand on one side of the state or the other and will forever be judged harshly and accordingly by the other side.

Personally, I strive to stay out of Alabama vs. Auburn fray. I grew up in a household that supported the University of Alabama. But I have never been one to root against Auburn. That just never made sense to me. Tennessee on the other hand, that is a team against which I could root.

However, regardless of which state school you choose to support either financially, emotionally or otherwise, you cannot help but be impressed by the efforts of the newly-resurgent Marengo County Auburn Club.

The group had its first event in more than five years Tuesday when it welcomed former Auburn University athletic director David Housel as the guest speaker for an evening at the Coplin Building in Demopolis.

There are more than 400 Auburn University alumni in Marengo County and even more who just consider themselves fans of the school. So Tuesday’s turnout of more than 100 people is likely no fluke. And that is definitely good news for prospective Auburn students in Marengo County.

The genuine appeal of the club is that its entire existence is predicated on raising funds to give toward a scholarship that will be presented to a Marengo County high school student who is looking to go to Auburn.

While that inherently supports Auburn University, it has a deeper effect. Essentially, the club’s entire purpose is to help local high school students fund their education.

And no matter who you root for, that cannot be a bad thing. So the challenge for the Marengo County Auburn Club remains clear. Continue to grow and turn your potential $1,000 scholarship into something even greater.

And for Alabama fans? Take similar actions. Marengo County has a nearly rabid stable of Alabama fans. And there are a ton of local students who ultimately go on to call Tuscaloosa home during their collegiate careers. So, in this case, Alabama fans actually trail Auburn fans.

But maybe this, like so many other things between these cross-state rivals, can turn into something that produces the kind of passion that leads to success. And if it happens to benefit our local young people in the process, all the better.

So congratulations go out to Sean Parker and company as they begin what we can all hope is a very successful venture.