WSN and East Brewton’s Auburn boys celebrate national championship

Published 4:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

After more than a month after helping the Auburn Tigers win their first national championship in football since 1957, three W.S. Neal and East Brewton natives are still soaking everything in.
Former Eagles Scott Fountain, Jared Cooper and Jamar Travis say the 2010-2011 Tiger football season will be one they will always remember.
“It feels awesome,” Fountain said. “I am glad I have been blessed to have reached the highest level of my profession. I am especially proud of the Auburn family.”
Cooper said winning the national championship this season is an unbelievable feeling.
“It is great to walk around Auburn and see all the shirts and flags, and know that in 2010 no football team in the nation was better than us,” Cooper said. “We’ve been extremely blessed to be able to experience something that not many people get to be a part of.”
Travis said, “there isn’t a better feeling right now to be able to say you are a national champion.”
Fountain said he was glad to have had the opportunity to go through this journey in his life, but what he would cherish the most is the journey, not the championship.
“The focus of getting to the national championship game helps me get through the journey,” Fountain said. “My journey started when I choose to get into the coaching profession and my goal has always been to strive to reach the top. Twenty years after my journey started I reached the top of my profession. I am truly blessed.”
Cooper said that this season, by far, has been one of the most memorable years of his life. “This year’s team was extremely close, and there couldn’t have been a more fitting ending for this group of guys,” Cooper said. “I’m blessed to have been a part of this team, and it’s something I’ll carry with me forever. Probably the biggest thing I’ll take away from this team and season is the lesson to never quit. You hear the phrase ‘refuse to lose’ all the time, but this team actually did that. We were behind in a good deal of games this year, but not once did we ever doubt ourselves or feel like we wouldn’t win any of those games.”
Travis also said this season is one that he won’t forget and it will be unbelievable to wear a national championship ring on his finger as he has always wanted one.
“Winning a national championship is a goal every team sets out to do and there can only be one team,” Travis said.
During the game for Travis, he made a big tackle on a punt return.
“The play I made in the game, I would have to say would be most exciting play yet in my college career.” Travis said. “It felt great to make an tackle on such a big stage.”
Cooper was on the field on the last play of the game as Auburn kicked the game-winning field goal. He said the play felt like any other field goal this year.
“There was no sense of anxiousness in the coaches or players, and everybody was surprisingly collected,” Cooper said. “A friend and I (who is the left guard on the field goal team) actually talked the day before the game about how great it would be if we kicked a game winning field goal as time expired, and how we could always have that story to tell. I actually didn’t even get to see the ball go through the uprights because I was blocking, but I knew from the crowd’s reaction exactly what happened.”
As for the celebration after the kick?
“It was absolute chaos right after the field goal. It’s more than what you can ever experience by watching it on TV, there was just so much adrenaline going that you can’t contain yourself,” Cooper said. “The trophy presentation is almost like a dream. It was even more special on January 22 when we got to come back and celebrate with the Auburn family. Being there with members of the 1957 national championship team and 80,000 fans was just as exciting as the post game celebration.”
In a previous story about the East Brewton/ W.S. Neal champions, Cooper mentioned how at every practice and game, the team would answer a question about wanting to be a champion and now that they are a champion, it’s really an odd feeling finishing the season No. 1 in the country.
“We had a taste of what being champions was like in the SEC, but honestly by the time we got to the national championship it seemed sort of small,” Cooper said. “It’s a great feeling knowing that there were 120 other schools in the NCAA who started the season wanting to be in our position, and that we were the best out of all of them.”
Cooper said the week in Arizona was a blast.
“Just being in Arizona for a week was a great experience in itself,” Cooper said. It’s an absolutely beautiful place. We did a great job of balancing practice and down time while we were out there. We had a week of great practices in the morning, and then got to enjoy ourselves in the afternoon. There was a lot of fun to be had, but at the same time we knew what we were there to do.”
Cooper also said he was not surprised at the amount of Auburn fans who made the trip out West.
“Auburn fans never disappoint, and this game was no exception,” Cooper said. “We expected the stands to be pretty evenly distributed, but we were pretty surprised when we saw that there was a good bit more Auburn fans. It really wasn’t anything new though; there were a few away games this year where we had almost as many fans as the home team. We had heard all week how many Auburn fans there were in town, but we really didn’t realize it until game time.”
All three players said it means a lot to them to share in this moment of all being from W.S. Neal and East Brewton.
“I think it’s just great for the program,” Travis said. “It’s great to have Coop (Jared Cooper) and coach Fountain on the team with me knowing we all three came From W.S. Neal in East Brewton, Alabama.”
“Like I said earlier, it’s just a great compliment to the community and the kind of people it produces,” Cooper said. “A lot of guys joke with Jamar and I about being from such a small community and school, but we have more people involved with the program than some people from larger cities. Both the school and the community have been a great support system, and I’m glad we could give something back to both of them.”
“I am very proud to have attended W.S. Neal and very proud of my community, both East Brewton and Brewton,” Fountain said. “At the end of the day its important to set goals and then be willing and persistence enough to see them through. W.S. Neal teachers and staff, my family and especially my mom and dad instilled in me early to dream and dream big. But to dream with a focus and a passion is to see your dreams come true.”

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About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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