Senior day in Jordan Hare is always an emotional time. Football players in their final season are presented to the crowd and are greeted with roaring response.
As the players run from the locker room to center field, there are seniors on the sidelines, in the stands and on the field who are members of support organizations who are serving the team for the final time.
These seniors may not get as much recognition as the players, or any recognition, but they are equally as important. They support the team, rally the fans, represent the University and recruit the next group of players.
The following students served Auburn in their roles for the last time, but the memories created during their four years will be cherished for a lifetime.
Lauren Lynch is from Land O’ Lakes, Fla., and is a second-year cheerleader. Lynch has a passion for Auburn, having served as a Camp War Eagle counselor and Tigerette before she was named to the cheerleading squad.
Lynch has some distinct memories of her time pumping up the crowd at football games. The one that stood out to her came from the 2013 Iron Bowl, but not on the play you would assume.
“My most memorable experience in Jordan-Hare was when Sammie Coates scored in the last few minutes of the Iron Bowl,” Lynch said. “I think that Sammie's touchdown sticks out in my mind even more because it restored hope.”
The hope may have been the reason that this moment stuck out to her, but the friend she made in that instance could be the true reason.
“I jumped up into Aubie's arms and he swung me around while we all screamed in disbelief,” she said.
Outside of the spectacularly unexpected moments, Lynch delights in the consistent Auburn traditions that make game day exceptional.
“Spirit March is a gameday tradition unlike any other,” Lynch said.
She says that she did not even know of Spirit March until she joined the squad. Lynch describes it as a convergence of the band and cheerleaders from all four directions to enter the stadium.
“It is a pre-game celebration that truly represents the Auburn Spirit,” Lynch said.
All of the memories and traditions that made her last game in the stadium bitter sweet. Lynch says she will miss the way it felt to look up at a crowd full of screaming fans.
Fortunately for her, her job is not over. Auburn still has many other sports that need the squads support.
On game day, Taylor Akers puts on her pearls and War Eagle Girl name tag to cheer on the tigers. Though she sits among the students now in her role as a War Eagle Girl, she has not always experienced gameday this way.
During her freshman and sophomore years, Akers played the saxophone in the Auburn University Marching Band. As a junior, Akers served as the director of Aubie and escorted him on game day.
Similar to Lynch, Akers favorite memory in the stadium occurred during the Iron Bowl alongside everyone’s favorite mascot.
“Since I was a Director of Aubie at the time, I was able to storm the field hand in hand with my favorite tiger,” Akers said.
Game day has a special family atmosphere, and that was something that Akers was happy to experience alongside her fellow War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen.
“Being from Tennessee, my parents aren't able to make the drive down for every game but they were able to drive down for WEGP Parent's Weekend,” Akers said. “It was so much to get to tailgate with them and show them my love for Auburn.”
As far as what she will miss, Akers recognizes that games as an alumni are not the same as the ones you attend as a student.
“I will definitely be making my way back to The Plains in the future, but there will be nothing like going to the game as a student.”
In the corner of the student section sits the heartbeat of the student section, the Auburn University Marching Band. As they enter the field, lead by drum major Annie Scibetta, the students burst into applause and sing along.
Entering the field in such a unique and traditional fashion is one of Scibetta’s favorite memories.
“Nothing compares to running out of the south end zone tunnel onto the field for our pregame show,” Scibetta said. “You can ask any AUMB member and they will assure you that it's one of the most exhilarating experiences.”
As a four-year veteran, Scibetta has experienced some of Auburn’s best and worst games. Through it all, some of the best moments came not from the games, but from the more intimate experiences she was able to share with her fellow band members.
“The AUMB always circles up after our morning game-day rehearsal and sings the Alma Mater all together,” Scibetta said.
Even though this portion may only be a miniscule part of a larger day, packed with performances, it is those small moments with her favorite people that stick out to her.
The relationship she has built within the band will last a lifetime as Scibetta considers the band her family.
“You form very unique friendships, not only because of the amount of time spent together, but also because of the common purpose we all have to be a part of something greater than ourselves,” Scibetta said. “I can't imagine spending my game days without the entire AUMB, but sometimes even the best things have to come to an end.”
Across the field, away from the student section, a group of Auburn students are diligently working to ensure that Auburn football continues to be excellent. The Tigerettes and Tiger Hosts spend their game days working with football recruiting.
As a Tiger Host, Rowell is able to meet some amazing potential students as well as Auburn greats from years past.
“My favorite memory from game day was getting the chance to meet the players from the 1989 team that beat Alabama for the first time in Auburn,” Rowell said. “Hearing all their stories, seeing their pictures, and getting to hear the account of that Iron Bowl first hand was something I'll always remember.”
From the sidelines, Rowell was able to experience the electricity of the stadium best during the LSU game this year. He describes the experience as “electric” and exciting.
As many said before him, Auburn game day experiences are as much about the football as they are about the people with whom you share them. This is what he will miss most after his final year.
“I am going to miss watching the football games with all of the people I've gone to school with,” Rowell said. “It's pretty unlikely that I will be able to watch Auburn games with 10-20 of my friends all together in Jordan Hare after graduation. That will take some getting used to.”
Just like the seniors helmeted in orange and blue, there are seniors in the stands who have contributed to the success of Auburn, Auburn Athletics and our great campus. Their impact is not left between the hashes, but can be seen through the continued excellence of our University.
As the class of 2015 graduates, a new group of seniors will rise and create memories of their final season, leaving as much of a lasting legacy as the class before them. This great cycle will ensure that Auburn remains the wonderful place it is today.
Join the Auburn Family! Enroll at Auburn.
*All photos were taken with permission from the subjects' Facebook page*