Every smile brought another right back.
Fans and athletes alike cherished their chance to meet and greet at Auburn’s annual Fan Day event on Saturday afternoon, as fans wrapped a line across the athletics complex, and Tigers from the football, volleyball, soccer and equestrian teams and more met them with pens ready for the autograph signing event — enjoying their end of the fun just the same as the fans.
“It’s amazing,” Auburn soccer senior Treva Aycock said. “It’s a great atmosphere.
“We’re really appreciative of everyone who came out to support us and support all of the fall teams. It’s been fun.”
Those squads were all on hand along with the cheerleaders, Tiger Paws and Aubie.
“Fan Day is awesome,” Auburn soccer head coach Karen Hoppa said. “Obviously football is always such a big draw, but it’s so fun for our athletes to be able to interact with the fans, and especially the children, and to sign posters.
“And I told them, enjoy it. It’s a reward. How many times in your lifetime do you get to sign autographs for two hours — to people who truly want your autograph?
“It’s really fun and we appreciate the Auburn Family coming out,” she said.
The soccer team starts its season Aug. 22, with football and volleyball season openers looming the weekend of Aug. 31.
For now, though, every team still stands undefeated, and Saturday just marked a celebration for all things Auburn.
“It’s something I look forward to every year,” Auburn volleyball junior Morgan Kull said.
And every year, for the school’s new athletes, it’s an eye-opener to see how many Auburn fans pack the athletics complex for the event.
“We’ve got two freshmen but we also have a lot of transfers — so just for them to see, like, how big the Auburn Family is is also really cool,” volleyball senior Shaina White said.
For those sports, too, every year Fan Day is a chance for coaches and players to introduce themselves to Auburn fans who made the trip up to see the school’s most popular sports team, the football team.
“Football’s earned that — and our kids have earned that,” Auburn volleyball head coach Rick Nold said. Hoppa agreed that it’s always a good chance for her team to meet potential supporters along with their regulars.
“It’s fun to be able to mix,” Nold went on. “I think it’s something that we’ve looked at for all sports — we’re an all-sports school. We have a lot of great teams. To have these opportunities to get around the fans and expose ourselves to them is really, really cool.
“Just a neat environment,” he said, surrounded by the clamor of fans in orange and blue, even well before the season’s first serve.
“It’s neat, because for our new players, it’s their first interaction with the Auburn family,” Hoppa said. “So it’s always fun.”