By Jean Cole
Saturday’s Iron Bowl will be a test for six former Athens High School friends. It will test their ability to be joyful, but not gloating, if their team wins one of the biggest college football rivalries of the season.
The AHS grads are all members of either the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band or the Auburn University Marching Band – three in each band. They include Alabama band members Kelly Galuska, alto sax; Bethany Bruce, trumpet; and David Vaughn, alto sax; and Auburn band members Cady Hobson, Meghan Miller and Brettlyn Currier, all of whom play clarinet.
The group gathered Wednesday at Athens High Stadium so they could have a photograph made together in case they didn’t get a chance to do it on Iron Bowl day, Bruce told The News Courier.
“We try to get together as much as we can,” said Bruce, who is in her first year with the Alabama band. “I’ve met so many great people and I’ve enjoyed getting to play and hang out with people during games.”
Next to an SEC Championship game, the Iron Bowl is considered the game of the season for Alabama and Auburn fans. With The Crimson Tide considered a 3 1.5-point favorite, the pressure is on the Tigers this year.
Auburn Coach Gene Chizik already said this week that his team knows “this is a one-game season.”
Bruce said the key to getting along in a mixed crowd like theirs is moderation.
“We joke with each other about the game, but we are nice about it — nothing really harsh,” she said. “It’s kind of hard. You want to make people laugh but not make them upset.”
The game starts at 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.