Pencils down! GCM checked in with Auburn University Turf Bowl participants fresh out of the test hall Thursday morning, and spirits were high.
This was the first Turf Bowl for John Michael Johnson, a junior and a member of Team 7 in the competition, and he said being geographically conscious when answering certain questions was imperative. “One of the hardest things is taking out where you’re from,” Johnson said. “On some questions, you might think you know the answer, but you have to consider who’s asking the question and where they’re from.”
Johnson said the experience was valuable, and he enjoyed getting to spend time with his classmates outside the classroom, as well as the camaraderie that forms from different minds collaborating to reach a common goal.
For Auburn’s veteran “A Team,” as they’re known among their peers (Team 23, officially), everything about this year’s go-around felt more comfortable, from the multiple-choice questions to the case study. The quartet consists of Austin Brown, Robert Collier, William Farmer and John Peppers, all of whom are seniors.
What would a Turf Bowl win mean to this group of returning contenders? For Collier, the opportunity to be the first SEC school to take home the trophy in the event’s 18-year history would be a high honor. “It would mean a lot for our turf program and also for the university as a whole,” he said. Johnson echoed the sentiment: “We want to put Auburn on the map — to show that Auburn has a legitimate turfgrass program.”