Booster Club raises $15,000 at Scrapper Showdown

“BACK HOME.” J.B. Grimes, offensive line coach at Auburn University, speaks at the Scrapper Showdown. Grimes began his coaching career in Nashville and said he was “back home” Saturday night.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Scrapper Booster Club raised $15,000 at the Scrapper Showdown Saturday night at the Nashville Elementary School cafeteria, according to Gaye Graham from the Booster Club. About 200 people attended the fund-raiser.
“This is the best we’ve ever done,” Graham said Sunday. “Thanks so much for area merchants who donated items for the auction and to all who came out to support Scrapper athletics.”
Proceeds from the Showdown will benefit all aspects of the athletic programs at junior high and high school, Graham said. The Booster Club will use part of the money to provide state championship rings for the Scrapper cheerleaders, order an endzone video camera system for the football program, purchase an ice machine for Scrapper Arena, and help with travel expenses for basketball, track, softball and baseball.
The Showdown featured a barbecue dinner, live and silent auctions, a raffle, Heads or Tails game, basketball shoot and music by Mike Eudy, elementary school art teacher.
Auburn University offensive line coach J.B. Grimes was the speaker for the showdown. He began his coaching career in 1977 as an assistant with the Scrappers after graduating from Henderson State. Grimes coached at a number of Division I and Division II schools before joining Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State in 2012. When Malzahn became head coach at Auburn in 2013, Grimes moved with him as offensive line coach.
“J.B. is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country,” Coach Billy Dawson said as he introduced the speaker. “Auburn had a great year. They had the best O-line in the country and got better every week.”
“It’s great to be home,” Grimes said. “My career started in Nashville. My wife and I are building a home here.” Grimes is married to the former Jennifer Graves of Nashville.
“I loved it here. I want to come back home when I retire,” Grimes said, noting that he is “not retiring now.”
“You’ve got spmething special here in Nashville. There’s obvious pride in what you do in the athletic department. When I come back to town with this kind of turnout, that’s special. You don’t see this everywhere,” Grimes said.
Grimes said that when he was on the staff at Arkansas from 1989-92, “The school had good football and good basketball teams. “They fed off each other. In Nashville, I look over and see your new arena. Wow! That’s big time. It shows a commitment to every sport.”
Last year, Auburn “did something that’s never been done before – go from 3-9 the year before to playing for the national championship,” Grimes said. “Back in August, if anybody had said we’ll give you seven wins, we would have taken it.”
When the new staff took over at Auburn, “There was an accountability problem and an entitlement problem,” Grimes said. “Discipline is what you do for somebody, not to somebody. We don’t need to forget that. The accountability problem that we faced was something we had to overcome with a velvet hammer. You don’t have to get mad to get your point across.”
Grimes said the team was moved back into a dorm, and one player said he wasn’t moving back. The response was, “‘That’s fine, but you won’t play football at Auburn.’ He understood. We had to teach that we’re all in this together.”
Grimes said Auburn “had some luck during the course of the season. I’ve been associated with 12 championship teams, and they had two common denominators. They always had a good quarterback, and they always had some luck. When you’re lucky and good, that equates into championships. We were 13 seconds short in the national championship game.”
Auburn pulled off stunning wins over Georgia and Alabama to advance to the title game. “The Alabama game – it’s crazy what happened. That never happens,” Grimes said. “Our kids put themselves in the position where one play made the difference. These guys wanted to be coached.”
Grimes said there seven things he looks for in an offensive lineman. “Is he big enough? Is he strong enough? Is he quick enough? Is he balanced enough? Is he smart enough? Does he have character? Does he have toughness?
“You can take any two of the first five and add character and toughness and have a good player. You can’t do without good character people with toughness,” Grimes said.
Following his comments, Grimes visited with a number of friends, and items in the live and silent auctions received one last look from those at the Showdown.
The live auction quickly became quite competitive as auctioneer Todd Morris kept a close watch on the bids, with help from Dawson.
The top seller was a University of Alabama football autographed by Coach Nick Saban. Jason Harrison bought the ‘Bama football, along with autographed footballs from Auburn and the Razorbacks.
Some of the other items included Captain for a Day, bought by Kathy Brown; Cheerleader for a Day, bought by Dickie Hendry; reserved parking spot for next season at Scrapper Stadium, John Stinnett; reserved parking spot for the rest of this season and next at Scrapper Arena, Gary Dan Futrell; Scrapper quilt, Woody Futrell.
Jim Hamilton won a big-screen color TV in the Heads or Tails game. Cameron Alexander was the winner of the iPad Mini in the basketball shoot.

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