Dougherty senior football players pose for a photo under the Auburn University logo at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn during Saturday evening’s visit to the game.

Some Dougherty senior football players got a small reward Saturday night as they had the opportunity to enjoy a football game at Auburn University, tour the schools’ athletic facilities and interact with some of the Auburn officials and players. Head coach Johnny Gilbert took the group as part of an effort to build the culture at Dougherty and give players an idea of what being a Division I football player looks like.

“It was a phenomenal opportunity for these guys to be able to see the weight room, see the coaches as they worked and see what a Division one football player looks like and goes through,” Gilbert said. “We toured the facilities, talk to some of the people, then went and watched the game as a group. At half time we got to eat together and just enjoy the atmosphere of a college football game.”

Gilbert said the trip to Auburn is just the first and he is hoping to make the trip to other college games with players as well. He said opportunities like this help improve the culture around Dougherty football and help motivate the players to make the team better at Dougherty.

“It is about leadership,” Gilbert said. “These seniors are my coaches among the players. They can help motivate the other guys and keep things moving in the right direction. With this we are able to sit down and talk about what we like and don’t like about our team and program and what we can do to make things better.”

Gilbert said he wants the players to see what a major college football program looks like and see what it takes to get there.

“If they don’t know what it takes or what it looks like, they don’t know what they are working for,” said Gilbert. “Here they see it and then they can make a decision on how great they want to be, how hard they are going to work to get what they want.”

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