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Sugar Bowl Bound

Majorette coach and more

By Michael Butler

Megan Schaffner wears a lot of hats. She is the proud mother of a three-year-old, Parker. She is happily married to her husband Aaron, who will finish medical school in May.

Megan even holds a state bowfishing record for the 24.2 pound longnose gar she caught at Lake Harding.

She is the granddaughter of the late Edwin Watkins. The "Colonel," as he was known, was legendary at Tallassee High School with his "Long Blue Line."

"He never missed a game at Auburn," Megan said reflecting on her time as an Auburn majorette.

Megan is now an accountant with Freedom Fuels. She is also the Auburn University Danceline and Majorette instructor. This is her sixth year with the majorettes and her third year with the danceline.

Megan with the Danceline
Megan with the Tigerettes

She still works with Vicki Baker, who mentored so many young twirlers at Tallassee. Miss Vicki as she is still affectionately known, has produced many college majorettes - including Megan.

"There's probably 20," Megan estimated. "At Miss Vicki's studio, the Heart of Dance, the competition team trains every Wednesday. She is amazing. We get in there and twirl together, and she's still just as good."

Rachel Ware, a Tallassee graduate, just completed her fifth and final year of twirling at AU. Tallassee native Christy Britt is in her first year on the Plains.

Megan said two Tallassee seniors, Hope Sharp and Kaitlyn Slaughter, are expected to try out at Auburn this spring.

Vicki took Megan and other Tallassee majorettes to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans annually as the "Sugar Bowl Twirlers." Megan performed at the 2004 LSU/Oklahoma National Championship won by the Tigers, then under head coach Nick Saban.

Megan returned to Super Dome for New Year's with Auburn's game vs. Oklahoma a few weeks ago.

"We had a lot of free time this trip. Usually we don't have any free time. It was a great time."

Football Saturdays, while exhilarating, can also be exhausting.

"We have a three-hour rehearsal. We get to the game probably three hours early." Of course, the game itself lasts at least another three hours.

Although this is the "off-season," Megan remains busy in her responsibilites with Auburn. She is working on uniform designs. Auditions will be in March.

"I sincerely have enjoyed my time teaching what I love at Auburn University," Megan said. "To be able to help others excel in the interest we share is a great honor. The girls and staff are inspirational and a pleasure to be around."

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