Residents eager for the holidays, split on Iron Bowl winner

Nov. 24—Local residents say they will spend the long Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend visiting with their relatives and watching the Iron Bowl on Saturday.

Trinity resident Amy Williams said she expected several family members to visit this week.

"We always do family dinner," Williams said. "We have big family get-togethers; I think our last count was 65."

Williams was at Decatur Mall on Monday getting some shopping out of the way before it gets too frantic on Friday.

"I don't do Black Friday shopping," Williams said, preferring to rest at home instead.

Hartselle resident Jeremy Kilpatrick is also looking forward to seeing relatives this weekend and said this is the time of year his family begins preparing for Christmas.

"We'll put up our Christmas lights the week of Thanksgiving and put our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving," Kilpatrick said. "We try to get our shopping done before Black Friday hits."

Amy Hood, an instructional coach at Priceville Elementary, said her family will partake in a new family tradition on Black Friday.

"Each member of our family draws a name for an ornament swap," Hood said. "The fun is in guessing who each new ornament on the tree represents."

Morgan County Superintendent-elect Tracie Turrentine said she and her family planned to eat together and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning like they always do.

"My family and I are very traditional," Turrentine said. "We get together for lunch, watch the Macy's Day Parade, watch football and put up our Christmas tree."

When asked about Black Friday, Turrentine said she personally likes to relax on Thanksgiving break and "stay away from chaos."

Athens residents and first cousins Vonia Seay, Maiyah Goodwin and Latasha Wright have family driving in from Michigan and Birmingham this week.

"This will be the first time in a while that we'll be able to see our Michigan family," Seay said. "We'll probably do our shopping online on Friday."

Iron Bowl predictions

As far as the Iron Bowl is concerned, Seay said she was an Auburn fan but "I'm kind of up in the air on that one."

An Alabama Crimson Tide fan, Williams said she is determined Alabama will win against Auburn in the 87th annual rivalry game in Tuscaloosa. Kilpatrick, on the other hand, believes Auburn may have a fighting chance with interim head coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams at the helm.

"I think we're moving forward with Cadillac," Kilpatrick said. "He's pulled us through what we've been going through this season."

Two Decatur City councilmen believe the Crimson Tide will have a strong victory, but Council President Jacob Ladner is predicting an upset.

"I'm telling you right now, it's going to be 63 to nothing, Auburn," said Ladner who will be at the game himself. "I think (Auburn's) Coach Cadillac will get them fired up and ready to go and, you know, Alabama doesn't have anything to play for anymore, so I think Auburn will have all the energy and bring it."

Hood also says this year belongs to the Tigers and predicts them to win 34-31.

Councilmen Billy Jackson and Carlton McMasters predict Alabama wins and Jackson says Auburn does not have enough highly skilled players to match Alabama's depth.

"I'm going to say it's probably going to be 42-14," Jackson said. "I think (Cadillac Williams) has inspired Auburn, I think they're playing better ball now. I just don't know that they have the depth to deal with Alabama right now. Alabama's defense has not been as good as it's been, but I just believe they have too much depth against Auburn right now."

McMasters, an Auburn fan, said, "I have a feeling we're going to take some lumps on Saturday. I predict Alabama to win 38-21."

Turrentine said she expects it will be an emotional game for her Tigers.

"War Eagle, but I have to go with Alabama 31 and Auburn 14," Turrentine said.

wesley.tomlinson@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438.