This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High senior Paxton Gordon, who plays fullback on the Tigers' football team.
Auburn Villager: How did you get your start playing football?
Paxton Gordon: I started playing in first grade. I lived in Montgomery, and there was a YMCA football league. I played one year and just fell in love with it, and then played ever since. Then moved here in sixth grade, played a year of rec ball here and started playing with school. Loved it, and loved the group of guys I was with and just stuck with it ever since.
AV: What are the biggest challenges playing fullback?
PG: The biggest challenge is knowing what to do. Fullback is a position where there's a lot of different assignments. You have to know who to block, how to block and all that. So I guess just overall knowing what to do and how to do it.
AV: What do you enjoy most about playing fullback?
PG: Hitting people. I love it. That's the fun part.
AV: Do you have a particular block or hit you've made that really sticks out to you?
PG: There's usually one or two a game that it happens, where 'That was a good one.' You can tell — it'll sound good; you'll feel good.
AV: With you being a fullback, the running backs really depend on you a lot. How do you get to know what to do for them?
PG: I've just always, whoever's behind me in the backfield, I've always had a close relationship with them on and off the field, a real good, tight bond because you've got to have the bond to know how I'm going to block for him and how he can depend on me and I can depend on him so he can make the right cut and I can make the right block. So it's really a tight bond between the two of us.
AV: Do you have any role models or players you try to emulate?
PG: Philip Lutzenkirchen. He played tight end at Auburn University. He was just overall a great guy. He was great on and off the field. I loved watching him play and just always modeled my game after him, and that's why I wear No. 43 as well.
AV: What did you take away from watching Lutzenkirchen?
PG: Just how he played the game and how he carried himself on and off the field. He was a great Christian guy, worked really hard and made tremendous blocks.
AV: How is the season going for you so far?
PG: We're just taking it game by game, just getting better every week. And I think we've done that tremendously. We have been playing real good overall defensively and offensively, and we're coming together and starting to play really good football, so I'm excited to see what we have for the rest of the season.
AV: As a senior, do you know what you want to do yet after you graduate?
PG: Not entirely. I've got my options open, but nothing set in stone right now.
AV: Do you have a favorite football team you follow?
PG: I've always grown up watching Auburn University. We've had season tickets for as long as I can remember, so I've always just loved watching Auburn football.