Tuesday Mar 23 2010
Austin Collie a big hit to local fans
By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
Come one, come all to the Austin Collie fan show. Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie welcomed a crowd of home town fans Saturday at the El Dorado Hills Town Center. A crowd of hundreds began lining up more than an hour earlier before the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. event to catch a peak and an autograph of the hometown hero. The sidewalk full of families stretched around the corner of the Town Center from the Lower Theater Plaza adjacent to Cold Stone Creamery. Oak Ridge High School Community Foundation President Anthony Scotch contacted Collie’s father Scott in regard to Collie being home for the weekend and from there the pieces seemed to fall into place. “We’ve known Austin for 10 or 15 years,” Scotch said. “As a matter of fact my sons played football with him and the opportunity came up to ask him to help us out and he agreed to help us raise some money.” Autographs were priced at $10 to benefit the Foundation’s contributions towards a new concession stand and improvements in the Oak Ridge stadium. “I was worried,” said Collie. “I was expecting maybe 10 people. It’s good to see that there are people here to support Oak Ridge and the foundation. It means a lot to me to be part of this.” “So far it’s been great,” added Collie. “It’s been great being home and seeing my family and being able to kick my feet up after one season. The great thing about coming back home is I’m still the kid that played in the high school stadium and it’s no different.” Upon arriving Collie took a minute to say hi to familiar faces and then publicly addressed his fan base. He spoke of the tendencies for players to get caught up in the limelight of stardom and how proud he was to represent El Dorado Hills and the Sacramento valley. Near the front of the line was the Stein family standing listening to Collie’s words. The Steins were out in numbers like many families, but earlier than most. “The boys have been waiting anxiously all week to get an autograph from Austin Collie,” said Kim, mother of Greg (10) and Charlie (9). The Steins had to arrive early to be able to take off for Boy Scouts as both boys are members of Pack 454 and Troop 454. Also arriving early in anticipation of getting his kids a close up with Collie was Aaron Johnson, son Wyatt (12), Ty (9) and Kate (7). The family made the trip from Ione, proudly displaying their Brigham Young gear. “We’re here for the opportunity of the kids getting to meet Austin Collie and to get to talk to him,” said Aaron. “We’ve seen him on plenty of TV and a handful of games when we made it to back at BYU.” Both Wyatt and Ty play football and Wyatt had the fitting comment for the day, “It’s pretty cool seeing Austin Collie because we look up to him as a player.” Whether it was fans, old friends, or people with a similar admiration of Collie, the event displayed the attitude and humility that makes a hometown boy a local celebrity.