Posted: 10:57 am Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Avery Young’s father was ‘shaking’ over Auburn shootings 

By Matt Porter

Willie Young Sr. woke up Sunday morning to a text message any father would dread: “My prayers go out to Avery.”

That’s Avery as in Avery Young, his 18-year-old son who is an incoming freshman at Auburn.

“I said, what the hell does that mean,” said Willie Sr., a Riviera Beach resident. It had been a few days since he had reached his son by phone. “Oh buddy, I was shaking and I was nervous.”

The text message was from a well-wishing friend. Willie made a phone call and found out about the deadly shooting that shook Auburn, Ala. to its core.

Avery Young, an offensive tackle from Palm Beach Gardens High, wasn’t on campus during a shooting Saturday night that left three dead, including two former football players, and three wounded. It turned out he had gone to stay with his mother, Toni Culbreth, in Georgia for the weekend.

Sophomore running back Tre Mason, a Park Vista graduate, and freshman offensive tackle Patrick Miller (Dwyer) were on campus but unharmed.

On Tuesday, police continued to search for the suspect in the shooting. Meanwhile, Willie Young Sr. plans to be vigilant in keeping up with his son, who he says is gaining weight in preparation for his first season of college football.

“I’m telling him he’d better call to check in with me every night,” Young Sr. said. “And I mean it.”

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