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Kelly Marzoni Selected for Golden Eagle Pride

Kelly Marzoni

Jan. 18, 2012

GEP Central

How long have you been a supporter of the Eagle Club?
In my family, we have been lifetime supporters.

Where are you currently located?
I live right in the middle of Golden Eagle Nation, Hattiesburg!

What is your earliest memory of Southern Miss Athletics?
I grew up in the Hattiesburg area, I always remember cheering for Southern Miss. When it was time to apply to colleges there was no question, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Why do you support the Eagle Club and Southern Miss Athletics?
I support the Eagle Club and Southern Miss Athletics because of the great love I have for the university. All the sporting events have a great atmosphere, smart coaches, and talented athletes.

You have season tickets to what sports?
Football and baseball, I go to as many basketball games as possible.

Were you a USM athlete? If so, how did the experience affect your life?
I was not a USM athlete but I did have the privilege of being a "Diamond Darling" and serving as captain of the Diamond Darlings for the USM baseball team. It was one of my favorite experiences as a student at Southern Miss. I had always loved Southern Miss but having the opportunity to work closely with the baseball team really made me love the athletic program and all things black and gold.

What is your favorite Southern Miss Athletics tradition?
My favorite Southern Miss tradition is the Eagle Walk. I love lining up two hours before the game and cheering for the team as they prepare for the big game. The Pride of Mississippi always sounds great and gets everyone pumped for the game. It is always an added bonus to get a high-five from the players!

Who is your favorite Southern Miss coach or athlete, past or present?
There have been many wonderful coaches and athletes at Southern Miss, which makes it difficult to chose just one. These players and coaches have made many wonderful seasons and memories possible, but my favorite coach would have to be Coach Corky Palmer. I always enjoy weekends at The Pete. And that magical 2009 season and trip to Omaha make Coach Palmer one of the Southern Miss greats.

What are three must-have items for your own personal tailgate?
I love to tailgate; it isn't complete without great friends, fun times, and great Southern Miss décor.

What is the best type of food to have at a tailgate?
Dips, sandwiches and sweets.

Why should more Southern Miss fans and supporters join the Eagle Club?
The Eagle Club is a great way to support the student-athletes and coaches that we love to cheer for so much. Golden Eagle fans should join to give back and show their support for the team we all love!

From all of USM's athletic success, what is your favorite memory of all-time?
Southern Miss has been a part of many awesome victories and incredible finishes. The most recent, the 2011, 12-2, C-USA Championship football season was amazing. Cheering for the Golden Eagles at The Rock and the excitement that brought to Golden Eagle Nation was phenomenal. The scene at the airport when the team arrived home from the victory over Houston was incredible. Then there is the 2009 "Road to Omaha" with the baseball team. I was in Gainesville when we beat the Florida Gators to advance to Omaha. The spirited atmosphere was like nothing I had ever experienced before, truly amazing! Then to travel to Omaha the next week was one of my most memorable experiences. The "Road to Omaha" was one of Southern Miss' greatest successes and I am so glad to say I was there every step of the way. And who can forget the 2003 C-USA Championship win over the TCU Horned Frogs at The Rock? I was a student and remember charging the field to take down the goalpost. Southern Miss athletics has provided so many wonderful memories, it's always a "great day to be a Golden Eagle".

What is your favorite part about the game-day environment for any USM sports team?
I love the fans. The commonality that "game-day" creates is great. If you're wearing your black and gold then you are instantly connected with other fans. It's always fun to be at an away game and see a group of fellow Golden Eagle fans and just shout "Southern Miss..." And they immediately know to echo "To the top!".

What is your favorite place on the campus of Southern Miss?
My favorite place on campus is the Eagle Walk; I love all the banners hanging under the stadium. As a student, it was fun to be part of the tradition of painting the Eagle Walk and it reminds me of all the rich history of Southern Miss Athletics.

What do you miss about Southern Miss?
I loved my college experience at Southern Miss. I miss being able to participate in some of the student events and organizations. But being a Southern Miss Alumni gives me great pride on game-day and everyday!

What piece of Southern Miss apparel can you not live without on game-day?
I must have on all black and gold, and a game-day essential is a pom-pom.

How were you introduced to Southern Miss and USM Athletics?
I was introduced to Southern Miss through my grandfather, Dr. Thad Waites. He has always been a Golden Eagle supporter and shared his love for Southern Miss with me.

Tell us what Southern Miss Athletics means to you.
Southern Miss Athletics has always been a big part of my life; it means pride, success and victory.

What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer?
My favorite Southern Miss cheer is... S-OU-TH-ERN...SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI....U-S-M!

What is your pregame ritual?
I love tailgating; it's not game-day without a tailgate. From setting up the night before to getting ready for the Eagle Walk, game-day at The Rock is the best.

Define Golden Eagle Pride?
Golden Eagle Pride is being proud to be a Golden Eagle, and supporting and cheering for the Golden Eagles no matter the circumstance or the opponent. It begs the question, "Do you bleed black and gold?"!

What makes you the most passionate Golden Eagle Fan?
I LOVE all things Southern Miss. You will always find me at The Rock on game-day; I haven't missed a home football game in over ten years! My favorite places are The Rock, The Pete and The Greenhouse. I am a fanatical sports fan and my favorite team is the best team in college sports, Southern Miss!!

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