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Mary Hanna Selected for Golden Eagle Pride

Feb. 2, 2012

GEP Central

What year in school are you?

What is your major?
Communications Studies

What is your earliest memory of Southern Miss Athletics?
When I was seven years old, my family moved to Hattiesburg from Memphis, Tenn. My parents immediately wanted to support Southern Miss, since it was the local college, and so they joined the Eagle Club where I became a member of the Junior Eagle Club. I fell in love with Seymour and of course at the time, I loved watching the Cheerleaders and Dixie Darlings at the games.

Why do you support the Student Eagle Club and Southern Miss Athletics?
My parents instilled in me at a young age that sporting events will always make life-time memories. I support the Golden Eagles because that is all that I have ever known to do and it sure has made for some life-time memories, especially while in college.

What sports do you regularly attend?
I attend all football games (home and away), basketball (men's and women's) and baseball (home and away).

What is your favorite Southern Miss Athletics tradition?
I can't say that I have just one favorite but in each sport I love to see: The Eagle Walk for football games, the end of the game Alma Mater for basketball and the 7th inning stretch (Golden Eagle style) for baseball games. I seem to find myself not being able to fully attend a game without seeing each of these.

Who is your favorite Southern Miss coach or athlete, past or present?
This is another hard question for me! I truly have seen some of the best players come and play for Southern Miss. If I had to pick one athlete, it would be Austin Davis because he not only was an absolutely amazing quarterback and a joy to watch on the field, but he is a great friend and mentor to me and to all the people who look up to him. My favorite coach is Scott Berry. I love his personality on and off the field. He is a role model, has a wonderful and supportive family, and he loves his players and that is something that you can definitely see in him.

What are three must-have items for your own personal tailgate?
Three must-have items would be my dad's seasoned hamburgers, chips and dip, and my mother's football brownies.

What is the best type of food to have at a tailgate?
The best type of food would be something that you can eat on the go. If you're like me, then you are always going from one place to the other and meeting friends at their tents, etc. I always like to bring finger-foods with me to visit with friends and family.

Why should more Southern Miss students join the Student Eagle Club?
Every student should WANT to join the Student Eagle Club. It is a great way to meet new people who have a common interest in sports like you. You get good seats, andcan yell at the top of your lungs for your team so you can celebrate with the team after the game! It really is a lot of fun!

From all of USM's athletic success, what is your favorite memory of all-time?
Oh, to think of only one memory is extremely hard but I would have to go with following the 2009 Southern Miss baseball team to Omaha to the College World Series as a Freshman Diamond Darling. This was a life-time experience I will never forget. To see the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on the scoreboard at the COLLEGE WORLD SERIES and to see our flag flying was absolutely amazing. The 15 hour car ride with two of my friends was very long but when we finally arrived I knew that only the true Southern Miss baseball fans would be there... and they were. We were like a family for sure that year!

What is your favorite part about the game-day environment for any USM sports team?
Every fan's high level of enthusiasm and energy during the game in order to keep the team winning.

What is your favorite place on the campus of Southern Miss?
My favorite place is "The Pete". Pete Taylor Park is where I spend most of my days in the Spring semester and it truly feels like home. I have been a Diamond Darling for four years now and I really love the atmosphere at "The Pete".

When you graduate from Southern Miss, will you still follow the Golden Eagles and attend games?
Absolutely! There is no doubt about that. I already have the 2012 football schedule in my planner and I graduate this May! Even if I am not in attendance at the games, I will still continue to follow them in every electronic way possible.

What piece of Southern Miss apparel can you not live without on game-day?
Anything that either has Southern Miss on it or black and gold!

How were you introduced to Southern Miss and USM Athletics?
I have practically grown up in Hattiesburg so college sports are what I watched all through middle and high school. If my team did not have a game, then I went to any Southern Miss event that was that day. I remember one Saturday going from my high school's baseball game straight to a Southern Miss baseball game. Watching 16 innings of baseball was the perfect Saturday in my opinion. Not to mention, I have bled black and gold my whole life because my elementary, middle and high school, and now college have all been black and gold!

Tell us what Southern Miss Athletics means to you:
Southern Miss Athletics means so much to me because I love being able to know the players from the classroom and then being able to cheer for them at their games. Having a personal friendship with players makes me excited about wishing them good luck and cheering loudly when they do well on the field or court. When the players, coaches and staff realize how much effort people put into supporting their team and then they come and thank the students and crowd at the end of the games, it only makes me smile and want to come to more.

What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer?
I like the "BLACK! GOLD! BLACK! GOLD!" cheer that we do now at every sporting event. It has gotten to be a bigger chant that everyone loves doing!

What is your pregame ritual?
I don't really have a pregame ritual but usually for football I wake up early and watch ESPN while I put my black and gold clothing on and then get to the game early enough to tailgate with friends and watch the Eagle Walk.

Define Golden Eagle Pride?
Golden Eagle Pride to me is perseverance. Meaning that in every game win, we congratulate the team and commit to trying to work hard for the next game. In every loss, we bear the consequences without complaining. Cheering on your team is one thing when you are winning, but once the team loses a few games, the band wagon people start getting frustrated and fail to become good fans. Having pride means to love your school with your whole heart, especially through the ups and downs!

What makes you the most passionate Golden Eagle Fan?
I support the teams whether we are playing a "big rival" school or a school that we know we are going to beat. I truly love Southern Miss because of our loyal fans and students who want to win so bad that we yell and scream until we have no more voices. My favorite thing to do is go to a Southern Miss sporting event and I have met so many wonderful people through the years. If I ever am not able to attend a Southern Miss game, I always feel like I am missing something and get anxious to see the ending score! I wear Southern Miss t-shirts daily, and I am proud to say I attend the best school in the whole world!

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