Southern Miss Enjoys First Full Day in New Orleans

Dec. 16, 2016

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NEW ORLEANS -- The bowl season is more than just a game. It is a celebration of all the two-a-days and endless nights cramming school and football and doing well enough to win the extra opportunity. Southern Miss, although just across the state line, is playing in the R+L New Orleans Bowl for just the first time since 2009 and took in a heavy dose of community events its first full day in town.

"Every bowl game we want to make it an unbelievable experience for our spirit groups and football team," Brent Jones, Senior Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs, said. "We view this as an opportunity for Southern Miss Athletics to give back and make a difference in the community as well as showcasing Golden Eagle Pride."

The spirit squad (cheer and Seymour) made their first stop at the New Orleans Fire Department to celebrate its 125th anniversary and introduced the "Southern Miss...To The Top!" chant.



The football team had its first practice inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, hitting the turf after head coach Jay Hopson, defensive lineman Dylan Bradley, quarterback Nick Mullens and wide receiver D.J. Thompson went in front of a large contingent for the bowl's media day.



Spirit trekked all over the city to visit and inspire youth at both the Children's Hospital of New Orleans (which included a handful of football players) and Boys and Girls Club/NFL YET. The first visit marked several photos, autographs and well-wishes to all the patients as well as some young ones getting up to give hugs.

"Going to the children's hospital was my favorite thing of the day," cheerleader Lindsey Reid said. "Seeing all the kids that we can make smile at times like this warms our heart."



The group's trip north caught the Boys and Girls Club as everyone was fresh inside from their school days. The cheerleaders first helped with any homework, read the kids' favorite books and then turned up the volume with football, cheers and four-square outside. It was capped off by an animated "To The Top!" routine.



Simultaneously and just over in Metairie, Seymour went live on WGNO-ABC's 5 p.m. "News with a Twist," where the hosts had him on the opening segment and discussed the program's recent success and history of Seymour.



The night was far from over as the football team and spirit squad reunited at the Smoothie King Center for "Southern Miss Night" at the Pelicans vs. Pacers game. Black and gold scattered all over the lower level and took in New Orleans' 102-95 win.

"It was pretty fun to see the Superdome for the first time and also the Pelicans game," senior center Cameron Tom said. "It was a pretty fun night. We're tired, but it was fun."

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