HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hundreds of Southern Miss fans filled the Thad Cochran Center Saturday for the 24th annual Eagle Fanfare.
"Fanfare is an opportunity for our fans to come out and really get excited about Southern Miss Football,” said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Alumni Association. “It's a chance for people to hear from our coaching staff about what to expect this year. It's a great opportunity for our alumni to get ready for the season by purchasing season tickets, paying their eagle club dues, alumni dues and just really get involved with the Southern Miss Spirit."
People were able to get signed autographs from the volleyball, soccer, and football teams. Players say having events like this really get them pumped for the season.
"We're in the dog days of our fall camp and to just get a break and come here and interact with the fans is just a great feeling to see all the support is amazing,” said defensive end Jacquies Turner. “I used to be one of those kids and it's a great feeling when they come up and talk to you. They'll give you a hug, some of them, so it's a great feeling."
"It's definitely huge to interact with our fans and see their faces lighten up a little bit when we get to sign those things for them,” said quarterback Jack Abraham. “It's definitely huge to talk to them and tell them to come out to all our games and all that stuff."
Organizers say this event gets fans and alumni engaged and excited the upcoming season.
"When you talk to our players and hear the level of excitement they have when they come through the tunnel and see a crowd of Southern Miss fans really cheering them on. That full stadium and that environment is something that's important. It's important to have our alumni and our fans to get involved and engaged to what's going on at Southern Miss,” said DeFatta.
Proceeds from this event will benefit scholarships for children of Southern Miss alumni in the surrounding Hattiesburg area.