37th annual Southern Miss/Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo wrapped up Saturday

USM/Coca-Cola rodeo wraps up 2-night stay in Hattiesburg
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 11:44 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - For the past 36 years, the Hub City has been the home for rodeo in Forrest County.

Forrest County has been the home for the rodeo for the Hub City.

This weekend, people come from across the Pine Belt to see who would take home the title of champion in a variety of events.

But the real goal was to raise scholarship money for students at the University of Southern Mississippi.

USM President Joe Paul served as grand marshal for Saturday’s event.

“Some scholarships for our students, particularly in recreational sports where they really help us to make those programs go, so it’s a win-win for everybody,” Paul said. “Great two nights for the community, and I’m just honored to be the grand marshal and get up on that bull over there.”

The event allows USM to give away 13 scholarships, and give directly back to the student body.

“We not only believe in developing them professionally, but also rewarding them for their efforts and being able to invest in their futures.” said April Jordan, USM Campus Recreation’s associate director of marketing.

The event also brought in rodeo talent from all over the South.

Shea Fortnier, a participant and bull rider says, “I love to come out here and perform, especially in the South and in front of my people,” said bull rider Shea Fortnier. “In the summer, we go up north all summer, so it’s awesome to be down here and be around Southern hospitality and around people you feel familiar with.”

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