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Hopson urges USM fans to support team

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Aug. 1, 2003
Ever since Nebraska landed on the schedule, the 2003 season is one that many Southern Mississippi football fans have been looking forward too.
USM defensive backs coach Jay Hopson told those gathered at the Crescent City Grill in Meridian on Thursday, that now was the time for Golden Eagles fans to travel to Hattiesburg to support the team on game days.
"We're excited about this year," Hopson told those in attendance for the East Central Eagle Club/Alumni District Fall Football Kickoff Meeting. "We've got a tough schedule. It's a competitive conference and we will need you there to support us.
"We've got to get more people involved and more people at the games," said Hopson. "You've got to show up and you've got to be there."
USM plays host to Nebraska on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. on a nationally televised ESPN game.
Hopson continued by thanking the club and fans helping the Golden Eagles have success last season.
"They played hard at home," said Hopson of USM. "We were one play away from winning the conference. We had better crowds and it mattered and it helped."
USM opens its season at California on Aug. 30, and after visiting Alabama-Birmingham for a Thursday night ESPN 2 game on Sept. 4, hosts Memphis at M.M. Roberts Stadium on Sept. 13.
Hopson wound up his speech by talking about USM's defense for the upcoming season. USM will have nine of 11 starters back on the defensive side of the football.
"We've got a lot of guys coming back on defense," Hopson said. "We allowed just 18 points a game last year. We've just got to keep the other team out of the endzone. You don't get anything for reaching the one-yard line and I tell my guys that all the time."
Executive Director of the Eagle Club Dick Vogel also spoke to the good size crowd that was present.
The meeting sets up a great fall for the Eagle Club. Next month the group is trying to get receiver coach Dave Warren and his wife, who is in charge of the stadium expansion. The Eagle Club, which meets once a month, also has basketball coach James Green and baseball coach Corky Palmer lined up for the fall.
"We've got a lot planned for the fall," said East Central Eagle Club director Dick Simmons. "I'm just excited about everything. We are growing as a university. This is a growing club and we have good joint functions between Alumni and Eagle Club members."