Southern Miss

Southern Miss’ Beach Bash returns to Biloxi

Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson and other Golden Eagles will gather in Biloxi on July 21.
Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson and other Golden Eagles will gather in Biloxi on July 21. File

Southern Miss fans on the Coast will again have their chance to mingle with football coach Jay Hopson and other Golden Eagles next week.

The Gulf Coast Beach Bash is moving back to Biloxi after being held on USM's Gulf Park campus in recent years. The 19th annual event is set for 6 p.m. on July 21 at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.

Admission to Beach Bash is $15 per person and $7 for children ages 12 and under. The ticket price includes dinner and a cash bar will be available.

Tickets can be purchased online at

All proceeds from the event, which is sponsored by Keesler Federal Credit Union, benefit the Gulf Coast Metro Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund.

“Fans have the opportunity to hear from head football coach Jay Hopson, along with his coaching staff and players, take photos with Seymour and the Southern Miss cheerleaders,” said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. “The goal of these parties is to not only raise scholarship dollars for future Southern Miss students, but to also engage with our alumni across the state in a family-friendly atmosphere.”

The Golden Eagles will kick off the 2017 season with a 3 p.m. home game on Sept. 2 against Kentucky, which will be the first SEC football team outside the state of Mississippi to play a game in Hattiesburg.

Groza watch list

Southern Miss redshirt junior kicker Parker Shaunfield was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list on Wednesday following a breakout season a year ago.

The native of Aledo, Texas, made 12 of 14 field goal tries and all 40 of his extra point attempts last year. He missed three games late in the season due to an unspecified injury.

Shaunfield's brightest moment last season came in the season opener when he kicked field goals of 31, 49 and 25 yards in the 44-35 win at Kentucky.

The Lou Groza Award is presented annually to the best collegiate place kicker.

Maxwell watch list

USM senior running back Ito Smith landed a spot on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award this week.

The Maxwell Award is given annually to the best player in college football.

Smith hit the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season last year, carrying the ball 265 times for 1,506 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also ranked third on the team with 43 catches for 459 yards and two scores.

Smith ranks No. 3 in USM history in all-purpose yardage at 4,629.

Mackey watch list

USM redshirt senior tight end Julian Allen was named this week to the watch list for the John Mackey Award, which goes annually to the nation's top collegiate tight end.

The native of Sewell, N.J., and transfer from Lackawanna College caught 19 passes for 281 yards and one touchdown last season.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee