USM’s team in Memphis after fleeing Hattiesburg|[9/2/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2005

From staff reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Southern Miss football team traveled to Memphis Thursday and set up headquarters after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina earlier in the week.

The Golden Eagles were scheduled to begin practice today at the University of Memphis and will stay in the city until they travel to play Alabama next week.

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In addition, Alcorn State has postponed its game Saturday with Grambling State and hopes to reschedule the game for Dec. 3, athletic director Robert Raines said Thursday.

Raines said Alcorn’s game Thursday at Southeastern Louisiana may be moved to Lorman because the Hammond, La., area was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.

The Mississippi Braves have cancelled the remaining games of their Southern League season, the team announced Thursday.

Trustmark Park, the team’s sparkling new ballpark in Pearl, suffered structural damage due to Hurricane Katrina. The team was supposed to begin a four-game series tonight against Carolina.

Memphis, which will play Ole Miss on Monday, is in the same conference as the Golden Eagles.

“Thank goodness for the city of Memphis and especially the University of Memphis,” Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower said. “I don’t know what else we could do. I know our football team is very appreciative of everything Memphis is doing for us.

“We missed a lot of practice days. These kids haven’t hardly eaten. They haven’t had a lot of fluids and like me a lot of them are looking forward to a hot shower. It’s difficult and we had to change our plans and make the proper adjustments. We are ultimately concerned about the welfare of our players and their families. We still have two or three players who haven’t made it back yet.”

Southern Miss hasn’t practiced since a short practice was held on Sunday night before Katrina hit Hattiesburg on Monday. Since then, the coaching staff and players have been locating family members and trying to evaluate the effects from the hurricane.

“It’s pretty bad in Hattiesburg, but not as bad as it is on the Coast or in New Orleans,” Senior quarterback Dustin Almond said.