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Southern fans get hype over the first game, predicting a great football season ahead of the Jaguars

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BATON ROUGE - Many gathered at Southern University ahead of the big game Saturday night against Florida Memorial Lions. Fans spent their first home game tailgating outside A.W. Mumford Stadium, saying today is just the start of a big season ahead.

“I want an excellent season. Remember, we’ve got Coach Dooley back. A long-time Jaguar supporter, and a long-time Jaguars coach. I think that Jaguar spirit is going to return this season," said Carlton Jones, president of the SU Alumni Federation.

Jones predicts a great season ahead for the Jaguars, and he isn't the only one excited.

“Oh man, we’re excited, extremely excited. The beginning of the Dooley era of football at Southern University, and we’re looking for some big things this year," alum Katrell Dixon said.

Dixon was a player for the football team before he graduated in 2000. He says it's exciting to see Dooley coaching again.

“I am a 2000 graduate. In 1997, 1995 Heritage Bowl, Bayou Classic Championship with the Pete Richardson era, and Coach Dooley was my receiver coach,” Dixon said.

Jeffrey Mickles, another Southern alum, has followed the university's athletics since the 1980s.

"This is 42 years for me," Mickles said.

Other fans, like Zion Johon, joined in on the celebrations with a long line of family ties to Southern University.

“My mom and my uncles, and pretty much a lot of people in my family,” Johon said.

But all fans have something in common: the feeling of being back at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

“It feels good to be around the atmosphere, and, you know, Jaguar Nation,” Johon said.

Much of the day was spent cooking tasty foods, listening to music, and chanting for the big season ahead, but Jaguar nation says it's more than a simple celebration.

"Supporting these student-athletes — that's really who we’re here to support, our athletes and the students,” Jones said.

The fans plan on bringing the same excitement and support for the Jaguars when they take on LSU at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 9.

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