This time last year, Hailey Farr was wrapping up a student internship with Tunkhannock Area Athletic Director Kenny Janiszewski as a student assistant in the press box at Friday night home football games.
Flash forward, and the now TAHS graduate, a freshman at Lock Haven University, just returned from a stint at the NCAA Division I National Championship Football game in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The one time Tiger was in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 13 with her sports management club, cheering on the Tigers, of LSU, against the Tigers, of Clemson.
“I am a big fan of LSU, and Joe Borrow,” said Farr. “He already won the Heisman, and I so wanted to see him win the National Championship in front of a basically home crowd.”
The game featured the LSU Tigers toppling the defending champion Clemson Tigers, 42–25.
After Clemson went up early in the game, the LSU crowd got louder and louder with every play. Farr relayed that there was constant energy flowing through the stands. She said the LSU fans were confident that their Tigers would be victorious.
Farr was able to make the trip to New Orleans as part of Lock Haven’s sports management major club. She had to fill out an application in late October and then was notified of her selection.
Noting that she was one of the only freshmen selected for the adventure, she said, “I think my 3.94 GPA helped me stand out above the other applicants. Also, all the high school level work I did at Tunkhannock, in the press box, and with our AD, as well as being a student athlete at Lock Haven.”
Farr is a member of the Lock Haven softball team, which began spring season practices last Monday.
The Lock Haven club makes trips to big venue sporting events frequently, as last year the group went to the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
“They have gone to the NFL draft, March Madness Final Four, and the Super Bowl,” she said.
For five days, Farr and the rest of the Bald Eagle crew manned the fan experiences, handled the AT&T playlist, and picked up recyclables on the ESPN playoff green.
Farr also chronicled her trip on her Facebook, giving daily updates and adding incredible photos.
On day two, the group arrived in New Orleans and spent some time downtown, having an amazing dinner at former NFL great Archie Manning’s restaurant. The group also got to see Clemson arrive in style for the big game on Monday.
Another highlight of her visit was when she and a teammate took over LHU Softball’s Instagram, and shared the events as they experienced them.
The day before the big game, LHU students worked the AT&T Playlist concert, which featured musical artists Meghan Trainor and Tim McGraw, as well as at the fan central experience. Farr was in charge of taking photos of fans with the Fiesta Bowl trophy.
“That was super cool!” she gushed. “After that, we headed to help out at the AT&T playlist concert/tailgate, where we greeted and directed fans around to all the awesome attractions. I couldn’t be more excited or blessed to have this opportunity.”
On the day of the game, Farr and her classmates got their assignment- working for Playoff Green, a recycling program in the stadium.
“The nice thing was, we got to work inside the stadium sections so we got to watch a lot of the game,” she said. “We had to pick up recyclables in between play during TV breaks.”
The trip was partially funded by the club, and Farr left with some swag- a t shirt, hat, and jacket.
With her sports management degree, Farr explained she is studying the business and marketing side of sports organizations. Her ultimate dream job would be working as an AD or in game day operations at the collegiate level.
Though she didn’t have any interactions with any of the players or coaches from LSU and Clemson, she did encounter some celebrities.
“Tim Tebow and President Trump were the only two I actually saw. The crowd went wild when they saw the president,” she said. “We didn’t get to interact, but being in the same building and area as them was pretty special.”
“I just cannot explain how electrifying the atmosphere was,” she said. “I got goosebumps while I was there.”
Though she is unclear about the next big ticket event the club will attend, she is hopeful she will be along for the ride.