April 2009 Candygrams

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Thursday, April 30, 2009---Spring Football is Over, but Heritage Hall is still BUSY!

As I was pulling my cart full of goodies behind me near the Heritage Hall doors, I saw a young man walking my way. I knew that I recognized him as a men’ s basketball player. It was Percy Miller! Before I could get his attention to invite him to come to the Heritage desk for treats, Percy was gone. Boy, does he walk fast! Next time, Percy!

Taylor Mays, with a cellphone to his ear, walked through the lobby. He waved and said that he would be back. He didn’t come back today. Next time, Taylor!

Kari LaPlanteWomen of Troy basketball center Kari LaPlante, who is a sophomore, came by the desk for the first time. Kari is a Communications major from Glendale, Arizona. As we walked over to take her picture, I noticed that she was walking with a boot on her left foot. Heal fast, Kari, and Fight On!

Nick PerryA new football friend came to the Heritage desk today and C.J. Gable didn’t bring him! I called out to defensive end Nick Perry, a freshman from Detroit, when he walked toward the glass door, to come over to the desk. He obliged. Nick said that he is undecided in his major and that he will stay on campus during the summer to take classes and work out. Nick is truly a USC football player! He took a handful of Sour Punches! Fight On, Nick!

Old friend, Da’ John Harris, came over to the desk after he shook Taylor May’s hand. Smiling, Da’ John looked at the trays of goodies with a smile on his face. I asked what he wanted, and then he said that he wants to keep me guessing. With that tease, he walked away empty handed!

Pat and I ran an errand to the USC Band Office. On our way back to Heritage Hall we were almost run over by a cart driven by football coach Rocky Seto. He didn’t even see us since he had called out to a friend and then became engaged in conversation. Phew! Glad that he missed us. We’ll Fight On for another day!

Several old friends came to the desk today. A Woman of Troy rower showed me her new hair color...from light brown to black; Mamadou Diarra waved from the Galen Center for a tour of Heritage; and Woman’s golf coach Andrea Gaston asked me why I was here on Thursday. She knows that I normally come on Fridays. I told her that I was going to an Award ceremony tomorrow. Coach took a pack of Extra gum and a Ferrerro Rocher candy. Unfortunately we didn’t have a lollipop that she wanted. As Coach Gaston left, I congratulated her on the Women’s Golf team finishing higher than the UCLA Lady Bruin team in the Pac-Ten golf tournament. This earned USC 5 Lexus Gauntlet points, and I wished her (team) good luck in the upcoming regionals and the NCAA Championships. Fight on, Woman’s Golf team!

Our last visitor of the day was old friend Belen Mozo. She took a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a pack of gum, and a bag of Snacksters. Belen told us that she was starving and immediately opened the bag of Snacksters and ate some. I also congratulated Belen on her performance in the Pac-10 Women’s Golf tournament. Fight On, Belen, in the NCAA’s!

April 24, 2009---C.J. Brings More New Friends!

Stefanie GilbreathAs I was pulling my cart full of candy, gum, Ghirardelli chocolate and 100 calorie snacks, I ran into Women of Troy basketball player Stefanie Gilbreath. We exchanged pleasantries. Stefanie told me that she loves USC! A Trojan after my own heart!

Then, two hours later Stefanie stopped by the Heritage Hall desk where I was volunteering. Stefanie told me that she is from Katy, Texas, and is a Sophomore majoring in Kinesiology. As she reached for a Sour Punch, I noticed a tattoo on her right arm. Curious, I asked her about the meaning of her tattoo. Stefanie told me that the name of the tattoo is Sankofa and it means “Learn from the past.” Fight On, Stefanie!

So many new friends came by the desk today along with some old friends.

Joe HoustonFriend Joe Houston came by to say “Hello.” I admired his cap. Joe told me that it is a Rose Bowl cap that was given to every team member two years ago. More about Joe later.

Daniela Roark and Camille LeNoirFriend Camille LeNoir walked in with new friend Daniela Roark. I congratulated Camille again about being drafted by the Washington Mystics. As she took a Rice Krispie Treat, Camille said that she is leaving on May 17th to join the team. Fight On, Camille!

Daniela Roark is a Junior on the Women of Troy Basketball team. She is majoring in Kinesiology and is from Los Altos. Daniela was just honored at the Women’s Basketball banquet on April 1st as the team member with the highest grade point average. Keep studying and Fight On, Daniela!

Armond ArmsteadNew friend Armond Armstead came to the Heritage desk. I asked him to write his name in my notebook. As he wrote it, he stopped, smiled, and asked me if I could read it. Before I could answer, Armond scratched out his name and rewrote it more legibly. Teasing him about his handwriting, I told him that I was a retired teacher and that his handwriting needs improvement! Armond smiled and told us that he loves chocolate. He is a Freshman from Sacremento majoring in Communications. He took a Kissable and a strawberry Bubblicious. As Armond left. I thought, “What, no Sour Punch? What, no Airhead? Is he really a Trojan football player?” Just kidding! Fight On, Armond!

Paul Kasey CunninghamA new men’s basketball friend came to the desk. Paul Kasey Cunningham, a Junior from Albuquerque, New Mexico, told me that he is majoring in Sociology/Cinema. Kasey took a Ghirardelli chocolate. When I asked if he was going to stay on campus during the summer, Kasey said he is going to work all summer at an Encino management firm. Fight On, Kasey!

Malik JacksonNew friend Malik Jackson, a Freshman defensive end from Northridge came by. I told him that my sister Pat lives in Northridge. Pat immediately said, “You must like the heat!” Malik just smiled and took a Bubble Yum gum, a Chocolate Bunny Grahams, and a Sour Punch. Yes, an honest-to goodness, USC football player! Fight On, Malik!

Our friend C.J. Gable walked by limping. I asked if he was okay. He said, "It's my hip. I'm okay. I’ll be back.” He still looked like he was limping. C.J. wasn’t kidding. He returned later and took two Rice Krispie bars and a Cinna-Swirl Chocolate. More about C.J. later....

Judith OnyepunukaTwo new Women of Troy Track Team members came by the desk. Judith Onyepunuka, a Junior from Phoenix, Arizona, is majoring in Health Promotion/Occupational Therapy. Judith took a pack of gum and a Sour Punch. Why do so many Women of Troy Track Team members like Sour Punch? No! That’s football players!

Shalina ClarkeThe second new Women of Troy Track Team member was Shalina Clarke from Evanston, Illinois. She is a Junior majoring in Business and minoring in English. Shalina competes in the 100 m, 400 m hurdles, sprints, and relays. She reminded us to come to the USC-UCLA dual track meet next week on campus.

Back to C.J. Gable. He came with four friends. As he stood grinning in the background, I took a picture of the four football players. I asked Brandon Carswell to label their names going left to right. Unfortunately, I could not figure out who the first football player on the left is. Brandon wrote that he is a sophomore wide receiver who is majoring in Communications. Can my Mystery USC football player please come by the Heritage Desk next week and identify himself? The other three players are Marshall T. Jones, a Junior cornerback from Agoura Hills, who is majoring in Public Policy; Justin Hart, a Junior cornerback from West Covina, who is undecided in his major; and Brandon Carswell, a Sophomore from Milpitas, who is majoring in Psychology. When I asked the four players if there is anything else that they want me to write about them, Marshall came back to write, “I Love Life!” Fight On, Marshall! Fight On, Justin! Fight on, Brandon! And thanks for bringing us new friends, C.J.!

Joe Houston and Adam RoseThis is how a REAL reporter works!

Pete Carroll walked out of the Auditorium with an entourage of Air Force and Marine R.O.T.C. students that he had just addressed. There was a group picture on the Heritage Hall steps.

Nadia ParkerAs Coach Carroll went back to his office, Nadia Parker walked in the lobby. She told me that she liked the TrojanCandy article that I wrote about the Women of Troy Basketball banquet. Nadia, who was born in Okinawa, Japan, since her parents were in the Air Force, told us that she lived in Spanaway, Washington, during her high school years. She took a Rice Krispie bar. Nadia is a Fine Arts major who will graduate in May. As I took her picture, she said that she is looking for a job. Is there anyone in the Trojan Family who can help her out? Fight On, Nadia!

Los Angeles Times reporter Gary Klein was working in the back room of the S.I.D. office, and Adam Rose came by to say “Hello” and give us all a big hug. Adam told us that he is developing a Los Angeles Times Sports Blog. Both reporters attended David Buehler’s trophy presentation (see below), but TrojanCandy got the scoop!

Old friends that we also saw were Coach Rocky Seto, Charles White riding by on the Heritage patio on his bicycle, Juan Figueroa and his wife Jacki Gemelos, Kris O’Dowd who took a Sour Punch, and Alex Stepheson who took a red and blue Sour Punch.

A TrojanCandy Scoop!!!

Brad SmithBrad Smith and David BuehlerI had the pleasure of attending the College Football Performance Award ceremony this afternoon at 2:00 pm at Heritage Hall. Executive Director Brad Smith awarded the 2008 Kickoff Specialist Trophy to USC kicker David Buehler.

Brad told me before the press conference that, “Award recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which player increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.” David finished the 2008 season with the highest kickoff performance rating in Division 1 college football. He beat Utah’s Ben Vroman, Kansas State’s Brooks Rossman, South Carolina’s Ryan Succop, and Kentucky’s Tim Masthay.

Brad Smith was a kicker on the USC Football team, while he earned his Master’s degree in Communication Management in 2007. He earned his B.A. degree in Analytic Philosophy at Davidson College. Brad said that the trophy weighs 17 pounds!

Several of David’s fellow kickers and punters attended the ceremony. Joe Houston took videos, and Greg Woidneck came dressed in a black t-shirt with a tuxedo design on the front of it.

Brad Smith, David Buehler, and ShellyShelly, a broadcast journalism major and current SC Song Girl, awarded the trophy to David.

I asked David which NFL teams are interested in him. He told me that he has been contacted by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fight On, David! Fight On, Brad! Fight On, Shelly!

April 19, 2009---Reporting from Cerritos

Hey, wait! This isn’t Heritage Hall!

Ron Allice, his better half, and Tony FoxTony and Nolcha FoxTrojan Candy saw USC Track Coach Ron Allice in the lobby. We talked about the upcoming dual track meet against the Bruins. Coach Allice told us that if the Lexus points were won in the Pac-10 Track Championships instead of the dual meet, USC men and women would always beat the Bruins and earn 10 Lexus Gauntlet points every year.

Good friend and Assistant Band Director, Tony Fox, was also in the lobby with his wife Nolcha. Tony taught composition to my son Greg for six years.

What lobby? We were at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts to attend the annual USC Trojan Marching Band concert. This year’s concert featured “The Three Tenors.”

The concert was magnificient!

Art Bartner
Dr. Art Bartner conducted the Symphonic Band.
Robert Thies
Concert Pianist Robert Thies performed Edvard Grieg’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor."

The Three Tenors
Then the three tenors---Dennis McNeil, Jose Medina, and Manual Paz---performed together, individually, and in a medley.

Trojan Candy and Patti and Dudley PoonThe finale of the concert was a pep rally with the entire Trojan Marching Band and Song Girls!

Fight On, USC Trojan Marching Band!

April 18, 2009---Swim with Mike

Swim with MikeTrojan Candy went to the Swim with Mike fundraiser that Ron Orr organized for his fellow teammate Mike Nyeholt in 1981. The event was originally named “Swim for Mike.”

We saw swimmers in the lanes raising donations for each lap that they swam.

The belly flop
We watched the belly flop competition.
John Naber
The band, Traveler, and USC Olympic Gold Medalist John Naber were there.
Football scrimmage
As we ate the scrumptious barbecue, we watched the football team scrimmage.

Fight On, Ron Orr! Fight On, Swim with Mike!

April 17, 2009---What a Tremendously Busy Day at Heritage Hall

As I was pulling my cart full of candy and snacks heading toward Heritage Hall, Charles White whizzed by me on his bicycle. I didn’t have a chance to say “Hello.” Later, the Heisman Trophy winner came by the desk with a big smile! Charles took his favorite Harry and David dark chocolate. He told me that he used to live in Mission Viejo, where his children grew up, but now he lives in Long Beach. Another Trojan Candy neighbor! As always, Fight On, Charles!

Other old friends who came by the desk were Jacki Gemelos, who took her favorite Sour Punch; Matt Barkley, who waved and smiled; Alex Stepheson, who took his favorite Sour Punch, on the way to tutoring; Women of Troy tennis coach, Richard Gailien, who walked by preoccupied in thought (Wonder why?); Hailey Dunham, who took a Rice Krispie bar and Extra Sweet Watermelon gum and who told us she will see me tomorrow at Swim with Mike where she will be a volunteer; and Women of Troy golf coach, Andrea Gaston, who came to say “Hello” and took a CinnaSwirl and ChocoSwirl. That’s okay, they are only 100 calories a bag! Coach Gaston said that she will not be going to Swim with Mike because she is getting her team ready for the Pac-10 Championship. Fight On! Women of Troy Women’s Golf!!

Back to old friends! Our new field goal kicker, Joe Houston came by to visit and took his favorite Airheads. An unidentified friend (?) ran up from behind, shoved Joe, and ran off. I’m sure that many football team members like to tease Joe! Joe told me that he is staying on campus this summer to work out. What devotion! Fight On, Joe!

Pete Carroll walked briskly through the lobby. So fast, that none of the visitors in the lobby even noticed him! That’s a first! Another old friend, Coach Terrel Ray, came by to say “Hello” and took a Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Almond square. I told Coach Ray that my daughter Steffany, who graduated with honors from the Marshall School of Business, is a Senior Brand Manager at Ghirardelli and that she developed the Luxe Milk brand. Coach Ray told me to tell my daughter that, “She’s doing a good job!” I wouldn’t expect anything less from my Trojan daughter! Fight On, Steffany!

Men’s golf coach Kurt Schuette and Ron Orr waved; fellow Heritage Hall Wednesday volunteer Hal Keimi stopped by for a visit; David Canales took a pack of gum and gave us an update on the football spring practice; and Juan Figueroa and his wife Evita, with big smiles on their faces, came to chat. We gave Juan his favorite Watermelon Wave gum.

Luther BrownThree football friends came to say “Hi” and take a favorite snack. D. J. Shoemate, Marc Tyler who took an Airhead and Bubblicious Sour Green Apple gum, and Luther Brown who took Air Heads and Sour Punch. I asked Luther if he had looked at the article and picture that I had written about him last week. Luther said that he hadn’t looked at www.TrojanCandy.com yet. Whereupon Dudley gave him his iPhone to view my webpage. Luther became quite enthralled with the website. He managed to maneuver his large fingers on the small screen. Luther said that he was going home to look at www.TrojanCandy.com on his computer More about Luther later. Come back and see us every week, Luther!

Now, for the new friends. They are all football players!

Ronald JohnsonSophomore wide receiver and kick-off returner, Ronald Johnson, took a pack of Bubble Yum and Rice Krispie treates. Ronald’s hometown is Muskegon, MI. Fight On, Ronald!

Dan Deckas Jr. and C.J. GableSophomore linebacker Dan Deckas Jr. is a Public Policy major from Minnesota. He took an Airhead and some Bubblicious Strawberry gum. Why do so many football players like Airheads? Fight On, Dan!

Junior C.J. Gable came by with a big smile. Tailback C.J. is majoring in Sociology, and he took two Sour Punches. Why do so many football players like Sour Punch? We found out later that C.J. went downstairs and told other football players to go upstairs to get some treats. Our friend Luther Brown was one of the players! Fight On, C.J.!

Da'John HarrisAllen BradfordSophomore defensive tackle, Da’John Harris came by to get a Sour Punch for the first time. Da’John is from Inglewood majoring in Public Policy and Development (P.P.D.). Why do so many football players like Sour Punch? After I took Da’John’s picture, he went back to the desk to get the TrojanCandy card that I had given him, and then he gave the three of us a big hug. Fight On, Da’John!

The last player to come by the Heritage desk before practice started was Junior tailback Allen Bradford. Allen is from San Bernardino and is majoring in American Studies. Guess what he likes? ...a Sour Punch! Fight On, Allen!

I packed up all the treats, left the Heritage Hall desk, loaded up my car, and went to the Tennis Stadium. Before I went into the stadium, I was treated to complimentary Tommy burgers, fries and drinks. As expected, there was a long line of Trojans!

Women's Tennis vs UCLAWe beat the Bruins!Once inside the stadium, I found out that the Women of Troy tennis team had just won the doubles point over the UCLA Lady Bruins! It was hard to follow the individual matches because the scoreboard malfunctioned. I sat closest to Amanda Fink’s match. The individual matches went back and forth. The women clinched the match at 4-1! I left before two matches were completed. I found out later that two other players finished their sets and the Women of Troy beat the Bruins, 5-2.

With the victory, the USC Women of Troy Tennis Team won the Pac-10 Championship!

April 10, 2009---The Day at Heritage and I’m not there!

My sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley volunteered at Heritage Hall today. Pat phoned me to let me know that old friends Taj Gibson and Mamadou Diarra came by to visit. Another old friend was Mark Sanchez. Mark told them that he is finishing up his Communication classes, will graduate in May, and walk in the Commencement ceremonies! Fight On, Mark, in your studies and in the NFL!

April 9, 2009---Thursdays are sure busy at Heritage Hall!

My husband Jim and I volunteered at Heritage Hall today instead of Friday this week. We attended an AARP lecture at the School of Gerontology, and then we walked over to Heritage. This week is my husband’s spring break so he could accompany me.

Heritage was bustling today because of spring football practice. Two high school teams from San Diego drove up to attend spring practice and talk with the coaches. They were from Mira Mesa High School and West View High School. The teams were in and out of the lobby before practice started. Several USC football players passed through the lobby or sat on the plush carpet, waiting for practice to begin. Sometimes the high school players would stand around the team members to observe.

Marcus Simmons and Mamadou DiarraA new friend from the Men’s Basketball team came by with our old friend, Mamadou Diarra. Marcus Simmons, who is from Alexandria, Louisiana, took a Fruit Sensations gum. Marcus is a Sophomore majoring in Sociology. I asked him to write information about himself in my notebook. He wrote his information beneath Alex Stepheson’s from last week. He wrote how tall his mother and father are, just like Alex did. His mom is 5 ft. 7 in. and his dad is 6 ft. 4 in. Marcus is 6 ft. 6 in. tall! The better to get rebounds! Fight On, Marcus!

Will HarrisNew friends on the football team stopped by the desk for the first time. Strong safety Will Harris walked up with Taylor Mays. Will is a junior, just like Taylor. He is an American Studies major, who is from Pasadena. Unfortunately I didn’t notice what Will took, so he’ll have to come visit us again so that I can find out what he likes! Fight On, Will!

Luther BrownLinebacker Luthur Brown II, #52, also came by for the first time. Luthur, a red-shirt Junior, is a P.P.D. major from Long Beach. We are essentially neighbors! Luthur took some Sour Punches and an Easter egg that is filled with fun fruits. Fight On, Luthur! Be sure to come back to visit with your neighbor, Trojan Candy!

Carin AnderssonOld friend, Carin Andersson, also came by the Heritage desk for the first time. She is a Junior on the Women of Troy Crew team. Carin is from Sweden and is majoring in Neuro-Science. She wrote a nice comment in my notebook! “Thanks for being so nice! Always, Carin.” What a SWEET Trojan! Fight On, Carin!

Several other old friends dropped by the desk. Taylor Mays; Marc Tyler, who is doing well in spring practice; Mamadou Diarra, who took his favorite Nerds and an Easter egg; Taj Gibson, who took an Airhead and his favorite, Watermelon Wave gum; and Assistant Athletic Director in Marketing, Teresa Verbeck who came by for her favorite white chocolate. Teresa’s office is upstairs in the Administrative Office.

Congratulations to our Women of Troy Senior Camille LeNoir! She was drafted by the Washington Mystics. Fight On in the WNBA, Camille!

April 2, 2009---Was it an April Fool’s Trick?

I volunteered on Thursday this week, because we are going on a weekend trip.

I had to go upstairs to the Administrative Office to get the cabinet key from Ron Orr’s desk. Everyone looked stunned! No one could believe that Tim Floyd would take the Arizona men’s basketball coaching job.

Downstairs was more normal. Three new friends came by the Heritage desk.

Michael ReardonTight end Michael Reardon, a Sophomore from Orange County, came to take a Laffy Taffy and a Ghirardelli Peanut Butter square. As we walked to the BCS glass football to take his picture, I asked Michael if he saw Dominique Byrd yesterday at the NFL combine? Michael knew about Dominique. I told him how well Dominique played in the 2004 BCS National Championship game in Miami. Fight On, Dominique! Fight On, Michael!

Taylor Mays and Everson GriffenThe second new friend was Everson Griffen. Everson walked by when my old friend, Taylor Mays, was walking with me to take his picture by, what else?, the BCS glass football! Everson gave Taylor a “High five” Then I asked both players to pose for a picture. Taylor had just come by the desk to say “Hello,” and he took a Hershey’s Snackster Peanut Butter and a Sour Punch Twist. Everson is a Sophomore Sociology major from Avondale, Arizona. He took a Sour Punch Twist and an Airhead. Why do so many football players like Airheads? Fight On, Taylor! Fight On, Everson!

The third new friend is Monish Tyagi. He is a tour guide who brought in prospective Trojans from Mission Bay High School to tour Heritage Hall.

Old friends were Darcy Couch, who took a dark chocolate; Mamadou Diarra, who took his favorite watermelon gum and Nerds; and Alex Stepheson, who took a Sour Punch. I asked Alex how tall his parents are. He said that his mom is six feet tall and his dad is 6 feet 4 inches tall. I told Alex that I had uncles who were six feet tall! Unbelievable since my sister Pat and I are about five feet tall. Jokingly I asked Alex, “What did you eat?” He just smiled. He told us that he was going for tutoring downstairs and that the entire team was meeting with Coach Tim Floyd at 2:30 pm.

Oh, yes. back to the matter at hand. Pat and I walked outside on an errand. There, standing outside of the track field across from the old P.E. Building was our old friend, Taj Gibson. Taj looked like he was in shock! I told him that we can hope for the best!

As it turned out, the BEST is yet to come! At the 3:00 pm press conference at the Galen Center, Coach Tim Floyd announced that he is staying at USC. He just couldn’t leave his family of players. Take that, Arizona! Fight On, Coach Floyd!

April 1, 2009---Trojan Candy at the USC Women of Troy Basketball Banquet

It was a nice gathering of Women of Troy basketball players, male members who scrimmage with the women, parents, coaches, managers, and fans. Athletic Director Mike Garrett, Senior Associate Athletic Director Carol Dougherty, Basketball SID Darcy Couch, and Marketing Assistant Athletic Director Craig Kelly were also in attendance.

After dinner, Coach Mark Trakh introduced each of the players by class. He complimented and teased each young lady. Junior Daniela Roark was honored as the player with the highest GPA with a 3.6 GPA in the fall. Fight On, Daniela! Freshman Briana Gilbreath was honored as the Pac-10 Freshman Player of the Year. Fight On, Briana!

The four Seniors were honored. A framed jersey was awarded, as well as individualized gifts from fellow team members, to each Senior. Camille LeNoir gave an emotional thank you on behalf of the Seniors. The other Seniors were Nicole Berberet, who majored in Social Sciences, and may become a teacher; Brynn Cameron, who majored in Sociology and will go to graduate school; and Nadia Parker, who majored in Graphic Design. Fight On, Camille, Nicole, Brynn, and Nadia!!!!

Stefanie and Briana Gilbreath
Stefanie congratulates her sister Briana for being selected Pac-10 Freshman Player of the Year
Nadia Parker, Camille LeNoir, Brynn Cameron, and Nicole Berberet
Nadia Parker, Camille LeNoir, Brynn Cameron, and Nicole Berberet
Nadia Parker
Nadia Parker
Camille LeNoir
Camille LeNoir
Brynn and Cole Cameron
Brynn Cameron with Cole
Nicole Berberet
Nicole Berberet