January and February 2010 Candygrams

Go Home

Previous pageNext page

Saturday, February 27, 2010---Senior Night at the Galen Center!

Four Basketball Seniors were honored before the USC - Oregon State game at the Galen Center. They were Dwight Lewis, Marcus Johnson, Kasey Cunningham and Mike Gerrity. Trojan Candy was fortunate to be able to take their pictures on the court. (Thanks to SIDs Tim Tessalone and Dave Tuttle!) Don't their families look proud! All four Seniors will be graduating in May! All Trojans should be proud! Dwight and Kasey have come by the Heritage Hall desk. It has been so much fun meeting them, interviewing them and taking their pictures.

Dwight Lewis with his family
Dwight Lewis with his family
Marcus Johnson with his family
Marcus Johnson with his family
Kasey Cunningham with his family
Kasey Cunningham with his family
Mike Gerrity with his family
Mike Gerrity with his family

Good Luck, Seniors, and FIGHT ON FOREVER!

February 26, 2010---Coaches Rule!

Heritage Hall was so busy today! There was a constant stream of visitors, some large tours, Heritage Hall workers, athletes and coaches!

David AusberryOne new friend came by the desk for the first time. As he approached the desk, I knew that he was a football player because he was enormous! David Ausberry, a red-shirt Senior next season, is a Sociology major. He told me that he wants to meet with the coaches, and that he is now an ATH position...instead of a wide receiver. David, who is from Lemoore, CA, is such a polite young man, and his hobby is "hanging out" at home. I asked him, "Where does he 'hang out' on campus?" David said, "the Lot." With that, David wanted Trojan Candy to be in his picture. Naturally, I obliged! FIGHT ON, at any football position, David!

Coaches, Coaches EVERY WHERE!

Football: Coaches Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron walked upstairs. Coach Orgeron's distinctive voice boomed from over the balcony railing and caught my attention. I looked up, said "Hi," and he smiled, replying "Hi."

Track: Coach Ron Allice came by the desk to visit, but he never takes a treat. One day!

Women's Golf: Coach Andrea Gaston always comes by every week. She told us that she just had a "Meet and Greet" with the Women's Golf Supporters at the Galen Center on yesterday. Later Assistant Men's Golf Coach Josh Brewer walked by the desk with a smile.

Women's Rowing: Weekly visitor Coach Ligita Kaviere came to visit and took her favorite---Lindt Lindor Truffles.

Men's Basketball: Director of Operations Coach Dwayne Polee came by with a big smile and couldn't resist a box of Mike and Ikes. I knew that he would finally find something that he likes!

Baseball: Coach Chad Kreuter brought a recruit to see our seven Heisman Trophies. Hopefully, they impressed the recruit to become a Trojan!

Old friends always come to visit:

Football Friends: Nick Perry, a man of changing tastes, took a Sour Apple Sour Patch and some Laffy Taffys. Joe Houston took a bag of Cool Ranch chips because he gave up candy for Lent. Allen Bradford, whom we have not seen since last year, told me that he has been trying to stay away from Heritage, because he has been trying to write. A student to the end! As Allen was at the desk, Jurrell Casey also came to visit. When I asked both players if they have met with Coach Kiffin individually yet, they both told me, "Yes, it's COOL!" C.J. Gable decided to take Fritos and Cheetos for a snack this time along with his favorite Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Cornerback Torin Harris came by quickly with a smile. Jarvis Jones, going the opposite direction, took a package of Spearmint gum. Last, but not least, good friend Brice Butler, wearing his hometown Atlanta Brave's red and blue baseball cap, came and gave me a big hug. He told me that he went to his first Women of Troy water polo match. Brice marveled at how "tough" the women are and told me, "I don't know how they do it! People are always asking me how I can play football. I can tred water, but not for that long. How can they play water polo?" Trojan Candy agrees with you Brice! Now, there is one question left to ask...what cap will Brice be wearing next week?

Alum and good friend Charles White came to the desk twice. We haven't seen him since last year. The first time, he took a new football player's choice---a Mike and Ike, and, the second time, he took another football player's favorite---a Starburst Gummi Burst. A true football player!

Women's Golf Friends: Jennifer Song came to the desk first. She told us the the entire women's golf team went to the Galen Center last night to meet with the Golf Boosters. Then the Booster went up to the luxury booth, while the team went to the student section. NCAA rules don't allow the team to go up to the luxury booth. What a bummer! Trojan Candy actually saw Jennifer at the men's game versus Oregon. Inah Park came to the desk next. She asked if Jennifer had been by yet. I answered, "Yes." Then Inah told me that Jennifer was outside dancing. (I wondered to myself, "Can Jennifer sing also?" Get it? Don't give me that Song and dance.) An unidentified young lady accompanied Inah. Can she please come back next week so that Trojan Candy can interview her? (I'm still waiting for Frankie Telfort to come back to the desk for an interview! Marc Tyler did last week!)

Women's Rowing: Weekly friend Lenka Vrecnikove came by with her sweet smile. She loves chocolate!

Men's Basketball: The entire team came to Heritage! No, just kidding, but SEVEN of them did! Kasey Cunningham, Leonard Washington with a big smile, and Evan Smith, with a wave, walked by the desk on their way downstairs. Then Donte Smith and Marcus Simmons came to the desk together, both with big smiles on their faces. As they were getting a treat, Trojan Candy told them that they must play better against Oregon State on Saturday. In unison, they both said, "We will!" Finally tall Alex Stepheson and even taller Nick Vucevic came to the desk. It is so hard to talk to them while your head is leaning upwards because you want to make eye contact! Both players are friendly, polite and SO TALL!

Men's Track: Good friend Aven Wright came to visit. We talked about the upcoming opener at the Claremont Relays on Saturday. FIGHT ON men and women track!

Both Photographer Dan Avila and Craig Kelley, who works in Marketing upstairs, came by to take their favorite chocolates.

February 19, 2010---They All Came at Once!

Just as I took the bulletin board out of the closet, I saw Stanley Havili coming toward me. With a smile, he said, "Hi." He was gone before I knew it. Trojan Candy will interview him another time!

Many "old" friends came by to say "Hello" and take their favorite treat, but for the first time for two hours not one "new" friend came by. Would my camera sit idly on the counter? NO! Several "new" friends came to the desk, just a few minutes apart!

Charles QianNot only athletes come to Heritage Hall. So many Tour Guides also come. Charles Qian, a Junior majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Film, brought in a tour of middle schoolers. Charles is from Georgia, and he spurned both UCLA and Berkeley to come to USC! What a wise young man! FIGHT ON, Charles!

Tatyana ObukhovaShe has walked by in the lobby before, but I finally was able to get her to the desk. Tatyana Obukhova is a Russian from Odessa, Ukraine. She works downstairs in Strength and Conditioning. Tatyana arrives at USC at 5:30 a.m. to work with the football players and the women golfers. Then she works with women's tennis and track in the afternoon. Her day finally ends around 5:30 p.m. What a devoted Trojan. That's right! Tatyana, who majored in Economics, was recruited out of the Ukraine and competed in the Triple Jump in 1999 to 2002 at USC. She was a three-time All-American and a three-time Pac-10 Champion. Tatyana, with a third place finish at the NCAAs helped the Women of Troy win the 2001 National Championships! Notice her picture in the trophy case! FIGHT ON, Tatyana!

The 2001 NCAA Track and Field Championship Trophy
The 2001 NCAA Track and Field Championship Trophy.
2001 Track and Field Champions
Can you see Tatyana?

Catherine BelmeAlmost immediately, Catherine Belme, a Junior majoring in what else? (Kinesiology!), came to the Heritage desk. She is from Denver, Colorado, and took her favorite, a Peanut Butter Ghirardelli. Catherine, who is 5' 10" tall, told me that she competes in the Club Sport Lacrosse. She did not play lacrosse in high school, even though it is a popular sport in Colorado. Her team is competing in Las Vegas this weekend and will compete against Stanford and San Jose State next week. Good luck and FIGHT ON, Catherine!

Eric SchermerhornThe lobby was very full with a tour of students from China. They will study English at USC for two weeks. As students crowded the desk to pick up women's basketball, men's basketball, men's volleyball and baseball posters, an alum walked up to the desk to get a poster for his son. He was Eric Schermerhorn, who competed for USC Track in 1985-1988. Eric was a highly decorated 200 meters, distance medley, sprint medley, and 4x800 All-American at Woodbridge High School. He signed with USC, but when esteemed Coach Vern Wolfe retired, Eric said that he almost decommitted. He honored his commitment when O.J. Simpson came to his home to persuade him to still come to USC. In 1988, Eric tied the USC school record in the 4x800 relay and the Sprint Distance Medley in 1988. Unbelievably since 2003 Eric and his father Fred, a 1981 Hall of Fame Inductee into the Oklahoma State Track and Field Hall of Fame, have been track coaches at my son's and daughters' high school...Whitney High School in Cerritos. FIGHT ON, Eric!

Marc TylerFinally, he came back! Marc Tyler came to the desk. He must have read my plea in the February 12 Candygram. Marc, who is majoring in Sociology, said that his hobbies are playing video games and PARTY dancing. When I asked him did he have any thing else to say about himself, Marc smiled and said, "I'm quiet." When he plays next season, Trojan Candy does not think that he is going to be quiet on the football field! FIGHT ON, Marc!

Many "old" friends were in and out of Heritage.

Football: Joe Houston came by on his way to his California History class and took a bag of Doritos. No candy! Nick Perry also switched his treat. He took some Laffy Taffy. A smiling C.J. Gable also took some chips along with his favorite Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Jarvis Jones came by intending to take one Laffy Taffy, and Trojan Candy insisted that he take one of each of the five flavors. (The more, the better!) Bryon Moore came by to say "Hi" and was immediately followed by T.J. Bryant, who took... what else?... a bag of GummiBursts!

Women's Golf: Jennifer Song came to the desk carrying several golf clubs. She told Trojan Candy that the golf team is leaving for a tournament in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday and will return on Tuesday. I wished her good luck as she took a bag of Fritos and a new Nestle Crunch Crisp. Later Coach Gaston came by to visit and to try a new Nestle Crunch Crisp.

Women's Crew: Maria Wilgotsson rushed up and rushed off to practice just as quickly. She told me that their season starts in March. Another crew member took a Nerds and told Trojan Candy that this is the best day of the week when she gets a treat. I believe she was Lisa Kolstad. I need more than a glimpse to recognize her.

Various "old" friends came by the desk: Athletes in Action Michael Sylvester, Kinesiologist Max Caudle and friend, Craig from Marketing upstairs took his favorite - dark chocolate, and USC's official photographer Dan Avila (who also loves chocolates).

Track and Field: Tyler Grady just came to visit. Trojan Candy didn't forget about the "Trojan Bear Trap" shirt. The model was Anniya Louis!

Wanna trade? Trojan Candy was lucky enough to get a pink "Fight On" shirt at the Women of Troy's victory over Washington on Saturday February 10. It is a medium. Does any other "lucky" recipient have an extra-large t-shirt that they would like to trade for my medium?

February 18, 2010---Trojan Candy at the Tournament of Roses Tournament House

Our TGLA tourTournament House was built for William Wrigley Jr.I went on a tour of the Tournament House in Pasadena with my fellow Trojan Guild of Los Angeles members. The House and surrounding land, once owned by the chewing-gum pioneer William Wrigley Jr, were donated in 1958 by the Wrigley family with the stipulation that they would be used as the Tournament's permanent headquarters.

Rose Queen's dressing roomGlass case of Pac-10 helmetsUpstairs is a room for the Rose Queen and her Court. The young ladies have access to this large, beautiful dressing room for one year. There are also three meeting rooms, and, most importantly, a room devoted to the Rose Bowl. In this room there are two glass cases filled with helmets. One contains Big Ten helmets and the other contains Pac-10 helmets. There are also racks displaying every Rose Bowl game ever played. Naturally, USC dominates this room!

54th Rose Bowl gameEisenhower BathroomDownstairs is an ornate bathroom. The story our tour guide told us was that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade in 1964. While in the Tournament House for a press conference, Mr. Eisenhower went to the bathroom, and the door got stuck. Because the walls are made of concrete, no one heard him pounding on the interior door for 45 minutes. Not even the Secret Service! Hence, the bathroom was named the Eisenhower Bathroom!

February 14, 2010---Valentine's Day at the Galen Center

Trojan Candy forgot to take her camera with her to the men's basketball game versus the University of California at Los Angeles (That is what the USC announcer called the Bruins.).

That's okay, since there are memories that will last forever from our 68-64 victory over UCLA. THREE MEMORIES!

Seeing Dwight Lewis hit his first shot with a swish! We all knew that he would be "ON" all night. I remember his prophecy to me at Heritage Hall when I interviewed him on February 5. Dwight told me that he had been "...thinking about the Bruins a lot...." Well, Dwight, you did more than think about them.... You were the HIGH SCORER with 23 points!

Seeing Donte Smith score 12 points off the bench, including his clutch three point shot with 8:29 left in the second half!

Seeing Nikola Vucevic tip in Leonard Washington's missed free throw at the 7 minute mark!

How sweet it is to SWEEP the Bruins!

February 12, 2010---Track Rules!!

Trojan Candy came very late to volunteer at Heritage Hall today. Luckily, there were many "new" and "old" friends who came to the desk, even though next Monday is President's Day.

Three new Men's Track and Field friends came to the desk for the first time.

Andrew Gibbs Freshman Andrew Gibbs, who is from Foshay Learning Center in Los Angeles, runs the 100 meters. Andrew is injured now and undecided in his major. He likes Sour Punches, and he likes to write and play football. FIGHT ON, Andrew!

Nate AndersonSenior Nate Anderson, who is from Portland, Oregon, runs the 400 meters, the 800 meters and the 4 x 400 relay. (He even walks fast!) Nate majored in Public Relations in the Annenberg School and wants to be a Publicist or to produce a reality TV show after he graduates in May. He took a package of mint chocolate cookies (someone after my own heart!) and a Rice Krispie treat. Nate's hobbies are acting and singing. FIGHT ON, Nate!

Brandon KnutsonThe last new Men's Track friend to come to the Heritage desk was Brandon Knutson, a Freshman also from Portland, Oregon. (I hadn't realized that Brandon and Nate were both from Portland, so I didn't ask Brandon if he knew Nate before they came to USC. Next time!) Brandon, who talks fast (just like yours truly), runs in the 400 meters. He is majoring in Business, and he likes to play all sports....especially track (duh!) and basketball. FIGHT ON, Brandon!

Three "old" track friends came to Heritage. Aven Wright, Anniya Louis and Aareon Payne came to say "Hello." One of them wore a "Trojan Bear Trap" shirt. Guess who (The answer will be revealed next week.)!

A pole vault recruit and his mother, who just flew in from Connecticut, came to the desk to ask directions to the track office. What a perfect, beautiful day for them to visit Southern California!

Other "old friends" came to the desk to visit and take a treat. Football: Malcolm Smith told me that he likes to eat chocolate first before his lunch. (Another Trojan after my own heart!) Joe Houston told me that he likes to play soccer more that football. But, since he is a place kicker, he must protect his feet. Good idea, Joe! I told him that Trojan Candy and his mother expect a lot of him! Nick Perry's eyes lit up when I pulled out some Mike and Ikes for him. Uona Kaveinga was in a hurry and just said "Hello" as he scurried down the stairs. When C.J. Gable came to the desk, I pulled out his favorite Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Joe Houston, who happened to be at the desk again when C.J. came, told me that I know what everyone likes. (I aim to please!) Finally, Brian Carswell came to the desk by himself this week. I asked him who the mystery football player was that came by the desk last week with Marc Tyler and him. Brian told me it was Frankie Telfort! Marc and Frankie, please come back again so that Trojan Candy can take your picture and interview you!

Alum Chris Hale, whom I first met when he came to Heritage with John Jackson last year, came to say "Hello." We talked briefly about UCLA and recruiting. Chris told me that when he was recruited out of high school, "UCLA was so arrogant...with nothing to back it up!" You're so right, Chris!

Women's Water Polo: Athlete of the Week Forel Davies stepped behind the desk to get her snack.

Women's Basketball: Stefanie Gilbreath, who is from Katy, Texas, a suburb of my hometown Houston, smiled when I wished her and her sister Brianna "Good Luck" on Saturday. She said that her parents were flying in from Houston to go to the game at Pauley. What devoted parents!

SID: Jason Pommier, Tim Tessalone and new SID intern, Joseph Easton waved hello. Joseph, who also came to the desk to visit, told Trojan Candy that he got himself an apartment and a car and that he loves the weather in L.A.

Athletes in Action: Michael Sylvester came to visit. He told me that Briana and Stefanie Gilbreath's dad was a coach for Athletes in Action. Michael also helped me fix some missing letters on the Events bulletin board. Thanks, Michael!

Liberty City YearTours: Trojan Candy met tour guide Neelam Savla. Tour groups were Liberty City Year who works with young people, Hillview Middle School from Palmdale and Community Harvest Charter School from Sherman Oaks.

Coaches: Football coach Ed Orgeron walked upstairs, and Rowing coach Ligita Kaviere walked by the desk with her face covered, so that she would not take a snack this week.

Joyce Bhagwat, her daughter, and Jennifer SongWomen's Golf: The last visitors to the Heritage desk were Joyce Bhagwat [her husband Thomas Bhagwat played outfielder on the 1974 USC National Championship Baseball team (fifth in a row dynasty) and for several minor league teams affiliated with the San Francisco Giants and Anaheim Angels], their daughter, and #1 in the Nation Women of Troy golfer Jennifer Song. Joyce had come by the desk to ask for directions to the Dedeaux Field baseball office. Jennifer just happened to walk up when Joyce was at the desk. I congratulated Jennifer on winning the Northrop Grumman Tournament. She told me that Coach Andrea Gaston was emotional and elated at the win. Then I showed Joyce the tall silver trophy that Jennifer had won last year. Right away, Joyce asked Jennifer to pose with her next to the trophy.

February 5, 2010---It's Raining!

It rained the entire time that Trojan Candy volunteered at Heritage Hall today. However, the lobby was still bustling with athletes, coaches, students and university workers.

Kasey JohnsonThree new friends came to the desk for the first time. Kasey Johnson, a Junior center defender on the Women of Troy Soccer team, came with her mother. She is from Sierra Madre, and her major is Psychology. Kasey, who took a Sour Apple and a Grape Laffy Taffy, told me that she loves watching movies. She was excited about the opening of the movie "Dear John" this evening. Enjoy the movie and FIGHT ON, Kasey!

Tyler GradyAs the second new friend approached the desk, I said to myself that he must be on the football team. Surprise! He isn't. Tyler Grady, who attended Beverly Hills High School, throws the discus and the hammer on the USC Track Team. He is majoring in Public Policy, Management and Planning (I was somewhat right because many football players are in this major!). Tyler, a red-shirt Sophomore, said that he likes to read and that he likes to listen to all types of music. FIGHT ON, Tyler!

Lenka VrecnikovaThe third new friend, Lenka Vrecnikova, actually came by the desk twice. The first time she came with Rowing teammate Jana Vyhnanko, and the second time she came by with Assistant Coach Ligita Kaviere. Both times she took her favorite chocolate! Lenka, a Sophomore, is a Chemical Engineering major from the Czech Republic. She has been in the U.S. for two years now. For hobbies, she likes to watch movies, basketball and ice hockey. (At the mention of ice hockey, she and Coach Ligita teased one another by pretending to each swing a hockey puck. Girls will be girls!) FIGHT ON, Lenka!

Dwight LewisA fourth new friend actually has come by the Heritage desk before, and he told me that he has visited www.trojancandy.com. Now, he will read about himself! Men's basketball player Dwight Lewis, a Senior who majored in Economics, told me that he lived in Katy, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina. Katy is a suburb of my hometown Houston. When he played in the Cal victory, Dwight just became the all time leader in games played. Dwight, at 125 games and counting, passed Brandon Granville, 1999-2002. Dwight likes to play video games and hang out with his friends. He now has a "new" friend to hang out with! Keep reading my blog and FIGHT ON, Dwight!

Enjoyed a nice conversation with S.I.D. Dave Tuttle. Dave is responsible for men's basketball and track. He previously worked for the L.A. Dodgers, but he likes working at USC better! FIGHT ON, Alum Dave!

Matt Barkley, who is always on his cell phone, waved and smiled as he walked by the desk...three different times! Does he live at Heritage Hall?

Many "old" football friends come by to visit every week! Nick Perry, who loves AirHeads, told me that Coach Kiffin is "cool." Joe Houston, who also likes AirHeads, told me that his mother reads my blog weekly and that she told him not to eat too much candy! C.J. Gable, for whom I especially buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, always comes by with a smile. Last, but not least, Brice Butler, who likes Mike and Ike and Lifesaver Sweet and Sour Gummies, told me, when I inquired, that he was listening to Gospel music on his ever-present earphones.

Women of Troy athletes who come by to visit every week are rowers Kate McFetridge and Jana Vyhnankova. Golf Coach Andrea Gaston walked around the lobby talking on her cell phone for a long time. Recruiting is tough! Then she came to the desk for a nice conversation. Coach Andrea told me that she had taken some education classes as an undergrad and that she had played golf in college. Now, she does what she loves. We're so lucky to have her as a coach!

Speaking of golf, Inah Park came by to take her favorite Lindor chocolate and gum.

Long jumper Shana Woods came by to take a Sour Punch and some gum.

Max Caudle (who works downstairs in injury prevention, injury treatment and rehabilitation) and his assistant came by the desk to chat. They told me that they will be doing an athletic workshop on supplements next week. Very interesting!

The last visitors to the desk were three football players. They were in a hurry, so I did not have an opportunity to interview them. Next time, Brandon Carswell, Marc Tyler, and my "mystery" player!"

Naturally it was raining as I walked back to my car. Enroute, I heard cheering. It was coming from the swim stadium where USC was competing against Cal in the pouring rain! I saw the stands filled with spectators holding umbrellas...but I'm sure that the swimmers and divers didn't mind the rain!

January 29, 2010---New and Old Friends: Inside and Out!

Peter KurzekaThe first person to come to the Heritage Hall desk was a new friend, Peter Kurzeka. Peter, a sophomore majoring in Public Planning and Development, is a driver on the men’s Water Polo Team. He is from Agoura Hills, CA, and his hobbies are playing golf and surfing. Peter, who took an apple Air Head, told me that he is in Heritage a lot because he goes downstairs for rehabilitation. He also told Trojan Candy that he is scheduled for hip surgery on February 12th. Take care, Peter, and FIGHT ON!

Byron Moore The next new friend was Freshman Cornerback Byron Moore. Byron, who is undeclared in his major, is from Narbonne High School in Carson, and he has already had a meeting with new coach Lane Kiffin. Byron likes Cherry Sour Punch (a true football player!), as well as all types of music. For hobbies, he likes to play video games and to work on his computer. FIGHT ON, Byron!

Old Friends, who were inside or outside of Heritage, were spotted by Trojan Candy’s keen eye.


Coaches: Football coach Terrel Ray took some gum instead of chocolate, Golf coach Andrea Gaston took a bag of Cheez-Its, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Carlisle came by the Heritage desk for possibly the last time. Several fellow Heritage Hall workers came by to speak to him and wish him “Good luck” with the Seattle Seahawks. FIGHT ON, Coach Carlisle!

Football players: Malcolm Smith, James Boyd, David Ausberry and Kevin Greene stopped by for treats; Nick Perry, who was eating his lunch and was in a hurry, walked by the desk and said, “Hi;” and Joe Houston gave Trojan Candy a big hug. Shareece Wright walked in the door with Assistant Head Coach Ed Orgeron and a recruit. They paused to look at all the Heisman Trophies. We have seven of them! Jawanza Starling, who took a Life Saver Gummies and a blue Lindt chocolate, told me that he saw the Trojan Candy web page. Lastly, Brice Butler came and gave me another big hug. Noticing his exceptionally long fingers, I asked him if he ever played the piano. Brice said that he never played the piano, but he does play percussion.

Women’s Golf: Caroline Kim and Inah Park both took Mike and Ikes.

Women’s Rowing: Jana Vyhnankova took a package of cranberries again.

Women’s Volleyball: Did I spot Jessica Gysin hobbling by on crutches? I hope not!


I spotted Assistant Spirit of Troy Director Tony Fox in a bright blue Hawaiian shirt walking by Heritage Hall. I went outside to catch up with him. He was in a hurry to get to a band meeting, but we spoke a little about USC football and basketball.

January 22, 2010---Recruits! Coaches! Tennis Team Racket?

Just as my husband and I arrived at the Heritage Hall desk, Football Coach Terrel Ray greeted our Heritage Hall worker friend Joyce and us. Coach Ray loves chocolate, as does Joyce! Trojan Candy sure hopes that Head Coach Kiffin keeps Coach Ray on his staff.

Maria WilgotssonThree new friends came to the desk for the first time. Maria Wilgotsson, a Sophomore on the Women of Troy Rowing Team, took an Airhead. (She’s not a football player!) Maria is from Boras, Sweden, and is majoring in Human Performance. Her hobbies include rowing (!), eating candy (!), watching movies and chatting with her friends back home. FIGHT ON, Maria!

Travon PattersonTravon Patterson quietly walked up to the desk and was quite “taken aback” when I recognized him as a football player. Travon, who is from Long Beach, is a Senior this year and will play as a redshirt Senior wide receiver next season. He was on his way to a meeting with Coach Kiffin. For hobbies, Travon likes to watch television (especially ESPN), play video games, and watch comedy and action movies. He is majoring in Sociology, and, after I offered him the “USC football player’s choice” of Starburst Sour GummiBursts, Travon took some Mike and Ikes instead. Just as Travon told me that he likes “regular” candy, a fellow Mike and Ike candy lover, Brice Butler, came up to the desk. He was clad in a USC skull cap. After I questioned Brice about the new coaches, he replied, “The new coaches are going to be great!” Then I told both Travon and Brice, “Then it’s up to you to make the plays!” Both player smiled in agreement as they walked away. FIGHT ON, Travon and Brice!

Joseph EastonThe third new friend to come to the desk was Joseph Easton from South Pittsburgh. Joseph, who attends Miami University, is a new SID intern who will work at USC until May 2010. Joseph, who took an AirHead (another USC football favorite), told me that he played soccer in high school and may be interested in joining a club team at USC. Unfortunately, there is no NCAA men’s soccer team at USC. Joseph said his hobby is “day trading” in stocks and futures. Trojan Candy could use some advice there! FIGHT ON, Joseph!

Old Friends: There were many coaches in Heritage Hall today. Football Coaches Rocky Seto and Brennan Carroll, Women’s Golf Coach Andrea Gaston, Women’s Tennis Coach Richard Gallien, Men’s Tennis Coach Peter Smith, Men’s Basketball Coaches Kevin O’Neill and Dwayne Polee, Men’s Water Polo Asst. Coach Pavol Valovic, and Men’s and Women’s Track Coach Ron Allice.

Football Friends: C.J. Gable and Allen Bradford, who both knew Coach Lane Kiffin before. Jawanza Starling, who tried Nerds for the first time. T.J. Bryant, who with a big smile, asked if I had any Doritos. I offered him my Veggie Straws, but he didn’t want them. Then I realized: I am Trojan CANDY...so no chips as treats, yet. Jurrell Casey, who took Starburst Sour GummiBursts on his way to a meeting downstairs. Nick Perry, who smiled and waved “Hello” on his way downstairs. Kevin Greene, who took Rice Krispie Treats. And Christian Tupou, who came to the desk after we had packed up. So I gave him some Starburst Sour GummiBursts. After he left, I just realized that Trojan Candy has not interviewed him yet. Next time, Christian!

Women’s Golfer Belen Mozo told me that she went home to Cadiz, Spain, for the holidays. She said that she had shoulder surgery and that she has recovered fully! Women’s Golf starts in February.

Women’s Rower Jana Vyhnankova took a bag of dried cranberries!

Men’s Water Polo Assistant Coach Pavol Valovic brought in four recruits. I was walking back to the desk when I saw the four young men take some treats. I returned to the desk, just in the “nick of time” to speak with the last recruit. I pointed to the 2009 NCAA Championship banner for him to see. The young man related to me that he would like to be at USC next year and win another banner just like that one!

Last but not least. As I was starting to leave, I heard a lot of commotion in the hallway around the corner. It sounded like very heavy boxes were being rolled and dropped. There was a lot of “racket!” Then I saw the entire Men’s Tennis Team walk en masse into that same hallway. Again there was a loud clamor. Just as I turned the corner to that hallway to leave, I saw Men’s Tennis Coach Peter Smith holding some tennis rackets. There were empty boxes everywhere and the entire team was gone. Trojan Candy surmised that new tennis rackets were distributed to each team member. FIGHT ON, Men’s Tennis to another NCAA title!

January 15, 2010---New Year! New Friends! New Coach!

Jawanza StarlingJust a few minutes after I set up, Jawanza Starling came by. Jawanza, from Tallahassee, Florida, is a Freshman free safety on the football team. He is majoring in Kinesiology and hopes to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. Jawanza and I spoke about all the difficult classes that he will have to take. He told me that he is taking Biology this semester. A REAL student athlete! As for hobbies, Jawanza said that he likes to play video games and to play cards. (When does he have time for hobbies?) Then I asked Jawanza why he came to USC instead of going to Florida. He gave me two reasons. The first reason was that he really liked Reggie Bush when he played at USC, and the second was that he could play football and baseball at USC. Jawanza said that he will join the baseball team this spring and play in the outfield ... preferably ... centerfield. FIGHT ON, Jawanza!

Max CaudleAnother new friend, who came to USC from Phoenix, came to the desk for the first time. Max Caudle, who, like Jawanza, is also a Kinesiology undergraduate student, told me that he has worked in the Heritage Hall Clinic for five years. He works in injury prevention, injury treatment and rehabilitation. The sports that he covers are football, swimming and diving (men’s and women’s), and women’s soccer. Max is the President of the Kinesiology Club on campus. FIGHT ON, Max!

Many old friends came by the desk today. There were also two reporters “in the House”! Gary Klein and Scott Wolf were in the lobby looking for a story.

Coaches: Football coaches: Terrell Rey, Rocky Seto, Brennan Carroll and Todd McNair. The last three were escorting two recruits.

Women’s Golf Coach: Andrea Gaston

Farren BenjaminTrack and Field: Farren Benjamin, a Sophomore from Los Alamitos, is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Marketing. Farren, who throws the hammer, has many hobbies: watching Sports Center, wakeboarding, dancing, being with her roommates, laughing, and eating pasta! Farren volunteers in the SCORE Program and the Annenberg Network Program. She (like yours truly) also likes to travel to USC football away games. She plans to fly to Hawaii this September. FIGHT ON, Farren!

Women’s Rowing: Good friend Kate McFetridge came by with her usual big smile, gave me a big hug and told me that she went home to Thorofare, New Jersey, for eight days during the break. Kate tried the new Lifesaver Gummies. FIGHT ON, Kate!

Football: Several old friends came by to say “Hello” as they were on their way to their first meeting with new coach Lane Kiffin. Joe Houston; C.J. Gable who told me that he knew Coach Lane Kiffin when he was a Freshman; cornerback Allen Noble, a Mechanical Engineering major, who came by with a big smile and checked out the D.T.s; Simione Vehikite who greeted me with “Aloha;” Brice Butler who gave me a big hug and told me that he doesn’t wear his baseball cap any more because he has a “nice” haircut now (I agree!); and lastly, Matt Barkley. I wished Matt a Happy New Year and bemoaned to him that we didn’t get Norm Chow back. Matt smiled and said, “It’s Okay. We’re still going to be great!”

Finally, I spoke briefly with Coach Brennan Carroll and told him, “I’m going to miss your dad.” Coach Brennan smiled and said, “I will too.”

Thank you Coach Carroll for nine FABULOUS years! FIGHT ON, Coach Pete Carroll!