January 2011 Candygrams

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Friday, January 21, 2011---A Cousin, A Father and a Girlfriend

As my husband Jim and I walked to Heritage Hall, we saw the vacant lot that will be the new John McKay Athletic Center. The only thing that had been done since last week was the construction of an office trailer. Trojan Candy will keep you abreast of the 18 month project. Just as we reached Heritage Hall we saw some track athletes. Alitta Boyd smiled and said "Hello."

Today was quite a "Hodge-Podge" day. New friends who came to the desk for the first time were the cousin of a football player, the daughter of a former football player, and the current girlfriend of a current football player. Can you guess who they are?

Soma VainukuMy first new friend came to the Heritage desk with Curtis McNeal. Soma Vainuku is a Freshman Fullback, who is from Eureka. He is majoring in Business Administration. For hobbies, Soma likes hanging out with friends, golfing, and playing video games. His favorite video games are "Call of Duty," "Warfare 2" and "Black Ops." Oh, yes, my new friend is Rey Maualuga's cousin! FIGHT ON, Soma!

Jessica DavisNow, about the "Father".... Freshman Jessica Davis also came to the desk for the first time at the same time as Curtis McNeal. She called Curtis "Moody" since she knew him before when he played on her father's youth football team. Jessica's dad is Jesse Davis, who played cornerback at USC in 1994 and 1995! (He's the "Father" in my title!) Jessica, who is from Palmdale, is undecided in her major. She runs the 100 m, the 200 m and the 400 m on the Track Team. Jessica said that her interests are to spend time with her family and to be "silly" all the time. She said, "I really enjoy making people Happy!" Jessica made Trojan Candy happy when she came to the desk for the first time! FIGHT ON, Jessica!

Malea MalikMy third new friend walked up to the desk with Jessica. Malea Malik, a Freshman from Ontario, also competes in the 100 m, 200 m and 400 m for the Track Team. She is majoring in International Relations and Global Business. Malea wrote that her hobbies are shopping, eating, running and sleeping, FIGHT ON, Malea!

Odette OvertonThe last new friend of the day was Odette Overton. Odette, who is from San Jose, is a Sophomore majoring in Psychology and Human Performance. This is a perfect major for her since she works downstairs as a Student Trainer for the football team. Odette plays intramural basketball for her hobby. FIGHT ON, Odette!

Trojan Candy walked over to the Marks Tennis Stadium to check out the USC Women of Troy match against Cal State Long Beach. There was free pizza for every spectator! As you can see from the scoreboard, the women were doing well. Eventually SC won 6-1! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Tennis!

Women's Tennis matchScoreboard

Seen at the SCene:

Track: Alitta Boyd, Caroline Lutzky, Jennifer Jones, Bryshon Nellum, Brandon Estrada and Joey Hughes

Soccer: Samantha Johnson (with a new hairdo), and Anne Turner

Rowing: Magda Janicka and Liene Stuberovska

Women's Volleyball: Natasa Siljkovic

Women's Golf: Stephanie Endstrasser, who is finishing her degree in Business and Social Studies. She will be on campus until December 2011; then she said that she will return to Europe.

Heritage Hall Workers and Friends: Jordan Cohen, Ron Orr, Sam Tulin, Teresa Verbeck, Jill Dennis and Sergio Prieto

Men's Water Polo: Peter Kurzeka, whom Trojan Candy congratulated on winning a "Back to Back to Back NCAA Championship," came to the desk with a big smile. Then I teased Peter, who is a Junior, about winning a "Back to Back to Back to Back Championship" next year!

Yury with boyfriend Curtis McNealFootball: Drew McAllister, Curtis McNeal (3/11/2010) with high school and current girlfriend Yury, who attends West L.A. College, T.J. McDonald, Patrick Hall, John Manoogian (whose grandfather Pete Parnagian was a football guard and whose grandmother was also an athlete), Kevin Greene, Brandon Carswell, De'Von Flournoy, T.J. Bryant, David Ausberry, Tony Burnette (who just started practicing in the long jump two weeks ago), Anthony Brown (who spoke proudly of his one year old son Anthony III and showed Trojan Candy some pictures), Jesse Scoggins (who waved outside as Trojan Candy walked over to the tennis stadium), Taylor Ashton and Demetrius Wright.

Coaches: Football: Lenny Vandermade and Sammy Knight; Soccer: Ari Khosroshahim, who showed a recruit and her family around the Heritage Hall lobby; Track: Ron Allice; Women's Golf: Andrea Gaston

Trojan Candy is going up north to visit her three grandsons---Zane, Kane and Parker---next weekend. I will volunteer at Heritage Hall next on Friday, February 4th. My, how the time has flown when you're having fun!

FIGHT ON, until then!

January 16, 2011---Women of Troy Volleyball Celebration

The Women of Troy Volleyball team, Coaches, Staff, Parents, Friends and Fans, including Trojan Candy, attended the Awards Brunch today at the Galen Center.

Alex Jupiter and Falyn Fonoimoana
Alex Jupiter and Falyn Fonoimoana
Natasa Siljkovic and Kendall Bateman
Natasa Siljkovic and Kendall Bateman
Zoe Garrett and Lauren Williams
Zoe Garrett and Lauren Williams
Zoe Garrett, Geena Urango, and Dylan Faulkner
Zoe Garrett, Geena Urango, and new Operations Manager Dylan Faulkner
Zoe Garrett, Kimmee Roleder, Lauren Williams, and Geena Urango
Zoe Garrett, Kimmee Roleder, Lauren Williams, and Geena Urango

The food was scrumptious and plentiful. A.D. Pat Haden made a few opening remarks. The program was very personalized. Each team member (except for the seniors) introduced one of her classmates on the team. Their comments were quite humorous at times. Then the three Seniors---Kimmee Roleder, Zoe Garrett and Geena Urango---poignantly related their experiences and thanked their coaches, staff, family and fans for all their support. Indeed, all Trojans should THANK THEM for choosing USC! FIGHT ON, Kimmee, Zoe and Geena!

The ceremony ended with Coach Mick Haley announcing the award winners followed by a video featuring the season highlights leading up to the Final Four.

Mick Haley
Coach Mick Haley announced the awards
All the awards
All awards
Individual awards
Individual awards
Senior awards
Senior awards
Final Four awards
Final Four awards

The awards, that are each named after former players, are as follows:

Best Blocker: Lauren Williams
Best Passer: Natalie Hagglund
Most Points Scored: Alex Jupiter
Spirit of Troy: Sam Hirschmann
Best Server: Katie Fuller
Best Digger: Natalie Hagglund
Best Setter: Kendall Bateman
Best Attacker: Alex Jupiter
Coaches Award: Kirby Burnham
MVP (which is voted on by the players and won by one vote): Lauren Williams

Women Volleyball teamCoach Mick Haley noted that it was tradition that all the team members join together at the front to view the video together. All attendees enjoyed the season highlights!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Volleyball in 2011!

January 14, 2011---Picture That!

The first volunteer day of 2011 was very busy. As soon as I entered the Heritage Hall lobby, I saw photographer friend Dan Avila set up. Dan told me that the Women of Troy Rowers would be taking their media guide pictures today. What an opportunity for Trojan Candy to interview more rowers!

Before the ladies arrived for their pictures, there were two new friends who came to the desk and were interviewed by yours truly.

Jordan FlattMen's Basketball Manager Jordan Flatt came to the desk with a smile. He is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration. Jordan, who is from L.A., likes to play basketball, football and just about any other college sports. He's just like Trojan Candy, except that he plays, while I watch! FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Sammy KnightThe next friend has come by the desk several times and always waves to us at the desk. Graduate Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Sammy Knight, who had just spoken with two prospective recruits, came by to chat while he waited for more football recruits to arrive. Coach Sammy wrote that he was a Communications major as an undergrad. He didn't mention that he played strong safety in the NFL for 12 years! We Trojans are so lucky that he has returned to USC as a coach! Coach Sammy is married to wife Freda, who teaches "Etiquette Classes." He said that Freda and he met in Riverside and actually grew up together. They have four daughters. Coach said that Aneka who is 21, Shianna who is 9, Samone who is 7 and Savannah who is 4 are all athletic! More future Trojans! FIGHT ON, Coach Sammy!

Next, five new Women of Troy Rowers came to take their pictures and then came to the desk for the first time.

Jennah BlauCoxswain Jennah Blau is a Sophomore who is undecided in her major thus far. She is from Tampa, FL, and is a member of theGamma Phi Beta Sorority. Her favorite hobby is scuba diving. Jennah taught scuba diving in Greece last summer! Another two sport athlete at USC! FIGHT ON, Jennah!

Kerstin FullerFreshman Kerstin Fuller is from San Diego. She is majoring in Business with emphasis in Cinematic Arts. Kerstin, who plays the "Bow" or "Stroke" position, has many hobbies. She likes to bodysurf, ride bikes, swim and draw. Trojan Candy told Kerstin about the annual "Louis Galen Artletics Exhibition" that will display artwork made by USC student athletes, and is starting at the Galen Center on February 3, 2011. Perhaps we'll see Kerstin's drawings one day in the exhibit. Keep drawing and FIGHT ON, Kerstin!

Kinga Mikolajczyk and Melanie GrindleSenior Starboard Rower Kinga Mikolajczyk came to the desk with a big smile. She is from Poland and is majoring in Human Performance and Psychology. For hobbies, Kinga said that she is interested in Photography and that she likes to read books. Her favorite topics are Fantasy and Do-It-Your Self books! FIGHT ON, Kinga!

Melanie Grindle, a Sophomore Starboard Rower, came to the desk with Kinga. Melanie, who is undeclared in her major, is from Kauai. Naturally, she likes to go to the beach and to surf. Melanie also wrote that she likes to read, just like Kinga does. Her favorites are fiction books. FIGHT ON, Melanie!

Kinga, Rebecca Shaffer, Melanie, Holly Pysell, and Kajsa OlssonTrojan Candy missed interviewing Freshman Rower Rebecca Shaffer. She joined Melanie and Kinga in their picture but left before I could catch her. Please come to visit at the desk soon, Rebecca, so that we can find out all about you!

Oscar SpurlockSenior Oscar Spurlock, who is from Dallas, came to the desk for the first time. Oscar, who is majoring in Psychology, runs the 110 hurdles and the 4x100 relays on the USC Track Team. For hobbies, Oscar said that his are cooking, baking and gardening. He said that he got his love of gardening from his grandmother in Dallas. Oscar said that she always has a large garden. FIGHT ON, Oscar!

Brett WilliamsThe ninth new friend to come to the Heritage desk was Senior Brett Williams. Brett, who is from Laguna Niguel, is a pitcher on the USC Baseball team. Brett is majoring in Political Science. He likes to golf and play video games for his hobbies. His favorite video game is FIFA! Trojan Candy encouraged Brett to bring some of his baseball teammates to the Heritage Hall desk to visit and be interviewed. He said that he would. FIGHT ON, Brett!

Katherine ChangThe last new friend came to the desk for directions. She was scheduled to be on a Panel somewhere in Heritage Hall. Luckily, her coach gave her directions. But before she could hurry off, Trojan Candy was able to interview her and take her picture. Junior Katherine Chang competes in the Triple Jump/Long Jump for the USC Track Team. Katherine, who is from Short Hills, New Jersey, is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Kinesiology. Her hobbies are cooking (does she know Oscar?) and dancing Hip-Hop! FIGHT ON, Katherine!

Seen at the SCene:

Kate McFetridgeRowers: Marlena Adamskar, Anna Janicka, Magdalena Janicka, Dionne Licudine, Kate McFetridge (who joyfully discovered, when she walked up to visit at the desk, that she was featured on the Spring 2011 Sports Schedule poster!) Vineta Moca, Kajsa Olsson, Holly Pysell, Lauren Smolenski, Liene Stuberovska, Gabriele Zavate, and Jelena Zelenowic.

Men's Basketball: Evan Smith with his skateboard.

Track: Anniya Louis (with a new haircut), Farren Benjamin, Aareon Payne and Alitta Boyd.

Men's Volleyball: Tri Bourne

Women's Volleyball: Alex Jupiter and Natasa Siljkovic. Trojan Candy told both ladies that I would see them at the Awards Banquet on Sunday 1/16/11 morning.

Heritage Hall Friends: Dan Avila, Don Ludwig, Jennifer Noriega, Teresa Verbeck, Jill Dennis, Kathleen DeCristo, Isaac Flores, Irene Puentes, Lonny, Rick, Najia, tour guide Maxine, Dr. John Petruska and Dr. Bryce Nelson (whom Trojan Candy showed that she brought his recommended Sun Chips to give to the students).

Coaches: Andrea Gaston (women's golf), Lagita Kaviere (rowing), Scott Thompson (director of player personnel in football), Ron Allice (track and field), and football coaches Ed Orgeron, Lenny Vandermade and Lane Kiffin.

Dillon BaxterFootball Players: The team will start with individual workouts next Tuesday 1/18/11. Chris Pousson (whom Trojan Candy met at the door and kidded about his new beard. Chris said that he lost his razor!) Nickell Robey, T.J. Bryant (whom Trojan Candy showed his picture in the Football Banquet article), Boomer Roepke, Kyle Negrette, Christian Tupou (who told Trojan Candy that he was born in the Carmichael (CA) Hospital. My hubby's parents lived in Carmichael for a few years), Devon Kennard, Zack Heberer (with very short hair!), Kevin Greene, De'Von Flournoy, Brian Baucham, Brandon Carswell, James Boyd, Dillon Baxter (with his skateboard) and Chris Galippo and Matt Kalil (whom Trojan Candy met at the door as we left. When am I going to get to interview Chris Galippo?)


January 12, 2011---A Sweep!

Trojan Candy ended her day at the Galen Center. Our #1 ranked Men's Volleyball Team began its conference season with a three game sweep of Cal State Northridge! Our men had lost 17 straight matches to Cal State Northridge until the victory tonight.

FIGHT ON, Men's Volleyball!

Spirit of Troy serenade the Conquerors!

January 12, 2011---What a Groundbreaking Experience!

Trojan Candy attended the Groundbreaking of The John McKay Center this morning. The program began a little late but was worth the wait.

Groundbreaking sign
Center plot
This used to be the Annex.
President Nikias
President Nikias announced the naming of the new athletic center.

President C. Max Nikias announced that an anonymous contribution of $30 million dollars earned the naming rights for The John McKay Center. He also announced that several USC Trustees donated more than $10 million more for the construction. FIGHT ON! All contributors!

Official groundbreaking
Trustees started the groundbreaking
Interested spectators
Some interested spectators (see Matt Barkley?)
Coaches were next
Coaches then took their turn.
Athletic administration staff
Athletic administration staff were last.
Inscription on a shovel

The USC Pep Band and Song Girls provided the entertainment. Confetti filled the tent at the first shoveling. Then, pictures were taken of the USC Coaches and Heritage Hall Staff.

Trojan Candy can hardly wait until The John McKay Center is opened in 18 months. I get to volunteer there then!

January 9, 2011---What a Way to Start the New Year 2011!

Sam Chow, Trojan Candy, and Susan LeeUCLA crushedThe entire Galen Center was bustling. Trojan Candy saw many friends just at the entrance. Two friends of my Trojan daughter Steffany---Sam Chow and Susan Lee---brought mutual friend Ricky Rosas to the game, since it was his 22nd birthday. Happy Birthday, Ricky! Then, I rode up the elevator with Alex Stepheson's mom Diane. The game ticket featured Alex's picture, so I commented to her that Alex will have a good game. Diane agreed with a smile.

Trojan Candy enjoyed watching our USC Men beat the UCLA Men in basketball for the fourth time in a row! There were very few Bruins in attendance, not even their band or cheerleaders, but the USC student section was jam packed!

Our men trailed 30-28 at the half. During the halftime, our new Women's Lacrosse Coach Lindsey Munday and our newest enrolled football recruits were introduced to tremendous applause. Then our Trojans had a scoring spurt at the beginning of the second half and at the end of the game. Indeed, Alex scored 13 points and snagged 16 rebounds, 10 defensive and 6 offensive! That made a huge difference in the final score which was USC 63 and UCLA 52! Mother Diane and Trojan Candy were right!

Enrolled football recruits
New enrolled football recruits
Final score
USC 63 UCLA 52
After game handshake
Good game!

Fight On, Men's Basketball, to another VICTORY!

Happy New Year to all my fellow Trojans!