June and July 2011 Candygrams

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Thursday, July 14, 2011---So Much Progress and Three New Friends!

As my husband Jim was standing at the top of the Loker Track Stadium taking pictures of the John McKay Center construction, I waited downstairs. Friend Kyle Prater walked by, smiled and said, "Hi." Trojan Candy only sees Kyle coming and going!

McKay CenterMcKay CenterThe construction of the John McKay Center has progressed so much in three weeks! A building, that was only columns before, seems to have appeared from nowhere! Do you see it in the picture at the right? Trojan Candy wonders how much more progress will be made in the next three weeks. Stay tuned!

As we entered Heritage Hall, it was unusually quiet. Not for long! Several tour groups of adults or children came to visit.

As I stood behind the desk, two young men walked rapidly into the lobby and quickly downstairs. Trojan Candy thought that they might be new Freshmen football players. Then, I saw the tell-tale plastic football helmet tag dangling on one of the young men's back pack. Drat! They were football players and I didn't catch them in time to get a picture and an interview! Then, five minutes later, both of them walked toward the desk. As usual, Trojan Candy sprang into action! I asked both of them, "Are you on the football team?" When they answered, "Yes," the interviews began.

Anthony SaraoThe first new friend was Freshman Anthony Sarao. He is taking EDPT 110 and Writing 120 this summer. Anthony, who is a linebacker, is from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was carrying a gallon water bottle, just like the coaches have told him to do. Good for you, Anthony! Trojan Candy noticed the two tattoos on his muscular arms. On one bicep was "One Life" and on the other bicep was "One Chance." He'll have opportunities at USC to live both! Anthony wrote that he likes to workout, listen to Hip-Hop music, and hangout with friends. A new Trojan to hangout with in Heritage Hall! FIGHT ON, Anthony!

Lamar DawsonThe second new friend was Freshman Lamar Dawson. Lamar, who is from Danville, Kentucky, is a linebacker also. Lamar said that he is rooming with Anthony during the summer school session. He is also taking EDPT 110 and Writing 120. Two friends sharing the same experiences! Lamar said that he likes to hangout with friends (just like Anthony) and to play video games. Trojan Candy told both new friends that we are glad that they chose to be Trojans. FIGHT ON, Lamar!

Akawkaw NdipagborFriend Jessica Davis brought Trojan Candy's third new friend to the desk. Akawkaw Ndipagbor, whose nickname is "CoCo," is an incoming Freshman from Long Beach Poly High School. CoCo told Trojan Candy that she came to USC because of its medical school. She will major in Global Health and will compete in the 400m dash. CoCo is taking CTCS 192 and GEO 360 this summer. She wrote that she likes all kinds of music, played violin and guitar when she was younger, and likes to write. FIGHT ON, CoCo!

Jessica told Trojan Candy that she, CoCo and Josh Mance will be traveling to the Pan-Am games on July 22, 2011. Good Luck, my Trojans, in the games!

Seen at the SCene:

Track: Jessica Davis who loves Juicy Fruit gum and "white mystery" Air Heads.

Women's soccer: Samantha Johnson and Autumn Altamirano.

Coaches: Football: Aaron Ausmus and Monte Kiffin (although the Football Office is closed for July); Men's Water Polo: Casey Moon; Women's Rowing: Ligita Kaviere; and Women's Volleyball: Mick Haley.

Football: Kyle Prater, Jawanza Starling (who is working upstairs in the Administration Office), Kevin Graf, Tony Burnett (who is taking a Spanish class this summer and who is in rehab), T.J. McDonald (who is also taking a Spanish class this summer), Randall Telfer (who is the third football friend who is taking a Spanish class this summer...TRES in all!), Nickell Robey, Demetrius Wright (who is taking an Accounting class this summer), Nick Perry (who is done with summer classes and is cross-checking tickets for the athletic department), and C.J. Gable (Trojan Candy gave him another newspaper article that I saved for him). Indeed, Trojan Candy has been "keeping tabs" on C.J. for a long time!

Heritage Hall Friends: Ryan Maier, David of UPS and SID Dave Tuttle. Dave told Trojan Candy that the Men's Basketball Team will begin practice on July 28th for their trip to Brazil. The team and lucky Dave leave for Brazil on August 12th. Bon Voyage and FIGHT ON, Men's Basketball!

June 23, 2011---Freshmen and Future Freshmen!

McKay CenterAs I walked to Heritage Hall, there was much road construction on McClintock Avenue. Then as I walked by Howard Jones Field, Trojan Candy saw the "Rising Stars" working out on the field. There might be a few "Future USC Freshmen" on the field!

There was so much progress on the John McKay Center since May5th! The walls are up!

Men's Tennis 3-PeatAs I walked into the lobby, the first thing that I noticed was the new banner congratulating our Men's Tennis Team on their "3-Peat" NCAA Championships. FIGHT ON, Men's Tennis!

Camp KiffinCamp KiffinThe day started slowly. Not too many friends came by the desk. There were several tour groups that came into the lobby. Then, at noon, the Heritage Hall lobby was filled with many "Rising Stars" eating their lunches. They sat all around the trophies, and many of them walked in and out of the lobby. Then the players were taken downstairs to the Weight Room or to the Auditorium for meetings. Perhaps some of these "Rising Stars" will be future USC Freshmen!

Then, everything changed. Offensive Line Coach James Cregg came by the desk for the first time. Trojan Candy thanked him for his presentation at the "Trojan Football: 101 for Ladies" on June 14th. Coach wrote that he is from Corona, CA, and that he was an offensive lineman at Colorado State. His wife's name is Dayna and his daughter's name is McKenzie. Coach Cregg didn't write about any hobbies. That's for another article! FIGHT ON, Coach Cregg!

George FarmerThe next new friend walked by the desk. I asked myself, "Is he a football player?" When he came back by the desk shortly thereafter, Trojan Candy jumped in to action! I walked up to him as he neared the door and asked if he was a football player. When he said, "Yes" with a big smile, I immediately started my interview. Even though he was heading for his Social Studies class, Freshman wide receiver George Farmer stayed to finish the interview. George said that he always wanted to come to USC ever since his older sister was dating Kenechi Udeze. (It didn't hurt that his best friend Robert Woods wanted him to be a Trojan also!) He said that he might run track at USC, in addition to playing football. His events are the 100 m, the 200 m and the 4x100 m. For hobbies, George said that he likes aviation, basketball and skateboarding. He said that he is taking private flight lessons now and that he would like to be a pilot! George will "Fly" on the football field first and then in the air! FIGHT ON, George!

Kurt SchuetteWhile fellow Heritage Hall volunteer Hal Keimi was visiting us at the desk, Director of Golf Kurt Schuette walked through the lobby. Hal called out to him to come over to the desk. A new friend! Coach Kurt wrote that he has been at USC for 17 years. (Hal has volunteered at the desk for 19 years!) Coach Kurt played baseball, basketball and football in high school. Then, when an injury ended his playing days in these three sports, he turned his competitive spirit to playing golf. At Pepperdine he was named "All WCC!" He started coaching at his alma mater Pepperdine before he came to USC. Coach's eleven year old son Kyle plays baseball (another future USC Freshman!). As for hobbies, he likes to mountain bike, play recreational golf and attend live classic rock concerts! FIGHT ON, Director and Coach Kurt!

While Hal was still visiting with us, three young ladies, all with smiles on their faces, walked in the door. Immediately, Trojan Candy leapt into action again. I asked if they were basketball players. (just a hunch, really). All three said they were incoming Freshmen who are taking summer school classes. Trojan Candy guessed what positions they will play, and I was correct for all three!

Alexyz VaioletamaAlexyz Vaioletama will play at Forward. She played at Mater Dei High School and will major in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcasting. Alexyz plays the guitar, ukulele, and piano. She also sings in choir. What a multi-talented Woman of Troy! FIGHT ON, Alexyz!

Ariya Crook-WilliamsFreshman Ariya Crook-Williams is from Long Beach Poly and will play in the guard position. She is undecided in her major, but she is very decisive in the candy she likes! Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Ariya likes to play all types of sports. She loves to spend time with friends and family. A new friend for Trojan Candy to spend time with! FIGHT ON, Ariya!

Deanna CalhounToday's last new friend, Freshman Deanna Calhoun, came to USC from Albany High School in Northern California. Deanna plans to major in Communication/Broadcast Journalism and will play at the forward position. For hobbies, Deanna wrote that she likes to draw, play volleyball (perhaps another two sport Trojan!), and "hangout" with her cousins. You can hangout with Trojan Candy anytime, Deanna! FIGHT ON, Deanna!

Seen at the SCene:

Jawanza StarlingATTENTION: Trojan Football: 101 for Ladies Alumnae! While Trojan Candy was upstairs, I saw a familiar face ... Jawanza Starling! He is working in the Athletic Administration Office this summer. Jawanza came downstairs to get a snack and visit. I asked him if he was embarrassed when he modeled for Trojan Football: 101. With his usual big smile, he said in his Southern accent, "No, ma'am." He even told Trojan Candy that he might volunteer again next year! I just had to take a picture of Jawanza in "normal" garb. What happened to his muscles on muscles? They're well hidden! FIGHT On, Jawanza!

Jurrell Casey, C.J. Gable, and Allen BradfordFootball: Marquis Simmons, who is taking a Spanish class this summer and who ran to the Coliseum with fellow players this morning; Emon Saee, who is taking a Math 118 Calculus class this summer, carried a gallon bottle of water; Kevin Greene, who is taking an Anthropology class this summer; T.J. Bryant, who is taking Communication 395 this summer; Nick Perry, who showed us pictures of his "hero" ceramic projects: Sponge Bob, Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson and Cyclops. They are nice and Nick should showcase his creations in the 7th Annual Louis Galen Artletics. Kyle Prather, Patrick Hall, and recent alums Jurrell Casey (9/3/2009), C.J. Gable, and Allen Bradford, who all worked out in the Weight Room downstairs. Trojan Candy looks forward to seeing them play on Sundays!

Women's Soccer: Carly Butcher, who told Trojan Candy that she and five other teammates ran to the Coliseum this morning with the football players. However, Carly said that the women ran up and down the Coliseum stairs 16 times, while the guys only ran up and down the stairs 8 times! You go, Girls!

Track: Anniya Louis came by to visit while taking a break from her Cross Country training. Nice new hairstyle, Anniya!

Coaches: Men's Water Polo: Casey Moon; Football: Coaches Ed Orgeron, Kennedy Pola, who told Trojan Candy that he has three sons who are 19,18 and 13; Lenny Vandermande, Joe Barry, Lane Kiffin and Monte Kiffin

Heritage Hall Friends: John McKay, Jr, Rebecca Morin and her two daughters, Ron Orr, Irene Puentes, and new USC Dental friend, Linda

June 14, 2011---Trojan Football: 101 for Ladies

Trojan Candy with Coach Lane KiffinThe Galen Center's Founders Room was filled with excitement. Some ladies were eating the continental breakfast, others were chatting, and Trojan Candy was in line to take her picture with Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin.

Trojan Candy was lucky to sit with the newest addition to our coaching staff. I sat next to Wide Receivers Coach Ted Gilmore and his wife Jennifer. They had just moved to Los Angeles two weeks ago. The other football coaches sat at various tables.

Presley and Layla KiffinCoach Kiffin's wife Layla opened the program by introducing all the football coaches' wives. Then each football coach presented a description of their duties and explained what it is like to interact with the USC football team. Some coaches had ladies from the audience line up and walk through plays. Of particular interest was Coach Orgeron's explanation of how the coaches evaluate a recruit. Then the audience had to evaluate a recruit after watching a tape.

John BaxterSpecial Teams Coach John Baxter brought out his large hammer. He said that he tells his players to, "Be the Hammer, not the Nail!" Now, Trojan Candy knows why I have seen some football players carrying around the wooden hammer in Heritage Hall!

Laura Beeman and Briana GilbreathDuring the lunch break, A.D. Pat Haden addressed the audience. He spoke about how successful our athletic programs have been this past year. Then, Women's Basketball player Briana Gilbreath and Coach Laura Beeman spoke on behalf of the Women of Troy teams.

After lunch, we went to pick up our pictures (Thank you, photographer Pierson Clair for the beautiful picture!) and catch a bus to the Coliseum.

At the Coliseum we gathered under the torch and walked down the steps to the field. Just like the team does on game day! Rousing USC music accompanied our walk all the way into the far tunnel.

The Coliseum
The view of the Coliseum from under the torch
Walking down to the Coliseum field
We walked down to the playing field
Kennedy Pola
Hi, Coach Pola!
USC Locker Room
Then we all gathered in the USC locker room.
Beverly Barkley and her sister Paula Boyer
Trojan Candy saw some friends. Sitting in front of me were Beverly Barkley and her sister Paula Boyer, Robbie Boyer's mom.

In front, I saw Jawanza Starling. He told me that he volunteered to show the ladies what happens to the players as they get ready for the game. Little did he know that he had volunteered to be the Playgirl "Playmate for the Day." We ladies were amazed when Jawanza stretched with the trainer's help. Such flexibility! That is not all that we were amazed at! Look at all those muscles!

Jawanza Starling and his Trainer
Jawanza with a trainer
Jawanza Starling stretching
Jawanza stretching
Jawanza dressing
Need a little help?

As he dressed in his uniform, one adventuresome lady was privileged to put in the last pad. Then, she gave him a big pat! What hootin' and hollerin' ensued!

When the commotion ended and quiet was restored, Coach Orgeron divided all the ladies into two groups of offense and defense. An enthusiastic Coach Kiffin ran out between our units and gave us a "pep talk." After converging on Coach in a huddle with our arms raised, we yelled, "TEAM!" and walked outside to the field.

Exiting the locker room
Just like our players, we each reached up to touch the "Lock In" sign.

The USC Pep Band greeted us as we exited the tunnel. FIGHT ON, USC Band!

Lane Kiffin helping one of the ladiesOn the field, Trojan Candy was assigned to the Quarterback group where we learned to take a 3 step drop and a 5 step drop. Some lucky ladies in our group were personally instructed by Coach Lane Kiffin.

Then, after some practice, all the coaches ran us through a scrimmage. I was in the last scrimmage group. Each previous offensive group had passed the ball, but in our huddle Coach Kiffin told us we would run the ball. After we broke huddle and as Trojan Candy was set on the line, Coach Kiffn pointed to me and yelled, "No pictures!" (How did he see the camera that was hanging around my neck?) We scored a touchdown to end the scrimmage! FIGHT ON, Ladies' Offense!

Coach Monte KiffinEd OrgeronFIGHT ON, Coach Monte Kiffin!

So much FUN!...Trojan Candy can't wait to attend Trojan Football: 101 for Ladies II next year! FIGHT ON, USC Football Coaches!

Coach Ed Orgeron said, "While filming the movie The Blind Side, I was this close to the beautiful Sandra Bullock."

June 1, 2011---The Coaches Tour

raffle prizeGarrett Jackson and Coach Bob CantuTrojan Candy enjoyed The Coaches Tour at the Manhattan Beach Marriott. There were several raffle gift baskets displayed in the lobby. I hoped to win either the "Trojans All-Times Greats" or the "For the Lady" raffle prize but wasn't lucky enough to win either one. (Next year!)

The lobby was full of Heritage Hall friends! First to arrive was basketball forward Garrett Jackson and Coach Bob Cantu.

Song Girls with Coach O'NeillMatt Barkley and T.J. McDonaldThen, I asked four Song Girls to pose with Coach Kevin O'Neill. Coach O'Neill did not protest!

Football friends Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald both gave Trojan Candy a big hug! I didn't protest that either!

T.J. said that he is proud that his dad earned his USC degree in May. Trojan Candy is too!

Matt Barkley with his parentsSong Girls and Spirit of TroyMatt introduced his parents Les and Beverly to me. Dad Les, an alumnus who played water polo at USC, told me that Matt's younger brother and sister (who are twins) will be attending USC in the fall. His brother will be running track. (More Trojans in the family!

Coach Lane KiffinThen Trojan Candy saw another Heritage Hall friend. Coach Lane Kiffin was standing at the check-in desk, and he obliged my request for a picture. Thanks, Coach!

The next minute, I heard a familiar sound! The Song Girls and the Spirit of Troy marched into the lobby and led the guests, with much fanfare, into the dining room.

Coach Peter SmithAs the guests filed into the dining room, I saw yet another Heritage Hall friend. Trojan Candy ran up to Men's Tennis Coach Peter Smith to congratulate him on our recent "three-peat" win. Coach Smith gladly agreed to show me three fingers (one for each NCAA title) in his picture. As I thanked him and walked away, Trojan Candy held up four fingers. "That's what we want for next year!" I said with a smile. Coach Smith, also with a big smile on his face, agreed too!

Coach Jovan VavicThe dinner of filet mignon was scrumptious! Coach John Robinson spoke and athletic director Pat Haden was the Master of Ceremonies. We saw a video of our two NCAA men's championships in Water Polo and Tennis. Then, players and coaches from both teams spoke. Coach Smith told the audience, that Steve Johnson is the player that jumped on him after the victory and knocked him to the ground. He then said that Steve (a junior) said, "I love you, man. I'm coming back and we're winning four!" A Trojan after my own heart! Water Polo Coach Jovan Vavic introduced Assistant Coach Casey Moon and five members of the NCAA Championship water polo team. FIGHT ON, Men's Tennis! FIGHT ON, Men's Water Polo!

Lindsay Soto interviewing Coaches Lane Kiffin and Kevin O'NeillThe second part of the program was the panel discussions. FSN's Lindsay Soto was the moderator. She spoke with Coaches Lane Kiffin and Kevin O'Neil. There was much banter between the two coaches. Then Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and Garrett Jackson took over the stage. It was so refreshing to listen to the three young athletes tell anecdotes about their teammates and coaches.

Steve Johnson, Ray Sarmiento, and Daniel NguyenAs Trojan Candy left, three tennis players were standing at the door. I congratulated Steve Johnson, Ray Sarmiento (3/11/2011) and Daniel Nguyen on their accomplishment and took their picture. Then, Ray jokingly asked if I had any candy! Coach Smith, who was standing nearby, told Ray that he couldn't believe he said that! (My husband and I will be volunteering at Heritage Hall on Thursday, June 23rd.) Come and visit us then, Ray!

What an ending to a perfect TROJAN night!