February 2012 (1) Candygrams

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Thursday, February 9, 2012---Peer Pressure

My husband and I walked by the construction of the John McKay Center. I walked on to Heritage Hall and he climbed the Loker Stadium steep stairs to take our weekly pictures of the progress.

West Wing of McKay Center
West Wing of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center

Cody Kessler and Matt Barkley with Freedom Middle School studentsAs I walked by the S.I.D. Office on the way to the Heritage Hall desk, I noticed that Matt Barkley and his good friend Khaled Holmes were being interviewed for a Newport Beach magazine article. In the lobby there was an enormous tour group from Freedom Middle School in Bakersfield. The next thing that I knew was...Matt and Khaled were brought out by Cody Kessler to meet all the young students. Cody is from Bakersfield, and he set up the greeting. Needless to say, every chaperone with a camera (including yours truly) took pictures of Cody and Matt with the students.

Nine new friends came to the Heritage Hall desk today. Unfortunately, Trojan Candy forgot her USC notebook at home, so each new friend had to write on a blank piece of paper. Their stories brightened up the pages! Best of all, they're all Trojans!

About the title, I am a retired Special Education Teacher and know a lot about the effects of peer pressure. More about that later.

Cyrus HobbiHe came back just as I requested! Freshman Cyrus Hobbi walked up to the desk with a smile on his face. He had time for an interview this week. Cyrus was born in New York and moved to Arizona. His father, who is of Persian descent, played football, soccer, and rugby. His mother was a swimmer. What a family of athletes! Cyrus, who plays offensive guard, is majoring in Theatre. He loves all kinds of music, loves to sing and act, and likes to go to movies. Thanks for coming back so soon! FIGHT ON, Cyrus!

Katherine WittigThe second new friend was Senior Katherine Wittig. She competes on the Rowing team and is studying mathematics and music. Katherine, who is from El Segundo, played soccer when she was younger. She now enjoys tutoring, reading (currently plays by Chekov), music performance and composition. Perhaps Trojan Candy can hear one of her compositions! FIGHT ON, Katherine!

Haili SunMy next new friend is an engineer, just like my husband Jim. Senior Haili Sun, who is from Portland, Oregon, is majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He tutors downstairs in SAAS in math and physics. Haili is also very talented. He plays in the drum line in the Trojan Marching Band and in the Volleyball Band. Trojan Candy will have to look for him at some of the volleyball matches. Haili is a member of the USC Aero-Design Team which competes in a collegiate R.C. Aircraft Design Competition. It looks like Haili likes to compete, just like the athletes he tutors! FIGHT ON, Haili!

Michael RosenthalThe next three new friends came into Heritage Hall together. They were joking and laughing when they walked up to the desk. Two of them are teammates. Senior Michael Rosenthal is from Miami. He is majoring in Human Performance. Michael is a Driver on the four-peat NCAA Champion Water Polo Team. He likes to go to the beach, play Beach Volleyball, and play Hide and Seek (That's a first!). Congrats on the four-peat NCAA title and FIGHT ON, Michael!

William SimonThe fifth new friend is Michael's teammate. Senior William D. Simon, who is from Palo Alto, is majoring in Real Estate Development. He is a Goalie on the Championship Men's Water Polo Team. William has many interests. He wrote that he loves listening toCountry Music, traveling, going to the beach (just like teammate Michael), and racing road bikes (That's another first!). Congrats on the four-peat NCAA title and FIGHT ON, William!

Kelly OwenMichael and William's friend Kelly Owen competes on the USC Track Team. She runs in the 800 m. Kelly is a Junior and is majoring in Business Finance. She wrote that she LOVES ALL ANIMALS! Kelly also likes finding new restaurants, watching movies, "pranking" people frequently (no wonder the three friends were laughing when they approached the desk!), and going to the beach (just like Michael and William....no wonder they are such good friends!). FIGHT ON, Kelly!

Jared PadillaTrojan Candy's seventh new friend works for A.D. Pat Haden upstairs. Junior Jared Padilla walked up to the desk carrying his skateboard. Jared, who is from Manhattan Beach, is majoring in Business Administration. He volunteers for Swim with Mike (Kudos to all volunteers!). Jared has many hobbies. He surfs on the weekends, likes spending free time reading, building wooden projects, and watching movies. Perhaps Trojan Candy can see one of his wooden projects! FIGHT ON, Jared!

Sara KalemkiananThe next new friend also works for A.D. Pat Haden upstairs. Senior Sara Kalemkianan is, like Jared, majoring in Business Administration. She is from Arcadia and is a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. Sara already has a job after graduation. She will work for Apple in the fall. Congrats for all the hard work, Sara! For fun, Sara likes to watch movies, especially romantic comedies, musicals and Hitchcock movies. She likes to shop for clothes and bags, go to the beach and hike. FIGHT ON, Sara!

Martin Breslin, Kevin Greene, Xavier Grimble, Dion Bailey, and Jawanza StarlingNow, about the Peer Pressure. Trojan Candy's ninth new friend is Sophomore Morgan Breslin. He plays Defensive End on the football team. Morgan, who is from Walnut Creek, California, is going to major in Communications. His favorite music artist is Andre Wickatiha, and his favorite thing to do is play Call of Duty and Modern Warfare 3. The interview went well, but he did not want me to take his picture. That was until friends Kevin Greene, Xavier Grimble, Dion Bailey and Jawanza Starling walked up to the desk together. Trojan Candy suggested that Morgan take a picture with his four teammates. Then, the guys called Morgan over and posed with him. Peer Pressure! Thanks for the nice picture, Morgan, Kevin, Xavier, Dion, and Jawanza! FIGHT ON, Morgan!

Seen at the SCene:

Coaches: Lacrosse: Lindsey Munday, Hilary Bowen, Devon Wills; Men's golf: Chris Zambri, Josh Brewer; Women's Golf: Andrea Gaston; Football: Ed Orgeron, Lenny Vandermade, Justin Mesa, Monte Kiffin, John Baxter, Lane Kiffin, James Cregg, Scott Thompson.

Men's Water Polo: Using his smartphone, Mace Rapsey showed us pictures of the swimming pool renovations. He told us that the NCAA Water Polo Championships for 2012 will be held at USC. Yeah! Trojan Candy can see us win our fifth NCAA Championship in a row!

Soccer: Autumn Attamirano, Kristina Noriega, Mia Bruno, Haley Boysen, Heather Davis

Women's Golf: Doris Chen

Rowing: Lenka Vrecnikova, Magdalena Janicka

Women's Water Polo: Adrienne Taylor

Track and Field: Fourteen Women of Troy and two track men left at noon today for an indoor track meet at Texas A & M. Melia Cox, Vanessa Jones, Jessica Davis, Loudia Laarman, Jade Niemeyer, Caroline Lutzsky, Allen Williams, Reggie Wyatt, Bryshon Nellum, Lauren Blackburn

Baseball: Sean Spear

Football: Khaled Holmes, Matt Barkley, Cody Kessler, Andre Heidari, Marqise Lee, Drew McAllister, T.J. Bryant, George Uko, Josh Shaw, Robert Woods, Isiah Wiley, Jesse Scoggins (carrying many books), Hayes Pullard, Javorius "Buck" Allen, Demetrius Wright, Emon Saee, Frankie Telfort, Kevin Greene, Tony Burnette, J.R. Tavai, Brian Baucham (welcome back!), De'Von Flournoy, D.J. Morgan, Jawanza Starling, Xavier Grimble, T.J. McDonald (his mom liked the article that I gave T.J.), Dion Bailey

Heritage Hall Friends: Tim Tessalone, Dave Tuttle, Hervey Malone II, Chris Roberts, Gabby, Teresa Verbeck, Sarah Kalemkiarian, Greg Millward, Don Winston, Don Ludwig, J.K. McKay, Irene Puentes, Jennifer Noriega, Karen Bowman, Pat Haden, Mark Jackson, Sunny, Lizzy Maggi, Sam Tulin

February 7, 2012---Town and Gown

Pat HadenAthletic Director Pat Haden spoke at the Town and Gown meeting today. He brought many of his head coaches with him to the luncheon meeting. Five hundred ladies and some gentlemen filled Town and Gown to hear his speech.

In his speech, Pat said that there are 650 USC athletes in 21 sports. In our 2010-2011 year, we had two national championships, two national coaches of the year, four national players of the year, 39 first team All-Americans, 31 Academic All-Americans, 103 of 111 Seniors graduated (94%), and we were 21-10 versus UCLA.

Thus far, in our 2011-2012 year we were 10-2 in football, our Men's Water Polo team won its FOURTH national championship in a row, we have 11 first team All-Americans, one National Player of the Year, and 7 Pac-12 Conference Players of the year. We will be sending at least 20 USC athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London! FIGHT ON, USC Men and Women of Troy!

The coaches were scattered throughout the room. Pat introduced each coach with a personal comment. The attending coaches are as follows:

Eiko Bates, Jovan Vavic, and Pat Poon
After the meeting, my sister Pat Poon and friend Eiko Bates congratulated Coach Jovan Vavic on winning his fourth NCAA Championship in a row!
Andrea Gaston and friend
Women's Golf Coach Andrea Gaston posed with a friend.
Pat Haden
AD Pat Haden graciously posed for a picture taken by yours truly.

Our USC Athletic Department accomplishments really impressed all the Town and Gown members!

February 3, 2012---New Friends on a Quiet Day!

Trojan Candy set up at the Heritage Hall desk while my husband Jim walked to the Loker Track Stadium to take his weekly pictures of the progress of the John McKay Center. Notice the detail of one of the arched windows.

West Wing of McKay Center
West Wing of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center

Arched Window of West Wing of McKay CenterThaddesia SouthallThe lobby was quiet compared to last week. However, seven new friends walked up to the desk for the first time. The first new friend was tall...very tall. I thought to myself that she must be a basketball player, and she is! Red-shirt Freshman Thaddesia Southall is a Forward on the Women of Troy Basketball Team. She played at Long Beach Poly High School. Thaddesia is majoring in Sociology. Her favorite movie is "Love and Basketball," and her favorite radio station is 102.7. Thaddesia loves food and her favorite dish is chicken pasta. Sounds pretty tasty to Trojan Candy! Thaddesia listed no hobbies, but she said that some friends think that she is funny! Keep laughing and FIGHT ON, Thaddesia!

Doug BogieJust as Thaddesia left the desk, my second new friend walked up. He teased that he wished he could be as tall as Thaddesia! Sophomore Doug Bogie is 6' 2" and Thaddesia is 6' 9". I suppose that is why Doug competes in the High Jump and Long Jump on the USC Track and Field Team and Thaddesia competes in basketball. Doug, who is from Malibu, is majoring in Business Administration. His favorite movie is "Men in Black," and his favorite radio station is 93.5. Doug did not write about any of his hobbies, so he will have to come back to tell Trojan Candy more about himself! FIGHT ON, Doug!

Doris ChenThe third new friend to come to the desk for the first time walked in the door carrying a big guitar. Freshman Doris Chen is a Women of Troy Golfer. She is originally from Taiwan, but her family moved to Bradenton, Florida. Although Doris is undecided in her major, she is taking a guitar class this semester. Currently, she is learning to play "Star Wars." Doris wrote that her favorite movie is "The Da Vinci Code," and her favorite novel is "The Kite Runner." As I was taking a picture of Doris, golf coach Andrea Gaston walked up to the desk. Doris told us that her mother played golf for ten years. Then, Coach Gaston told us that Doris is the 2010 Junior Champion in golf. Another outstanding USC athlete! FIGHT ON, Doris!

Lizzy MaggiTrojan Candy's fourth new friend just found out that she will be a Marketing Intern under Sean Jordan this semester. Sophomore Lizzy Maggi is from San Mateo now, but she was born in Houston (Another fellow Texan!). Lizzy is majoring in Business and Sports Media. She is a big sports fan (like yours truly!), her favorite sport is football (like yours truly) and she loves to cook (like yours truly, when I have time!). In high school, Lizzy ran the 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m in track. Congratulations on your new job and FIGHT ON, Lizzy!

Christian SuttonThe fifth new friend walked up to the desk with a big friendly smile on his face. Freshman Christian Sutton, who is from Suwanee, Georgia, just enrolled at USC this semester. He wants to be a walk-on Cornerback on the football team. Christian comes from a very athletic family. His grandfather ran track at the University of Houston (another fellow Texan!), his uncle played football at the University of South Carolina (the other USC), his dad was a swimmer at Texas A and M, and his cousin Ashley ran track at Ohio State. What an athletic lineage! Christian just transferred from Point University and is majoring in Business and Cinematic Arts. He loves football, music, movies and playing the violin. Christian's favorite movie is "Coming to America." Hope that he will be the newest member of our football team! FIGHT ON, Christian!

Deanna DuctocThe last two new friends attend classes at Cal State Northridge starting at 8:00 a.m. every weekday. Then they drive to USC every afternoon to work as interns down stairs in Heritage Hall. Friend Tiarra Jones brought them to the desk. Deanna Ductoc, who is from Los Angeles, is majoring in Athletic Training. Her hobby is that she loves to sleep. Deanna's favorite movie is "Titanic," and she likes Hip-Hop and R&B music. For an honorary Trojan, FIGHT ON, Deanna!

Lacie PhanMy seventh new friend was Deanna's and Tiarra's friend, Lacie Phan. She is also majoring in Athletic Training. Lacie is originally from Vietnam. Her hobby is watching dramas. Lacie 's favorite movie is "Grease," and she likes soft rock music. For another honorary Trojan, FIGHT ON, Lacie!

Seen at the SCene:

Coaches: Rowing: Ligita Kaviere, Lacrosse: Lindsey Munday, Soccer: Ali Khosroshahin, Water Polo: Casey Moon, Women's Golf: Andrea Gaston, Football: Aaron Ausmus. The rest of the football coaches are relaxing in Hawaii for three days. ENJOY!

Heritage Hall Friends: Anna, Joyce, Odette Overton, Craig Kelley, Bhupinder Singh, Dr. Bryce Nelson, Dan Avila, Gregory Millward, Ron Orr, Jim Davis, tutor Nick, Teresa Verbeck, Sam Tulin, Don Winston, Don Ludwig, Tiarra Jones, Darcy Couch, Tim Tessalone

Rowing: Jelena Miladinovic

Soccer: Mia Bruno, Haley Boysen, Heather Davis, Autumn Altamirano, Kristina Noriega

Marcus MartinTrack and Field: Joey Hughes, CoCo Ndipagbor. Joey told Trojan Candy that five football players are competing on the track and field team this season. Long jump: Nickell Robey and Marqise Lee. Triple jump: Tony Burnette. Shot Put: Abe Markowitz. Sprints: D.J. Morgan

Football: Kevin Greene, Curtis McNeal, Nickell Robey, Christian Thomas, D.J. Morgan, Dion Bailey, Jawanza Starling, Isiah Wiley, George Uko, Xavier Grimble, Javorius Allen (whose nickname is Buck), Luis Nevarez, John Manoogian, C.J. Gable (welcome back!), Zac Kusnir, Junior Pomee, Marcus Martin (wearing a SOH shirt), Andre Heidari (who told Trojan Candy that he never took an official visit to USC. Sure am glad that he committed!), Cyrus Hobbi (whom Trojan Candy needs to interview). Come back to the desk, soon, Cyrus!)

February 1, 2012---Football Signing Day!

Lane Kiffin and Tim TessaloneTrojan Candy arrived at Heritage Hall at 3:50 p.m. I walked into the Lounge, noticed several reporters working busily on their laptops, and sat down with my camera. Coach Lane Kiffin and SID Tim Tessalone walked into the Lounge and sat at the table that was set up in the front of the Championship's Wall.

The press conference was very formal. Coach Kiffin recalled some of the events that occurred during this Football Signing Day. He described the exhilaration of signing two Florida High School players in a span of 45 minutes early in the day. The only disappointment seemed to be losing two offensive linemen to Stanford later in the day. Thirteen players were signed today, and Coach Kiffin said that he would hold on to the three remaining slots. He said that this year's class numbered 18, and with the three scholarships that were saved, next year's class will be 18 also. Then, the press conference was ended with a question session.

Anthony BrownDion BaileyI rushed over to the Founder's Room in the Galen Center for the Football Signing Day Celebration. Tables were set-up for the check in. Smiling at me from the table was Anthony Brown and Dion Bailey. They were both working the event. Naturally, I took their pictures!

Guests went through the buffet line and filed into the Founder's Room. Each guest received a "16th Annual Trojan Football Recruiting Celebration" spiral book containing a one page description of each one of our new football Trojans and a miniature USC football with the 2012 schedule printed on it. FIGHT ON, new Trojan Signees!

Jawanza StarlingCharles BurksMaster of Ceremonies Pat Haden introduced all the dignitaries. He also introduced the four football players who work in the athletic department. Anthony Brown and Dion Bailey were gone to class. The other two players were Jawanza Starling and Charles Burks.

For the program, each coach spoke about his new signee and showed highlight videos. There was quite a bit of excitement when each new Trojan was presented.

Men's Volleyball teamAfter the program ended, Trojan Candy went to see our Men's Volleyball team play Santa Barbara. We swept them in three sets! FIGHT ON, Men's Volleyball!

What a perfect ending to an exciting day!