March 2012 (2) Candygrams

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Thursday, March 29, 2012---Water Polo, Football and a Tutor, Too!

The tower over the entrance to the John Mckay Center is filling in nicely. Notice the tiles on the outside of the Football Lounge on the second floor. The entire center is progressing rapidly every week.

West Wing and Center of McKay Center
Some whitewashing in the foreground of McKay Center
Tower of West Wing of McKay Center
Tower of West Wing of McKay Center is filling
Tiles of Lounge of Center of McKay Center
Tiles of Lounge of Center of McKay Center

As I walked out of Heritage Hall on my way to a short meeting near the bookstore, Trojan Candy saw two familiar smiling faces. Brice Butler (who is on his spring break from his current school, San Diego, where he is earning his Master's Degree) and Robert Woods. Both friends gave me big HUGS! What a way to start the day!

After the meeting, it was back to Heritage Hall. As I approached the door, Max Wittek, who was on the phone, smiled and waved. There was a tour in the lobby when I reached the desk. My husband Jim was already set up. Then, football friends came to the desk. Kyle Negrete (dressed in Hawaiaan shorts and shirt), Morgan Breslin and Khaled Holmes stayed to talk for a little while. Then Matt Barkley came up to them as I was talking to Jovente Slater (Who told me that he has a sports hernia and will be sidelined for a while). When a young lady walked in the door, Matt and Kyle unexpectedly flopped to the floor on their stomachs with their arms and legs flapping. Then they did some push-ups. What's going on? I didn't rush over to get the picture as I normally would because I wanted to console Jovente and tell him to get better soon. Maybe it's better that I didn't get the picture! Boys will be boys! Get Well soon, Jovente!

Six new friends came to the desk today for the first time and one friend came to the desk because I asked him to. More about him later. Now, about my new friends.

Zach LucasWhen Trojan Candy saw Sophomore Zach Lucas, I knew that he was either a water polo player or a swimmer. I was right! Zach is a Driver on the four-time NCAA Champions Water Polo team. He is majoring in Public Policy and Development and Real Estate Development. Zach, who is from Newport Beach, started playing water polo when he was eight years old. His entire family plays water polo. Zach likes to surf and skateboard, and he likes all kinds of music. FIGHT ON, Zach!

Oswin ChanOswin Chan, my second new friend, came to the Heritage desk for a few seconds. I gave him my card and asked if I could interview him. Oswin said that he would come back, and then he walked downstairs Some time later Oswin returned to the desk. He remembered! Oswin tutors downstairs in the subjects of Economics, Statistics, and Calculus. From Rosemead, Oswin graduated with a P.P.D. degree from U.C.Riverside and is pursuing the same major at USC in the graduate school. His favorite movie is True Grit, and he likes to meditate and run. Such diverse interests! FIGHT ON, Oswin!

Michelle CaronThe next two new friends are teammates on the Women of Troy Water Polo Team. Freshman Michelle Caron is from Montreal, Canada, and is a Driver on the team.. She is majoring in Human Biology and is Pre-Med. Michelle said that she loves to read. Her favorites are Harry Potter and Hunger Games. FIGHT On, Michelle!

Savannah Fletcher and Michelle CaronSavannah FletcherTeammate Savannah Fletcher is a Freshman like Michelle and is a Driver on the team too. She is also majoring in Human Biology like Michelle. Savannah is from Malibu. She loves to surf, wakeboard, and run. Savannah, like her friend Michelle, likes to read Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. So many common interests, no wonder they are such good friends! FIGHT ON, Savannah!

Now for my two new football friends. All of the defensive backs were taking a break from their meeting. They were lying on the Heritage Hall rug among all the trophies. Trojan Candy sprang into action! I was able to interview two new friends!

DeVante WilsonThe first new friend was Freshman DeVante Wilson. I saw him walk across the lobby with friend Zack Kusnir right behind him. I ran over to catch DeVante, but he had already gone into the men's room. That's okay! I got a big hug from Zack and then I asked Zack to tell DeVante to see me. Zack said that he would. Both guys came to the carpet where I was waiting and all the defensive backs were resting on the rug. DeVante is undecided in his major. He is from Corona, CA, and plays Defensive End. DeVante's favorite movie is Friday, and he likes rapper ASAP Rocky. Thanks, Zack! FIGHT ON, DeVante!

Christian HeywardMy second new football friend was sitting with his back resting on a trophy case. Freshman Christian Heyward saw me interviewing DeVante, so he knew what was coming! Christian, a Freshman Defensive Tackle, is from San Diego. He is undecided in his major so far. Christian's favorite movie is Space Jam. As I was asking him his favorite music, we both heard a BOOMING voice. It was Coach Ed Orgeron beckoning the defensive backs to come. Christian blurted out that his favorite video game is 2K12. Then, he was gone. Trojan Candy will catch Chrisian the next time I see him in Heritage Hall to finish his interview! FIGHT On, Christian!

Matt BarkleyNow for the friend who came to the desk because I asked him to. After Matt Barkley got off the Heritage Hall floor, he went upstairs. Trojan Candy caught up with him in the football office and asked him to come to the desk when he was done upstairs. It was a good thing that I went up to the football office. Friend Joe Houston was in the office also. We got to visit for a while. Then, I went downstairs to the desk. A few minutes later, Matt walked up to the desk. Trojan Candy was determined to interview him this time and asked him his major and hobbies. Matt BarkleyMatt said that he had to go to another interview right now, but he wrote in my notebook first and even posed for a picture. What a good friend! Then he rushed off to the SID Office. Matt wrote that he is majoring in Communications. He likes to play the guitar, go to the beach, and help children. Trojan Candy found out from a secret source that he likes to also....line dance! Sorry, I cannot divulge my anonymous source! I finally got my interview with Matt! FIGHT ON, Matt!

Seen at the SCene:

Coaches: Football: Lenny Vandermade, Scott Thompson, Kennedy Polamalu, Justin Mesa, Ed Orgeron; Men's Volleyball: Bill Richardson; Women's Basketball: Michael Cooper; Women's Soccer: Laura Janke.

Rowers: Caroline Trawick (who was nice enough to help me put out the gum), Lenka Vrecnikova, Helen Tinkus, Alexandra Tapley

Soccer: Kristina Noriega, Elizabeth Caparis, Lindsey Brown, Jamie Kucharski, Heather Davis, Mia Bruno

Women's Baskketball: Deanna Calhoun, Dominique Scott, Kiki Alofaituli, Alexyz Vaioletama. Unfortunately, Alexyz's right foot was in a cast and she was on crutches. She was hurt playing in a pick-up game with some guy friends. Trojan Candy was honored to sign her cast. I hope that her injury is not serious. Get well soon, Alexyz!

Track and Field: Jovente Slater, Caroline Lutzky, Jennifer Jones (It was so cute to see Jennifer looking at her picture on my website, as she stood at the desk.)

Heritage Hall Friends: Zade Shakir, J.K. McKay, Joyce, Sunny, D.T. reporter Alexis Driggs (who visited for a long time at the desk with Trojan Candy), trainer Maya Shemesh, Sara Kalemkianan, Haili Sun, Jill Dennis, Michael Sylvester, Fed Ex Dave

Men's Basketball: Ari Stewart, Eric Strangis, Garrett Jackson (Trojan Candy wished Garrett good luck at his new school St. Mary's College of California in Moraga, California) FIGHT ON, forever, Garrett!

Women's Water Polo: Adrienne Taylor

Football: Brice Butler, Robert Woods, Max Wittek, Khaled Holmes, Morgan Breslin, Kyle Negrete, Matt Barkley, Hayes Pullard, Joe Houston, Junior Pomee, Chad Wheeler, Anthony Neyer, Demetrius Wright, Christian Tupou, Josh Shaw, T.J. McDonald, Andre Heidari, Marquis Simmons, George Uko, Antwaun Woods, LaMar Dawson, Curtis McNeal, Anthony Brown, Nickell Robey, Emon Saee, Marshall Jones, Brian Baucham, Jawanza Starling, Kevin Greene, T.J. Bryant, Peter Yobo, Buck Javorius, Zack Kusnir

March 28, 2012---The Trojan Club of San Pedro-Peninsula Meeting

Trojan Candy went to the Trojan Club of San Pedro-Peninsula dinner meeting at the Ports O'Call Restaurant. The Club awarded its first Annual Trojan Club Award in Memory of Craig Fertig to 1992 USC Football All-American Curtis Conway.

Scott Jacobson and Curtis ConwayI was able to speak with Curtis Conway, J.K. McKay, Assistant Athletic Director Scott Jacobson (who has known Curtis for four years), and Trojan Club President Chris Fox before the meeting began.

Curtis agreed to give Trojan Candy a short interview. He told me that he has five children. His oldest are two twin boys, Cameron and Kelton, who are sixteen. Both of them play basketball. I asked if they will attend USC. He said that he is trying to persuade them, but they like the Atlantic Coast Conference. Let's hope that Curtis is successful! Leilani is his thirteen year old daughter, and he has two children with his wife Laila. They are three year old Curtis, Jr., and one year old daughter Sydney. FIve future Trojans!

After the social hour, the Dance Force started the evening with a rousing performance. Then, they mingled with the audience. FIGHT ON, USC Dance Force!

J.K. McKay and Chris FoxThe first featured speaker on the program was USC Senior Associate Athletic Director J.K. McKay. J.K. told many anectdotes about his dad, Coach John McKay. He spoke about his good friend, Pat Haden, about his playing days at USC, and about some of his Dad's humorous stories. Needless to say, J.K. had the audience, Trojan Candy included, rolling on the floor, laughing. As J.K. was returning to his seat, President Chris Fox announced that it is J.K.'s birthday today. We all sang an impromptu "Happy Birthday!" FIGHT ON, J.K.!

Then it was Curtis Conway's turn at the podium. Curtis mentioned that after USC he played for twelve years in the NFL. After retiring from the NFL, he decided to "Give Back" to the USC community that he was raised in. Curtis related that, as a child, his friends and he would go swimming in the pool at USC and run around the Coliseum. Each boy hoped that he would be the greatest ever football player. Curtis said his dream came true when USC recruited him, and he walked down the Coliseum tunnel for the first time. Tears came to his eyes....he was finally in the Coliseum! Actually, USC was the lucky one to get Curtis Conway as a Trojan! Next, Curtis stressed that education for the USC neighborhood kids is more important than football. So, every year Curtis runs a football camp for 7th and 8th grade students in South Los Angeles. The football camp, funded from his own pocket, stresses not just football skills, but also life skills aimed at preparing these young boys and their families for college.

What a worthy recipient of the first Anniversary Award in Memory of Craig Fertig! FIGHT ON, Curtis!

DougRaffle tickets were drawn at the end of the meeting. Friend Doug won a prize of a bottle of champagne, toppers, and USC champagne glasses. Trojan Candy also won a prize...a memorable evening!

March 24, 2012---The Trojan Track Invitational

When Trojan Candy arrived at the Loker Track Stadium at 10:30 a.m., the jumps were already underway. High School events were being run. It was cloudy and cool, then the sun came out. What a beautiful day for a track meet!

During the meet, the track athletes mingle in the stands, so I was able to take pictures of several competitor friends on the track and in the stands.

Alitta Boyd and Jennifer Jones
Alitta Boyd won the long jump and Jennifer Jones also did well in the long jump
Tony Burnett
Tony Burnett placed second in the triple jump
Bryshon Nellum
Bryshon Nellum ran in the 400 m dash and was on the 4x400 m relay team which set a world-leading time
Loudia Laarman
Loudia Laarman ran very well in the 100 m and 200 m dashes and was on the 4x100 m relay team
Caroline Lutzky
Caroline Lutzky ran in the 400 m dash
Katherine Chang
Katherine Chang
Allen Williams
Allen Williams ran the 110 m high hurdles and did the triple jump
Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee won the long jump
Jessica Davis and Dalilah Muhammad
Jessica Davis and Dalilah Muhammad (12/3/2010)
Joey Hughes
Joey Hughes ran in the 400 m dash and was also on the 4x400 m relay team

Interviews of the event winners were broadcast throughout the meet.

Marissa Minderler
Marissa Minderler won the hammerthrow and did well in the shot put
Josh Mance
Josh Mance had the best time in the 400 meters and anchored the 4x400 m relay team
Aaron Brown
Aaron Brown won the 100 m dash in the second fastest collegiate time this year and ran extremely well on the 4x100 m relay team

Trojans athletes from other sports came to cheer on the team.

Stefanie Gilbreath and Thaddesia Southall
Stefanie Gilbreath and Thaddesia Southall (2/3/2012) of Women's Basketball
Tyler Grady, Michael Morgan, Peter Yobo, and Chris Pousson
Football Seniors Tyler Grady, Michael Morgan, Peter Yobo, and Chris Pousson
Peter Yobo and Christian Tupou
Football Seniors Peter Yobo and Christian Tupou (11/11/2010)

FIGHT ON, USC Track and Field Team at the Texas Relays in Austin!

March 23, 2012---Trojan Candy Got the Picture, But Not the Interview!

The day started out drizzly and overcast, but it ended up in bright sunshine. The outside of the John McKay Center is more refined just below the roof and at the main arched portal. Notice the design on the tower of the West Wing.

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

Tower of West Wing of McKay CenterIt was so nice being back volunteering in Heritage Hall after the Spring Break. Eleven new friends came to the desk for the first time today, and there were many tours. Heritage Hall was quite busy today!

The first five new friends were all Women of Troy athletes, so I thought that the women would rule today. Then, the next five new friends were all guys. My last new friend was a lady. The women still won!

Kiana HenryFreshman Kiana Henry, who was my first new friend today, is from Anaheim Hills. She competes in the grueling Heptathlon in Track and Field and is majoring in Real Estate Development. Kiana likes to dance to Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary music. She plays the guitar and likes hanging out with her friends. She can now "hang out" weekly with Trojan Candy at the Heritage Hall desk! FIGHT ON, Kiana!

Caroline StanleyFreshman Caroline Stanley is a goal keeper on the Women of Troy Soccer Team. She is originally from Oklahoma City, and she transferred from Missouri. The Tiger's loss, our gain! Caroline, who is majoring in Communications, is "into pretty much anything outdoorsy and active." She is an avid movie go-er, and she loves to cook! FIGHT ON, Caroline!

Giuliana OlmosMy sister Pat, who volunteered at Heritage Hall yesterday, encouraged my next new friend to come back today to meet her sister, Trojan Candy. Giuliana Olmos, who is a Freshman on the Women of Troy Tennis Team, walked up to the desk and said that my sister sent her. Guiliana, who is undecided in her major, was born in Austria, plays tennis for Mexico, and lives in the USA. (At USC now!) Her mom, who has family in Taxenbach, Austria; her dad, who has family in Mazatlan, Mexico; and her ten year old twin sisters live in Fremont, CA. Yes, her sisters play tennis, too (Two more future Trojans!). Giuliana likes to swim, read James Patterson books, and bake! She loves to make chocolate chip and butter cookies. Mmm! My husband chimed in that he loves butter cookies. FIGHT ON, Giuliana!

Carley PenningtonTrojan Candy ran out the door to ask the next two friends to come back into Heritage Hall so that I could interview them. Luckily, their classes were later, so they obliged. My fourth new friend was Freshman Carley Pennington. Carley, who is from Rancho Cucamonga, is a goalkeeper on the Women of Troy Soccer Team. She is majoring in Psychology. Carley likes to snowboard, and her favorite movie is "Finding Nemo." FIGHT ON, Carley!

Elizabeth CaparisCarley's friend is fellow Freshman and teammate, Elizabeth Caparis. Elizabeth, who is from Palos Verdes Estates, is a Midfielder. She is majoring in Communications. For fun, Elizabeth likes to jump on a trampoline. She wrote that her favorite movie is "Step Brothers." FIGHT ON, Elizabeth!

Now, it's the guys' turn. Five new "Men of Troy" came to the desk for the first time.

Drew NarwoldFriend Zade Shakir brought Trojan Candy's sixth new friend to the desk. Sophomore Drew Narwold, who is from San Diego, is majoring in Biochemistry. He is a football student manager who works with the running backs. Drew enjoys playing basketball and swimming. His favorite movie is "(21) Jump Street." FIGHT ON, Drew!

Chad WheelerMy seventh new friend just joined the football team this spring semester. Freshman Chad Wheeler, who is from Santa Monica, will play on the offensive line. He is undeclared in his major. Chad likes to play video games and listen to music. He likes to play metal/rock music on his guitar. Amazingly, Chad wrote that he likes doing push-ups! That's a first! FIGHT ON, Chad!

LongboardKhoren LawsonFreshman Khoren Lawson walked up to the desk carrying what Trojan Candy thought was a skateboard. It was not! Khoren told us that it is a "longboard." Can you see the difference? Khoren, who is from Jamaica, said that he came to Los Angeles because of the weather, people, sports, soccer, and track and field. Before he came to USC, he said that he was not a football fan, but he is now! Khoren, who is majoring in Economics and Mathematics, runs the 400 m sprints. (He's fast on his longboard and on the track!) His hobbies include music, blogging (me, too!) and longboarding. FIGHT ON, Khoren!

Matt Barkley walked to the desk to say, "Hello." I asked how his spring break was, and he said that he mainly stayed home. (I am sure that his parents were glad to see him!) Unbelievably, Trojan Candy did not ask him to do a "formal" interview with me. I have posted so many pictures and tidbits about him but have never asked him his major or his hobbies. Next time he comes to the desk, I will get the interview! Thank goodness I have one more year to complete my unfinished business.

Max WittekRight after Matt left the desk, two more quarterbacks walked up to the desk. Friend Cody Kessler was one of them, and new friend Max Wittek was the other! Max is a red-shirt Freshman who is undecided in his major. He is from Newport Beach. Max wrote that he likes comedies and that his favorite comedy movie is "Talladega Nights." He loves to text his friends. Unfortunately, Trojan Candy does not text, so, Max, you'll just have to come to the Heritage Hall desk to visit us on either Thursdays or Fridays! Max ended his interview when he wrote in my notebook the following quote: "If you ain't first, you're last." Good luck to friends Cody, Max, Jesse, Emon, John and Anthony in your quarterback competition! FIGHT ON, Max!

Brett HughesTrojan Candy's tenth new friend today is another football player who just enrolled at USC this spring. Freshman Brett Hughes will play Tight End. He is majoring in Business Administration. Brett, who is from Mountain View, said that he likes to dance. Dancing Hip Hop is his favorite, as well as listening to all kinds of music. Then, Brett mentioned to me that he and friend Joey Hughes are cousins on their fathers' side. Another Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Brett!

Bria RussThe eleventh and final new friend for the day has walked by the desk before, but I finally got her to stop for an interview. Freshman Bria Russ is a Defensive Specialist on the Women of Troy Volleyball Team. From Long Beach, Bria is undecided in her major. She likes action movies (like yours truly), and her favorite movie is "Takers." For hobbies, Bria said that she loves to cook! (I must introduce Bria to new friend Caroline!) Her other favorite hobby is to make friendship bracelets. FIGHT ON, Bria!

Byron WesleyAs for my blog title for today....I didn't get the interview (Matt Barkley), but I "Got the Picture." Friend Byron Wesley walked in the door with a big smile on his face! He did come to visit us at the desk, just like I asked him to! However, he had a cup in his hand, not the three basketball trophies that he was awarded four days ago at the Men's Basketball Awards Banquet (Check out the article on my blog dated March 20th). Since my picture of Byron and his trophies at the banquet was regrettably blurry, I took another picture of Byron today. Same friendly smile!

Seen at the SCene:

Heritage Hall Friends: Ron Orr, Darcy Couch, Joyce, Michael Wang (who brought two tours to the lobby today), J.K. McKay, Irene Puentes, Teresa Verbeck, Karen Bowman, Dr. Bryce Nelson (Thank you, Dr. Bryce, for saving the D.T.s for me!), Jordan Cohen, Kathleen DeCristo, Sean Jordan, Susie Cognetta, Bhupinder Singh, Paul Goldberg

Coaches: Track and Field: Michael Pullins; Men's Basketball: Kevin O'Neill; Women's Basketball: Michael Cooper; Women's Soccer: Laura Janke; Football: Scott Thompson, Lenny Vandermade, Lane Kiffin, Monte Kiffin, Ed Orgeron; Rowing: Ligita Kaviere

Track: Kemi Olonade, Caroline Lutzky, David Selma, Loudia Laarman, Jessica Davis, Allen Williams, Jovente Slater

Soccer: Carly Butcher, Kristina Noriega (without a cast), Heather Davis

Women's Golf: Doris Chen (again carrying her guitar)

Women's Basketball: Deanna Calhoun

Men's Basketball: Eric Strangis, Byron Wesley

Rowing: Magda Janicka, Caroline Trawick

Marcus MartinJ.R. Tavai, Kyle Negrete, Coach Michael Cooper, and Khaled HolmesFootball: Demetrius Wright, Tre Madden (I forgot to ask him how he likes his change from defense to offense), Soma Vainuku, Simi Vehikite, Victor Blackwell, Isiah Wiley, Kyle Negrete, Khaled Holmes (4/14/2011), J.R. Tavai (Kyle, Khaled and J.R. enjoyed a few laughs with Coach Michael Cooper!), Xavier Grimble, Robert Woods (Robert showed me his right foot and said that there is only a little pain now. Get well soon, Robert!),George Uko, Andre Heidari, Matt Barkley, Cody Kessler, Allen Noble, Dion Bailey (working upstairs), Jawanza Starling (who spent his spring break in Florida, but not in Tallahassee, and was working upstairs), Drew McAllister, George Farmer, Marcus Martin (wearing his H.S. All American sweatshirt and, yes, he is that big and tall!), Hayes Pullard (working upstairs)