December 2012 (1) Candygrams

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Monday, December 10, 2012---Heritage Hall Party and Five-Peat Celebration

Trojan Candy and my husband Jim were invited to the last Christmas party in the "old" Heritage Hall. The Lobby was the place to be! All Heritage Hall employees, volunteers and USC Coaches were invited.

It was so nice to see so many Heritage Hall friends and some coaches. Trojan Candy will miss them dearly this next year while the renovation is going on.

Dudley and Pat Poon and Trojan Candy with Jill Dennis
Dudley and Pat Poon and Trojan Candy with Jill Dennis
Gregg Millward, Scott Jacobson, and Paul Goldberg
Gregg Millward, Scott Jacobson, and Paul Goldberg
Jill Dennis and Sunny Shepherd
Jill Dennis and Sunny Shepherd

There was another familiar face. Dressed to the "hilt" in a suit, Kyle Negrete was a surprise guest to the get-together. Athletic Director Pat Haden announced that the Athletic Department published a book of prominent athletes and outstanding employees. The vignette biographies were written by coaches and fellow employees. Kyle, Ron Orr, Men's Tennis Coach Peter Smith, and Greg Woodburn were four of the featured individuals.

Jim Yee, Kyle Negrete, and Greg Woodburn
Jim Yee, Kyle Negrete, and Greg Woodburn
Kyle Negrete and Pat Haden
Congratulations, Kyle!
Ron Orr
Congratulations, Ron!
Peter Smith
Congratulations, Coach Peter!
Greg Woodburn
Congratulations, Greg!

The food was delicious. The atmosphere was electric with conversation. There were several volunteer friends to visit with.

Beth with Marianne Hunt
Beth with Marianne Hunt
Hal Keimi and Grant Nichol
Hal Keimi and Grant Nichol

Then, the five time NCAA champion USC Men's Water Polo Team arrived! Trojan Candy sprung into action. See the pictures and video of the celebration. Congratulations, Men's Water Polo Team and Coach Jovan Vavic!

Please help me identify the players. Thank you.

Marko Pintaric and Jovan Vavic
Assistant Coach Marko Pintaric and Head Coach Jovan Vavic
Aaron Lim, ?, Luke Felton, Alex Lavayan, Liam Burke, ?, Russell Renteria, and ?
Water Polo National Champions Aaron Lim, ?, Luke Felton, Alex Lavayan, Liam Burke, ?, Russell Renteria, and ?
Andrew Reego, Matt Burton, Emery Molnar, Clark Barry, Eugene Chong and Mac Garden
Water Polo National Champions Andrew Reego, Matt Burton, Emery Molnar, Clark Barry, Eugene Chong and Mac Garden
James Hixson and James Clark
Water Polo National Champions James Hixson and James Clark
Jeremy Davie, Tobias Preuss, and Clark Barry
Water Polo National Champions Jeremy Davie, Tobias Preuss, and Clark Barry
Jeremy Davie, Michael Rosenthal, SID Darcy Couch, Tobias Preuss, and Nikola Vavic
Water Polo National Champions Jeremy Davie, Michael Rosenthal, SID Darcy Couch, Tobias Preuss, and Nikola Vavic
Cake for celebrating the Water Polo National Championship
Click to watch a YouTube video celebrating Men's Water Polo Team fifth in a row National Championship and naming of Player's lounge in honor of Jovan Vavic.

What an enjoyable, eventful evening.

Trojan Candy will be reporting next about the USC Football Awards Banquet on Friday, December 14th.

Happy Holidays to all and continue to FIGHT ON!

BEAT the Yellow Jackets!

December 7, 2012

Today my husband Jim and I brought two carts of treats to pass out to our friends at Heritage Hall. Today is the last day we can volunteer at Heritage Hall, since it is closing down for renovation. It should reopen in about a year.

There is a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Heritage Hall lobby. Today Trojan Candy had all new friends and "old" friends who stopped by the desk pose in front of the tree.

Unbelievably, eleven new friends came to the Heritage Hall desk today for the first time.

Cristian RiveraTrojan Candy saw the first new friend walk across the lobby. I was able to catch up with him and ask if he was an athlete. When he answered, "Yes," I knew I had my first new friend. Cristian Rivera is a Sophomore majoring in International Business. He competes on the USC Men's Volleyball Team. Cristian is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. His favorite food is pizza. Cristian wrote in my notebook that "(I) Love reading anything I can get my hands on." Not only an athlete, but an avid reader too! FIGHT ON, Cristian!

Joyce Goff, Betzabel Alcantara, and Filo MorenoMy next new friend is actually an "old" friend. She has come to the desk to take a snack and chat since the first year Trojan Candy volunteered at Heritage Hall in 2005. Joyce Goff started working at USC in 1979 and has worked in Heritage Hall for over twenty years! She was born in Belize and came to the USA in 1962. Joyce settled in Southern California and has two children named Nelson and Tanya. Tanya attended USC. Joyce will be retiring very soon. She wrote that, "(I) will surely miss getting up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning (smile) to get here by 4:00 a.m." What a devoted employee! Enjoy your retirement and FIGHT ON, Joyce!

Rachel CatonFrom a 33 year employee to a fairly new employee, my third new friend is an Assistant Director of Sports Information. Rachel Caton earned her B.A. in Communications from the USC Annenberg School in 2009. She works with the Men of Troy Baseball Team. From Fullerton, Rachel likes to run, workout and watch sports. FIGHT ON, Rachel!

Aaron BrownMy fourth new friend is Junior Aaron Brown. Aaron, who is from Toronto, Canada, is a Political Science major. Trojan Candy kept thinking to herself that she has seen him before. Aaron runs the 100 m, the 200 m and the 4x100 m relay on the USC Track Team. When my husband asked how he ended up at USC, Aaron said that USC Coach Johnson scouted him at a World Track Meet in Italy when he was a Junior in high school. What a fortunate find! Then, after more conversation, Aaron mentioned that he ran the 200 m in the London Olympics for his home country Canada. Another USC Olympian! That's where I have seen his picture before! Finishing the interview, Aaron wrote that his favorite musicians are The Weekend, Michael Jackson, Usher and R. Kelly. His favorite movies are "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Dark Knight" and "Inception." Aaron likes to draw, write poetry and compose R&B music. That is where I have seen Aaron before. I interviewed him initially in September 2011. What an amazing, talented athlete....and he's a Trojan, too! FIGHT ON, Aaron!

Wilson PalmerMy next two new friends are both Seniors and Head Managers of the USC Football Team. Wilson Palmer is majoring in Music Industry. He is from Darien, Connecticut. Wilson plays the guitar and the drums. He is starting to collect records. Wilson's favorite food is bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. (Mmm for me too!) "City of God" is his favorite movie. His favorite sports are basketball, lacrosse and soccer. FIGHT ON, Wilson!

Sean BellWilson's friend Sean Bell is majoring in Public Relations. Sean is from Pacific Grove, CA. He likes to listen to country music. Unlike Wilson, Sean likes the movie "Friday Night Lights." As for sports, Sean likes to play golf. Both Wilson and Sean will be traveling with the team to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Have fun and FIGHT ON, Sean!

Trojan Candy's next two new friends walked into Heritage Hall while a student tour was in the lobby. The kids assumed that they were athletes, and they were right. Basketball teammates Greg Allen and Renaldo Woolridge both posed for pictures with the students. Then, they both came to the desk to be interviewed.

Greg AllenSenior Greg Allen is a shooting guard. He is from Eureka, CA. Greg is majoring in Sociology. He likes to play video games and his favorite game is NBA 2K13. He likes to listen to music by Lil' Webbie, Li'l Boosie and 2 Pac. Another favorite thing that Greg likes to do is to "hang with friends." FIGHT ON, Greg!

Renaldo WoolridgeOne of those friends that he likes to "hang out" with is teammate Renaldo Woolridge. Renaldo, who is from Sherman Oaks, is a shooting forward. He attended Harvard Westlake High School in Los Angeles. Renaldo majored in Sociology and transferred to USC from Tennessee. Renaldo wrote that he performed in talent shows when he was younger, and that, when he was eleven, he used to rap in commercials. He likes to read, write and compose music. Renaldo composed "Fight On (We Play To Rise)." What an impressive musical background, and he's a Trojan, too! FIGHT ON, Renaldo!

Kira SoderstromMy ninth new friend is Sophomore Kira Soderstrom. Kira competes in the 5K and 6K on the Cross Country Team and in the Steeple Chase on the Track Team. She is majoring in Economics. Rachel has many interests. She really likes digital photography and writing poetry. Rachel also likes to dance and listen to Beach Music, Step Brothers music, Tommy Boy music, Rebelution music and Billy Joel (a Trojan Candy favorite, too!). Rachel likes to play beach volleyball. Maybe, she'll be a three sport athlete at USC...Cross Country, Track, and Sand Volleyball! Rachel is from Winter Park, Florida. As we were talking at the desk, Josh Shaw walked up to say, "Hello." I mentioned to Josh that Kira was from Florida. Josh played at Florida and transferred to USC in the spring of 2012. The two athletes talked about a mutual friend. Both an "old" friend and a new friend at the desk. Stay being so creative and FIGHT ON, Kira!

Devon BowmanThe tenth new friend came up with her mom, my Heritage Hall friend Karen Bowman. Devon Bowman is a Freshman majoring in Business Administration. Her family lives in La Jolla. Devon's favorite movie is "Italian Job," and her favorite food is guacamole. She loves to dance, swim, run and go to the beach. Devon has been ice skating since she was six years old. Her mom Karen was an ice skater too. Devon has been a professional figure skating coach for four years and a competitive figure skater for twelve years! At USC, Devon is a USC Ice Girl. They have performed at Pershing Square and at LA Live. Search "USC Hockey" for a link to USC Ice Girls or search them on Face Book. Devon is a third generation Trojan! Another amazing Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Devon!

Emily LoynachanMy eleventh and last new friend today came just as we were about to leave. Emily Loynachan, who is from Silverlake and who attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Feliz, majored in Gerontology and Vocal Performance as an undergrad at USC. Now, she is earning her Master's Degree in Gerontology at USC. We had an invigorating conversation about her premise that music can help rehabilitate stroke patients. What a novel idea! Emily has performed in several USC productions. They were "The Magic Flute," "Three Decembers," "Red Cat," "Spin Echo," "Barbers and Beauties" (USC Chamber Opera) and "Art in the Parking Space" series. What a body of work! On a personal note, Emily likes to sing (natch!), spend time with friends and family, run and cook. Her favorite foods are ribs and mashed potatoes. FIGHT ON, Emily!

Seen at the SCene:

Heritage Hall Friends: Sean Jordan, Joyce Goff, Dan Avila, Isabelle Huang, Dr. Bryce Nelson, Emily Barth, Melinda Marino, Julian Bonse, Melody Kim, Luke Stephens, Johnny Liu, Karen Bowman

Dan Avila
Dan Avila
Isabelle Huang
Isabelle Huang
Luke Stephens
Luke Stephens
Karen Bowman
Karen Bowman

Rowing: Iskra Angelova, Helen Tinkus, Erica Christianson, Lenka Vrecnikova, Elaine Krebs, Kate Gleadow

Iskra Angelova and Trojan Candy
Iskra Angelova and Trojan Candy
Helen Tinkus
Helen Tinkus
Lenka Vrecnikova
Lenka Vrecnikova
Elaine Krebs and Kate Gleadow
Elaine Krebs and Kate Gleadow

Coaches: Lacrosse: Devon Wills, Women's Basketball: Ebony Hall

Track: Vanessa Jones, Alitta Boyd, Kemi Olonade

Vanessa Jones
Vanessa Jones

Football: Max Wittek, Junior Pomee, Christian Thomas, Khaled Holmes, Josh Shaw

Trojan Candy and Max Wittek
Trojan Candy and Max Wittek
Trojan Candy and Junior Pomee
Trojan Candy and Junior Pomee
Christian Thomas
Christian Thomas
Khaled Holmes, Trojan Candy, and Josh Shaw
Khaled Holmes (4/14/2011), Trojan Candy, and Josh Shaw

December 4, 2012

Janice DawsonOn Tuesday, December 4th, my friend Janice Dawson and I attended the Town and Gown Holiday luncheon meeting where the USC Thornton Chamber Singers performed. Meanwhile my husband Jim stuffed flyers for the Athletic Department at Heritage Hall.

After the luncheon, the three of us met with Associate Athletic Director Hatcher Parnell in his Heritage Hall Office. The four of us walked downstairs to the Women of Troy Soccer and Rowing Locker Room that is located in the basement of Heritage Hall. Hatcher was nice enough to allow me to take pictures of the locker room to which we donated to renovate in 1997. We were even able to carry home the "heavy" dedication plaque that was screwed into the wall. Friend Iskra Angelova, a rower, was at her locker as we roamed around. Thanks, Hatcher!

Our plaque
Hatcher Parnell
Hatcher Parnell holding our plaque
Iskra Angelova
Rower Iskra Angelova

December 2, 2012---NCAA Men's Water Polo Finals!

Today I attended the Finals of the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Our Men of Troy were playing against our crosstown rival UCLA Bruins. Luckily, the forecasted heavy rain did not materialize for the match. The lower stands were filled with USC Team parents, the Spirit of Troy and USC students, alumni, fans and athletes.

Rowdy Bruins
The upper stands were filled with rowdy Bruins.
Our Men scored the first goal very early to lead 1-0.
Tied score
The entire match was a fierce battle. We trailed by as many as three goals. The score was tied with 47 seconds to go.

Then, our Men scored the winning goal with 40 seconds left to win their unprecedented fifth back to back to back to back to back NCAA Water Polo National Championship!

Congratulations to our Men's Water Polo Team!Check out pictures of a few friends who attended the match.
Trojan Candy and Kyle Negrete
Punter Kyle Negrete came to cheer on the Water Polo team.
Nick Brown
Former Heritage Hall tutor Nick Brown of Neon Tommy came to cheer for Troy.
Tumua Anae and friend
Olympic Gold Medalist Tumua Anae celebrated our victory with a friend.

Click on any of the next four thumbnail pictures to view a YouTube video.

Winning goal!
Kostas Genidounias scores the winning goal! (0:19)
Friend Mace Rapsey makes an exciting block to preserve the victory! Can you spot Friend Kyle Negrete celebrating in the pool? (2:32)
Championship Trophies
Our Men of Troy receive their Championship trophies. (1:58)
All Tournament team
The All Tournament team is announced with Friend Michael Rosenthal as the MVP! (0:44)

December 1, 2012---Our Men's Water Polo Semi-Final Victory!

Today I went to the first Semi-Final match of the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship at McDonald's Swim Stadium. The Men of Troy were facing the team from the Air Force Academy. Our Men's Water Polo Team trailed the Air Force 1-0 and then 2-1 in the opening moments. Then, we exploded with goals! We won 18-7 and advanced to the Finals on Sunday.

FIGHT ON, Mighty Men of Troy to another VICTORY!

Here are a few pictures that Trojan Candy took during the match.

NCAA banner
NCAA banner
NCAA banner
NCAA banner at the bottom of the pool
Cheer squad
The Cheer Squad led cheers for the Men of Troy.
USC score
One of our 18 goals
Air Force goalie
The Air Force goalie was busy!
Peter Kurzeka and Casey Moon
After the victory, Friend and Alumnus Peter Kurzeka visited with his former coach Casey Moon.