April 2013 (1) Candygrams

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Saturday, April 13, 2013---USC Spring Football Game

Trojan Candy left Swim with Mike to walk to the Spring Football Game around 1:00 p.m. Just outside the gate, I saw a familiar face. He smiled and waved. It was friend Davonte Stewart. Davonte competes on the USC Track and Field Team. I didn't take his picture because I was on the phone. Sorry! Davonte's initial interview on TrojanCandy.com was on 2/23/2012. Check it out! FIGHT ON, Davonte!

Jelena Zelenovic and Kamali HoustonWalking on, just outside the parking garage, were two more familiar faces. Jelena Zelenovic (9/23/2010) and Kamali Houston, who both compete on the Women of Troy Rowing Team, stopped to visit with yours truly. FIGHT ON, Jelena! FIGHT ON, Kamali!

Once inside the Coliseum, I met up with my brother Charles Chan outside Tunnel 6. The concourse was packed with people, as were the stands. Only the South Side seats were filled with fans. The North Side of the Coliseum was virtually empty.

Spring Game
Western Exterminator Party House
On the East Side below the Torch was the Western Exterminator's Party House.
Pat and Dudley Poon
My sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley waved at us when Charles took their picture. Pat was the Grand Prize Winner of the "Win with Western USC VIP Spring Football Sweepstakes." There was lots of food, two gift bags and an open bar for them. What a lucky sister!

Charles took these pictures of the team in action.

Cody Kessler passes to Marqise Lee
Cody Kessler passes to Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee straight arms a tackler
Marqise Lee straight arms a tackler.
Tre Madden scores!
Tre Madden scores!
Cody Kessler holds the football for a P.A.T. by Andre Heidari
Cody Kessler holds the football for a P.A.T. by Andre Heidari.
Max Browne prepares to pass
Max Browne prepares to pass.
An interception!
An interception!

Proceeds to FundDuring half-time, a $25,000 check from the proceeds was given to Central City Community Outreach Fund by Coach Kiffin and Marqise Lee.

The final score of the game was 42 to 36.

Let's hope that every one of our players gets and/or stays healthy! Trojan Candy can't wait for football season to start!

FIGHT ON, USC Football Team!

Saturday, April 13, 2013---Swim with Mike

The weather was overcast this morning, but spirits were high. The layout of Swim with Mike was different this year because of the ongoing construction of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. All the booths were located on the Howard Jones Football Practice Field.

Song Girls with Traveler and Hector AguilarTraveler and Hector AguilarMy husband Jim and I roamed around as soon as we entered the gate. I went to take a picture of Traveler (Hector Aguilar is the rider) first since it wasn't very crowded yet. Later, Jim took a picture of the Song Girls with Traveler and Hector.

Cary Wright, Andrea Kropp, Rebecca Heyliger and Kate DaveyAfter leaving Traveler, I noticed that there were some young people holding lacrosse sticks. Trojan Candy knew that they weren't lacrosse players since one of them was a young man. All four of them told me that they were swimmers and divers, and they were just playing around with the sticks. Naturally, I took their picture. They were Cary Wright, Andrea Kropp, Rebecca Heyliger and Kate Davey. FIGHT ON, USC Swimmers and Divers!

Then, I saw several "real" Women of Troy Lacrosse players gathering together a few feet away from Cary, Andrea, Rebecca and Kate. I saw and said "Hello" to friend Ceilidh Meagher (4/6/2012). I asked her to get her teammates together for a picture. She did! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Lacrosse Team!

Women of Troy Lacrosse team
Women of Troy Lacrosse team

Next, I wandered over to Kid's Corner, the children's art section. There were more friends there. Every year at the Swim with Mike, the Women of Troy Basketball Team volunteers at this booth. I take pictures of them every year. This year, friends Kate Oliver, Kiki Alofaituli, Cassie Harberts, Brianna Barrett and Desiree Bradley were volunteers.

Kate Oliver, Kiki Alofaituli, Cassie Harberts, Brianna Barrett and Desiree Bradley
FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Omar Nazel and Sunny ShepherdAfter shopping at the "Swim with Mike Store," Trojan Candy saw good friend Sunny Shepherd talking with someone with a familiar face...Omar Nazel. I could not pass up a chance to conduct a short interview with him. Omar played Defensive End on the USC Football Team in 1999-2003. He majored in Social Science/Psychology. After graduation, Omar played on three NFL teams---the Seattle Seahawks, the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams. Omar has branched out into the acting profession. His acting credits are movies, such as "The Comebacks," "People Like Us," and "Horrible Bosses," and commercials. Now, Omar is interested in becoming a Fire Fighter. FIGHT ON, Omar!

After saying, "Good-by" to Sunny and Omar, I walked through a narrow walkway to the pool.

Swimmers swimming laps
There were several swimmers doing laps to raise money for Swim with Mike.
Spirit of Troy
Then, Trojan Candy noticed that the Trojan band was in the stands. FIGHT ON, Spirit of Troy!

Next on the schedule were the Song Girls and Swimmers Relay Race.

Our football players lined the pool to watch all the action. I recorded two movies.


Song girls and relay swimmers
Participants in the Song Girls and Swimmers Relay Race.

The football team had to leave for the Spring Game in the Coliseum. Trojan Candy was able to stop two friends for a picture as they quickly exited the swim stadium. It was so nice to see Jabari Ruffin (7/13/2012) and Soma Vainuku (1/21/2011) again! Trojan Candy really misses seeing all of her friends at Heritage Hall!

Jabari Ruffin and Soma Vainuku
Jabari Ruffin and Soma Vainuku
Women of Troy Lacrosse team
The last race that I saw was the Women of Troy Lacrosse Team. The ladies had fun!

Trojan Candy took pictures of my sister Pat, Michael Yee (no relation), Grant Nichol, Dorothy and Craig Harberts (Cassie's parents) and Leland Waters.

Pat Poon and Michael Yee
Pat Poon and Michael Yee
Grant Nichol
Grant Nichol
Leland Waters with Dorothy and Craig Harberts
Leland Waters with Dorothy and Craig Harberts

I took this picture of Pat and Dudley Poon before they left for the Coliseum. My sister was the Grand Prize Winner of the "Win with Western USC VIP Spring Football Sweepstakes." More about this in my article on the Spring Game. Congrats, Pat!

Pat and Dudley Poon
Pat and Dudley Poon
Mel and Doris Hughes
As Jim and I enjoyed the delicious barbecue, we saw more friends---Mel and Doris Hughes.
Arvin Varma and Cynthia Brass
Lyon Center friends Arvin Varma and Cynthia Brass.
John Naber
USC Olympian and television announcer John Naber walked by our table. He was gracious enough to pose for a picture. Thanks and FIGHT ON, John!

After lunch, Trojan Candy walked over to the Coliseum to take pictures of the Spring Game.

The Spring Football Game will be my next blog.

FIGHT ON, until then!

Friday, April 12, 2013---Seen at the Oregon Demise SCene!

On another bright, sunny day at the USC Loker Tennis Stadium, our Men's Tennis Team played the Oregon Ducks.

The Doubles were scheduled first.

Eric Johnson and Max deVroome
Eric Johnson and Max DeVroome won their doubles first.
Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento
Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento (3/11/2011) paired to win their doubles to clinch the doubles point.
Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz
Emilio Gomez and Roberto Quiroz were leading 7-4 when their match was suspended.

Jonny WangJonny Wang (4/20/2012), who has recently started competing in the singles, won the first single's match easily on Court 6.

Valeria Pulido, Giuliana Olmos, Renee, Danielle Lao, and Kaitlyn ChristianDuring the singles matches, as Trojan Candy stopped to talk with Women of Troy Tennis Head Coach Richard Gallien, he gave me his permission to photograph some of his team members who came to support the men. The ladies are Valeria Pulido, Giuliana Olmos, Renee, Danielle Lao, and Kaitlyn Christian (11/11/2010). Trojan Candy told all of them to BEAT the Bruins! All of them smiled! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Tennis Team!

We won all the singles matches. The final score was USC 7 Oregon 0.

FIGHT ON, Men's Tennis Team!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013---USC Men's Basketball Banquet

Byron Wesley, Ari Stewart, and Renaldo WoolridgeTrojan Candy arrived at the Galen Center very early for the Men's Basketball banquet. I walked throughout the Lobby searching for the team. Finally, three familiar faces came through the arena door. It was so nice to see friends Byron Wesley (9/1/2011), Ari Stewart (3/1/2012) and Renaldo Woolridge (12/7/2012). After a short visit, the three of them walked into the Founder's Room.

Brandon GranvilleThen, a few seconds later, another familiar face walked out of the Founder's Room and into the Lobby. Trojan Candy immediately asked Brandon Granville if I could interview him. He smiled and said, "Sure." Music to my ears! Brandon attended USC in 1999-2002. He majored in Sociology and was the point guard on the basketball team. He has been a basketball announcer now for about 3-4 years. His main profession is in law. Brandon is a criminal and personal injury lawyer. His dad was an attorney also. Brandon loves to watch college and professional basketball and football in his free time. (Another Trojan after my own heart!) His answer to my last questions was, "I'm still eligible." FIGHT ON, Brandon!

Daniel Munoz with nephew MichaelJust as Brandon left, Trojan Candy saw Daniel Munoz walk by carrying his little nephew Michael. What a cutie! All three of us went inside the Founder's Room.

Strahinja Gavrilovic, James Blasczyk, Aaron Fuller, and Omar OrabyInside, Trojan Candy was in her element! I saw several team members already sitting at various tables. They must have come in the side doors. I immediately walked to a table where four players were sitting. Strahinja Gavrilovic (11/16/2012), James Blasczyk (8/4/2011), Aaron Fuller and Omar Oraby (10/11/2012) all smiled for my picture. Then, Trojan Candy realized that I had never interviewed Aaron Fuller. He was nice enough to let me ask him a few questions.

Aaron FullerSenior Aaron Fuller is from Mesa, Arizona. He majored in Sociology at USC and his roommate is teammate Evan Smith. A little about his family. Aaron's dad Darryl, whose nickname is "Craig," played college basketball at Cal State Fullerton. (Trojan Candy is sure glad that Aaron chose to be a Trojan!) He has a younger sister, who is thirteen and plays basketball and volleyball, and a younger brother, who is twelve and plays basketball. Two more future Trojans! After graduation, Aaron said that he will try to play professional basketball in Europe. His boundless effort and rebounding should serve him well! Aaron said that he likes all kinds of music except for country music. For his hobby, Aaron likes to play "Call of Duty." Thanks for the interview, Aaron, and FIGHT ON!

J.T. TerrellLeaving Aaron, I saw him there momentarily standing all alone...a prime target for another interview. Trojan Candy walked right over to J.T. Terrell, reached up to tap him on the shoulder, and asked him if I could interview him. With a CHARMING smile that lights his eyes up, J.T. said that I could. J.T. will be a Senior next year. He is majoring in Sociology, just like Aaron. A little about J.T.'s family. His mom and dad both played basketball at U.N.C. Charlotte. He has three younger brothers by his dad. His first brother is ten years old and plays basketball and football, while his second brother is four years old and also plays basketball and football. His baby brother is eleven months old. Three more future Trojans! J.T. is a fan of football, basketball and tennis. His favorite music is Hip Hop and R&B. For his hobby, J.T. likes to play "N.B.A." and, like Aaron, to play "Call of Duty." When Trojan Candy asked him if he had met new coach Andy Enfield yet, another big smile appeared on his face. Spirit of TroyJ.T. has met him and is passionate about playing Coach Enfield's "up tempo" style next season. Again, J.T. said that he is PASSIONATE about next season! FIGHT ON, J.T.!

It seems that J.T.'s passion and enthusiasm was contagious. The atmosphere of this year's banquet was so "upbeat" compared to last year's. When the Spirit of Troy marched in, everyone was enthused.

After all guests were seated, Trojan Candy quietly walked to three more tables to take pictures of more players.

Brendyn Taylor and Chass Bryan
Brendyn Taylor and Chass Bryan were sitting together.
Cia (Pat) and Renaldo Woolridge
At the same table were Renaldo Woolridge and his mom Cia (Pat).
Eric Wise, Ari Stewart and Byron Wesley
I spotted Eric Wise, Ari Stewart and Byron Wesley sitting together.

Dewayne Dedmon and J.T. TerrellThen, I saw Dewayne Dedmon and J.T. Terrell together.

Dinner was delicious. The vegetables were encased in a bakery shell, and the dessert was a chocolate lava cake a la mode. MMMmmm!

Zach Banner, Tyler Sugiyama, and Strahinja GavrilovicAfter dinner, I spotted friend Zach Banner (10/11/2012) sitting with Tyler Sugiyama and Strahinja Gavrilovic. Zach came late because he had just finished spring football practice. Zach told me that he will play both sports next year.

I made it back to my seat just in time for the program to begin. Senior Associate Athletic Director Steve Lopes was the Master of Ceremonies, and he introduced Coach Andy Enfield. James Blasczyk, Aaron Fuller, Tyler Sugiyama, Eric Wise and Renaldo WoolridgeCoach Enfield waved to the audience, but did not speak. The 2013 Senior Class was introduced. Mr. Lopes announced that all the Seniors are on track to graduate. The Seniors, who were honored, were James Blasczyk, Aaron Fuller, Tyler Sugiyama, Eric Wise and Renaldo Woolridge. For some reason, Senior Greg Allen was not introduced and Senior Gio Fontan (9/9/2010) was out of town already playing professionally. Sorry, Greg, I did not find you to take your picture tonight. However, interested readers can check out your interview on 12/7/2012. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, all USC Basketball Seniors!

The Award Winners for the 2012-2013 Men's Basketball season are as follows:

Highest G.P.A.: Chass Bryan (3.32)
Top Rebounder: Dwayne Dedmon
John Rudometkin 110%: Aaron Fuller
Defensive Player of the Year: Jio Fontan
Most Improved Player: Bryon Wesley
Ryan Francis #12 Award: J.T. Terrell
Most Inspirational: Omar Oraby
Most Valuable Player: Eric Wise

Congratulations to all trophy winners!

The players mingled and enjoyed one another's company after the program was over.

Eric Wise
MVP and Pac-12 Honorable Mention Eric Wise told me that he has signed with an agent.
Francois, Bonita, and Eric Wise
Then Eric asked me to take a picture of him with his parents. It was such an honor to meet his dad Francois and mom Bonita.
Omar Oraby
Omar Oraby with his Most Inspirational trophy.
Terry Powell and Brendyn Taylor
Then, some other players asked Trojan Candy to take pictures of them with their parents. It was so nice to meet Brendyn Taylor's mom Terry Powell.
Michael, Shirell, and Chass Bryan with J.T. Terrell
Chass with dad Michael and mom Shirell and J.T. Terrell.
Byron and Chantel Wesley
Byron Wesley with his mom Chantel.
Men's Basketball team
The team was just having fun!
Aaron Marshall
Before leaving I went to visit with friend Director of Operations Aaron Marshall (9/27/2012). Trojan Candy sure hopes that Coach Aaron can stay at USC. He said, "That's just the way it is with coaching changes." We'll hope for the best!
Trojan Candy, Andy Enfield, and Pat Poon
My last stop was taking a picture with Coach Andy Enfield and my sister Pat Poon. He stayed to meet everyone who stood in line to meet him. What a classy thing to do! FIGHT ON, Coach Enfield!

What an exciting, memorable evening!

FIGHT ON, Men's Basketball!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013---Andy Enfield Press Conference

Trojan Candy was lucky to be invited to the Press Conference for new USC Men's Basketball Coach Andy Enfield.

The Galen Center Founder's Room was bustling with reporters, camera crews, the entire Athletic Department staff and some men's basketball boosters and donors.

David Blu, Mel Hughes, and Dudley Poon
I saw three familiar faces. David Blu (11/5/2012), Mel Hughes (8/24/2012) and my brother-in-law Dudley Poon (10/21/2008).
Andy Enfield
Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone introduced our new Men's Basketball Coach Andy Enfield to the enthusiastic audience.
Amanda Enfield
In his opening statement, Coach Enfield introduced his wife Amanda.

Then he told the captivated audience how he met her, that she loves college athletics more than he does, and how they are so excited to be part of the USC Trojan Family. CLICK HERE TO SEE MY VIDEO OF HIS OPENING STATEMENT ON YOUTUBE.

Being a retired teacher, I loved when he said that both of his parents are teachers. Coach Enfield stressed the importance of education and that his team members will be STUDENT-athletes first. Excellent!

The press conference ended with a few questions from the press. I recorded two videos of these questions. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FIRST VIDEO ON YOUTUBE when Andy talks about his current new team. IN THE SECOND VIDEO ON YOUTUBE he stresses the techniques he will teach his players and how important USC Alumni are in the Los Angeles area.

Amanda EnfieldAndy Enfield and Jim HillAfter the press conference ended, each individual reporter (see Jim Hill of CBS) gathered around Coach Enfield or his wife Amanda for a more personal interview.

Trojan Candy is so impressed with our new Men's Basketball Coach!

FIGHT ON, Coach Enfield!