May 2015 (5) Candygrams

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015---Trojan Huddle

Trojan Candy arrived at the Galen Center a little early for today's Trojan Huddle meeting. The Founder's Room was only somewhat crowded. I walked inside to my table. Several friends were there already. One of my friends, Genaro Carapia, asked me if the young man standing near the stage was Jordan McLaughlin. I walked closer to the young man and didn't recognize him at first. His hair looked so different! Then, yes, Genaro was right!

Jordan McLaughlinI went right up to Jordan, gave him my Trojan Candy card and asked if I could interview him. Jordan told me that he remembered that I took his picture at the Basketball Tip-Off last November. Now for the interview. My first question was how he feels after his surgery. Jordan gave me good news. He said that he is all healed, but cannot have full contact yet. About his family, Jordan said that he has three sisters. Two are older and one is younger. Jordan is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Communication. I asked him why he chose USC. Jordan said he became a Trojan for three reasons...USC is so good in academics, the campus is close to home and he liked Coach Andy Enfield. Trojan Candy is sure glad that he is a Trojan! More personally, for fun, Jordan likes to watch the movie "Space Jam," to "hang out" with friends and to play NBA Basketball and Madden College Football. His favorite music is Hip-Hop and he likes to dance. Jordan said that his favorite foods are his mom's and grandma's ribs and pork chops. He said that he loves brownies! (Another Trojan after my own heart!) Trojan Candy could have talked to Jordan more, but other guests came up to meet him. So I thanked him and took his picture. FIGHT ON, Jordan!

JuJu SmithJust as I left Jordan, I spotted some guests taking a picture of the Shillelagh. Since we beat Notre Dame in football last year, USC gets to keep the trophy this year. Then I saw him. JuJu Smith was standing next to the Shillelagh. After he finished speaking with three men, Trojan Candy moved right in. I gave him my card and started interviewing him. JuJu remembered that I took his picture at the football team pictures on August 14, 2014. He is majoring in Human Biology and wants to become a chiropractor after his football career is over. On why he chose USC, JuJu said that he always wanted to attend USC. He said that his entire family wanted to go to USC but could not afford to. So, they are living their dreams vicariously through him. JuJu and his family are from Long Beach. On a more personal level, JuJu likes to play the video games Madden College Football (just like Jordan) and Call of Duty. His favorite movie is "Tropic Thunder." Favorite music is "Islander" music and "Intro XX." JuJu said that he listens to that music on his earphones before games. Also, he likes to eat Mamba candy before each game and during half-time. JuJu's favorite food is Samoan food! He told me that he is half Samoan. Then, JuJu gave me an exclusive! He said that he is going to change his last name to "Smith-Schuster" to honor his step-dad. Thanks and FIGHT ON, JuJu!

As I walked around, I was able to take these pictures of friends, coaches and squads.

Steve Sarkisian and Bob Argast
Trojan Candy saw Football Coach Steve Sarkisian and friend Bob Argast first.
Song Girls
Song Girls Denae, Lauren, Carly and Tracy posed for me.
Andy Enfield
I caught Basketball coach Andy Enfield when he arrived.
Dudley Poon, Patti Poon, Marilyn Hobbs, Fan Chang, Bob Argast, Genaro Carapia, Lai Tan Carapia and Leonard Hobbs
I walked around to my table. Standing: Dudley Poon, Patti Poon, Marilyn Hobbs. Seated: Fan Chang, Bob Argast, Genaro Carapia, Lai Tan Carapia and Leonard Hobbs.
Dance Force
Dance Force team members Sarah, Allina, Mackenzie and Camelia posed for this picture
Spirit of Troy
Then, a delicious buffet dinner was served. The program started after dinner when the Spirit of Troy marched in.

JuJu Smith, Jordan McLaughlin, and John RobinsonCoach John Robinson was the Master of Ceremonies. JuJu and Jordan were the first up on the stage. Both players were very cordial and well spoken on stage. Jordan told the audience that he was cleared to shoot on last Friday, May 22, but he is limited to two hundred shots a day. He said that he believes in what Coach Andy says and that it will be a "fun" team this year. Jordan, who just turned 19, said that he loves playing defense and being out with his basketball teammates, and that, if we play good defense, the offense will come. Then, looking around the audience, Jordan said that it is "eye-opening" to see the Trojan Family.

Next JuJu spoke about the football team for next season. JuJu said that he and Cody have "great chemistry." He also said, "We're going to make a lot of noise this year. This is the 'Trojan Way.' We're a Trojan Family." About meeting the alumni donors, JuJu told us that it is an honor and a blessing to meet you. I will give "my head" to the Trojan Family in school and in sports!

Now it was the coaches' turns. Head Basketball Coach Andy Enfield took the stage first. He told us that our roster next year will have eight or nine "Top" one hundred players. We're going to push the tempo and spread the floor. We'll run a "pressure" defense and get deflections. On Jordan, Coach Andy said that Jordan came to USC to make a difference, build a program and see it become successful. FIGHT ON, Coach Enfield!

Head Football Coach Steve Sarkisian told us that we had a "phenomenal" recruiting class. One-third are from out of state and two-thirds are Californians. We are going to be a diverse football team, attack oriented; we're going to go fast, go quickly, get leads earlier and play more "man-to-man." This team is a unique blend of "young" and "old." On JuJu, Coach Sark said that he wants to play both offense and defense, just like Adoree' Jackson. Wide receiver on offense and Safety on defense. Coach Sark did not tell the audience what his decision is. We'll just have to wait until the season starts! FIGHT ON, Coach Sark!

What an informative evening!

Saturday, May 16, 2015---USC Hall of Fame Dinner

After Trojan Candy left the USC Men's Volleyball Banquet, I changed and walked over to Heritage Hall to attend the 2015 Hall of Fame (HOF) dinner. My sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley were with me.

Natalie KalibatThere was a red carpet entrance to the check-in table. We were greeted by hostess Natalie Kalibat. She is a Senior Diver, and we have a mutual friend....Punter Kris Alvarado. FIGHT ON, Natalie!

Pat Poon, Ron Orr, and Dudley PoonAfter I checked in, it was time to roam. I had a mission. It was to award Heritage Hall Medallions to Harold Miner and Jack del Rio.

In the meantime, Trojan Candy took a picture of friend Ron Orr with Pat and Dudley.

John RobinsonImmediately I saw famous USC Alumni athletes and members of the USC Hall of Fame all around me. 2009 Hall of Fame Coach John Robinson smiled for this picture.

Mark PriorNext, Trojan Candy was able to talk with USC Baseball Alumnus Mark Prior. My son Greg and I went to see him pitch in many USC games. Mark told me that he is now working for the San Diego Padres as a Pitching and Development Coordinator. It is so nice that he can work in the MLB. Mark will be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame tonight! Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Mark!

Glena and Pete CarrollI knew that I would see him and have him autograph my picture of the two of us that was taken after a MMQ meeting. Pete Carroll remembered that I had also volunteered at the Heritage Hall desk, and then he autographed the picture. Graciously, Pete and his wife Glena posed for this picture. Pete will be inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Pete!

Jim Hardy1999 Hall of Famer Jim Hardy let me take his picture. FIGHT ON, Jim!

2005 Hall of Famer Willie Brown visited with fellow 2001 Hall of Famer Tom Kelly and his wife Danuska. Danuska and Tom Kelly with Willie BrownFIGHT ON, Willie! FIGHT ON, Tom!

Trojan Candy's fellow Trojan Guild member Joan Kaplanis and her husband Peter visited with Peter's USC classmate, 2009 Hall of Famer Rink Babka. My husband Jim and I had presented Rink with his Heritage Hall Medallion last year at the Grand Re-Opening of Heritage Hall banquet.Peter and Joan Kaplanis with Rink Babka

Then, I saw him. Harold Miner posed with his wife Pam. Luckily, I was able to find out about his family. Pam and Harold MinerHarold told me that he has two children. Both are straight-A students. His sixteen year old son plays soccer and football. His twelve year old daughter plays indoor and sand volleyball. Two more future Trojans! Trojan Candy gave Harold his Heritage Hall Medallion. One down, one to go. Harold will be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame tonight. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Harold!

George Raveling
Former USC basketball coach George Raveling paused just enough for me to take this quick picture.
Doris and Mel Hughes
Good friends Doris and Mel Hughes stopped by to say hello.
Bruce Furniss and John Naber
Trojan Candy saw swimmers Bruce Furniss (HOF 2001) and John Naber (HOF 1997). John helped us to distribute many Heritage Hall Medallions to the swimmers and divers. FIGHT ON, Bruce! FIGHT ON, John!

Jack Del RioStill having one more medallion to go, I decided to go inside the Heritage Hall lobby to search for 2015 Hall of Fame recipient Jack Del Rio. There he was! Boldly, I walked right up to him and told him that I want to give him his Heritage Hall Medallion. Jack was pleasantly surprised and told me, "I was wondering what happened to it." Then, he smiled for this picture of him proudly holding his Heritage Hall Medallion. Two Heritage Hall Medallions down, many more to go! Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Jack!

Andrea Gaston and J.K. McKayNow, it was time for all the guests to walk inside the tent for dinner. Outside the tent, Trojan Candy was able to take pictures of more friends.

Women of Troy Golf Coach Andrea Gaston posed with J.K. McKay just before they entered the tent for dinner.

Boomer RoepkeGood friend Boomer Roepke, whom I first met on October 4, 2009, on a train after our beloved Trojans beat Cal in football 30-3, smiled for this picture.

Peter Kaplanis, Dudley Poon, Kevin Swick, Linda Swick, Chuck Swick, Elliot Schwartz, Trojan Candy, Patti Poon, Joan Kaplanis, Jerry Ensom and Cheryl SchwartzTrojan Candy finally sat down at her table. At right is a picture of all of the guests at my table. (Back row: Peter Kaplanis, Dudley Poon, Kevin Swick, Linda Swick, Chuck Swick, and Elliot Schwartz. Center row: Trojan Candy and Patti Poon. Seated: Joan Kaplanis, Jerry Ensom and Cheryl Schwartz.) Patti, Joan, Cheryl and yours truly are all TGLA members. Linda and Chuck are Kevin Swick's parents. Kevin played infield for the USC Baseball Team and graduated in 2014. He was the first USC baseball player to be named a Capital One First Team Academic All-American! Kevin was sitting right at my table, but I didn't have time to interview him! Next time and FIGHT ON, Kevin!

The evening's program began with the Parade of Hall of Fame Members. Every USC Hall of Fame Member, in attendance, was announced and entered the tent to a tremendous ovation! What an honor it was to see all of these Trojan greats!

Mistress of Ceremonies Lindsay Rhodes and then Athletic Director Pat Haden addressed the audience.

Then the Presentation of 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees began. The first six inductees were John Hamilton, Harold Miner, Isabelle Harvey, Dave Levy, Byron Black and Joe Jares. First a brief biography was given about each of these six inductees. Then each inductee addressed the audience.

Byron BlackImmediately after Joe Jares addressed the audience, Trojan Candy ran up near the stage looking for Byron Black. Unfortunately, there is a Heritage Hall Medallion for Byron, but I neglected to bring it to the ceremony. It will be mailed later. During Byron's address, he told us that he came from South Africa to USC with only $65.00 in his pocket. He had no car and had never even been on a date. He didn't even have a tennis scholarship from USC. Byron then thanked teammate John Carus for giving up his scholarship so that Byron could stay on the team. What a remarkably generous Trojan! Byron then thanked his Coach and 2001 Hall of Fame recipient Dick Leach for his guidance, for teaching him how to play Doubles and for all the alumni support. Byron said that he hasn't been back to campus since 1991 and that he is sure glad to be back! Thank you, Byron for speaking with me and smiling for this picture. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Byron! Sandy Johnston table

Dinner was served. It was scrumptious! Trojan Candy took a picture of the guests at our nearby table. Thank you fellow TGLA member, Sandy Johnston for organizing our two tables! Bob Yoder's table

Then, I took a picture of the guests at 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Yoder's nearby table. He and his Men's Volleyball Teammates gathered for this picture.

During dessert, the program resumed. Ten more 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees were introduced. Each had his/her USC athletic biography presented and each spoke to the audience. The new Inductees were Aniko Pelle, Tim Rossovich, Jack Del Rio, Don Quarrie, Jennifer Rosales, Jimmy Jones, Mark Prior, Kristine Quance-Julian, Bob Yoder and Pete Carroll. Needless to say, Coach Carroll reminisced about his tenure at USC. He spoke for thirty much applause.Jack Del Rio and Tim Rossovich

At the conclusion of the program, Trojan Candy ran up to the stage area. I was able to capture this picture of USC football greats and inductees Jack Del Rio and Tim Rossovich! Trojan Candy saw both of them play for USC on the gridiron! 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

Then, I was able to take this picture of the entire 2015 USC Hall of Fame Class.

Congratulations and FIGHT ON to all 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees!

As I was leaving the stage area Trojan Candy took this picture of a nearby neighbor. Ron AlliceFormer USC Track Coach Ron Allice smiled for this picture. It was so nice to see him again. FIGHT ON, Ron!

Hayley Crone and Becky GramstrupThen near the exit, I said good night to two friends, Hayley Crone (4/16/2015) and Becky Gramstrup. Hayley, a 2015 Women of Troy Volleyball alumna, carried a Hall of Fame Medallion to each Inductee on the stage tonight. FIGHT ON, Hayley! FIGHT ON, Becky!

What a memorable evening!