December 2016 (1) Candygrams

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016---2016 USC Football Awards Banquet - Part 1

My "Football Awards Banquet" article will be posted in three sections. The first section is about the reception.

Trojan Candy arrived at Tutor Hall just before 6:00 pm. As soon as I checked in, I immediately looked for any football players and their families. It was very quiet at first. My sister Patti and I sat on a long bench right near the door. Patti wanted to give 2016 USC football ticket stubs to the mother of each player whose picture was on the stub. The parents do get plain tickets unlike the ones that season ticket holders get. It would be a wonderful souvenir of their son.

Reid and Noelle Budrovich
Soon, I saw a friend. Reid Budrovich (8/22/2015) walked in with his mother Noelle.
Frank Martin Sr and Frank Martin II
A new friend walked in with his father. Frank Martin II introduced me to his dad Frank Sr. Frank Sr. told me that he also played football at Citrus College and Colorado Mesa. Trojan Candy is so glad that Frank II chose USC!
Dudley and Patti Poon and Howard and Ray Wong
Fellow photographer Ray Wong and his brother Howard came over to say hello and then pose with Patti and my brother-in-law Dudley.
John, Sarah, Beth, and Jonathan LaBonty
Then, another friend came in with his family. Jonathan LaBonty (8/22/2015), who is the player in my locker in the football locker room, introduced me to his dad John, his mom Beth and his sister Sarah.
Cyrus Hobbi and Emon Saee
Two former USC players walked in the door together. I almost didn't recognize Cyrus Hobbi (10/3/2016) who had shaved his beard short. It was nice to visit with Cyrus and Emon Saee (8/19/2016). Cyrus is working at USC in the Football Recruiting and Emon is working at Boeing.
Reid Budrovich and Chris Tilbey
As I turned around, there was friend Chris Tilbey (4/10/2016), who is the current punter, standing with Reid Budrovich.
Kenneth, Rena, and Darreus Rogers and Charlotte and Dwayne Polk
I walked across the lobby when I saw friend Darreus Rogers (8/19/2016) walk in with his family.
Taylor McNamara, Sam Darnold, Daniel Imatorbhebhe, and Cary Angeline
Four players walked in the door together. Trojan Candy ran up to Sam Darnold and asked him if he remembered that I took his picture before at the practice field gate. He said that he did. Then, I asked Sam to get the other three players to pose with him. He did! Here are Taylor McNamara, Sam Darnold, Daniel Imatorbhebhe, and Cary Angeline. After the picture, Sam said that I could interview him.
Sam Darnold and Patti Poon
Quickly Trojan Candy asked Sam what he likes to do the most. Sam said that he likes to go to the beach and to "hang out" with friends. His favorite foods are steak and sushi. My last question was, "What is your favorite movie?" Sam likes the "Shawshank Redemption." Trojan Candy could only ask three questions since other fans were vying for Sam's attention. I was able to take a quick picture of Sam with Patti. FIGHT ON, Sam!
Roy Hemsley and Karyn Nance
Roy Hemsley (2/4/2015) posed with his mom Karyn Nance before they walked downstairs to the ballroom.
Spencer Higgins and John Katnik
"Old" friend John Katnik (8/26/2011) stopped by and introduced yours truly to his friend Spencer Higgins. It is always so nice to visit with John. He was an offensive guard. I have known John for five years.
Adoree' Jackson and Veronica Parada
It was getting close to 7:00 pm now, and Trojan Candy was still looking for Adoree' Jackson. I have taken his picture several times but haven't been able to get an interview. Just then, he walked in the door with his girlfriend Veronica Parada.

It was now or never, so Trojan Candy asked Adoree' if I could interview him for a short time. He smiled and nodded "Yes." Adoree' said that his favorite food is Chinese food. He likes to watch Reality Shows. Adoree's favorite show is "The Bachelorette." He also likes to play "Madden." Then, Trojan Candy couldn't help herself. I had to ask the next and last question. After the Notre Dame game, Adoree' in a radio interview, when asked if he was staying or leaving USC early, said, "There's more meat on the bone." So, I bravely asked Adoree', "What do you mean by 'Meat on the bone?'" With a smile, Adoree' leaned closer to me and said, "There's a lot more that can be done at USC." Thanks and FIGHT ON, Adoree!

Leon McQuay IIIStill in shock about Adoree's answer, Trojan Candy saw another player of whom I have taken pictures for four years, but never interviewed. Leon McQuay III was standing nearby. So I rushed over to him and started interviewing him. Leon is the exact opposite of Adoree'! He is so SHY. Barely above a whisper, Leon said that his two favorite things to do football and make music. Leon McQuay III and Adoree' Jackson I had to pull out of him his answer to my question, "What kind of music?" Leon finally said, "Hip Hop." Leon has one more favorite thing to do. He likes to watch the cartoon "Naruto." FIGHT ON, Leon!

Now it was time to go downstairs for dinner. As Trojan Candy walked into the banquet room, there were Adoree' and Leon standing together.

The second part of my "Football Awards Banquet" will be about the dinner and awards.

Sunday, December 4, 2016---USC's Women's Soccer Claims Second NCAA title!

Soccer champsSoccer champsCongratulations to our USC Women's Soccer team for winning the National Title in the 2016 College Cup! Click each thumbnail to see highlights of this match. The first is from Pac-12 Networks and the second is from USCAthletics.

Katie Johnson, Mandy Freeman, and Jamie FinkCongratulations to Katie Johnson (11/3/2013) on winning the College Cup Most Valuable Offensive Player honor! Here's a picture I took of Katie when she was a Freshman with teammates Mandy Freeman and Jamie Fink (11/2/2012). FIGHT ON, Katie!

FIGHT ON, USC Women's Soccer!

Sunday, December 4, 2016---USC's Going to the Rose Bowl!

Rose BowlRose BowlCongratulations to our USC Football team for earning a berth in the 2017 Rose Bowl game versus Penn State!

FIGHT ON, USC Football!

Thursday, December 1, 2016---In Memory of Joe McKnight

Trojan Candy was shocked to hear the sad news about USC football Alumnus Joe McKnight. I was so fortunate to interview him when I volunteered at the Heritage Hall desk. Here is his interview (11/12/2009).

Joe McKnight and Gregory Yee
Here is Joe McKnight with my son Gregory at 2008 Salute to Troy (8/22/2008).
Joe McKnight and Gregory Yee
Joe posed with my son Gregory at 2009 Salute to Troy (8/22/2009).
Curtis McNeal, Joe McKnight, and C.J. Gable
Then Trojan Candy took this picture of Joe (10/30/2009) at the Heritage Hall desk with his teammates Curtis McNeal (3/11/2010) and C.J. Gable.