April 2017 (5) Candygrams

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Saturday, April 15, 2017---Meet USC Freshman Tennis Player's Mom

Tracy Austin HoltYesterday, just as USC Freshman Tennis Player Brandon Holt was starting his Singles match vs. Arizona, Trojan Candy saw her on the walkway of Marks Stadium. It was his mom Tracy Austin Holt. I ran up the stairs and asked if I could take her picture and interview her. She smiled for this picture. Then, Tracy asked me to interview her after the match. She said that she wanted to watch her son Brandon play and that she always gets so nervous when he plays. Trojan Candy can understand her feelings. My son Greg competed in many piano competitions.

Although I was able to take a picture of Tracy and Brandon together after the Arizona match, I actually didn't interview Tracy then. But today I had an opportunity to do so after the Utah match. She was sitting in the section next to me. After the match ended, I was able to ask Tracy just a few questions.

Tracy said that after she retired from competitive tennis, she married and had three sons. All three of her sons play tennis. As for herself, she told me that she plays tennis two to three times a week.

She likes "older band" music and likes to listen to "news radio." Gardening and looking at the "Home and Garden Show" on HGTV are her hobbies. Tracy also likes to exercise and "keep up" with friends.

Tracy told me that she is so glad that Brandon chose USC. There is great academics here and a great opportunity for Brandon to improve. She said that USC is like "family."

USC is the lucky one!

Saturday, April 15, 2017---Men's Tennis Senior Salute

It was a long walk from the Coliseum to the Marks Tennis Stadium, but Trojan Candy made it in time. The Senior Salute would be after the Doubles competition against Utah.

Team cheerThe team preceded the match with a team cheer.

Head Coach Peter Smith scheduled all three Seniors to play in the Doubles matches. Senior Rob Bellamy teamed with Jack Jaede on Court 2. Laurens Verboven and Brandon Holt played on Court 1. Seniors David Laser and Nick Crystal competed together on Court 3.

Jack Jaede and Rob Bellamy
The action started fast on Court 2. Here is Rob's serve.
Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede
Rob and Jack congratulate one another on a good play.
Rob Bellamy
Rob readies for his serve.
Laurens Verboven and Brandon Holt
On Court 1, Laurens Verboven and Brandon Holt (4/14/2017) were in action.
David Laser and Nick Crystal
Two Seniors partnered together on Court 3. David Laser and Nick Crystal (3/31/2017) won their Doubles match.
Peter Smith, David Laser, and Nick Crystal
They gave one another a big hug as Coach Smith came over.
Peter Smith, David Laser, Nick Crystal, Kris Kwinta, and Dylan Holt
Then, Coach Smith, a team member, Kris Kwinta, and Dylan Holt came to congratulate them.

During the entire Court 3 match, there was lots of cheering for David. His family, relatives and friends filled the stands.

After the Doubles ended, Trojan Candy and my husband Jim rushed downstairs to the court. I took pictures and Jim took videos. It was now time for the Senior Salute.

Memory Book
This is the cover of David Laser's Memory Book.
Tennis team
The team lined up to greet the Seniors as they entered the court.
David Laser
David Laser was first.
Rob Bellamy
He was followed by Rob Bellamy.
Nick Crystal
Nick Crystal was last.
Rob Bellamy and David Laser
Each Senior presented a bouquet of flowers to his mom. Rob and David are seen here.
Diane and Nick Crystal
Nick gave a bouquet to his mother Diane.
David Laser, Rob Bellamy, Nick Crystal, and Peter Smith
The three Seniors met Coach Smith at the table.
David Laser, Rob Bellamy, and Nick Crystal
Jim's video recaps the previous seven pictures.
Memory Books
His next video is of Coach Smith presenting a Memory Book to each Senior. My next six still pictures provide another perspective.
David Laser
Coach Smith presented a Memory Book to David, who held it up high.
David Laser and Peter Smith
Then David gave Coach Smith a big hug.
Rob Bellamy and Peter Smith
Now, it was Rob's turn. Rob gave Coach Smith a big hug first.
David Laser, Peter Smith, and Rob Bellamy
Then, Coach presented Rob his book.
David Laser, Nick Crystal, and Peter Smith
Nick was last. He gave Coach Smith an extra long hug.
David Laser, Peter Smith, Rob Bellamy, and Nick Crystal
Then Coach gave Nick his book.
Seniors, family, and Peter Smith
All the parents joined the Seniors and Coach Smith for a group picture.
Seniors, teammates, family, and coaches
Quickly, the entire team and coaches joined the Seniors and their parents.

Steve, Rob, and Beth BellamyTrojan Candy wanted to take a picture of each Senior with his family, but everyone else starting walking off the court. There were Singles matches to be played. I was able to take a picture of Rob Bellamy and his parents Steve and Beth.

Diane, Nick, and Scott CrystalTrojan Candy managed to take a picture of Nick Crystal with his parents Diane and Scott.

Trojan Candy tried to take a picture of David's family, but they had already walked into another room or walked upstairs to the stands. I walked upstairs and talked to David. He said that several family members left. Then I told David that I would take a picture of him with his parents at the USC Athletic Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, May 11th. David said that he would look for me.

Nick Crystal
Meanwhile, the Singles were being played. Trojan Candy took this video of Nick's Singles match on Court 2.
Peter Smith and Nick Crystal
Nick won 6-4, 6-2. Coach Smith congratulated Nick.
Rob Bellamy
Rob won his match on Court 6 by 6-3, 6-4. He smiled after his victory.

Nick Crystal, David Laser, and Rob BellamyAfter USC defeated Utah 7-0, Trojan Candy took a picture of the three Seniors upstairs.

David LaserNow was the only time to interview Senior David Laser, and I did! David majored in Sociology. His parents live in his home town Chicago, and David will return to Chicago for the summer. In addition to playing tennis, David plays basketball and practices judo. His favorite movies are "Rocky" movies. "Shameless" is David's favorite television show. As for music, David likes Classic Rock, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, and John Mellancamp. Steak and mashed potatoes is David's favorite food. He has been the "cheerleader" for the team at every match. FIGHT ON, David!

Jim and Trojan Candy were invited by Coach Smith to a reception downstairs. We were one of the first ones to arrive. We sat with Brandon Holt's grandparents Stan and Fredith Holt. There were sandwiches, drinks and snacks. Thanks, Coach Smith!

Jonny WangTrojan Candy saw Men's tennis alumnus Jonny Wang (1/19/2015). Jonny just graduated in 2016 It was so nice to visit with him again.

Rob BellamyLuckily, I saw Senior Rob Bellamy. He let me take his picture and interview him. While I was taking his picture, Grandma Fredith Holt told him to smile. Naturally, he obeyed her. Rob majored in Real Estate Development. He loves to eat carbohydrates...pasta and pizza. Basically, he'll eat any Italian pasta. Rob's favorite music is electronic music. "Die Hard" is his favorite action movie. Another Trojan after my own heart! Rob said that he doesn't have any hobbies....tennis and school keep him very busy. He does like to sit on the couch and watch videos. "Entourage" is Rob's favorite television show. FIGHT ON, Rob!

Bob Johnson and Sunjae LeeMy final picture at the reception and for the day was of a close friend and high school teammate of USC alumnus Steve Johnson and of Steve Johnson's dad. Sunjae Lee is currently a coach of the Orange Panthers Tennis Team at Orange High School. It was so nice to meet Bob Johnson. We talked about how great it was for USC to win four NCAA Tennis Championships when Steve attended USC.

What an exciting day!