February 2018 (1) Candygrams

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Saturday, February 10, 2018---USC Men's Tennis vs. UCI and San Francisco

Coach Peter Smith changed the line-ups around for the 10:00 am tennis match against UCI. Trojan Candy, for the first time, got to watch two USC players compete at singles.

Jens Sweaney
For the first time I saw Senior Jens Sweaney play. He was on Court 6.
Tanner Smith
Tanner Smith, a red-shirt Junior, competed on Court 5 and won.
Henry Ji
In the second match vs. San Francisco, I got to watch Senior Henry Ji (3/25/2016) compete for the first time. Henry won his match on Court 6.

Daniel CukiermanAfter Daniel Cukierman won his singles match to clinch the match, Trojan Candy was able to interview him. Before coming to the U.S., Daniel had served in the Israeli Army for four years. He told me that both men and women are required to serve in the army right after high school. Daniel, who is from Tel Aviv, Israel, is a Freshman majoring in International Relations. He has been in the United States since August. Daniel told me that he has no relatives here and that the team is now his new Family! Trojan Candy asked Daniel how he learned to speak English so well. After starting to play tennis when he was six years old, Daniel said that he went to an English High School in Israel and that he practiced his English when he traveled a lot playing tennis. Daniel said that he can have trouble in class if the professor speaks fast. Even more personally, Daniel's favorite food is schnitzel, which is a creamy, oily chicken breast from the Middle East. His favorite music is English songs, Hip Hop and Rap. For a hobby, Daniel played soccer at least once a week with his friends. Daniel told me that when USC Tennis Alumnus Steve Johnson (4/26/2012) visited, he was able to play with him. That's the Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Daniel!

Gabby SmithThen, as the UCI singles matches were being completed, Trojan Candy interviewed Women of Troy Tennis player Senior Gabby Smith. The Women of Troy came out to support the men. Now, for the interview. Gabby is majoring in Accounting. She started playing tennis with her aunt when she was four years old. Her aunt played collegiately at Utah. More personally, Gabby's favorite food is cheeseburgers. Her favorite music artists are "One Direction." As for the movies, Gabby's favorite is "Good Will Hunting." Gabby enjoys "Riverdale" on the CW the best. For hobbies, Gabby loves to do anything! She likes to ski and hike. Gabby loves the mountains and will be watching the Winter Olympics, especially, the speed skaters. FIGHT ON, Gabby!

FIGHT ON, Men's and Women's Tennis!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018---USC Recruiting Dinner

After an exciting day of watching my beloved USC sign top-level football recruits on ESPNU and Pac-12, Trojan Candy arrived at the Galen Center early for the Recruiting Dinner. Six Freshman football players, who are already enrolled at USC for the 2018 spring semester, were scheduled to attend the dinner.

With my camera in hand, I anxiously watched the doors, looking for the players to arrive. I stood by the check in table.

Becky Gramstrup, Jennifer Noriega, Suzanne Ebner and Jordan Bradley
There were four friends checking in the guests. Becky Gramstrup, Jennifer Noriega, Suzanne Ebner and Jordan Bradley.
Dudley Poon, John Robinson and Patti Poon
Since no guests were arriving, Trojan Candy walked around the lobby. I took a picture of my sister Patti Poon and brother-in-law Dudley with Coach John Robinson.
Julian Bonse, Alexandra Bitterlin and Scott Jacobson
Close by were three more friends. Julian Bonse, Alexandra Bitterlin and Scott Jacobson.
Dudley and Patti Poon and Tara Quarrie
Then, Patti and Dudley posed with another friend, Tara Quarrie (11/29/2015).
Sunny Shepherd and Candy Yee
Good friend Sunny Shepherd stopped by to visit Trojan Candy.
Chris Fox
I tried to take a picture of Chris Fox, but he blinked every time. Sorry, Chris.

? and Suzanne EbnerWalking back to the check-in table to look for the six Freshman football players, Trojan Candy saw friend Suzanne Ebner with a friend.

All of a sudden, I saw the Spirit of Troy march in the south doors of the Galen Center. Trojan Candy saw all six Freshmen walking in with them! I ran up to the first player and stopped him. Naturally, a picture and interview ensued.

Justin DedichOffensive Lineman Justin Dedich, who is from Temecula, is majoring in Human Biology. His favorite food is steak. "Remember the Titans" is his favorite movie, and "Sponge Bob" is his favorite television show. Justin likes Vance Joy and his country/folk music the best. As for hobbies, Justin told me that he likes to fish. FIGHT ON, Justin!

Talanoa Hufanga, Chase Williams Raymond Scott, Kana'i Mauga, Caleb Tremblay and Justin DedichNext, I took a picture of all six of the Freshmen. Talanoa Hufanga, Chase Williams Raymond Scott, Kana'i Mauga, Caleb Tremblay and Justin Dedich.

Trojan Candy had to hurry now and interview five more Freshmen before they spread out in the Founder's Room.

Chase WilliamsI met Defensive Back Chase Williams next. Chase is going to major in Business. His favorite food is orange chicken. Although he told me that he has no favorite television show, he likes the movie "Pursuit of Happiness" the best. As for music, hip hop is his favorite genre. For a hobby, Chase had to think for a while, then he said, "working out." FIGHT ON, Chase!

In case you have noticed that I have been asking each Freshmen the same questions, you are correct. I knew that I would have to interview them quickly, so I made a template that I could just fill in.

Raymond ScottLinebacker Raymond Scott was next. Raymond is going to major in Communication. His favorite food is Samoan food. Raymond's favorite movie is "The Grinch." As for television, he likes " Last Chance U." Raymond's favorite music artist is R. Kelly. Raymond told me that his hobby is football. FIGHT ON, Raymond!

Kana'i MaugaLinebacker Kana'i Mauga intends to major in International Studies. Kana'i's favorite food is, like several USC football players, cheeseburgers. His favorite movie is "The Croods." As for television, "Impractical Jokers" is Kana'i's favorite series. Kana'i loves all kinds of music. For his hobby, he likes to go to the beach (natch...he is from Hawaii) and to "boogie" board. FIGHT ON, Kana'i!

Talanoa HufangaTrojan Candy was able to interview the fifth Freshman in the lobby. Defensive Back Talanoa Hufanga, who is from Oregon, is going to major in Communication. His favorite food is pizza. Talanoa's favorite movie is "Coach Carter." On television, Talanoa told me that ESPN is his favorite programming. His favorite music is music from Common Island Kings Ray. For hobbies, Talanoa likes to go snowboarding, do weight lifting and go hiking. FIGHT ON, Talanoa! Only after I took my pictures out of my camera did I realize that I forgot to take Talanoa's picture. So, here is his individual picture cropped from the group picture. (4797) I was able to take an individual picture of Talanoa from the screen as each player was described. Unfortunately, it was blurry. Sorry, Talanoa.

Keary Colbert, Kenechi Udeze and Steve Lopes
Before I got my dinner, Trojan Candy took one more look around the lobby. Then I saw more friends. First I saw Coach Keary Colbert, Coach Kenechi Udeze and Senior Associate Athletic Director Steve Lopes.
Bart Pucci and Clay Helton
Then my last picture in the lobby was of Coach Clay Helton, who posed with Bart Pucci.
Spirit of Troy
Near where the food was being served, I took this picture of the Spirit of Troy.

Caleb TremblayAfter I got my food and sat down at my table, Trojan Candy walked around searching for Caleb Tremblay. I had to interview all six Freshman. Luckily, I found him at a front table next to the stage. Caleb stood up so that I could interview him. Defensive Lineman Caleb is doing a dual major of Social Sciences and Economics. His favorite food is a tri-tip sandwich. His favorite movie is "Le Bron James: More than the Game." "The Office" is Caleb's favorite television show. Caleb told me that he has no particular music that he likes. His hobby is working out. FIGHT ON, Caleb!

Patti and Dudley Poon, Sunny Shepherd, Dave Sell and Mary HernandezNow, it was finally time for me to go back to my table and eat dinner. Here is a picture of the friends at my table. Patti and Dudley Poon, Sunny Shepherd, Dave Sell and Mary Hernandez. Tara Quarrie was elsewhere when I took this picture.

FreshmenTrojan Candy took one more picture of our six Freshman as they stood on the stage with Coach Helton.

Coach Helton spoke about each of our eighteen new recruits. Then the program ended.

Trojan Candy took more pictures of friends as I was leaving.

Julian Bonse and Sue Cimbaluk
I took this picture of Julian Bonse with the 2017 winner of the Arnold Eddy Volunteer of the Year Award, Sue Cimbaluk. Congratulations, Sue!
Katie Fuller and Hannah Schraer
Women of Troy Volleyball Alumnae Katie Fuller and Hannah Schraer smiled for me. FIGHT ON, Katie! FIGHT ON, Hannah!
Candy Yee, Patti Poon, Linda Babcock and Christine Ofiesh
Trojan Guild members are in the house! Chris Fox took this picture of the four of us. Trojan Candy, Patti Poon, Linda Babcock and Christine Ofiesh.
Bob Padgett
Outside in the lobby I saw friend Bob Padgett.
Clay Helton, John Jackson and Jordan Moore
Also, "Trojan Live" was now broadcasting live in the lobby. Good friend John Jackson and Jordan Moore were interviewing Coach Helton.
John Jackson
During a break in the live broadcasting, Trojan Candy said "Hi" to John Jackson and congratulated him on his son John, Jr., coming to USC to play football. Another great Trojan Family!

What a very special, memorable evening!