December 2018 (2) Candygrams

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018---USC Football Awards Banquet-Part 1

Mary Jo Wong, Sunny Shepherd, Dorothy Kim, Sue Cimbaluk and Louis WongTrojan Candy arrived early at the Town and Gown for the USC Football Awards banquet so that I could find some football players to interview. As I waited in the lobby, five friends walked in. I see these friends USC athletic events, away games, and team banquets. My friends Mary Jo Wong, Sunny Shepherd, Dorothy Kim, Sue Cimbaluk and Louis Wong posed for me.

Josh Haag, Isaac Franco and Kellen WareThen, I saw three young men walk into the Town and Gown lobby. "They must be football players," I thought to myself. Not shy, I walked right up to them and asked if they were USC football players. One of them was. Isaac Franco, in the middle, is a Senior and plays ILB. He was flanked by his two friends, Josh Haag and Kellen Ware.

Isaac FrancoI interviewed Isaac. After all, that is what I do! Isaac majored in Human Performance. His hobby is working out. Isaac's favorite food is Mexican food. He likes every kind of music. Isaac's favorite movie is "Back to the Future." So nice to meet you, Isaac, and FIGHT ON!

Senior Trophies
The Town & Gown Ballroom doors opened. I went inside and took pictures of the Senior Trophies.
Player award trophies
Here were the player award trophies.
Mike McKeever Memorial Award
This is the Mike McKeever Memorial Award for the Most Valuable Player. Who could he be?

Cameron Smith's Senior trophyHere is Cameron Smith's Senior trophy.

Malik DortonAs I walked away from the trophy tables, Trojan Candy saw a familiar face. Malik Dorton was sitting with his family. What a perfect time to interview him. Malik, a Senior, majored in Communication and earned his Masters in Communication Management. His hobby is watching movies. Malik's favorite food is sushi. His favorite music is R & B and Hip Hop. I asked Malik if he likes to dance to this music, and he said that he doesn't like to dance. My final question was why he chose USC. Malik said that USC was close to home and Reggie Bush played for USC. What a good choice! FIGHT ON, Malik!

Malik Dorton and his grandmother
Malik posed with his grandmother Nellie Dorton next.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Erik Krommenhoek and Austin Jackson
Trojan Candy stepped outside to the patio. I saw three very tall football players. They were Alijah Vera-Tucker, Erik Krommenhoek and Austin Jackson. I interviewed each one of them.
Alijah Vera-Tucker
Alijah Vera-Tucker is a Sophomore majoring in Communication. His favorite food is tacos. "Menace II Society" is his favorite movie. Alijah likes R & B music the most. FIGHT ON, Alijah!
Eric Krommenhoek
Eric Krommenhoek, who is also a Sophomore, is majoring in Human Biology. His favorite food is pasta. "21 Jump Street" is his favorite movie. Eric likes country music the best. FIGHT ON, Eric!
Austin Jackson
Austin Jackson is a Sophomore majoring in Political Science. His favorite food is Chinese food and Chicken Littles. Like Alijah, Austin likes R & B music the most. FIGHT ON, Austin!
Steve and Diana Mariehoff, Herb and Kathy Goodman, and Claudia and Duayne Hapip
As Trojan Candy walked near the steps, I saw two friends. Herb and Kathy Goodman had their friends pose for this picture. From left to right were Steve and Diana Mariehoff, Herb and Kathy, and Claudia and Duayne Hapip.
Spirit of Troy
Next, the Spirit of Troy marched by us. All of us followed the band into the Town & Gown dining room. The Spirit of Troy performed on the steps.
Michael Pittman and Amon-Ra St. Brown
Once inside, Trojan Candy walked around looking for familiar faces. I saw Michael Pittman (2/3/2016) who walked up to talk with a fellow teammate. I said "Hello," to Michael and took his picture with his teammate. I found out that the teammate was Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Naturally, I interviewed Amon. Amon is a Freshman majoring in Business. His hobby is playing video games. His favorite game is "FiFi Soccer." Amon's favorite food is a "good hamburger." He likes all kinds of music. FIGHT ON, Amon!

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sunny Shepherd and John BrownThen, I met Amon's dad, John Brown. The two of them posed with my friend Sunny Shepherd.

Now it was time for the program to begin. Athletic Director Lynn Swann welcomed everyone.

Vavae Malepeai and ?The first award was the Bob Chandler Award, which is awarded to an underclassman who exhibits great athletic ability, academic scholarship and character on and off the field. Vavae Malepeai (1/29/2017) was the recipient of this award. Trojan Candy couldn't walk up to the stage quickly enough to take a picture, so, with my good friend Pierson Clair's permission, I used his picture of Vavae with two of Bob Chandler's family. Pierson was the official photographer tonight. His pictures of this event can be seen at Thanks, Pierson!

The Trojan Football Alumni Award is given to the senior with the highest cumulative grade point average on the team. Jordan Austin received this award.

Jordan Austin and Daniel Imatorbhebhe
The third pre-dinner award, the Trojan Football Community Service Award, was awarded to Daniel Imatorbhebhe. Trojan Candy took this picture of both Daniel and Jordan.
Mike and Jacob Willemsen, Lee Jackson and Hiede Willemsen
Now, it was time for dinner. Trojan Candy returned to my table. Sitting to my right were Mike and Jacob Willemsen, Lee Jackson and Hiede Willemsen.
Dudley and Patti Poon and Steve and Diana Mariehoff
To my left were my brother-in-law and sister Dudley and Patti Poon and Steve and Diana Mariehoff.

Linda and Ken HayashidaSometime later, two more guests arrived at our table. They were Linda and Dr. Ken Hayashida.

Cameron Smith and Jacob Willemsen"Little" Jacob was looking around the room for Cameron Smith (12/13/2017). Since I had already seen Cameron when I took my pictures, I asked Jacob, "Would you like to take a picture with him?" Jacob's smile told me his answer. The two of us walked to the middle of the dining room, right up to Cameron. When Cameron saw Jacob, they spoke a little. Jacob told him that he plays linebacker on his football team. I told Jacob, that Cameron does too. Here are the two linebackers together.

With dinner over, it was time to for the rest of the 2018 Football Awards to be awarded.

Porter Gustin, Jordan Austin, Ivan Lewis, Reuben Peters and Clay Helton
This picture shows the three winners of the Lifters of the Year Award. They are Porter Gustin, Jordan Austin, Strength and Conditioning Coach Ivan Lewis, Reuben Peters (4/10/2016) and Coach Helton.
Joe Collins, Jake Russell and Clay Helton
My friend Pierson took this picture of Joe Collins and Coach Helton with Jake Russell, the recipient of the Joe Collins Walk-On Award.
Austin Jackson, Clay Helton and Amon-Ra St. Brown
The John McKay Scholarship Awards for the players with the most competitive spirit were awarded to Austin Jackson and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Reuben Peters and Clay Helton
Reuben Peters received a second award as the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Clay Helton and Jake Olson
Trojan Candy's picture of Coach Helton and the winner of the Chris Carlisle Courage Award Jake Olson (2/4/2015) didn't come out, so, luckily I have my friend Pierson Clair's picture.
Chris Brown and Clay Helton
The John Dye Memorial Award for Offensive Lineman was received by Chris Brown.
The John Dye Memorial Award for Defensive Lineman went to Jay Tufele.
Bryce Matthews, Spencer Gilbert and Clay Helton
Defensive Service Team Players of the Year were Bryce Matthews and Spencer Gilbert.
Liam Douglass, Quincy Jountti and Clay Helton
Offensive Service Team Players of the Year were Liam Douglass and Quincy Jountti.
Michael Pittman Jr and Clay Helton
The Trojan Warrior Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year was Michael Pittman Jr.
Iman Marshall and Clay Helton
The Trojan Warrior Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year was Iman Marshall.
Iman Marshall
Trojan Candy took another picture of friend Iman Marshall after he left the stage.
Porter Gustin and Clay Helton
Porter Gustin won his second award, the Rhett Ellison Trojan Way Leadership Award, which is the player who best exemplifies living the Trojan Way in all areas of his life and is able to lead his teammates through the example he sets.
Ajene Harris
Friend Jim Eddy annouced Ajene Harris as the Davis-Teschke Most Inspirational Player, but Ajene was sick and not present to accept it. Here is Trojan Candy's picture of Ajene. Congratulations, Ajene!
Clay Helton, Marvell Tell III and Art Bartner
The Trojan Commitment Award was newly named after Dr. Art Bartner tonight and awarded to Marvell Tell III for his dedication and commitment to the USC football program.
Cameron Smith, Toa Lobendahn, Porter Gustin, Marvell Tell III and Clay Helton
Our 2018 Senior Captains were Cameron Smith, Toa Lobendahn (12/13/2017), Porter Gustin and Marvell Tell III.
Cameron Smith and Clay Helton
Coach Helton named Cameron Smith as the MVP.
Football Managers and Trainers
The Football Managers and Trainers were thanked for their services.
2018 Seniors
Trojan Candy took this video of all of the 2018 Seniors.
2018 Seniors Feature
This video features our 2018 Seniors.
Cameron Smith
The last program speech was given by MVP Cameron Smith.

What a memorable evening for all of the awardees!

Congratulations to all of the football awardees!