October 2020 Candygrams

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Friday, October 30, 2020---Salute to Troy Zoom

USC Football presented our 2020 Team in its Salute to Troy zoom.

0104The Spirit Team and Song Girls started the program.

The Spirit of Troy joined the Spirit Team and Song Girls. FIGHT ON, Spirit of Troy! FIGHT ON, Spirit Team! FIGHT ON, Song Girls!

05Next, USC President Carol Folt welcomed everyone. She proudly spoke about our Football Heritage; "We have 11 National Championships, 34 Bowl Victories, 6 Heisman Trophy Winners, 168 First Team All Americans, 582 players chosen in the NFL First Round, and 622 Academic All-Americans." What a fantastic Football Heritage! Then, Dr. Folt introduced USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn. FIGHT ON, Dr. Folt!

06A.D. Mike Bohn thanked USC Leadership for its support of all USC athletes, dedicated staff for its commitment for creating a safe environment to train and compete at the highest level, fans for your spirit and love, and, lastly, our players for their poise, leadership and being game ready all year long. Finishing, A.D. Bohn said, "There is no family stronger than the Trojan Family!" Next, A.D. Bohn introduced the Captains of the 25th 1995 Class and the 50th 1970 Class. FIGHT ON, A.D. Bohn!

07Terry Barnum is a Co-Captain of the 25th Anniversary Team. Terry recalled that his 1995 team was the 1995 Pac-12 Champions, and they won the 1996 Rose Bowl classic against Northwestern. One of the stars in 1995 was Keyshawn Johnson. Terry told this year's team, "This year has had the COVID-19 pandemic and Social Justice issues. Embrace the challenge, don't leave anything in the tank and take care of one another both on and off the field." FIGHT ON, Terry!

08In 1970 Charlie Weaver was one of the Captains of the 50th Anniversary Team. Charlie said that he is proud to have been a Trojan and a member of the "Wild Bunch." His "Wild Bunch" teammates were Tody Smith, Al Cowlings, Jimmy Gunn, Willard "Bubba" Scott and reliever Tony Terry. John McKay was his head coach, and his defensive coach was Marv Goux. What a team! Trojan Candy saw them play.

8347I also met Charlie Weaver at his USC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2018. Here is the picture I took of Charlie when I interviewed him. CLICK HERE to read Charlie's interview. Then, CLICK HERE to view Charlie's HOF acceptance speech. FIGHT ON, Charlie!

92Now, it is time to meet our 2020 USC Football team and coaches. First is Head Coach Clay Helton. He thanked several services for helping the team get through the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Coach Helton said that the Athletic Department sent out strength equipment and nutritional supplements to every athlete help them in their training. Rehab services were provided to any athlete if it was needed. The Academic Services helped our football team earn the highest GPA it has ever had this spring. So now our team is united, disciplined and has developed toughness to start our 2020 season.

Then Coach Helton introduced our Defensive Coordinator Todd Orlando. Coach Orlando, who coaches the linebackers, introduced his players.

Coach Todd Orlando, Hunter Echols, Peter Esparza, Juliano Falaniko, Palaie Gaoteote IV, and Spencer Gilbert
Ralen Goforth, Jordan Iosefa, Drake Jackson, Tayler Katoa, Danny Lockhart Jr, and Bryce Matthews
Kana'i Mauga (2/7/2018), Abdul-Malik McClain (12/14/2019), Clyde Moore, Tuasivi Nomura, and Solomon Tuliaupupu
Here are some linebackers on the practice field.
Then, after a FIGHT ON, Coach Orlando introduced the Safeties Coach Craig Naivar.

Coach Naivar named his Safeties.

Coach Craig Naivar, Briton Allen, Micah Croom, Talanoa Hufanga (3/4/2020), Greg Johnson, and Kaulana Makaula
Tommy Maurice, Jordan McMillan, Isaiah Pola-Mao, Chase Williams (2/7/2018), and Max Williams
Next, the Safeties practiced a drill on the field.
Coach Naivar, with a FIGHT ON, introduced the Cornerbacks Coach Donte Williams.
Coach Donte Williams posed with Jack Drake, Olaijah Griffin, Dorian Hewett, Adonis Otey (12/18/2019), and Chris Steele
Here are two Cornerbacks practicing a drill.
Coach Williams gave a FIGHT ON and then introduced Defensive Line Coach Vic So'oto.

Coach So'oto introduced his Defensive Linemen.

Brandon Pili, Jamar Sekona, Stanley Ta'ufo'ou, Caleb Tremblay (2/7/2018), Trevor Trout, and Maninoa Tufono
Marlon and Tuli Tuipulotu
Here is the Defensive Line practicing.
Coach Vic So'oto showed his FIGHT ON when he introduced Special Teams Coordinator Sean Snyder.

Special Teams Coordinator Sean Synder named his players.

Coach Sean Snyder, Michael Brown, Jac Casasante, Ben Griffiths, Damon Johnson (2/1/2017), and Parker Lewis
Michael McAllister, Chase McGrath, Will Rose, Michael Shahidi, Alex Stadthaus, and Nathan Weneta
Special team practicing a field goal attempt.
Coach Snyder, with two fingers up, introduced Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach Graham Harrell.
Coach Graham Harrell is pictured with his quarterbacks Brad Aoki, Matt Fink, Mo Hasan, Kedon Slovis, and Isaac Ward.
Here are the quarterbacks practicing some drills.
Kedon Slovis seems to enjoy practice.
Coach Harrell showed his Fight On as he introduced Offensive Line Coach Tim Drevno.
Coach Tim Drevno posed with Joe Bryson, Casey Collier, Justin Dedich (2/7/2018), Andres Dewerk, and Liam Douglass.
Courtland Ford, Liam Jimmons (2/3/2016), Damian Lopez, AJ Mageo, Frank Martin II, and Jalen McKenzie
Andrew Milek, Jonah Monheim, Brett Neilon, Gino Quinones, Jason Rodriguez, and Bernard Schirmer
An Offensive Lineman practiced his stance.
Coach Drevno introduced Tight Ends Coach John David Baker after he gave a Fight On.
Coach John David Baker with Josh Falo, Erik Krommenhoek (12/12/2018), Sean Mahoney, and Ethan Rae.
Scott Voigt and Jude Wolfe
Here are the Tight Ends practicing on the field.
Coach Baker held up his Fight On symbol after he introduced Wide Receivers Coach Keary Colbert.
Coach Colbert posed with Gary Bryant Jr (3/4/2020), Kyle Ford, John Jackson III, Joshua Jackson Jr (3/4/2020), and Chase Locke.
Drake London, Munir McClain (12/14/2019), Bru McCoy, Danny Ryan, Ty Shamblin, and Amon-Ra St. Brown (12/12/2018)
Tyler Vaughns (6/6/2018), Jack Webster, and Zach Wilson
The Wide Receivers were learning from Coach.
Coach Colbert, a USC alumnus, gave a Fight On after he introduced Running Backs Coach Mike Jinks.
Coach Mike Jinks introduced his Running Backs Stephen Carr (12/13/2017), Kenan Christon, Matt Colombo, Ben Easington, and Grant Jones.
Quincy Jountti, Vavae Malepeai (1/29/2017), Samuel Oram-Jones, and Markese Stepp
The Running Backs practiced some running drills.
Then, Coach Mike Jinks held up his two fingers in a FIGHT ON.

Next, Head Coach Clay Helton said that two of his favorite players, who are also great leaders, would speak next.

7376The first player was Quarterback Kedon Slovis. Kedon told us that the energy in fall camp was great. He said the great attitude started with the Defense. The Defense brought the "juice" every day. So our Offense had to do the same. Kedon noted that during this COVID-19 pandemic, "I learned a lot about myself. I know myself better than I did before." He said, "I love our Defense, but I am ready to compete against a different Defense." FIGHT ON, Kedon!

8079The second player was Amon-Ra St. Brown. "I was able to analyze things...football, school work, relationships...that I don't normally have time to when I'm in school and playing football." Then Amon described the first day of fall camp. In this first day in pads, he could catch, run and hit. He loved this live action. Now, Amon wants to go out and win every game!

Trojan Candy was able to interview Amon-Ra at the 2018 USC Football Awards Banquet. CLICK HERE to read that interview. FIGHT ON, Amon!

Next on the Salute to Troy program we heard from a couple of Trojan Greats.

89Trojan Greats Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush spoke to us from the Fox Studios. Matt Leinart said the Salute to Troy is a "cool" event. It includes the Song Girls, Band, alumni and former players. The Salute to Troy is the kickoff of the season.

88Reggie Bush was all excited that the Pac-12 is back! He predicted that Kedon Slovis is going to have a great year. Our Trojans can have a shot at the play-offs.

95Both Reggie and Matt gave us a FIGHT ON sign! FIGHT ON, Reggie! FIGHT ON, Matt!

9493Now, it was the Spirit of Troy's turn. They played Conquest. FIGHT ON, Spirit of Troy!

FIGHT ON, USC Football!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020---USC Olympic Track and Field Virtual Zoom

Fifteen minutes before the "USC Virtual Olympic Track and Field" Zoom was to air, Trojan Candy received an email that the Zoom event was rescheduled earlier. Luckily, all viewers could now see the USC Olympic Track and Field Virtual Zoom at YouTube. Trojan Candy was able to pause the video, take notes and take snips as I watched it on YouTube.

11053USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn welcomed the viewers. He is quite proud of our Track and Field athletes. A.D. Bohn stated several accomplishments. USC has won 30 NCAA indoor and outdoor championships. We have won 166 NCAA individual and relay championships. There have been 142 USC Track and Field Olympians. Those USC Olympians have won 96 medals. What an outstanding record!

11054Next, A.D. Bohn told us who the four guest Track Olympians were going to be. They were Allyson Felix, Nia Ali, Dalilah Muhammad and Andre DeGrasse. Then he introduced the moderator, Assistant Coach and USC Olympian Quincy Watts. Coach Watts won two Gold Medals in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. They were in the 400 metres and the 4x400 Relay. Trojan Candy met Quincy Watts (2/1/2014) when my husband Jim and I gave him his Heritage Hall medallion that was taken off the staircase when Heritage Hall was remodeled (Click the above link). FIGHT ON, Quincy!

11046Coach Watts interviewed Allyson Felix first. Allyson said that she would always "push limits." But now that she has a daughter Tammy, things are different. She noted,"Becoming a mom gave me a voice." Allyson now wants to affect some change in social causes. She is now working for maternal rights, anti-doping and ending racial injustice. Coach Watts asked her what comes after track and field. Allyson said that her mother taught third grade and if it she were not in track, she would have become a teacher. The interview changed to Allyson's brother Wes Felix. Wes competed at USC and was a Pac-10 champion in the 100m and 200m. Now, Wes is Allyson's agent. She knows that he has her best interests at heart. About Allyson's Olympic career thus far, she has won 6 Gold medals and 3 Silver medals. She competes in the 100m, 200m and 400m and the 4x100 and 4x400m relays. Allyson and Wes truly make USC a "place of Champions!" Trojan Candy recorded USC honoring Allyson in 2016 (10/1/2016) when she led our football team out of the Coliseum tunnel. CLICK HERE to see my video. FIGHT ON, Wes! FIGHT ON, Allyson! Good Luck in the 2021 Olympics in Japan!

11147The next USC Track Olympian whom Coach Watts interviewed was Nia Ali. She appeared on the screen with her friend Andre De Grasse. Nia, who is from Philadelphia, won the 100m Silver Medal in the 2016 Olympics and a Gold Medal in the 2019 World Championships. When Nia was in high school, she played basketball and softball. She started competing in track when she was a senior. Nia attended Tennessee as a freshman. Then she transferred to USC in 2008. At USC, Nia started out competing in the Heptathlon. Then she switched to the hurdles. Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of Nia (5/12/2011) at the 2011 USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration. She posed with her mother and grandmother. (Nia Ali #2 5/12/2011) As an alumna, Nia told Coach Watts that she wrote a letter to Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert to introduce herself. FIGHT ON, Ali! Good Luck in the 2021 Olympics in Japan!

11148Dalilah Muhammad was the third USC Olympian whom Coach Watts interviewed. Dalilah, who was born in Bayside, New York, graduated from USC in 2012. She majored in Business. At the 2019 World Championship Dalilah won the Gold Medal in the 400 metres High Hurdles with the World Record of 52.16 seconds. That record still holds. Dalilah told how she stays motivated. She stays "hungry." Dalilah said she sprints, practices on the hurdles and does exercises to build her speed endurance. She takes vitamin supplements, follows nutritional advice and does intermittent fasting. Dalilah said that she wished she had followed this nutritional advice when she was a student at USC. As for her attitude, Dalilah knew about the spectacular history of USC Track and Field. Dalilah wanted to be among the greats. Her world record has made her one now! Trojan Candy was able to interview Dalilah in Heritage Hall. Jim and I volunteered in the Heritage Hall lobby once a week for nine years. CLICK HERE (12/3/2010) to see her picture and interview. FIGHT ON, Dalilah! Good Luck in the 2021 Olympics in Japan.

11149Now, on to the fourth USC Olympian. Andre DeGrasse was the last Trojan interviewed by Coach Watts. Andre, who is from Scarborough, Ontario, competed at Coffeyville Community College in 2013-2014. He transferred to USC in 2015 for his junior year. Andre majored in Psychology. In the 2016 Olympics, Andre won three medals. He won a Bronze Medal in the 100 metres, a Silver Medal in the 200 metres and a Bronze Medal in the 4x100 relay. In the 100 metres, Andre competed against Usain Bolt. Andre said that he and Usain were just having fun. Usain seems to have taken Andre "under his wing," and told him that "He's the next one." Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of Andre competing against the Bruins in 2015. CLICK HERE (5/3/2015) to see the picture and blog article. I also took a graduation picture of Andre at the USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration in 2017. CLICK HERE (5/11/2017) for his picture. Finally, Andre did tell the viewers that he and Nia are boyfriend and girlfriend. FIGHT ON, Andre! Good Luck in the 2021 Olympics in Japan!

11148Next, USC Track and Field Head Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert spoke from her car. Trojan Candy didn't like the Zoom picture choices, so here is a picture that I took of Coach Gilbert at the "Unbroken" Reception and Preview." FIGHT ON, Coach Smith Gilbert!

A.D. Bohn ended the USC Olympic Track and Field Virtual Zoom with these compliments of the USC Olympic Athletes. His words: You are elite talent. There is a bond between all of you. You all have a pursuit for being the best in the world. You all have a competitive spirit. Your Pride in being a Trojan is just so contagious. FIGHT ON, A.D. Bohn!

FIGHT ON, USC Track and Field!