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week 6: victorious gamecocks ready for kentucky

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Complete recruiting roundup

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‘we got some work to do’ October 2, 2013 • Volume 35 • Issue 27


2 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

photo by jenny Dilworth

Quarterback Dylan Thompson finished South Carolina’s 28-25 victory over UCF 15-for-32 with 261 yards passing. He also rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Second half charge leads Gamecocks to road win over UCF by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com ORLANDO, Fla. - A big second half from 12th-ranked South Carolina led to a 28-25 victory over previously undefeated Central Florida on Saturday. Gamecock running back Mike Davis led the way with a three-touchdown, 167-yard performance on the ground. South Carolina (3-1) went into halftime trailing 10-0. It marked the first time that they had been shutout in an opening half since the 2010 Papa John’s Bowl against Connecticut. South Carolina commenced the second half by scoring 28 straight points - 21 in the first 16 minutes of the second half - to put the game out of reach despite a late charge from the Knights. “UCF is a good team. I thought that we

would be a little bit better offensively. They were controlling a lot of clock in the first half,” head coach Steve Spurrier said. “I’m very happy that we won the game. It should not have gotten as close as it did, but it did.” Davis opened the scoring for the Gamecocks in the game with a 53-yard touchdown run and then put in two more 13-yard scores as well, showing off both speed and power at different times. Davis ran for 150 yards in the second half on 21 carries after only getting his number called five times in the first half. Davis also had two catches for 11 yards. “Mike Davis had a heck of a game and the line blocked well. That was very encouraging,” Spurrier said. “In the second half Coach (Shawn) Elliott said let’s just get in I-right and I-left, the way we used to play 20 years ago … just run straight

at them to see if that will work and fortunately it did.” After the Gamecocks pushed out to a 2810 lead in the fourth quarter, the Knights were able to score 15 straight points to cut the score to 28-25 with 1:54 left in the game. UCF recovered a fumble at their own five-yard line with 3:18 remaining, then went 95 yards to score a touchdown, highlighted by a 79-yard catch and run. Bruce Ellington was able to recover the ensuing onside kick and the Gamecocks ran out the clock to seal the victory. The Gamecocks were forced to utilize backup quarterback Dylan Thompson after Connor Shaw injured his shoulder in the first quarter. Thompson filled in by going 15-for-32 for 261 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown in the game. Much of Thompson’s success came after Davis softened the defense in the second half as he went

6-for-10 for 146 yards after halftime. Spurrier said that Shaw should only be out for two or three weeks with a bruised shoulder in the postgame press conference. South Carolina’s defense was able to force four turnovers from UCF (3-1). Victor Hampton, Jimmy Legree and TJ Holloman each had an interception and Gerald Dixon recovered a fumble. The Gamecocks were able to control the clock in the second half by possessing the ball for 19:39 to total 30:49 time of possession for the game. The offense also compiled 490 total yards, 326 of that coming in the second half. Blake Bortles had 358 passing yards with two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions to lead the Knights offense. Two Knights had over 100 yards receiving led by Rannell Hall who caught eight passes for 142 yards and the two touchdowns.


October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers • 3

Athletics department to host All Sports Reunion south carolina athletics media relations The University of South Carolina Athletics Department has announced the dates for the 2013 All Sports Reunion. The reunion will take place during Homecoming Weekend, November 1-2 in Columbia. To kick off the weekend, former studentathletes are encouraged to attend the 2013 All Sports Reunion Reception on Friday, November 1 in the Athletics Village. On Saturday, former student-athletes will join fellow alumni at the My Carolina Alumni Association Homecoming Tailgate in Gamecock Park (former Farmer’s Market) prior to watching the Gamecock football team take on Mississippi State. “The Gamecock All Sports Reunion gives us a chance to honor former studentathletes who have worn the Garnet and Black and represented the University so well,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “We have a long and storied history at USC and by honoring our past we hope to keep this tradition going so that Game-

cocks for years to come will be treasured in the memories of all that support Carolina.” This year’s event will be open to all former student-athletes from all sports and all years. Please visit Reunion Registration (www.gamecocksonline.com/ reunion) to register. Registration deadline is Oct. 18.

For more information, contact: Jay Brown Gamecock Club Assistant Director 803.777.5723 JayBrown@sc.edu


4 • Spurs & Feathers

Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

What’s Inside? - Table of Contents Something to crow about!

Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.

Contact Us: 218 Richland Ave. W. Aiken, SC 29801 (803) 335-1399

To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50

Scott B. Hunter

Kentucky game preview...............................................6 Hand Writing.....................................................................7 Recruiting Roundup.................................................. 8-9

Publisher & President Aiken Communications, Inc.

Depth Chart....................................................................10

Tim O’Briant

Garnet Market Profile .................................................11

General Manager tobriant@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500

Gamecock pride mural...............................................12

Brian Hand

Men’s soccer profile.....................................................13

Executive Editor bhand@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506

Mike Kucharski

Reporter mike@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 507

Ed Girardeau

Contributing Editor ed@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 501

Dee Taylor

Where are they now? - Anthony Wright...............14 Inside the Chart...................................................... 18-19 Checking in with cross country...............................20 Assistant coach profile...............................................22 In the film room............................................................23 Sand volleyball..............................................................24

Advertising Director (803) 644-2371

Brian Shah golf tournament.....................................27

Kathy Boyette

In Memoriam.................................................................28

Advertising Sales Manager (803) 644-2349 kboyette@spursandfeathers.com

Postal Information:

Postage paid at 2001 Dixiana Rd., West Columbia, SC 29172. Periodical application pending. Spurs & Feathers is published 22 times a year, coming out weekly from Aug. 21 through Dec. 4 and bi-monthly from Jan. 29 through June 25.

Postmaster:

Send address changes to: Spurs & Feathers, P.O. Box 456, Aiken, SC 29801 (ISSN 07454368)

Ed Girardeau column..................................................31

South Carolina women’s basketball will enter the 2013-14 season ranked No. 13 in the nation, according to Lindy’s Sports Annuals Preseason top-25. The ranking, released in the Sept. 14 issue, noted that the Gamecocks have an “outside chance to emerge as the best team in a loaded SEC.” South Carolina is coming off its second consecutive 25-win season, advancing to the 2013 NCAA Tournament second round and the 2012 NCAA Sweet 16. The Gamecocks return their top scorer in junior Aleighsa Welch, who was also the second-highest rebounder on the squad. The Second-Team All-SEC selection averaged 12.0 points and 7.7 rebounds on the season while shooting 59.8 percent from the field. The Gamecocks’ other returning starter from last season’s squad is sophomore Tiffany Mitchell, who earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors in her debut season. The do-it-all guard scored in double figures in nine of her first 14 college outings, including her SEC debut against Tennessee, and snagged double-digit rebounds five times during the season. South Carolina looks for junior Elem Ibiam, who averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Gamecocks’ four postseason games in 2012-13, to continue her emergence in the post. She will mentor freshman Alaina Coates at the position as the Gamecocks hope to take advantage of the pair of 6-foot-4 centers. Coates is the thirdstraight South Carolina player of the year to sign with head coach Dawn Staley as the Naismith Hall of Fame player builds her program on the foundation of its home state’s talent. Season tickets are on sale now for $50 for a reserved seat or a Family Four-Pack of four general admission tickets for $100. Fans can order at www.GamecocksOnline.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-4SCFANS. (Story by South Carolina Athletics Media Relations)


Spurs & Feathers • 5

October 2, 2013

Game times, television details finalized for men’s basketball non-conference schedule 2013-14 Non-Conference Schedule Nov. 3, vs. USC Aiken (exhibition), 2 p.m. Nov. 9, vs. Longwood, 1 p.m. Nov. 12, at Baylor, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN Nov. 17, at Clemson, 5 p.m., ESPN3 Nov. 24, Florida International, 1 p.m., SportSouth/Fox Sports Carolinas Dec. 6, at Oklahoma State, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU Dec. 17, Manhattan, 7 p.m. Dec. 19, USC Upstate, 4 p.m. ET, SportSouth/Fox Sports Carolinas Dec. 22-25, at Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (1st round vs. St. Mary’s, 12 a.m. ET, ESPNU; 2nd/3rd rounds, TBA, ESPNU) Dec. 28, vs. Akron (non-bracketed game of the Diamond Head Classic), 4 p.m. ET, ESPNU Dec. 30, vs. Marshall, 7 p.m., CSS Jan. 3, vs. SC State, 7 p.m., SportSouth/Fox Sports Carolinas

South Carolina Athletics Media Relations

test at Oklahoma State on Dec. 6. Additionally, all of South Carolina’s contests as part Game times and television details have of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head been finalized for the 2013-14 South Classic will be broadcast by the ESPN netCarolina men’s basketball non-conference works. Several of Carolina’s other contests schedule. With the combination of all 18 will be televised on SportSouth, Fox Sports Southeastern Conference contests televised, South and Fox Sports Carolinas and one the Gamecocks will be featured in at least game will be shown on CSS. 30 broadcasts during the upcoming regular South Carolina opened official practice for season. the 2013-14 campaign on Monday, Sept. 30, Seven of Carolina’s non-conference games with a morning practice session at Colonial will be broadcast by the ESPN family of Life Arena. For season ticket information networks, including the Nov. 12 contest at please visit GamecocksOnline.com/Tickets Baylor and the Big 12/SEC Challenge con- or call 1-800-4SC-FANS.


6 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

photo by allen sharpe

Not even a defender trying to take off his belt could stop Mike Davis in the victory over UCF. Davis ended the Gamecock win with 167 yards rushing. He had three touchdowns.

Anything can happen in college football It’s the thought that binds college football fans together from Miami to Honolulu, San Diego to Syracuse and everywhere in between, at schools large and small. Anything can happen. The NCAA would throw in that every game counts, though that seems a bit of a stretch of common sense when Florida A&M receives a ferocious pummeling and a large check for a trip to Ohio State. But it has meaning for the Gamecocks from AD Ray Tanner and the administration to the coaches, players and fan base. Winning at Central Florida the other day under difficult circumstances that involved losing starting quarterback Connor Shaw for much of the game, then having running back Brandon Wilds lost with another injury tested the depth of the squad and the depth was shown to be solid. But during the game, there was the recollec-

tion of something coach Steve Spurrier said earlier last week when he was talking about backup quarterback Dylan Thompson. Spurrier mentioned Thompson is plugged in with everything happening to the offense this season, saying the junior from Boiling Springs knows “it will be his team next year.” When Connor Shaw came back out to the field Bart Wright with shoulder pads off and a big ice pack on his Contributing throwing shoulder, the unWriter avoidable thought was that time just jumped forward for Thompson. It wasn’t always what Thompson or the coaching staff expected from him -- 15-32-

261-1 figures to fewer than 50 percent of his passes completed – but it was good enough when it mattered and when you figure in drops, he could have had some help along the way. If Shaw’s shoulder is better in two weeks, he would be available for the game at Arkansas, if it’s three weeks, he would be ready to get back on the field in Knoxville against the Vols. Recruiting makes everything better when something unexpected happens and the work Carolina has done in that area makes this a different season the rest of the way than it might have been a few years back. We all thought one of the big issues this season would be replacing Marcus Lattimore’s production at running back, but Mike Davis has surpassed, through four games, what Lattimore delivered a year ago. Lattimore averaged 80 yards per game

through the first four of 2012, on an average of 4.6 per carry (69 rushes for 320 yards), but Davis is knocking defenders out of games while averaging 7.1 yards per carry (71 for 508) and 127 rushing yards per game. It could be that this is the season Georgia finds a way to win improbably game after game, all the way to, well, it could go on forever if things continue to fall in line. For a team that is 3-1 in the SEC, ranked in the top-15 nationally with its only loss to the SEC team that seems in this early part of the season to be living a charmed life, the injuries have not diminished the capabilities of the Gamecocks. They still are who we thought they were, to borrow a phrase from Dennis Green. Are they everything they wanted to be? That’s the question that will be answered in the final two-thirds of the season, not in the first four games.


October 2, 2013

Hand Writing

Spurs & Feathers receives calls and emails every day thanking us for what we do, but many times the calls and emails are prefaced with “but what about recruiting?” In my second column of the year, I explained that this incarnation of Spurs & Feathers was a little different than the past in that we fell within the framework of South Carolina NCAA regulations. Nevertheless, we still kept asking the athletic department at South Carolina if there was any possible way that we could include recruiting in our publication? South Carolina Associate

Athletics Director for Compliance Services Chris Rogers took our inquiries to the SEC office and looked into if it was even a possibility. Thanks to the hard work of Rogers, his staff and the SEC, eight issues (including the firstever Spurs & Feathers’ magazine) into the athletic year we are absolutely ecstatic to have recruiting within our pages. The recruiting section in our publication provided by Phil Kornblut in our opinion just adds to the in-depth look we are providing to Gamecock athletics. “It’s great to be a Gamecock” is a term utilized all the time by

University of South Carolina coaches, administrators and fans. Having been a part of Gamecock Nation all my life I have always thought that it is a perfect way to encapsulate just how blessed we all are to follow the athletic programs of the Palmetto State’s flagship institution. We have noted many times since taking over Spurs & Feathers that it has been an absolute honor helping to represent the Gamecock cause in our pages. Keep your ideas coming our way. We would love to hear from you.

Spurs & Feathers • 7

Something to crow about

The South Carolina Women’s golf team is ranked 24th in the latest Golf World/NGCA Division I College Women’s Coaches’ Poll. The Gamecocks were not ranked on this year’s preseason poll. The last time they were ranked was Aug. 30, 2012 at No. 17. The Gamecocks started off their fall season strong with two top-10 finishes, taking sixth place at the season-opening Cougar Classic and second place at last week’s Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship.

Southern Cal and Alabama remain at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively and Oklahoma claimed the third spot in the rankings. Along with South Carolina and Alabama six other SEC schools earned rankings including No. 5 Florida. The Gamecocks return to action Oct. 1113 at the Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. Story by South Carolina Athletics Media Relations


8 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting roundup by phil kornblut

USC is well down the road to completing the 2014 recruiting class. The Gamecocks are sitting on 12 commitments for the class right now and will probably cap the class at 16 or 17. Here’s the commitment class to this point: Joe Blue Bryson Allen-Williams Kalan Ritchie Malik Young Kevin Crosby Jr. Darin Smalls Jhaustin Thomas Shaq Davidson Al Harris Jr. Taylor Stallworth Abu Lamin Terry Googer

LB LB TE OL TE DB DE WR DB DE DL WR

2014

5-11 6-3 6-6 6-4 6-2 5-11 6-7 6-1 5-11 6-3 6-5 6-4

230 220 226 295 240 175 275 175 170 280 310 210

Dillon, SC Ellenwood, GA Goose Creek Woodmont, SC Bamberg-Ehrhardt, SC Summerville, SC Trinity Valley JC, TX Gaffney, SC Fort Lauderdale, FL Mobile, AL Fort Scott JC, KS Atlanta, SC

The number of commitments was up to 13 until DB Wesley Green of Lithonia, GA decommitted last weekend. Green remains interested in USC but will look at other options. He plans to be at Georgia this weekend. Also last weekend, the Gamecocks lost a 2015 commitment in Green’s teammate, DE Arden Key. Key will continue to consider the Gamecocks as he, too, checks out other potions. Here are the other 2015 commitments the Gamecocks have at this point: DJ Neal Shamiek Blackshear Chauncey Rivers Jerad Washington Sherrod Pittman

WR DE DE WR LB

6-3 6-5 6-3 5-11 6-1

175 230 230 165 215

Stone Mountain, GA Bluffton, SC Stone Mountain, GA Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville, FL

2015

More notes on Gamecock football recruiting for the 2014 class: Florida State commitment DL Dexter Wideman of Saluda was among the prospects in attendance for the USC-Vanderbilt game. Wideman went with several of his Saluda teammates according to his coach Doug Painter. “It was a game he wanted to go to,” Painter said. “He’s still talking about Florida State. He’s still saying that. I don’t think that anything has changed along those lines.” Wideman committed to the Seminoles in July but has not totally closed the door on the Gamecocks according to Painter. “I feel sure he’ll go back to Carolina again. I’m just guessing that there is still a chance there.” Wideman has not set any official visits at this point. Latta OL Donell Stanley may have an idea about where he wants to go at this point but he plans to take his four official visits before making that decision final. Those visits will be to USC, Clemson, North Carolina and Alabama. The dates have not been set but he will work on that this week since this is an offer week for his team. The visits will come during the season. “He was going to go ahead and commit but he wants to make sure that where he goes everything is good,” explained Latta assistant Chris German.

“He’s going to take his four officials and after he takes the last one he said he’s going to commit.” But there was a recent time when it appeared Stanley was ready to make his call. “I think he was wanting to but he came back to me and said I want to make sure this is the place for me to go, so let me take my officials so I can get into it so I can spend the weekend somewhere and really get to know the place,” German said. “I think he just wants to be sure. He’s still playing it close to the chest.” German confirmed that Stanley has a good idea about where he wants to go but wants to be sure and he has not told any schools what he’s thinking. USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott scouted Stanley last Friday night. WR Braxton Berrios of Raleigh has taken official visits to USC, Oregon and Miami. He plans to visit Tennessee for the Georgia weekend October 4th and will announce his college decision October 12th. “He’s getting tired, I think he’s ready to make his decision,” Leesville Road coach Chad Smothers said. “He enjoyed his visit to South Carolina. They did a great job, pulled out all the stops. He enjoyed his time down there. He’s told South Carolina and everybody else that in

four weeks or so he will make his decision on where he’s going to go.” Smothers added that USC has always been a strong player for Berrios. “South Carolina has always been in high regard by Braxton,” he said. “They’ve done an outstanding job recruiting him. He’s been there four or five times. They are up there one, two, three. He’s strongly considering South Carolina. He just wants to take his time and do his due diligence and make sure he’s choosing the right place.” DB Kendall Randolph of Tallahassee thought his days of involvement with USC were over last month when the Gamecocks turned their attention to another cornerback, Chris Lammons. But Lammons committed to Florida and the Gamecocks have reopened the lines of communication with Randolph. “From what I know, they are still interested,” said Randolph who is hearing from recruiter Kirk Botkin. “Coach Botkin was checking in on my season. I’m focusing on school and my team right now and will do recruiting after the season.” Randolph has not been to any games yet but will go to nearby Florida State for some, and he will go to the LSU-Alabama game. He also wants to get to Louisville and Miami. As for

USC, Randolph said he remains interested. “I haven’t really moved on,” he said. “But I haven’t really evaluated where I’m at with the schools.” Randolph said he’s hearing a good bit from Stanford, Louisville, Miami and North Carolina. They have also offered along with South Florida, Florida State, Auburn and Georgia. USC recruiter Deke Adams stopped by Dillon High School last Monday to check in on the Wildcats, in particular Gamecock commitment LB Joe Blue and sophomore QB Avery McCall. Coach Jackie Hayes said Blue remains firm with his commitment and McCall continues to draw plenty of major interest. He now has offers from USC, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina, East Carolina, Ohio State and Tennessee. McCall hasn’t made it to any games this season but Hayes said he will start going to games later this month and in October. Hayes said Clemson also is very strong on McCall. “He’s kind of like the guy they’ve got up there now,” he said. “I think Avery throws the ball a little bit better than (Tajh) Boyd does but he’s still young and has a long way to go and a lot of work to do.” Some updates on 2015 prospects:


Spurs & Feathers • 9

October 2, 2013

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick of Jersey City, NJ has offers from across the nation including USC and has maintained contact with the Gamecocks. He attended a camp in Columbia over the summer. His other offers include Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Connecticut, Rutgers, Boston College, Stanford, Virginia, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Syracuse. DB Rion Davis (6-0 180) of A.C. Flora is hearing from USC, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, and Virginia Tech among others. Davis attended Clemson’s season-opener versus Georgia and attended a camp at USC this summer and also likes the Gamecocks. Other camps Davis attended included Tennessee and Georgia. WR Markeyvious Adams (6-4 185) of Greenwood is waiting on his first offer and is getting interest from several schools including Clemson and USC. Adams has seen both teams play this season. Other schools showing interest are North Carolina, NC State, Duke, Florida State and Tennessee. Clemson is showing the most interest. This summer, Adams attended a camp at USC. Future visits this season include NC State, Tennessee and a return trip to Clemson. DB Rashard Causey (6-0 185) of Fort Lauderdale has a USC offer and the Gamecocks are one of his early leaders. “I don’t want to say I have favorites but I do like Miami, Florida and South Carolina a lot.” Causey visited USC

over the summer and had planned to come in for the Vanderbilt game but couldn’t make it. He planned to see the Gamecocks this past weekend at Central Florida. His other offers include UCLA, Miami, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Central Florida and Rutgers. He has 17 in all. DB Mark Fields Jr. (5-11 184) of Cornelius, NC has Clemson and USC high up on his early list and he has seen both in person this season. Fields was at Clemson for the Georgia game and was at USC for the Vander- Phil Kornblut bilt game. “Both have Contributing similar things,” Fields Writer said. “Not one stands out more than the other.” Fields, who is the son of former Carolina Panthers linebacker Mark Fields Sr., hopes to get to the LSU-Alabama game and he wants to go to Tennessee for a game. He has offers from Clemson, USC, Tennessee, NC State, North Carolina and Ohio State. He said he’s really not interested in staying in North Carolina for college. “Of the offers I have,” Fields said, “USC and Clemson are right up there but I’m still open. I’m waiting on

more programs to pull the trigger (on offers).” Fields plans to make his decision next summer. DB Tyrek Cole of Hollywood, FL has a top ten, in no order, of Clemson, USC, Miami, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia, Ole Miss and LSU.

Basketball News:

The Gamecocks have two commitments for the 2014 class in 6-1 Marcus Stroman of Keenan and 6-5 TeMarcsssus Blanton of Locust Grove, GA. Their primary remaining target is 6-7 Dante Buford of Jacksonville, FL. Frank Martin was back in Jacksonville last week to check on Buford according to Arlington Country Day coach Rex Morgan. And he’s expecting USC back to see Buford October 3rd. Morgan said Martin has made it clear to him and Buford what he thinks of the player. “He’s their number one guy at that position, so he said it’s imperative they get him,” Morgan said. “He said it’s important to him.” Morgan said Buford, a native of Simpsonville, still isn’t tipping his hand. “He’s enjoying being recruited a little bit,” the coach said. “I think he likes everybody. Does he want to stay close to home and play in state or go outside?” Buford is set with three official visits for sure. He will go to Oklahoma October 4th and Miami October 11th. And he is set to visit USC November 1st. He is also scheduled to visit Oklahoma State and Southern Cal but Morgan is not sure

he will take those two trips. Morgan said Martin also remains interested in 6-9 Ledamian Keys though Keys is partial to DePaul right now. Morgan said one of his former assistants is an assistant coach at DePaul and that’s a big reason for Key’s affection for the Blue Demons. The USC women have a commitment for the 2014 class from 5-11 Kaydra Duckett of Dreher.

Baseball News:

SS Madison Stokes (6-3 195) of AC Flora last Thursday committed to USC for the 2014 class. According to PerfectGame.com, Stokes had been committed to The Citadel. Clemson and North Carolina were two other schools he considered before choosing the Gamecocks. He made an unofficial visit to USC last weekend. Stokes helped lead Flora to the 3A state championship last season. Stokes joins his Falcon teammate 2B Everett Eynon as Gamecock commitments and gives USC 13 pledges for the 2014 class. Four other earlier commitments to the Gamecocks are now committed to other schools. OF KJ Bryant of Wade Hampton switched to Clemson. OF DJ Burt of Fuquay-Varina, NC is now committed to NC State. SS Seth Lancaster of Hanahan is now a Coastal Carolina commitment. And LHP Nate Matheson is now committed to Old Dominion.


10 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

Depth Charts for October 5, 7:30 p.m. OFFENSE WR: 4 Shaq Roland 1 Damiere Byrd 8 Shamier Jeffery WR: 23 Bruce Ellington 80 K.J. Brent 85 Kane Whitehurst WR: 3 Nick Jones 11 Pharoh Cooper 82 Kwinton Smith LT: 53 Corey Robinson 74 Mason Zandi LG: 50 A.J. Cann 65 Brock Stadnik C: 54 Clayton Stadnik -OR- 51 Cody Waldrop 70 Alan Knott RG: 67 Ronald Patrick 75 Will Sport RT: 71 Brandon Shell 78 Cody Gibson TE: 81 Rory Anderson 89 Jerell Adams QB: 17 Dylan Thompson 5 Brendan Nosovitch FB: 41 Connor McLaurin 31 Jordan Diaz TB: 28 Mike Davis 7 Shon Carson

South Carolina

6-1, 190, So. 5-9, 166, Jr. 6-1, 207, So. 5-9, 196, Jr. 6-4, 188, So. 5-11, 179, So. 5-7, 174, Jr. 5-11, 184, Fr. 6-4, 212, R-Fr. 6-8, 341, Jr. 6-9, 293, R-Fr. 6-4, 314, Jr. 6-5, 286, R-Fr. 6-3, 281, R-Fr. 6-2, 319, R-Fr. 6-4, 272, Fr. 6-2, 315, Sr. 6-5, 294, So. 6-6, 323, So. 6-7, 286, Jr. 6-5, 242, Jr. 6-6, 237, So. 6-3, 218, Jr. 6-1, 220, R-Fr. 6-0, 237, Jr. 6-1, 233, Jr. 5-9, 215, So. 5-8, 219, So.

Lexington, S.C. Sicklerville, N.J. St. Matthews, S.C. Moncks Corner, S.C. Waxhaw, N.C. Duluth, Ga. Moore, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Hamer, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Bamberg, S.C. Greensboro, N.C Greensboro, N.C. Seffner, Fla. Tyrone, Ga. Cocoa, Fla. Milton, Fla. Goose Creek, S.C. Tallahassee, Fla. Powder Springs, Ga. Pinewood, S.C. Boiling Springs, S.C. Allentown, Pa. Raleigh, N.C. Hamilton, N.J. Lithonia, Ga. Scranton, S.C.

OFFENSE TE: 86 Jordan Aumiller 6-4, 232, Sr. Danville, Ky. 82 Anthony Kendrick 6-3, 233, Sr. Katy, Texas 85 Steven Borden 6-3, 237, Jr. Waxahachie, Texas LT: 77 Darrian Miller 6-5, 284, Jr. Lexington, Ky. 70 Jordan Swindle 6-7, 290, So. St. Johns, Fla. LG: 75 Zach West 6-4, 308, So. Lexington, Ky. 76 Teven Eatmon-Nared 6-7, 330, Jr. Bucyrus, Ohio C: 72 Jon Toth 6-5, 285, R-Fr. Indianapolis, Ind. 57 Zach Myers 6-3, 277, R-Fr. Miamisburg, Ohio 64 Max Godby 6-4, 280, Jr. Louisville, Ky. RG: 79 Kevin Mitchell 6-6, 289, Sr. Winston, Ga. 71 Jack Gruenschlaeger 6-11, 350, So. Fort Thomas, Ky. RT: 70 Jordan Swindle 6-7, 290, So. St. Johns, Fla. 58 Shaquille Love 6-4, 313, So. Harriman, Tenn. WR: 9 Demarco Robinson 5-10, 158, Jr. Ellenwood, Ga. 13 Jeff Badet 6-0, 170, Fr. Orlando, Fla. WR: 1 Ryan Timmons 5-10, 185, Fr. Frankfort, Ky. 23 Daryl Collins 5-11, 205, So. Gadsden, Ala. 80 Ronnie Shields 6-5, 227, Jr. Stone Mountain, Ga. WR: 8 Javess Blue 6-0, 190, Jr. Babson Park, Fla. 17 Alexander Montgomery 6-2, 210, Fr. Weston, Fla. 6 A.J. Legree 6-1, 189, So. Fort White, Fla. QB: 11 Maxwell Smith 6-4, 218, So. Granada Hills, Calif. -OR- 2 Jalen Whitlow 6-2, 220, So. Prattville, Ala. FB: 39 D.J. Warren 6-0, 226, Jr. Alcoa, Tenn. 43 Cody Jones 5-11, 215, Sr. Williamsburg, Ky. RB: 4 Raymond Sanders 5-8, 187, Sr. Stone Mountain, Ga.

DEFENSE DE: 90 Chaz Sutton 34 Mason Harris 44 Gerald Dixon DT: 97 J.T. Surratt 92 Gerald Dixon Jr. DT: 99 Kelcy Quarles 52 Phillip Dukes 94 Kelcy Griffin DE: 7 Jadeveon Clowney 5 Darius English MLB: 8 Kaiwan Lewis 11 T.J. Holloman 28 Jonathan Walton WLB: 21 Marcquis Roberts 10 Skai Moore 18 Cedrick Cooper SPR: 9 Sharrod Golightly 42 Jordan Diggs 32 Larenz Bryant CB: 27 Victor Hampton 4 Ahmad Christian SS: 25 Kadetrix Marcus 20 T.J. Gurley FS: 12 Brison Williams 17 Chaz Elder CB: 15 Jimmy Legree 3 Jamari Smith 1 Rico McWilliams

-OR-

6-5, 263, Sr. 6-3, 218, So. 6-2, 268, So. 6-2, 307, Jr. 6-3, 318, So. 6-4, 298, Jr. 6-3, 315, So. 6-2, 292, Fr. 6-6, 274, Jr. 6-6, 226, R-Fr. 6-0, 221, So. 6-2, 228, R-Fr. 6-0, 234, Fr. 6-1, 225, So. 6-2, 205, Fr. 6-2, 213, So. 5-10, 195, Jr. 6-0, 214, R-Fr. 6-0, 215, Fr. 5-10, 202, Jr. 5-10, 189, So. 6-1, 195, Jr. 5-10, 196, So. 5-11, 218, Jr. 6-2, 199, R-Fr. 6-0, 187, Sr. 5-10, 183, Fr. 5-11, 187, R-Fr.

Kentucky

3 Jojo Kemp 25 Jonathan George

5-10, 190, Fr. 5-10, 209, Sr.

Savannah, Ga. Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Winston-Salem, N.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Hodges, S.C. Manning, S.C. Buford, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Powder Springs, Ga. Mays Landing, N.J. Stone Mountain, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Powder Springs, Ga. Cooper City, Fla. Lithonia, Ga. Decatur, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Charlotte, N.C. Darlington, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Stone Mountain, Ga. Cairo, Ga. Warner Robins, Ga. Union City, Ga. Beaufort, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Hampton, Ga.

DeLand, Fla. Lincoln, Ala.

DEFENSE DE: DT: DT: DE: SLB: MLB: WLB: NICK: CB: S:

2 Alvin Dupree 6-4, 252, Jr. 6 Jason Hatcher 6-3, 250, Fr. 99 Donte Rumph 6-3, 320, Sr. 51 Tristian Johnson 6-1, 265, Sr. 97 Mister Cobble 6-0, 338, Sr. 50 Mike Douglas 6-4, 288, Jr. 92 Christian Coleman 6-3, 285, Jr. 94 Za’Darius Smith 6-6, 254, Jr. 91 Farrington Huguenin 6-4, 262, So. 60 Alvin Davis 6-4, 265, Jr. 45 Josh Forrest 6-3, 233, So. 34 Kory Brown 6-0, 203, Jr. 54 Malcolm McDuffen 6-3, 215, Jr. 40 Avery Williamson 6-1, 238, Sr. 32 Miles Simpson 6-2, 225, Jr. 41 TraVaughn Paschal 6-4, 242, Jr. 22 Khalid Henderson 6-1, 218, So. 24 Blake McClain 5-11, 190, Fr. 15 Marcus McWilson 6-1, 210, Fr. 21 Nate Willis 6-0, 180, Jr. 3 Fred Tiller 6-0, 171, So. 5 Ashely Lowery 6-1, 211, Jr. 18 Glenn Faulkner 6-2, 193, So.

Irwinton, Ga. Louisville, Ky. St. Matthews, S.C. LaGrange, Ga. Louisville, Ky. Largo, Fla. Milan, Tenn. Greenville, Ala. Columbia, S.C. Jesup, Ga. Paducah, Ky. Moncks Corner, S.C. Hopkinsville, Ky. Milan, Tenn. Independence, Ky. Odenton, Md. Mableton, Ga. Winter Park, Fla. Youngstown, Ohio Pahokee, Fla. Homerville, Ga. Cleveland, Ga. East St. Louis, Ill.

SPECIALISTS KO: 19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry PK: 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard P: 13 Tyler Hull 18 Patrick Fish KR: 23 Bruce Ellington 7 Shon Carson PR: 27 Victor Hampton 11 Pharoh Cooper SSN: 58 Ryland Culbertson LSN: 47 Drew Williams H: 18 Patrick Fish 5 Brendan Nosovitch

5-9, 172, So. 6-0, 150, Fr. 6-0, 150, Fr. 5-9, 172, So. 6-2, 206, Jr. 6-0, 195, Jr. 5-9, 196, Jr. 5-8, 219, So. 5-10, 202, Jr. 5-11, 184, Fr. 6-4, 265, Jr. 6-2, 190, Fr. 6-0, 195, Jr. 6-1, 220, R-Fr.

Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Mount Airy, N.C. Shelby, N.C. Moncks Corner, S.C. Scranton, S.C. Darlington, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Laurens, S.C. Irmo, S.C. Shelby, N.C. Allentown, Pa.

*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after each football game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.

S: CB:

28 Eric Dixon 7 Daron Blaylock 16 Cody Quinn 19 Jaleel Hytchye 38 Eric Simmons

5-11, 187, Jr. 6-1, 214, So. 5-10, 170, So. 5-10, 175, Fr. 6-0, 203, Jr.

Mobile, Ala. Marietta, Ga. Middletown, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio Atlanta, Ga.

6-3, 224, So. 6-2, 220, Jr. 6-3, 246, Sr. 6-3, 187, So. 6-1, 208, So. 6-2, 189, Sr. 5-10, 175, Fr. 6-1, 208, So. 6-2, 189, Sr. 5-10, 158, Jr. 6-0, 190, Jr. 5-8, 187, Sr. 5-10, 158, Jr. 6-0, 190, Jr. 5-11, 205, So.

Rockton, Ill. Dublin, Ohio Friendsville, Tenn. Powell, Ohio Franklin, Tenn. LaGrange, Ga. Prattville, Ala. Franklin, Tenn. LaGrange, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Babson Park, Fla. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Babson Park, Fla. Gadsden, Ala.

SPECIALISTS S: H: K: P: KR: PR:

59 Kelly Mason 53 Matthew Adolph 89 Tyler Robinson 13 Jared Leet 9 Landon Foster 88 Joe Mansour 99 Austin McGinnis 9 Landon Foster 88 Joe Mansour 9 Demarco Robinson 8 Javess Blue 4 Raymond Sanders 9 Demarco Robinson 8 Javess Blue 23 Daryl Collins


Spurs & Feathers • 11

October 2, 2013

Divitas make a difference in the community by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

Community involvement is a core value of Charles and Judy Divita and for Firehouse Subs, which is why they have teamed up with the Gamecock Club as a Garnet Market member. The Divitas run six Firehouse Subs restaurants in the greater Columbia area, including one located near the heart of the University of South Carolina campus. “The campus is basically our community with regards to that restaurant and our constituents there are faculty, students and staff with a few people from the state capitol a couple of blocks away walking down,” Divita said. “Most of them are affiliated with our campus and our community and we’re involved in every one of our communities with all of our restaurants, so we want to be involved with this one. “We’re big Gamecock supporters and sports fans. We’ve gotten to know the athletes, trainers and coaches so we want to do everything that we can to be supportive of the athletic teams and their players and coaches,” Divita continued. “So when we were first approached by the Garnet Market we signed up our USC store … but then this year we thought, ‘you know what, there are Gamecock fans all over the community that we serve here’ … so we expanded it to all six of our restaurants.” The benefit offered by the Divitas at their restaurants is a free drink with the purchase of a sub when patrons show an active Gamecock Club membership card. He said that if a few visits taking advantage of this offering will help offset the cost of the Gamecock Club membership and it is a way to thank people for supporting South Carolina. The Divitas advertise with South Carolina in the Colonial Life Arena and have some spots on the radio and in print, but some of the advertising allocations are for the Gamecock Club. They have a a few spots on Coach Spurrier’s Thursday night call in show where they advertise for the Gamecock Club along with their restaurants. “We’re still going to be advertising Firehouse, so why not tie that into the Garnet Market as well,” Divita said. “It says something to this effect, ‘Judy and Charlie Divita invite you to join the Gamecock Club. The Divitas will somewhat offset the cost of your membership by offering a free drink every time you come in and have a delicious Firehouse Sub. Like the Gamecocks, Firehouse Subs are the very best. A small investment for a big return.’

“Then we say ‘join the Gamecock Club to join today’ and give the number. We give our locations in town and it gets our message across, but it also promotes the Gamecock Club … we’re going to spend the advertising money anyway, so why not promote the Gamecock Club. That’s why we’re doing it,” Divita explained. The Divitas help to support the University and Athletics Department in many ways including feeding the band, cheerleaders, some of the teams, both the Gamecocks and some opponents, whenever they are asked. They also take their employees to some football games, and the Divitas are basketball fans as well. “We love the women’s basketball team and we’re proud of their accomplishments. We’re looking forward to the men’s team coming back around under Frank Martin. We were involved when Devan Downey played at the arena also,” Judy Divita said. Community involvement has been important to the Divitas since they decided to open their restaurants in the Columbia area. Judy received her graduate degree from Carolina and she met Charles about 40 years ago in Columbia, so they thought there would be no better place than on campus and around the city to open their stores. One of the first events that led them to become involved when opening their franchises was when seven students died in a fire at a beach house in October of 2007. “We contacted Firehouse and said ‘what can we do’ … Firehouse and our foundation is about giving life-saving equipment to first responders,” Charles Divita explained. “So we made contact with the city of Columbia fire department and found out which two stations primarily served the campus community. Then we arranged for an equipment donation … about $6,000 worth of equipment, to be made in the names of those seven students who lost their lives. “We had a big event. Judy and I donated the equipment to the presidents of the fraternities and sororities that lost brothers and sisters in the fire … and they in turn donated it to the fire stations. It was a very moving event. That kind of just sealed us with the university community,” Divita said. The Divitas have remained involved in the campus through similar ways and other things as well and they are always conscious of being good citizens to the community, both on campus and in the city. Their franchise have also receive multiple awards for their work in the community and in the business world. They were

submitted photo

Charles and Judy Divita run six Firehouse Subs restaurants in the greater Columbia area. awarded as the National Franchisee of the Year and the National General Manager of the Year from Firehouse Subs in the past few years. They were also named the District 5 Business Partners of the Year by the school district in the greater Columbia area and they were named as one of six companies in the nation as the Most Valuable Player Award from Multi-Unit Franchise. “The big-picture reason of how we got here is part of our philosophy and Firehouse, and one of the reasons we like Firehouse Subs is because they are involved in the community the way Charlie described. So it was bringing a lot of points of interest together so we could provide service and also build a business in the universitytype community,” Judy Divita said.


12 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

Mural to celebrate Gamecock pride in Lexington county by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

commemorate this on the water tank that is located so close to the facility. “I am an undergrad and grad school graduA former football player is leading a proate of South Carolina and a former lettergram to help beautify the midlands and man, so I love the fact that we’re getting to show Carolina pride by creating a Gamedo this project to support the Gamecocks,” cock mural on the 88-foot tall water tank in Bryan said. “We’re also able to let GameCayce, S.C. cock fans contribute to the project. The water tank is located near the Colum“It’s going to make a new South Carolina bia Metropolitan Airport so recruits and vis- landmark. It is going to give major publicity itors will fly over it and gain a sense of that to the athletics department with it being tied they are near the heart of Gamecock Nation. into the University,” Bryan added. Former walk-on wide receiver and letterThe mural is going to be 20,000 square feet man Will Bryan, who played for Lou Holtz and the artwork is divided into 10,000 virtuas a member of the 2001 and 2002 Outback al squares that will be available for sponsorBowl teams, is the founder of Public Works ship for only $25 per square. There will be of HeART. This is a new company that a landmark sign beside the mural listing the partners with nonprofit organizations to help names of everyone that purchases a square. them raise awareness and money for their You can purchase one to 10 squares at $25 cause by using public art as the vehicle to each online at www.GamecockMural.com. do so. Along with the recognition on the landThe Lexington Gamecock Club initially mark sign beside the painted water tank, came to Bryan saying that they wanted to Public Works of HeART is partnering with celebrate the new golf practice facility’s the local Harvest Hope Food Bank to help location in Lexington county since it is the families in need in the area. only Carolina practice facility that is in “If all the squares are sold by Nov. 1, we Lexington. They originally had the idea to will be able to give $5 from each square to

Harvest Hope Food Bank. This means that we would be able to give $50,000 to Harvest Hope Food Bank to help families before the holidays,” Bryan said. Bryan said that the project will need to be funded by Nov. 1 to have the mural completed by the end of the year because the water tank can only be painted while it is empty. If it is not funded by then, the painting will have to wait until the next time the tank is emptied, most likely in the spring. The artwork for the mural was designed by Bryan, who earned a BA in Fine Arts in 2002 from South Carolina. It is designed to reflect the state’s natural beauty and to be a highly visible marker for the new golf practice facility. “Basically we’re painting the whole thing as a big sunset with a Palmetto tree and crescent moon with the silhouette of a golfer. It has city name Cayce on it, but the “C” in the name is the Block C with the Gamecock in it,” Bryan described. “Because it is so close to the airport and the whole top of the tank is round, we’re painting a giant golf ball with a big Block C and Gamecock on top of it. “This way all the planes flying into Co-

lumbia Metro will fly right over it. It will basically be a welcome to Gamecock country as soon as they get to Columbia,” Bryan continued. The painting of the mural will be done by Eric Henn, a nationally-awarded mural painter with 20 years of experience. Henn won the 2012 National Tnemec Tank of the Year Award and has done many fantastic murals on tanks like the one in Cayce for 20 years. He will hand-paint the design onto the tank. This project will help to create a new Gamecock landmark in the midlands and benefit the community as well. It will be a source of pride for Carolina fans throughout the region and a celebration of the expansion of the Athletics Department. To find out more about the project or to donate, visit www.GamecockMural.com and watch the video on the main page. You can also follow them on Twitter @PublicWrksOfHrt, or tweet them so questions and answers can reach a large audience. There is also an email form on the contact page of the website as well if you have more specific questions or need more than 140 characters.


Spurs & Feathers • 13

October 2, 2013

Gamecock men’s soccer looking to execute in conference play by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

The Gamecock men’s soccer program has been buoyed by fan support, contributions from young players and leadership by the older players to put themselves in good position as they head into the Conference USA portion of their schedule. “We’ve done very well. You know we do play a really tough out-of-conference schedule and that is to get us ready for the conference. At this point in time, I think our team has done exceptionally well …. I think overall, considering some of the injuries we’ve had and the youth of our team, we’re right on target,” head coach Mark Berson said. Berson recognized that the team has gotten all positive results playing at home, a fact which he credits not only to the players but to the home atmosphere as well. “Our record at home is outstanding, our fan support is unbelievable, the crowd has been tremendous and the student support has been outstanding. I want to especially thank the students and Carolina fans that have come out and supported us at home because it really does power our players. It really does give us a big lift at home,” Berson said. The players are learning the system and style of play that Berson wants to see from them and it has led them to positive home results because of the environment. He noted that every road trip is different for the team because soccer fields are not all uniform size and surface like you see in many other college sports.

“A lot of people don’t understand that a football field is a football field, a basketball court is a basketball court, but soccer fields are different. They are different dimensions, different sizes and different surfaces, so the different places you play present different challenges,” Berson explained. “Like at St. John’s we’re playing on a astroturf field on top of a parking garage, at Rutgers we’re playing on an entirely different field and same thing at Coastal. “So we do have to adjust when we go different places, but that is part of what we try to do with the team in the non-conference schedule is to try and get them ready for that,” Berson said. The Gamecocks have many tough conference road trips on the schedule, but Berson believes that the team has seen many different styles of play and can adapt on the road. He again credited the tough schedule that the team played in the non-conference portion as serving for great preparation for the competition they will see in Conference USA. Berson is pleased with the direction of the team, especially the contributions from the freshmen and sophomore classes. There are some freshmen starting and playing well, including goalkeeper Marco Velez who had to step into the middle of the game and has played well since stepping between the pipes. “I think number one that is the caliber of athlete that we recruit here, however, even with that, the first year is a complete adjustment. For the first time most of them are stepping out of their age

group,” Berson said. “Now they’re playing against 21 and 22 year old guys. The game is faster, everything is faster, so there is a learning curve going on simultaneously in their development at this point and they’ve done great. We’re really pleased. “We’re also really pleased with some of our older players for their leadership and helping to bring these guys along, so that has been really good,” Berson added. Berson said that the he is happy with the way that the team has come together thus far, and he is looking forward to the continued development and success of the team. He noted that the players have come together and learned the system and expectations, now it comes to execution for the remainder of the season. “I think we’ve reached the point now where we have an identity, a style we’re playing in and everyone now understands the roles and responsibilities,” Berson said. “Now it’s about execution. When you have chances you need to stick them away. You need to limit the number of opportunities you give the opponent when it gets to that level. “You can’t even really think about that level until you start to have all the pieces in play and now we do. So now we need to be able to take it and execute out of that. That is where we need to be better. We need to limit opportunities, we need to capitalize on the opportunities that we get and in the quality of teams that we’re playing and the schedule that we have, there are photos by Allen sharpe plenty of great opportunities in there,” Berson concluded. Berson and the Gamecocks enter Conference USA action undefeated at home at 2-0-2.


14 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

Where are they now? – Anthony Wright by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com “No question about it. I think about it all the time. If I hadn’t gone to South Carolina, I probably wouldn’t have played in the NFL,” former South Carolina quarterback Anthony Wright noted last week. “At the time, I was being recruited by a lot of schools in the ACC … a lot of the schools in the ACC were running the option at the time. You don’t really love the quarterback position running the option. They don’t really teach you how to read coverages … so being able to go to a school that allowed me to pass, which is what I wanted to do; I wanted to go to a school that was going to allow me to be able to pass, I was able to transfer what I learned in college over into the pros. That is how I was able to last so long (in the NFL), because I knew what I was doing. I was able to read coverages and I knew where to go with the ball,” Wright continued. That ability and understanding of how to play the quarterback position allowed the Vanceboro, N.C. native to play in the NFL for a stout 10 seasons. “Success is perceptive,” Wright remarked. “I look back on my career and I remember when I came out of high school going into my senior year I was the number three quarterback in the country behind Peyton Manning and Josh Booty. “When I think about where I came from, not having a father that played in the NFL, or not having a father that played sports period, coming from a small town of about 1,000 people – matter of fact, less than 1,000 people – and to be able to say that I played at a major university and to be able to say that I played in the NFL for 10 years, to be able to say that I was AFC Player of the Week, to be able to say that I’ve got a Super Bowl ring, to be able to say I have the ninth-best comeback in NFL history, to be able to say I played for the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, to be able to say what I did, that’s success,” Wright noted. Wright obviously would love to have a career that resembled Peyton Manning’s, but after retiring from the NFL after the 2009 season, Wright is comfortable with his place in history. “To see that I came from the situation I came from where I didn’t have a father that played or I didn’t have anybody around me to really teach me the game of football. I was just out there playing. I was just out there playing off straight talent. I just knew that I enjoyed what I was doing,” Wright said. The West Craven High School product is

quick to point out that without former South Carolina quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator John Reaves, he would not have been able to be as successful as he became. “Coach Reaves really showed me how to play the quarterback position, how to decipher what I was looking at. Without him, to be honest with you, I tell anybody … I give him all the credit for teaching me how to be a quarterback,” Wright remarked. The tutelage provided by Reaves, who left

Wright that saw him also play for the Dallas Cowboys (2000-02), the Baltimore Ravens (2002-05), the Cincinnati Bengals (2006) and the New York Giants (2007-08). Wright’s best performance in the professional ranks quite possibly came in the aforementioned game by Wright that was noted by the NFL as the ninth-best comeback in NFL history. Down 41-24 to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2003 season with just seven minutes remaining, the Wright-led Ravens tied the game at 41-all to send it into overtime. The Ravens would go on to win the game, 44-41, in overtime. In one of the most pivotal experiences of his playing career, Ravens head coach gave Brian Billick gave the game ball to his wife, Nicole, who was giving birth to their second child later that day. The comeback for the ages performance was part of a 2003 season that saw Wright go 5-2 as a starter for the Ravens. The Ravens won five of their last six games with Wright under center. Wright was the quarterback for the Ravens in their narrow playoff loss to Tennessee. Wright would conclude his NFL career with 3,590 yards passing in 31 games played. He started 19 of the 31 games in which he appeared. He picked up a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Giants’ Super XLII championship team. Since retiring, Wright has moved on to train quarterbacks in the Charlotte area. He does not work with a large grouping of quarterbacks, but rather with those who have a lot of potential such as Hough starting quarterback Josh Stilley, a pro-style quarterback who is being recruited by a number of FCS schools. He has also been working with Hough freshman Jackson Gibbs, who is Joe Gibbs’ grandson. Wright has been training Gibbs for three years. The training is just a small part of Wright’s post-football life as he also owns a couple small businesses, including Main Street Ice Cream Café in his hometown. Despite the numerous things going in his South carolina athletics media relations life, Wright is still extremely proud to be a Gamecock and thrilled at what head coach prior to Wright’s senior season, allowed him to Steve Spurrier and people like Clyde Wrenn, finish his Gamecock career that spanned from Special Assistant to Development, are doing to 1995-98 with 38 career touchdown passes and include former Gamecock lettermen in what is 432 career completions. Wright led the Game- taking place currently within the program. cocks in passing in 1996, 1997 and 1998. “I think it is something we should have been Wright is fifth among the Gamecock career doing a long time ago. Makes the guys feel appassing leaders with 5,681 yards passing. preciated in what they’ve done and make them Undrafted after his playing career at South feel like they can come back and be a part of Carolina was over, Wright was able to make the program … I think what coach Wrenn is the Pittsburgh Steelers roster as a free agent. doing is very welcome by the former players. The one-year stint with Pittsburgh in 1999 Everybody that is hearing about it is trying to was the beginning of a five-team odyssey for take advantage of it,” Wright concluded.


October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers • 15


16 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

South Carolina-UCF postgame notes

South Carolina athletics media relations General notes • South Carolina defeated UCF 28-25 to improve to 3-1 on the season. The Gamecocks return to action on Saturday, October 5 vs. Kentucky at WilliamsBrice Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. on FSN. • Captains for South Carolina were sophomore linebacker No. 21 Marcquis Roberts, sophomore tailback No. 22 Brandon Wilds, junior cornerback No. 27 Victor Hampton and senior offensive guard No. 67 Ronald Patrick. • With the victory, South Carolina is now 4-0 against UCF in the all-time series history. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier moves to 2-0 against the Knights as head coach of the Gamecocks and 3-0 in his career. His previous win was his first game at South Carolina, a 24-15 victory on September 1, 2005. He also defeated the Knights as head coach at Florida with a 58-27 win on September 11, 1999. • With the win, South Carolina extends winning streak against non-conference opponents to 12 games. South Carolina’s last non-conference loss came to Florida State in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. South Carolina’s regular season nonconference winning streak increases to 18 games as well. The Gamecocks last regular season non-conference loss was at Clemson in the final game of the 2008 regular season. • The Gamecocks have now been ranked in the Associated Press top-25 for 53 consecutive polls. The 53 straight weeks is the fifth-longest streak in the country. • The Kentucky game is the first of six straight SEC games for the Gamecocks. South Carolina leads the all-time series over Kentucky, 16-7-1. • South Carolina welcomes Kentucky having won 13 straight home games. The Gamecocks are 29-3 in their last 32 home games. • South Carolina’s 13-game home winning streak is the third-longest in the nation. The 13 straight home victories is tied for second in school history behind 15 straight home wins from 1978-80. Offensive notes • Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for career receiving yards at South Carolina. Ellington had four receptions for 88 yards vs. UCF and has 12 receptions for 199 yards in the last two games. He now has 71 career receptions for 1,040 yards. • Junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd

caught a career-high five receptions. Byrd finished with 74 receiving yards, his second highest total of receiving yards in a game in his career. • Sophomore tailback Mike Davis carried 26 times for a career-high 167 yards. His previous career-high was 149 yards at Georgia on September 7, 2013. Davis’ 53-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was his fourth career carry of 50 or more yards as well as his third of the season. He added a pair of 13-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter for his first career multi-TD game and he tied a school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with three that is held by many. The last Gamecock to have three rushing touchdowns in a game was Marcus Lattimore on September 17, 2011 vs. Navy. Davis now has six career rushing touchdowns; all have been recorded this year. • Junior quarterback Dylan Thompson was 15-for-32 in the air for 261 passing yards. That is his third-highest passing yard total in a game in his career. • South Carolina’s 11-play 97-yard drive in the third quarter was the longest scorphoto by allen sharpe ing drive by yards in the season for the Senior cornerback Jimmy Legree has now had an interception in the last two games. Gamecocks and the third scoring drive of the season of 90 or more yards. The drive was capped by Dylan Thompson’s 3-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown run of the season. Defensive notes • South Carolina tallied three interceptions in Saturday’s game, the most interceptions by the Gamecocks since four vs. East Carolina on September 8, 2012. • South Carolina limited UCF to just 69 net rushing yards, the lowest total of the season by an opponent. It is the lowest total by an opponent since Vanderbilt rushed for 62 yards on August 30, 2012. • Junior cornerback Victor Hampton recorded his first interception of the season in the second quarter and his third career interception. His last interception came in October 27, 2012 vs. Tennessee. • Senior cornerback Jimmy Legree’s interception in the third quarter marked the second straight game he has intercepted a pass. Legree now has five career interceptions. • Freshman linebacker T.J. Holloman tallied his first career interception in the fourth quarter. Special teams notes • Junior punter Tyler Hull punted three times for 141 yards including a long punt photo by allen sharpe of 47 yards. Two of three punts he was Junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd had a career-best five catches for 74 yards. credited with were inside the 20-yard line.


Spurs & Feathers • 17

October 2, 2013

South Carolina Gamecocks

2013

football Schedule

Standings Team

SEC

Pct. Overall

Pct. Home Away Neutral Streak

08/29/13..... vs. North Carolina ............Columbia, S.C. ............W, 27-10

Eastern

09/07/13 .... at #11 Georgia..................Athens, Ga. ..................L, 41-30

Florida

2 - 0

1.000

3 - 1

.750

2-0

1-1

0-0

W2

Georgia

2 - 0

1.000

3 - 1

.750

3-0

0-1

0-0

W3

South Carolina 1 - 1

.500

3 - 1

.750

2-0

1-1

0-0

W2

09/28/13 .... at UCF..............................Orlando, Fla. ................W, 28-25

Missouri

0 - 0

.000

4 - 0

1.000

3-0

1-0

0-0

W4

10/05/13 .... vs. Kentucky.....................Columbia, S.C. ........... 7:30 p.m.

Kentucky

0 - 1

.000

1 - 3

.250

1-2

0-0

0-1

L2

Tennessee

0 - 1

.000

3 - 2

.600

3-0

0-2

0-0

W1

Vanderbilt

0 - 2

.000

3 - 2

.600

2-1

1-1

0-0

W2

09/14/13 .... vs. Vanderbilt....................Columbia, S.C. ............W, 35-25

10/12/13 .... at Arkansas.......................Fayetteville, Ark. ................. TBA 10/19/13 .... at Tennessee....................Knoxville, Tenn. .................. TBA

Western

10/26/13 .... at Missouri........................Columbia, Mo. .................... TBA

Alabama

2 - 0

1.000

4 - 0

1.000

2-0

1-0

1-0

W4

Auburn

1 - 1

.500

3 - 1

.500

3-0

0-1

0-0

L1

LSU

1 - 1

.500

4 - 1

.800

3-0

0-1

1-0

L1

11/16/13 ..... vs. Florida.........................Columbia, S.C. ................... TBA

Ole Miss

1 - 1

.500

3 - 1

.750

1-0

2-1

0-0

L1

11/23/13 ..... vs. Coastal Carolina..........Columbia, S.C. ................... TBA

Texas A&M

1 - 1

.500

4 - 1

.800

3-1

1-0

0-0

W2

Arkansas

0 - 1

.000

3 - 2

.600

3-1

0-1

0-0

L2

Mississippi St.

0 - 1

.000

2 - 2

.500

2-0

0-1

0-1

W1

11/02/13 ..... vs. Mississippi State.........Columbia, S.C. ................... TBA

11/30/13 ..... vs. Clemson......................Columbia, S.C. ................... TBA


18 • Spurs & Feathers

I never got the chance to ask Paul Dietzel. By the time I heard the story and contacted his son about an interview, the coach’s health had begun to decline. Indulging the curiosity of a broadcaster was, understandably, a low priority. Dietzel, the former head football coach and athletic director at South Andy Demetra Carolina, passed Contributing Writer away last Tuesday at the age of 89. In his eight years at Carolina (1966-74), Dietzel left a legacy that can still be felt today. He was the architect of a conference champion football team, the driving force behind the first facilities boom, and the man who hired Bobby Richardson to transform the baseball program. He also wrote the Carolina fight song and created the Gamecock logo that’s still in use today. Therein lies one of the great legends of South Carolina athletics. For the past month, I had been trying to find the answer. Some people who have been associated with the Gamecocks for decades had never heard the story. Others thought they had, but couldn’t recall where. Most agree: knowing the coach, they wouldn’t be surprised if it was true.

October 2, 2013

Did Paul Dietzel hide his initials in the Gamecock logo? If anyone knows the intricacies of the Gamecock, it’s Eddie Dunning. The grounds crew member has painted the logo at midfield of Williams-Brice Stadium for the past 30 years. While describing his painting process to me last month, Dunning paused to ask a question. “You know Coach Dietzel’s initials are inside the Gamecock?” he said. At first I thought Dunning was trying to pull a fast one. After all, I had seen the Gamecock thousands, if not millions of times. Then he traced the backside of the logo. Sure enough, where the top tail feathers curl and overlap, a “P” and “D” start to become visible. Could Dietzel’s initials have been under our noses this whole time? Among his projects when he took office in 1966 was a makeover of the Gamecock logo. The previous one, drawn by political cartoonist Jak Smyrl for $10, featured a fully open gamecock – a perfectly good emblem, but a far cry from the snarling tiger that Dietzel’s old school, LSU, used. Dietzel had a noted artistic side, and took an active role in the new logo’s design. “Coach Dietzel was very creative. He loved to draw and paint,” said Emily White, the athletic department’s longtime secretary. My broadcast partner for baseball, Tommy Moody, says a hidden symbol would have fit Dietzel’s personality.


Spurs & Feathers • 19

October 2, 2013

“Coach Dietzel might have wanted to put his stamp on it somehow, just because he was about originality,” he said. But neither White nor Moody knew if the initials story was true. So I asked Don Barton, South Carolina’s venerable former sports information director, for insight. Barton, 89, worked closely with Dietzel and remains a walking encyclopedia of Gamecock history. Barton said a man from Velvetex Incorporated in Columbia, Martin Hyman, drafted the original version of the Gamecock. The bird faced right to left. Dietzel didn’t like that. “It was in a fighting mood, but Paul Dietzel thought it looked like it was retreating,” he said. Barton said Dietzel rejected the logo, and asked Bill Smith, the team’s dentist and an amateur artist, to draw a more defiant-looking version. Smith’s Gamecock made its debut Sept. 24, 1966, when South Carolina opened its home football schedule against Memphis State. The logo - now framed by the Block C - remains in use today, with only minor touch-ups throughout the years. But Barton didn’t know if the initials story was true, either. I finally asked Dietzel’s son, Steve. Had his Dad ever told him about slipping a “P.D.” into the Gamecock? “Dad vaguely remembered the initials and having placed them somewhere,” Steve wrote in an e-mail. His account, though, varied from White’s and Barton’s. “I have always thought Dad actually drew the Gamecock himself and remembered he took other Gamecock pic-

Photo caption here.

tures and decided to trim it down to a more fierce bird! I remembered the trimming down process and again thought Dad actually drew it himself,” he wrote. Could Dietzel have taken Smith’s design and modified the feathers to form his initials? Did Smith add them on his own as a sly tribute to his friend? Or was this all just a blissful coincidence? Alas, only one person could tell us for certain. And he left us on Tuesday. Sports are littered with tales like these, where the line between fact and fiction is blurred over time. Sometimes they get debunked. Other times the trail of confirmation runs cold, and people assume they never happened. And sometimes we let these stories live in a beautiful in-between, never knowing if they’re true or not - and frankly, not caring to find out - happy to accept them as part of our shared sporting heritage. The story of whether Paul Dietzel laced his initials into the Gamecock logo may forever be shrouded in mystery, its answer left in the eye of the beholder. Barton, weighing the story against his own recollections, summarized it like this: “it’s probably somewhere between a legend and a myth.” And perhaps it’s best to leave it at that. Whether done intentionally or not, fans should always see a little of Paul Dietzel in the Gamecock. **Thanks to Tommy Moody for providing the cover from the 1966 South Carolina-Memphis State football program. Credit to USC archives for the 1964 Century Club logo.**


20 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

south carolina athletics media relations

The Gamecocks had a great showing at the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The event was held on the same course that will host the 2013 SEC Championship meet. Junior Meredith Mill (left) finished in seventh individually at the event, while freshman Mary Reiser (right) finished in 12th.

Gamecock cross country strides toward SEC, regionals meets by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

petitive atmosphere at the front and the sheer number of people competing at the meets, up to about 300 competitors at the Regionals. The South Carolina cross country team has “We have to not get overwhelmed by that been able to see some success thus far this and know that we’re doing well and runseason with the contributions from younger ning well even if there are 50 or 100 people members of the squad. in front of us, whatever the case may be for Coach Andrew Allden said that he has en- our number five or number eight,” Allden couraged to see the youth on the roster mak- explained. “That is kind of a big part of the ing an impact in the meets, but also the upexperience that hopefully we will be able to perclassmen have competed well and helped gain over the next couple of weeks and carry to bring along some of the younger members. with us going forward, not just into confer“To me the biggest thing is that they (the ence and regionals, but into next year and underclassmen) have run up to their fitness beyond.” level and run up to their ability level. As they The SEC Championship meet will be at get fitter and more mature, there is no reason the same course in Gainesville, Fla. where to believe that they won’t continue to do that the team finished fourth out of 13 teams at and progress,” Allden said. “One of the nice the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the things is that they have stuck their nose in University of Florida. The Gamecocks were there and said ‘if I’m running number five in led in that race by Mill, a team co-captain, workouts I should be running number five in who placed seventh followed by freshman races’ … so they’ve not be deferential in that Mary Reiser finishing 12th. regard and that is good to see. “To me the exciting thing about Mary Rei“I think the upperclassmen are in the mix ser’s finish, in addition to it being 12th, is and are going to continue to be in the mix. that she only got beat by two freshmen and We’ve got someone who academically is a one of those freshmen was literally the persenior but eligibility-wise is a junior in Mer- son right in front of her in 11th,” Allden said. edith Mill who is having what I can only de- “So I feel like she is setting herself up to scribe as a career year. She is running better make a run for the All-SEC Freshman Team than she ever has, so it’s kind of nice to have if she continues to stay healthy and preform somebody mature up front,” Allden added. at the level that she is performing at now … The upcoming portion of the Gamecocks’ that would certainly be a nice accomplishschedule has them heading to meets that are ment for her.” relatively large races and are good preparaAllden said that the SEC will be a tough tion for the SEC Championship and NCAA conference and it will be difficult for the Southeast Regionals in November. He said team to replicate their ninth place finish from the team is getting used to seeing the comlast season because they lost four of its top

five runners from that team due to graduation and injury. Also all of the other teams in the SEC should improve throughout the season and some that the Gamecocks placed above last year have made big improvements as well, but Allden still likes their chances “I think as we move toward the conference meet, those upperclassmen who at Florida ran seven and eight for us will kind of assert themselves a little bit more and be a little bit more in the mix with our younger top four or five,” Allden said. Allden explained that the team has a good group running in the four through 12 positions on the team and there is not much difference between them, with a spread of only about 30 seconds separating these runners’ finishes. He said that this will help the team going forward because some runners may be able to take risks and knock other teams further back in the meets by penetrating others’ top-five competitors. Another advantage of the grouping is the confidence that comes from so many teammates running closely and competitively. That way, if one runner starts to move forward and improve, the rest of the group will see that and feel that they can do the same, Allden explained. The team trains specifically for the 6K distance so that the younger runners who are transitioning from running 5Ks in high school will have the confidence to attack the distance. This is a big change from the last time Allden was a coach at South Carolina when the collegiate competitions were also 5K distances, but he has adapted his training

techniques to give the underclassmen confidence that they can handle the 20 percent increase in distance. He also said that the underclassmen have done well to make the transition from being the best athlete on their team in high school to understanding the team aspect of collegiate cross country and “pack running.” Allden also recognized some of the Gamecocks who are South Carolina high school products for their contributions thus far. Sophomore Anna Tood is running in third position this year and freshman Anna Falta ran number nine for the Gamecocks at the meet in Florida. He noted that they have done well and helped to spark some of the early season successes that the team hopes to continue throughout the rest of the schedule. “I feel like we’re not far away from where we ultimately want to be. So that’s where we are in the immediate past of the season, but moving forward we are headed to a pretty competitive stretch of our season with a couple of national-caliber meets with a number of the top-30 teams competing,” Allden commented. “Again the challenge as we move forward is we’re going to be moving into races where it will be a major accomplishment to finish 10th or 20th as a team in these meets. “Confidence is certainly a factor and I think we’ve got a lot of confidence. The women have a lot of confidence in how they’re doing in practice and that has translated well in our races so far. Hopefully we can keep that going throughout the rest of the season,” Allden said.


October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers • 21


22 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

Nothing but net for Figger

Assistant pumped about work with young team by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

“As far as responsibilities go, it’s all divided up in thirds amongst us three assistants. We depend on each other to help one another and South Carolina men’s basketball head if we couldn’t do that then we would have coach Frank Martin recently promoted Matt problems,” Figger said. “We all have a hand Figger to the role of associate head coach. in everything and that’s the reason that I have Figger has been with Martin for the past been with Coach Martin for as long as I have. seven years, including at Kansas State prior “You don’t leave situations where you to joining Martin’s staff at Carolina shortly have great chemistry unless it’s an opporafter his arrival. tunity that you just can’t turn down … but I “Basically it is just a new title and the same wouldn’t want to be an assistant coach any job is all it is. Nothother place. That’s ing changes with the because working for job and I don’t think “They’re so eager because him allows me to that any more or less be who I am and he responsibility comes they’re young and to me allows everyone in with the title,” Figger that’s the biggest thing. this office to be who explained. “Being they are. That’s why Sometimes when you with Frank for so we’ve had success long, I guess it’s just in the past with what have young guys who that if you do your we’ve done,” Figger job the right way for don’t think they know explained. so long, then people The coaching staff’s want to give you pro- it all, they’re clay and work on player develmotions. is not limited they’re going to mold into opment “I’ve been around to basketball alone, as so many good people whatever shape we put there is a strong focus that it’s really a credon life skills and dethem into. So that’s what is velopment as people it to the guys that I work with more than off the court as well. going to make it fun.” me,” Figger said. Figger said that these - Matt Figger lessons are not limFigger has been the recruiting coordinaited to the players, tor for the Gamecocks, requiring him to help but the coaches also have the opportunity to bring players into the program. This aspect learn from Martin. has been especially important with the cur“Frank has taught me as much about life rent youth movement on the team led by the and things like responsibility, loyalty and seven freshmen on the roster. He said the things like that. The life lessons are far more biggest thing in the recruiting process is try- than the actual basketball lessons. It’s what ing to find players that will fit the personali- makes him so easy to work for because it’s ties and culture at South Carolina. not a business relationship. It’s a personal The recruiting objectives are easy for the friendship that has covered a lot of years … program because Martin makes the require- it’s been a friendship and a working partnerments known Figger said. He added that a ship with him. He makes things easy for all player that fits at Carolina may not be right of us.” for other programs, but what works for other With the beginning of full team practices programs in the conference may not work for finally arriving, the excitement level in the them. men’s basketball offices are extremely high. The coaching staff works closely in con“We’re really excited just to see all of the cert with one another and Figger said that he new guys. We’ve been on the court with doesn’t do any job alone. His job does not them for awhile, but just getting the chance stop at recruitment, as he helps with the play- to see these kids grow and where we can take er development in practices and outside of things and develop,” Figger said. “I haven’t basketball. He noted that the titles are a way been excited to get on the court with a group to help with career advancement because of guys like this in awhile. They’re so imMartin sees his whole staff with the potential pressionable and they want to learn. to be head coaches in the future. “They’re so eager because they’re young

SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

Matt Figger was promoted to associate head coach last week by Frank Martin. and to me that’s the biggest thing. Sometimes when you have young guys who don’t think they know it all, they’re clay and they’re going to mold into whatever shape we put them into. So that’s what is going to make it fun,” Figger added. The coaching staff, including Figger, is looking to the young players to help establish a culture and identity with the program. The youth movement is the way to do this because these student-athletes can lay the groundwork for future players that come in. Figger said that creating the culture of hard work and success is of the upmost importance to the program at this point. He will

play a large part in helping to establish these practices in order to bring success to the Gamecocks on the hardwood. “In the future, hopefully we’ve laid the culture the right way to where those guys can manage the new guys that come in,” Figger said. “That’s what we established at Kansas State was whatever new guys came in, we didn’t have to teach it because we already had guys in place who showed those players to do things the way we wanted. “That’s what we’ve got to do here. Any program, if you want to win and have consistency, then that is how it has to be done,” Figger concluded.


October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers • 23

In the film room with the Assistant AD for Video Operations by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

that run on a delay. The cameras take high definition video of the student-athletes and send it to a viewing station so that the student-athletes Many of us hear about coaches and players can see video of what they have just done to breaking down game tape or studying in the break it down better. The system was first film room to improve, but this would not be implemented for the swimming team last year possible at South Carolina without the video and now has been utilized in the hitting area at operations staff. the new softball facility. Heading the department is Assistant Athletic With technological advancements, the video Director for Video Operations Joe Lisle and his delivery system is less time consuming than in responsibilities are not limited to football alone. the past because all the footage is made availFootball does take the majority of time for able over a private network that Lisle manages Lisle, especially when in season, but he said which serves about 35 computers. The football that they do take care of every sport. All prac- players also received iPads which have an app tices, games and opponent breakdowns fall that they can upload the video to for the players under the responsibility of Lisle and his staff. to watch. “I have actually three full-time assistants. I “We make it available for them so they can have one that does men’s basketball, I have one watch when we travel. They can go home and that does women’s basketball and I have one watch stuff at night when they want to. Of that is my assistant in football but he is also in course we do everything here (at the football charge of baseball,” Lisle explained. “I’ve got facility) also,” Lisle said. “We have meeting some GA’s and some part-time employees that rooms and they come in and watch stuff when do soccer for men and women and whatever they need to. We pretty much keep it open and else we’ve got to do. keep the kids involved as much as possible. “We can’t quite cover everything, but I will “When I don’t hear anything back that means help the other sports purchase their equipment, everything is good. I kind of get joy from hearget them set up for whatever they need to do ing nothing because usually you only hear and we have a manager take care of everything back when there is something bad. ‘Hey my they need,” Lisle said. “We’re getting sand vol- computer is not working, this isn’t working or leyball set up and softball with the new facility whatever.’ When you don’t hear anything it is over there.” pretty good for me,” Lisle added. The system used for swimming and diving He said that he and the staff work seven days and softball are based off time lapse cameras a week, sometimes with late nights following

a game, to get the video ready for the coaches and players. A typical day has Lisle arriving at 8 a.m. and working until about an hour after practice unless there is extra work or something strange happens. He added that they are lucky to have understanding wives and children who support their work and all the hours they put must put in, but he also credits his staff for making his job easier. photo by allen sharpe “You’re only as good The efforts of Lisle and his staff allow players such as Clowney as the people you have the opportunity to study film before and after games. around you and I have a tremendous staff. Paul McGee has been with me since 2000 and he is my been fun to be around and involved in some of full-time assistant with football and does base- the changes as the facilities and program have ball. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t improved. have him helping me,” Lisle commented. “He Ultimately like many other Gamecock and takes care of the defensive side of the ball and football fans throughout the Southeast, Lisle he’s my sideline shooter. He does a phenomsaid that the highlight of his job is gameday on enal job. I actually probably wouldn’t be doing Saturdays. this if I didn’t have such great help.” “Really my favorite part is - everybody Lisle has been the football video coordinator wants to go to the games - and I’ve been lucky for the Gamecocks for 17 years and has been enough to get to see every game since 1997, twice honored as Collegiate Sports Video As- both home and away. You’ve got to look forsociation’s Outstanding SEC Video Coordina- ward to Saturday. That’s what we do this for all tor, most recently in 2011. He said that it has week long,” Lisle concluded.

‘The Gamecock Club would not run without Tracy Murphy’ by Brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

Murphy said. “It’s not like a regular customer service job. We do solicit members, but for the most part people want to be a “Tracy Murphy is the face of the Gamepart of Gamecock Nation so it is not as difcock Club.” ficult as trying to sell a product that is hard The statement is something in which to sell.” Gamecock Club Assistant Tracy Murphy is Born in South Carolina, Murphy, due to not entirely comfortable, but according to her father being in the military, spent most Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick of her formative years in Illinois at Scott Air McFarland that is exactly Murphy’s role. Force Base in St. Clair County, Ill. “The Gamecock Club would not run withMurphy would eventually return to her out Tracy Murphy,” McFarland commented. Palmetto State roots to attend the UniverMurphy is the face you see when you first sity of South Carolina. She graduated from come into the Gamecock Club offices and South Carolina in 1991. her voice is likely the voice you hear when Murphy double majored during her underyou call the Gamecock Club offices. graduate years at South Carolina, obtaining Murphy’s friendly personality is a wela degree in Personnel Management and come sight or voice for Gamecock Club Finance. members. During her time as a student at the UniverMurphy has been with the Gamecock Club sity, Murphy attended sporting events as a since 2007 after transitioning over from her social event, but at the time she knew South spot working with former South Carolina Carolina “was the Gamecocks and that was Senior Woman Administrator Val Sheley. about it.” Murphy has embraced every moment since She of course never imagined that she joining the Gamecock Club staff. would be working for the Gamecock Club. “It’s been fun. I really enjoy what I do,” “I had no idea what I would have been do-

ing, but fundraising would not have come to “It is a great job for me because it is very mind,” Murphy noted. family-friendly,” Murphy said. “I wouldn’t Things have changed completely for Mur- want to work anywhere else. As long as they phy. Now her knowledge of what is going on will have me, I will be here.” within the athletics department is something in which she has to rely on daily. She is now even a sports fan. “I enjoy it. I never thought I would say that. I have moved from collegiate to professional football as well,” Murphy said. Murphy is the mother of three: Ryan (25), Allyson (21, senior at South Carolina and former manager for the Track & Field team) and Madison (14). The Murphy family are huge Gamecock fans with her husband, Duane, and her son attending all the Gamecock home football games. It seems now that not only could the Gamecock Club not run without Tracy Murphy, but Tracy Murphy could not function without Gamecock athletics. In fact, Murphy sees herself working in the Gamecock Club for many more years, mainly due to the family atmosphere that permeates the Gamecock athletic department.


24 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

photo by MIKE KUCHARSKI

Wet weather brings beach-like conditions to practice by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

bigger adjustments than the rain and there are many interesting dynamics that The University of South the student-athletes may be Carolina sand volleyball seeing for the first time. He team continues to prepare again added that being able for its inaugural season with to adapt to the environment team practices, highlighted is one of the paramount by the team’s first rain prac- requirements to success in tice. sand volleyball. Head Coach Moritz Moritz “You can play a particusaid that despite the weath- lar way when it is perfect er, the student-athletes still and no wind, but there are maintained the enthusiasm places where it is swirling he has seen throughout the and things like that,” Moritz year thus far. explained. “You just say “We were doing a drill ‘okay, we don’t want to pass before I let them play and the ball as high because now it started raining a little bit. you have this 18 mile-perThey said ‘first rain prachour wind and where you tice!’ and then they we’re thought the ball was, it is fired up to go for it,” Moritz now five feet away.’ said. “You have to adjust and Moritz added that it is tighten it up even more than good the team is getting to you do initially and keep the face more weather elements ball at a lower trajectory. with wind and rain because Not faster necessarily, but it will help them learn more keeping the ball lower so adaptability. He said that we’re not succumbing to the the wind may cause the wind as much. It is a game

of constant adjustments,” Moritz said. One of the student-athletes, Litsa Darby, has had some experience playing in the sand from summer leagues and tournaments in her hometown of Charleston, S.C. She said that the weather in Charleston allowed her to gain experience of playing in rain and other less-than-ideal conditions. “I love playing in the rain. I think I like playing in the rain sometimes more in competition than playing in the wind or sun. I am faster than some other players so I think that it gives me a competitive advantage, so I like the rain,” Darby said. Darby has always played indoor volleyball thorough high school and club teams, but enjoyed her prior sand experience as well. She noted she had some familiarity with playing in the sand, but the work thus far with coach

Moritz has taken her game to the next level. “It’s definitely different than playing indoors, that’s for sure. It has been tough on my legs, but it is fun and exciting being out here. It is definitely a change of momentum and a different sport,” Darby said. An interesting aspect of playing in Columbia is the presence of trains and train whistles that run throughout downtown, which may be an advantage when the Gamecocks host teams at their facility. The Gamecocks are currently practicing on the sand courts at the Blatt PE Center for the most part which are located between two train tracks. Moritz said the team will be used to the extraneous noise, especially the train whistles, that some of their opponents may not be expecting when they visit Columbia.

Moritz said that he is glad for the opportunity to use the current courts, but is looking forward to moving the team to their own facility when it is finished. There has been more progress on the new facility and Moritz said that he goes down to check out the progress every day and sees a little more done each day. “We have a weekly meeting and the contractors and those people talk about stuff … I perk up when they start talking about the sand and the poles and things that I know,” Moritz said. “They’re knocking that thing out quickly. Another three, four or five weeks we’ll have our own facility and that will be awesome.” Paralleling the daily progress with the facility, there is progress with the team each day. Moritz said that he believes the ‘game teaches the game,’ so the team is doing

a lot of scrimmaging against one another with different pairings all the time. He said that he has started to see them learn more about spacing and playing in the sand and they have begun to make adjustments in practice on their own as well. Moritz noted that this is all part of the process of getting the program where it needs to be and Darby echoed his excitement of being involved in creating the program from the ground level. “It feels awesome and I’m so excited. It’s great to have a great coach, great staff supporting us, the team is great and the girls are great. It’s really exciting. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m so happy to be a part of the program. I can’t wait to see how it goes this year. It is definitely a big opportunity for all of us,” Darby concluded.


Spurs & Feathers • 25

October 2, 2013

Upcoming South Carolina Athletics Events zz October 2 Cross Country Gamecock Invitational #2...................6 p.m. Men’s Tennis at ITA qualifying..................................................All day Women’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships....All day zz October 3 New York City Gamecock Club Weekly Football Game-Watching Event Saturdays at The Mason Jar. The best place to watch Gamecock football if you can’t be at Williams-Brice! Located at 43 E 30th Street in Manhattan, with a Gamecock-inspired menu and discounts for Gamecock fans. Call them at: (212) 213-3587. For more information, check out the website at: www. nycgamecocks.com or email chapter president JR Buzzelli at gamecockclubofgny@gmail.com. Darlington County Gamecock Club - Board meeting Monday, October 7, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. Heritage Community Bank 206 South Fifth Street in Hartsville, S.C. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. All Gamecock fans are invited to attend! New York City Gamecock Club Tuesday, October 8; 6-8 p.m. at The Mason Jar Cost: $20.00 Please join us as we welcome USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner to NYC. Appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be on hand. There will be a ton of great prizes and raffle items from the Gamecock Club. RSVP on NYC Gamecocks Facebook page or by emailing scalumniofnyc@gmail.com. Schedule: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Gamecock Happy Hour; 7:00 7:20 p.m.: Coach Tanner talk and Q & A; 7:20 - 8:00 p.m.: Photos, autographs, raffle winners.

P.O. Box 5146, Spartanburg, SC 29304 Please remember reserved bus seats DO NOT include game tickets. Please contact Glenn Cox, (864) 597-8380, with questions. USC Aiken Men’s Basektball Tip-Off Banquet Special guest speaker: Gamecocks’ men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin October 29 at USC Aiken Convocation Center Meet and greet session starting at 6 p.m. with the banquet starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the meet and greet and banquet, $35 for the banquet only. Contact USC Aiken Athletics at (803) 641-3486 or USC Aiken men’s basketball head coach Vince Alexander at (803) 641-3438 for tickets. Darlington County Gamecock Club Election Monday, November 4, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. Heritage Community Bank 206 South Fifth Street in Hartsville, S.C.w Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. All Gamecock fans are invited to attend!

Women’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships....All day zz October 4 Women’s Soccer at Florida..........................................................7 p.m. Volleyball vs. Arkansas...............................................7 p.m. Men’s Tennis at ITA main draw.................................................All day Women’s Tennis at ITA All-American Championships.......All day Equestrian at Deleware State........................................................ TBA Women’s Tennis at Duckworth Classic................................ All Day zz October 5 Football vs. Kentucky............................................ 7:30 p.m. Equestrian vs. SMU............................................................................. TBA Women’s Tennis at Duckworth Classic................................ All Day Women’s Tennis at Duckworth Classic................................ All Day

Spartanburg County Gamecock Club – October Meeting Thursday, October 17th 7 p.m. at Spartanburg Downtown Marriott Convention Center “Catching up with Yolanda and Vern” Guest Speakers: Yolanda & Vern Smith, parents of Marcus Lattimore. Come hear it from the parents’ viewpoint ... his years at Carolina, the injuries, the NFL Draft, his faith and his life with the 49ers. Admission is FREE and open to all Gamecock fans. Spartanburg County Gamecock Club “Leave the driving to us!” First come, first serve so don’t wait; seats will fill up fast! Oct. 19 - Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.) COST: Early Bird (Before Sept. 15th) $50/seat; After Sept. 15th $55/seat) Departure Time & Place: Jason Deli’s Parking Lot (W.O. Ezell Blvd. Spartanburg), time:TBA (once gametime is confirmed) Please make Check payable to : Spartanburg County Gamecock Club Mail to:

Men’s Tennis at ITA main draw.................................................All day

Men’s Tennis at ITA main draw................................................All day zz October 6 Women’s soccer at Tennessee...................................................1 p.m. Men’s soccer vs. Tulsa..................................................1 p.m. Volleyball vs. Texas A&M...................................... 1:30 p.m. Women’s Tennis at Duckworth Classic................................ All Day Women’s Tennis at Duckworth Classic................................ All Day Men’s Tennis at ITA main draw................................................All day Home events are............................................................................... Bold

Don’t forget to check the calendar on spursandfeathers.com for all upcoming events.


26 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

SEC announces seven women’s basketball games to be televised South Carolina Athletics Media Relations

against Florida on Sun., Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. SEC TV, which is aired locally in Columbia The Southeastern Conference last week by WOLO (ABC Columbia), will broadcast announced its 2013 women’s basketball South Carolina hosting Arkansas on Sun., conference television schedule, which inFeb. 9, at 2 p.m. cludes seven South Carolina games among Most of the Gamecocks’ regionally the 58-game regular-season package that televised games will be available as part spans four networks. The Gamecocks will of ESPN Full Court, the pay subscription be on the ESPN family of networks four college basketball out-of-market service, times (two ESPN2, two ESPNU) in addiand on ESPN3.com. All programming on tion to two games on SportSouth (SPSO) ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will be availand one on SEC TV. South Carolina exable on computers at WatchESPN.com and pects to announce its non-conference teleon smartphones and tablets via the Watvision schedule in the coming weeks. chESPN app to fans who receive their video South Carolina kicks off its four nationsubscription from an affiliated provider. ally televised games when it hosts Vander- Information on both will be available the bilt on Sun., Jan. 5, at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. week of the game on GamecocksOnline. The network will also air the regular-season com. finale as the Gamecocks travel to TennesIn addition to the regular-season slate, see for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff on Sun., March 2. all SEC Tournament games will air live. ESPN2 will carry South Carolina’s games In South Carolina, SportSouth will air all at Vanderbilt on Sun., Jan. 26, and at LSU games of the first three days of the event on Sun., Feb. 16, at 3:30 p.m. (March 5-7). ESPNU will carry the semifiFans can watch the Gamecocks at Aunals, and ESPN will air the championship burn, on SportSouth on Sun., Jan. 12, and game.

South Carolina Televised Games Sun., Jan. 5 - vs. Vanderbilt - 1 p.m. - ESPNU Sun., Jan. 12 - at Auburn - 2:30 p.m. - SPSO Sun., Jan. 26 - at Vanderbilt - 2 p.m. - ESPN2 Sun., Feb. 9 - vs. Arkansas - 2 p.m. - SECTV Sun., Feb. 16 - at LSU - 3:30 p.m. - ESPN2 Sun., Feb. 23 - vs. Florida - 1 p.m. - SPSO Sun., Mar. 2 - at Tennessee - 2:30 p.m. - ESPNU


Spurs & Feathers • 27

October 2, 2013

The Brian Shah Classic held its sixth annual edition on July 26, 2013.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Brian and Ashley Shah pose with Gamecock great Marcus Lattimore.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Fraternity bonds help brothers drive for a good cause by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

tournament have been a huge help and the support surprised both Brian and Ashley. “I thought it was going to be 10 or 20 guys The bonds of fraternity brotherhood and getting together the first time,” Brian Shah football have remained strong throughout the said. “It’s unbelievable what they have done years to now help a family in its time of need. for us. Over the years they have come by to Brian Shah is a Carolina graduate from help with things the we, or Ashley, cannot do 1998 and a Sigma Nu brother who ran the on our own.” Gamecock Gear in Williams-Brice Stadium Shah said that the guys really got back in from 1997-99 and worked in the ticket office touch together once they moved back to Coas a student. lumbia, getting together for football games Shah was diagnosed with ALS, often and tailgating. Other than football, the only known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2007 and way a lot of the brothers previously were able two of his fraternity brothers, Eddie Dowling to see each other was at weddings because it and Matt Goddard serve on the committee can be hard to stay in touch, especially before that set up the Brian Shah Classic. The Brian social media and email became as prevalent Shah Classic is a golf tournament which held as they are today. its sixth annual edition on July 26, 2013. The “Brian and Ashley moved back in February golf tournament is an annual event organized or March of 2007 and that is when he started by his friends and colleagues with all proto see symptoms,” Goddard said. “Even ceeds of this tournament going directly to though they were back here, a lot of us had Shah and his wife, Ashley, to assist with the dispersed at the time … so realistically, for a medical costs associated with ALS. lot of the first time that we got to see Brian at “He was diagnosed in November of 2007 a non-wedding was that first football season and it was that winter that Eddie and Matt they were back. called him … asking if the tournament would “I got married in January of 2008 and the be something that Brian would mind if they night of our rehearsal dinner Eddie and I kind did for us,” Ashley Shah said. “We had a lot of hatched this idea. It was based on us seeing of help from a variety of fraternity brothers. some of the symptoms after not seeing them “One was a realtor so he helped us lookfor a couple of years. It was kind of fortunate ing for homes with the expectations that we that it all came back to us getting together for would have to plan for … a real estate attorCarolina football,” Goddard continued. ney to help us with closing and those kinds Dowling said that the commonality that of things,” Ashley continued. “They have they all had was the Gamecock football always played a part throughout all of this in games that brought them all back together afdifferent ways and aspects. Different brothers ter college. He also said this is not surprising have come to a head at different times based because the Sigma Nu fraternity has always on what their strengths are, what they offer been associated with Gamecock football. and what we needed.” “We did the game ball run every year, we The brothers who have helped with the stormed the field in Clemson in the 1960s

wearing Clemson jerseys as the ‘Clemson Caper,’ Todd Ellis was a Sigma Nu when he was at Carolina as was Tommy Suggs. It’s funny because the football games for us, even though we weren’t great during those lean years, have always been the common bond for us to come back together,” Dowling said. Shah said that some of his favorite memories from Carolina are based around the football team including watching the Gamecocks earn the program’s first bowl victory in the Carquest bowl led by Steve Tanneyhill. He also recalled traveling to Baton Rouge, La. to watch the Gamecocks take on LSU in their first trip there as members of the SEC and the many times tailgating with the brothers at Tally Ho. Other great college memories included living on the hall with his fraternity brothers behind the library and some of the special parties like casino night. He also said that Darius Rucker played on the hall and they were able to watch him during his heyday with Hootie and the Blowfish and they once set up a slipand-slide in the hall with garbage bags, dish soap and water. He added that he would not change a single thing about his college experience and the lifelong friendships he was able to make. These friendships have helped to create the committee that coordinates the Brian Shah Classic every year, on the hottest day in July according to Shah, to help with the medical expenses the Shahs face from the disease. Ashley noted that they also use the tournament as a platform to help raise awareness for ALS. “First of all we love Brian and we love Ashley. The best thing to ever happen to Brian was Ashley, but it was also someone that we

were all close friends with and it was our first friend that had really run into something like this,” Dowling said. “We’re all still young and sort of immortal … when Brian was diagnosed we didn’t know much about it. We just rallied around and said how can we help him and what can we do. “The thing that Matt and I love to do is we love to get people together and play golf. We did a golf trip for guys that Brian went on and we thought it would just be those same guys. Really the first year we were all a little amazed. We made over $12,000 the first year and now we’ve made over $100,000 over six years. We give every dime to Brian and Ashley … we give them everything we get. It’s all for them,” Dowling explained. One of the points of pride for Goddard and the committee is that they put the benefit tournament together on their own as a group of people who are close to the Shahs. He said it is a team effort with lots of people pitching in, including wives, parents, friends and coworkers. “The cool part is it is not a 501c3 that corporate people do. This is out of the generosity of our time. We love Brian and Ashley, but a lot of other people do too,” Goddard said. “It just takes a little rallying point to get everyone together for support. It’s gotten to be such a regular thing that people ask about the date to plan vacations around the tournament.” If you would like to have more information about how to get involved, you can visit the website at www.brianshahclassic.com or email the committee at info@brianshahclassic.com. You can also like the Brian Shah Classic on Facebook or follow @BrianShahClassi on Twitter.


28 • Spurs & Feathers

In Memoriam

October 2, 2013

Gamecocks mourn the passing of Paul Dietzel SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

with writing the Carolina Fight Song, which is still used today. He mandated the recruitment of black athletes in all Former University of South Carolina sports at Carolina and signed the first head football coach and athletics direc- black athlete to a football scholarship in tor Paul Dietzel died early Tuesday, 1970. In addition, he hired Bobby RichSept. 24. He was 89. ardson, a move that vaulted South CaroDietzel served as the Gamecocks’ lina into national baseball prominence. director of athletics (1966-75) and head Dietzel served in the U.S. Army Air football coach (1966-74). He compiled Corps during World War II and became a 42-53-1 record in his nine seasons at an All-American center at Miami (Ohio) the helm of the Carolina football team. University before getting into coaching. He is the only football coach in school He worked under legends Paul “Bear” history to win a conference title, as his Bryant at Kentucky and Earl “Red” 1969 squad captured the ACC crown. Blaik at the U.S. Military Academy. Dietzel, who was inducted in the CarHe took over the LSU program in olina Hall of Fame in 2012, was credited 1955 and three years later guided the with changing the culture of South Car- Tigers to the national championship, olina Athletics. He initiated the upgrade earning National Coach of the Year acplan for all athletic facilities, including colades. He gained fame with that squad “The Roost” athletic dorm and enlargby developing three “teams” to comply ing the football stadium. He is credited with the single-substitution rules of the

time. His starters played both ways, the Gold (Go) Team specialized on offense, and the Chinese Bandits focused on defense. Dietzel was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 and the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame 2010. Dietzel left LSU to become head coach at Army, where he was the first non-Army graduate to hold the position, then moved to Carolina after Marvin Bass’ resignation in 1966. After his USC tenure, he served as director of athletics at Indiana University and LSU as well as commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference. He also served as president of the American Football Coaches Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In retirement, he became an accomplished artist, specializing in watercolor prints.

photos by allen sharpe

Paul Dietzel and current South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier shared a moment at the 2012 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Spurrier opened his weekly press conference last Tuesday by noting that Dietzel was one of the best to coach college football and that he lived a wonderful life.


October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers • 29


30 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013


Spurs & Feathers • 31

October 2, 2013

photos by allen sharpe and jenny dilworth

A roller coaster ride to the very end As we enter October, it becomes fair season in this area. I do not frequent fairs often anymore, but my favorite ride was the roller coaster (if they had one). That being the case, you would think that Saturday’s football game would have been very enjoyable. What else would you call it, but a roller coaster ride, ultimately ending happily with a win! Well, not exactly fun. What a miserable first half. Not only did the Gamecocks trail 10-0, Conner Shaw was injured and out for the game, and the ofEd Girardeau fense just did not have it. Dylan Thompson was con- Contributing Editor sistently off on his passing and when he was on target, there were some uncommon drops. I do not think it is a stretch to say that most of us were very concerned at the half. But along came the second half and, obviously, someone, if not the whole offensive staff, decided, “let’s give the ball to Mike.” Boy did that work, as Davis put on a show! Over 150 yards rushing in the second half alone that led the Gamecocks to a 28-10 lead. The third quarter was not without its own problems. Chiefly, an injury to Brandon Wilds, and he was out for the game. But with 28 unanswered points, we could all breath much easier. But like all good roller coasters, just when you think it over, it takes off again. Along comes the fourth quarter and similarly to the Vandy game, USC could not put the

Knights away. Two long pass plays led to the Gamecocks losing the 18-point lead and hanging on for a three-point, 28-25 win. Yeah, it was not pretty. Injuries are the biggest concern. Post game, none appear to be too serious, but bruised shoulders could linger on. The defense continues to struggle. Like the Vanderbilt game, there were flashes, but poor coverage and poor tackling and missed assignments continue to cause some distress. However, looking at the bright side, three interceptions by the defense was very big and good to see. Offensively, 167 yards rushing and three touchdowns by Mike Davis put him in line to win league player of the week honors. Damiere Byrd had a breakout game with five catches for 74 yards. But best of all, it’s a WIN! These are NOT the Gamecocks of old. I don’t even want to remember all the games like this we have lost in the past. Granted, we are not dominant at this point. Will the team, particularly the defense, get better? Time will tell. But if recent history indicates anything, South Carolina’s defenses get better as the season progresses. So it would not be a complete surprise if progress was made. The offense, at this point, is top-10 worthy. Injuries could screw that up, but there is depth and the injuries from this past weekend do not appear to be season-ending, so here’s hoping that the offense will continue to hum. This game will pay dividends in a couple of weeks. Yes, it’s not a SEC opponent or venue. But it was packed, and hot, and it rained, and the crowd was loud, particu-

larly when the Knights pulled ahead. On the road, South Carolina put it together in the second half and came from behind and WON. Kentucky comes next at home. Saturday’s win will payoff the three upcoming weeks; Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri, all on the road. Confidence comes with winning. Winning on the road, will help the confidence for the next time on the road. USC will be favored in every game from here on out (yes, I know that Clemson is No. 3 and still on the schedule, but wait and see). Winning does not always paint a pretty picture, but a 7-1 record in the SEC at the end of the season can be described no other way but pretty. So pull the bar down and hold on. This roller coaster ride may get bumpier yet, but at the end of the day if we have more points than our opponents, I will find a way to enjoy it. Heck, I am enjoying it now! Here’s hoping that it somehow just gets to a nice steady climb up the hill to the top without all these crazy, jump off the tracks, twist and turns. My stomach cannot take it!

not listen to me or any of the skeptics, and has established himself as an expert in the recruiting field, without giving way to the hyperbole of many who try to do the same thing. We are very fortunate to have him working with us!

Every Friday during high school football season, our company presents a local High School Game of the Week. I have been lucky enough to be the play-by-play announcer over the last five years and have had the good fortune to see many of the local kids play and go on to play at local colleges. This past Friday we broadcast a great game between two of the best teams in the state, North Augusta (#6 in 4A) and Strom Thurmond (#2 in 3A). They did not disappoint. If you would like, you can watch a replay of the game at www.aikenstandard. tv and click on the game of the week button. There are several outstanding football players on these two teams and both are extremely well coached by Dan Pippin (NA) and Lee Sawyer (ST). North Augusta was victorious 27-20, stopping a last-minute drive. Strom Thurmond is led by a senior By the way... quarterback, Javeer Hammond. Hammond I am excited that this week we include accumulated 365 yards in total offense, our first recruiting report by area recruiting more than the total North Augusta offense. “guru” Phil Kornblut. Phil and I have been He is a special football player and will friends since college some 30 years ago. end up somewhere on the next level, even I suppose it was 25 years ago that he told drawing praise from his opponents coach me that he was starting a regular report on Pippin saying that he would call colleges high school football, basketball and baseon the young man’s behalf. If you like high ball players and where they were consider- school football, and you don’t get to go out ing going to college. Nobody was doing to games on Friday nights, it is well worth it at the time and, of course, I thought it the watch. You may get to see tomorrow’s sounded kind of crazy. Fortunately, Phil did stars.


32 • Spurs & Feathers

October 2, 2013

Spurs & Feathers 102  

Spurs & Feathers 102

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