July 27, 2016 • Volume 38 • Issue 3 • $1.50
Muschamp and Gamecocks ready to get to work Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, July 25
Muschamp at SEC Media Days: ‘There is no three-year, five-year plan. The plan is to win now. That’s my mentality.’
2 • Spurs & Feathers
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July 27, 2016
When to expect Spurs & Feathers in the upcoming year
Thank you so much for your continued support of Spurs & Feathers. Per our contract with the Gamecock Club, below are our edition dates for the 2016 year. Please note the digital magazine delivered via email is an added benefit courtesy of Spurs & Feathers. Spurs & Feathers schedule Aug. 24 magazine (preseason football) Sept. 7 newspaper Sept. 14 newspaper
Vanderbilt game parking information General Public Parking: Fans can park for $15 per game in 25th Avenue Garage, located at the corner of 25th Avenue and Jess Neely Drive. Free Parking is available in the Terrace Place and Wesley Place Garages located just off of 21st Avenue and then enjoy a scenic 15-20 minute walk through campus to Vanderbilt Stadium. Handicap Parking: Disability parking is available 25th Avenue Garage, located at the corner of 25th Avenue and Jess Neely Drive. The garage has handicap parking with elevator access on all floors. Parking Maps: http://www.vucommodores.com/tickets/vand-parking-info.html RV Parking: No RV parking is available on campus. The Nashville Fairgrounds offers RV Parking for $35 per night and no res-
Sept. 21 newspaper Sept. 28 newspaper Oct. 5 newspaper Oct. 12 newspaper Oct. 19 bye week (no newspaper) Oct. 26 newspaper Nov. 2 newspaper Nov. 9 newspaper Nov. 16 newspaper Nov. 23 newspaper Nov. 30 newspaper Dec. 21 magazine (end of year)
ervations are required. Please call (615) 862-8980 or (615) 862-5016 for more information. Opryland area campgrounds – Three campgrounds are located on Music Valley Drive near Opry Mills and The Grand Ole Opry. There is also a Camping World on Music Valley Drive. Shuttles are available to the game and other Downtown areas. Contact the campgrounds directly for additional information and reservations. KOA Campground– 2626 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 3721 Phone (615) 889-0282 Yogi Bear JellyStone Park – 2572 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 Phone (615) 889-4225 Two Rivers Campground – 2616 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 Phone (615) 883-8559 Special thanks to Mike McManus and the Gamecock Cruisers, who provide us with this parking information to pass along
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July 27, 2016
Taking an early look at the Vanderbilt Commodores by kyle heck Reporter The first two years of the Derek Mason era were a struggle, to say the least, but there were still some definite improvements from the team, particularly in year No. 2. Taking over for James Franklin, who left Vanderbilt for Penn State, Mason and the Commodores endured a tough transition year in 2014. After back-to-back nine-win seasons under Franklin, Vanderbilt stumbled to a 3-9 record, including an 0-8 mark in the SEC, in Mason’s first season. Known as a defensive mastermind, Mason decided to be his own defensive coordinator entering the 2015 year. That move paid dividends, as the Commodores improved drastically on that side of the ball. After allowing opponents to rack up 402.1 yards and 33.2 points per game the season before, the Mason-led Commodore unit in 2015 improved those numbers to 350.5 yards and 21 points per game. That allowed Vanderbilt to improve its record to 4-8 overall, while also snapping a lengthy conference losing streak with SEC victories over Missouri and Kentucky that year as well. Entering the 2016 season, the Commodores finally have some momentum and accomplishments that they can build off of. Vanderbilt
will kick off the third year of the Mason era by hosting South Carolina on Thursday, Sep. 1. It will be an important matchup for the Commodores, who know a win over South Carolina to kick off the year could be a big momentum booster for the rest of the season. One of the other reasons that Vanderbilt will be feeling good about itself is the fact that the Commodores return a lot of firepower from last season. The top-two leading rushers from last year,
was announced as the starting quarterback for Vanderbilt at SEC Media Days. The 6-foot-4 quarterback from Philadelphia played in five games last season, throwing for 503 yards and five touchdowns to go with three interceptions. He’s the leading returning passer after the departure of Johnny McCrary. Defense will still be the Commodores’ strength this year as well, thanks to Mason. Four of the top five tacklers from last season’s defense that was ranked 28th nationally return, although the Commodores do lose linebacker Stephen Weatherly, a seventh-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, 2015 first-team All-SEC linebacker Zach Cunningham and his 103 tackles from last year return, and Vanderbilt should also be strong in the secondary with the return of corner Torren McGaster (51 tackles, 13 pass photo by allen sharpe breakups) and safety Oren Burks (59 tackles, Ralph Webb and Darrius Sims, return to anthree interceptions, six pass breakups). The chor a talented rushing attack. Webb rushed defensive line will have improved depth as for 1,152 yards in 2015, which was a Vanderbilt well with players like Nifae Lealao and Adam sophomore record. On the outside at receiver, Butler. the Commodores will return six of their top If Mason can continue the trend of improveseven receivers from a year ago. They will also ment on the defensive side of the ball, the get C.J. Duncan back, who missed last year offense appears ready to take the next step as with a torn ACL. well. With the Gamecocks rebuilding under That firepower in the backfield and on the new head coach Will Muschamp, the matchup outside will provide a lot of help to rising between the two teams will be one that’s exsophomore signal caller Kyle Shurmur, who tremely important for both squads.
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July 27, 2016
South Carolina implements clear bag policy for all ticketed athletics events South Carolina Athletics Media Relations COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In a move designed to provide a safer environment and more expedited entry for fans, South Carolina Athletics is implementing a clear bag policy for all ticketed athletic events, beginning in 2016-17. Similar to those implemented by the NFL and many other college and professional stadiums, the new policy will limit the size and type of bags that may be brought into the venues for baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball, much of which has become the norm for large gatherings around the nation. “In meetings with security personnel around the Midlands and with schools around the SEC, it has become evident that there is a new level of security measures that need to be implemented in our athletic venues,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said. “We feel that this new clear bag policy will assist our security personnel in making entrance into our venues a more efficient process while making game day safer for everyone.” The Athletics Department encourages fans to not bring any type of bag to games, but understands that there are some who prefer to do so. Beginning with the men’s soccer game against Winthrop on Thu., Aug. 18, at Stone Stadium, fans will only be able to carry the following style and size bag, package or container at any stadium plaza areas, stadium gates or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium for all athletics events: Approved Bags Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” -- A logo no larger than 4.5” x 3.4” can be displayed on one side of a permissible clear bag. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar) Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” -- approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap Medically necessary items (after proper inspection at specified gates) Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: Purses larger than a clutch bag Briefcases Backpacks Fanny packs Cinch/Drawstring bags Luggage of any kind Computer bags Diaper bags Binocular cases Camera bags
Non-approved seat cushions, which include large traditional seat cushions that have pockets, zippers, compartments or covers Guests will continue to be able to enjoy their tailgate activities in the parking lots and to do so with greater safety and the knowledge that their entry into the stadium will be smoother and faster. They also will continue to be able to carry items allowed into the venue, such as binoculars, cameras and smart phones. A complete list of prohibited items is available at www.GamecocksOnline.com/ot/game-dayinformation.html. QUOTE SHEET South Carolina Athletics has partnered with all of the public safety groups involved in security at our venues, all of which have been extremely supportive of this policy change.
Here is what their leadership had to say about the move: Chris Wuchenich, USC Assoc. Vice President of the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety “We are grateful to our Athletics Department for their continued support of a safe and secure venue. Our implementation of a clear bag policy makes USC the fourth school in the SEC to implement this national `best practice.’ We expect this to help with the security screening while improving the fan experience.” Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Department “I applaud the University of South Carolina’s efforts to promote public safety with the implementation of the clear bag policy. The new initiative helps fans, event security staff and law
enforcement as a whole. We encourage spectators to have fun at athletic events while knowing that their safety is a top priority.” Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County Sheriff’s Department “Having a clear bag policy is the world that we live in right now. Any time you encourage large groups of people to come together, safety has to be in the forefront of your mind. As a University of South Carolina graduate, I have a special investment in ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to support the Gamecocks, and this policy is a significant step toward that.” Mark Keel, Chief of South Carolina Law Enforcement Division “SLED supports the University of South Carolina’s clear bag policy at its sports facilities. This is a proactive step to enhance public safety
Spurs & Feathers • 5
July 27, 2016
during these events and to make access to them more efficient. This is not a new concept; many professional sports venues have similar policies. While we have no specific threats, a clear bag policy is another safeguard to allow USC fans to get the most out of going to see the Gamecocks play.” Statement from local FBI officials The FBI asks members of the public to maintain awareness of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. USC’s new policy will aid law enforcement and enhance the safety of patrons. CLEAR BAG POLICY FAQ Why is South Carolina adopting this policy for all ticketed events? Our guests are our most prized partners, and ensuring their safety is a top priority. World events continue to impact our security, and we can not ignore them in the annual analysis of our public safety and stadium security policies at all of our venues. How does this policy improve public safety? Clear bags provide layers of security with less inconvenience to our guests. As guests walk toward our events, law enforcement can easily spot prohibited items and have the ability to resolve issues before they even get into line. The clear bags are easier and faster to search, greatly reducing faulty bag searches. It also supports the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign. Additionally, inside the venue, staff members know that a clear bag has already been searched and that any non-clear bag without a security tag requires their attention. How does this expedite my entry into the venue? This policy enables us to move guests through our security checkpoints faster, allowing staff to be more efficient and effective in checking bags that are brought into the venue. A standard size bag eliminates the need for bag templates to check sizes. In short, shorter lines mean fewer hassles, all while guests enjoy an improved sense of safety. How many bags can each person bring into the venue? Each ticketed guest can carry one large clear bag -- either a one-gallon Ziploc-style bag or the 12” x 6” x 12” clear bag -- plus a small clutch purse (4.5” x 6.5”). The small clutch must be carried into the venue outside the clear bag and is subject to search. What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag that is not permitted? Guests carrying bags that do not meet the criteria will not be admitted to the venue. They may return their bag to their car or will be provided a one-gallon Ziploc-style bag into which to transfer their belonging before entering the stadium. Transferring items to a venue-provided bag requires disposal of the non-approved bag, unless it fits into the clear bag. Are team-branded bags available?
Guests who desire to carry South Carolina branded bags may purchase them at local retailers. However, any clear 12” x 6” x 12” clear bag with no commercial identification or an inexpensive one-gallon Ziploc-style bag may be used. Clear bags may have a logo no larger than 4.5” x 3.4” displayed on one side. Can I bring my purse? Yes, as long as it meets the size requirements. A small clutch purse, with or without a handle or strap, is permitted along with either the 12” x 6” x 12” clear tote bag or one-gallon freezer bag. What about diaper bags? Diapers and other baby supplies can be carried in a clear bag. Each member of a family, including children, is allowed to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse into the stadium. Can I carry cameras, binoculars, smart phones or tablets separately from the clear bag? Binoculars or a phone or camera can be carried into the venue so long as it is not in its own bag. Are seat cushions allowed to be carried into the venue? Approved seat cushions may be carried into the stadium. Non-approved seat cushions and chairbacks include any that have arm rests and any large traditional seat cushions that have pockets, zippers, compartments or covers. If I have certain items that I need to bring into the venue for medical reasons and they won’t fit in the clear bag, what do I do? Guests carrying medically necessary bags or equipment into the venue will be required to have their bag/equipment inspected and tagged by security at specified locations within each venue. Those locations will be announced soon. Do I have to put everything I’m carrying into a permissible clear bag? No. This policy is designed to limit only the type of bags carried into the venue, not the permissible items that are brought to a game. In their pockets or jacket, guests can carry keys, makeup, feminine products, comb, phone, wallet, credit cards, etc., if they choose not to put them in a clear bag or clutch purse (4.5” x 6.5”). And, they can carry a blanket over their shoulders, binoculars and/or camera without the case around their necks or in their hands, and a sealed bottle of water in their hands. A complete list of prohibited items is available at www.GamecocksOnline.com/ot/ game-day-information.html. Does this policy apply to me if I’m working at the game, not attending as a fan? Support staff and personnel such as equipment technicians, media, caterers, etc., will continue to enter the stadium through designated gates. These individuals and any items that they bring into the stadium will continue to be screened based on procedures that are already in place. Once screened, the bags will be temporarily tagged, showing that the bag has been screened and approved.
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6 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Zandi applies family work ethic on and off the field
Making adjustments is in Mason Zandi’s DNA. The fifth year senior offensive tackle for South Carolina has kept an open mind in adapting to position changes, coaching changes, and number changes. He appears ready for a change from his original career aspirations whenever his playing days are done. He credits his parents, Ali and Michelle, for giving him a strong work ethic and positive attitude. “My mindset is that I was raised with everything, but I was brought up like I had nothing,” Zandi said. “That instilled morals, a work ethic and a fire in me. It’s just a blessing from God that I was given my two parents. “I guess I’m not a true Millennial because I listen to my parents. Before I’ve made any big decisions in my life, I always went to my parents first. I always ask my parents opinion on everything. I’m not saying I always went with what they said, but I always asked because you just can’t beat experience.” Zandi’s father, Ali, came to the United States in his early 20s during the Iranian Revolution of the 1970s. “He didn’t speak any English, and he didn’t have a dollar to his name,” Zandi said. “He told me that he learned to speak English from watching American soap operas. He wound up in San Francisco, where he worked in a restaurant as a cook. He travelled around a lot and eventually became a manager and part-owner. He and his partners owned a couple of small restaurants.” Ali later found his way to South Carolina and owned a restaurant in Five Points and has since made a successful living as an electrician. Ali and Michelle, a former Richland County Paramedic, met and married a short time later, raising Mason and two daughters in the Irmo/ Chapin area. Michelle has done a lot of travelling with her father serving in the United States Air Force, causing the family to move to several states as well as England and the Philippines in the early part of her life. “The biggest advantage I have of anyone my age is that I have two world travelers as parents,” Zandi said. “That’s a lot of experience. It really makes me look outside the box. I like to look at the grand scheme of everything. I majored in political science because I see everything as a big chess game.” Zandi earned his degree in political science with a minor in psychology, and having his diploma in hand is very important to him. “It means everything,” Zandi said. “That’s the foundation for my life. One day I’m going to have to hang up my cleats. That’s a fact of life. At the end of the day, I have something that nobody can take away from me, and that’s an education. People fight and claw and pay thousands of dollars to get that one certificate that tells
people they are certified to get into whatever field they want to be in, and I got mine for free.” Zandi initially thought about getting into politics and perhaps becoming a lobbyist, but he may go back to school to get his master’s degree after a personal experience piqued his interest in hospital administration when an accident sent his father to the emergency room last December. “He took a fall from about 17 feet, shattered both his arms, and he cracked his head open,” Zandi said. “He was in rough shape. We rushed over to the emergency room, and it was filled up with a lot of people. My dad was sitting there, and it took a while for him to get any treatment. He just sat there for more than an hour with his shattered arms and his wrists were in like eight pieces. His arm looked like a noodle. They hadn’t taken his vitals or anything. I just felt like he wasn’t getting the proper medical care. “I know it’s not in the cards for me to be a doctor. I mean, what nine year old kid wants to see a guy who is six feet nine inches tall come give him a shot, right? And my hands are far too big to be a surgeon. So I can’t be a doctor, but I could probably manage doctors and a room like that to allocate resources appropriately.” Ali recovered and went back to work in April, but Mason Zandi’s passion is still there in his thoughts for what he will do when football is over. After several decades away from Iran, Ali made his way back to his home country a few years ago to see family. Mason would like to make that trip someday as well. “I have a family of forty-plus people I’ve never seen,” Zandi said. “I’ve seen pictures, but I’ve never met them. That’s something I have always wanted to do. My mom isn’t so sure because there is not a U.S. embassy there anymore, and I don’t exactly blend. I don’t speak Farsi either.” As he looks forward to his final collegiate football season, Zandi is looking forward to getting back into the trenches where he started 10 games last year for the Gamecocks before missing the final two games with an injury. Prior to his injury, he changed his number midseason to honor his friend and teammate Cody Waldrop, who broke his ankle in practice. Playing on the offensive line isn’t always glamorous, but he enjoys every part of it. “Absolutely it’s fun,” Zandi said. “You are forcing a man against his will to go somewhere he doesn’t want to go. That’s the ultimate power trip for me. Defensive ends in the SEC are some of the best athletes in the country. Playing offensive line is such a one-play game. You can be whipping one guy’s tail for 69 plays, but if he gets that one sack and fumble, then he is the one who had a great game. “That’s one thing I try to stress to the guys now is that games can be won or lost on one play. You have to show the importance of every
parents will be at the games. “My dad has learned to love American football,” Zandi said. “He didn’t know anything about it when he first got here. He has come to every one of my games since I was in the sixth grade, and he loves it now. My mom isn’t a big football fan, but she is a big Mason Zandi fan.” Zandi has made the most of his time at South Carolina, whether it was serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two years or getting the chance to play under two different high profile head coaches. “Being around that atmosphere with the other student-athletes on SAAC was great,” Zandi photo by jenny dilworth said. “Since I was six years old, I dreamed about being a South Carolina football player. Seeing other people that have the same passion down.” for the university as a whole, it was a really neat Zandi was a defensive end for most of his experience. high school career before playing both ways “Coach (Will) Muschamp and I have a pretty and also served as the punter during his senior good relationship. We talk often. I love the year at Chapin High School. He caught the eye way he conducts his business. He’s very to the of South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn point. He works us hard, but he rewards us and Elliott before he even played his first offensive loves us. When a new coaching staff comes snap, and Zandi made the most of his opportu- in, everyone wants to compare it with the old nity. staff. Both have been great. I mean with Coach “I knew I had to come in and work as a (Steve) Spurrier, I got to play for a hall of fame freshman because we had guys like Jadeveon coach. That experience won’t be trumped by Clowney and Devin Taylor on the field across anything. It was a tremendous honor to be from me,” Zandi said. “I’m actually very thank- coached by Coach Spurrier.” Whatever happens next after the 2016 football ful that we had those guys on the team because they made me grow up really fast. It was either season, Mason Zandi doesn’t plan on slowing down. that, or I’d be sitting on the sideline. “A lot of people are OK with average and can “We love Coach Elliott. What he preaches be complacent,” Zandi said. “That’s one thing to us is consistency. What makes that so valid that my dad instilled in me and my two older is that he brings consistency every single day. sisters. Never be OK with just OK. My dad is He brings his effort. He brings his energy. He almost 60 years old and he still works 60 hours brings his excitement for coaching and that per week. He’s a machine, and so is my mom. translates into our excitement for playing.” They’re the American dream. When my dad As much as he enjoys his primary job of came here, he had a drive and fire to obtain blocking, the former punter and tight-end in what he wanted, and that was to raise a famhim can’t resist dreaming about a chance to branch out if the opportunity presents itself on ily and provide for them, and then some. He worked hard. That’s how I want to be.” the field. “I punt every day in pre-practice,” Zandi said. “I try to give our punters a run for their money. I think they’re threatened by me. Remember seeing Melvin Ingram run that fake punt against Georgia (2011)? I’m not saying that I’m as fast as Melvin, but I might be able to crank Two West Club Level 106 Seats out ten yards.” 40 Yard Line • Under Cover Zandi also laments a trick play opportunity $3900 against Tennessee in 2013 where he was lined up as an eligible receiver, but a Volunteer timeFour Sectiion 6, Row 53 Seats out spoiled his chance for glory. West Lower Level • 40 Yard Line “I have hands for days,” Zandi proclaimed. “If we would have gotten that play off against $5600 Tennessee, then that would have been a touchdown. I already told Coach Elliott, if we ever Includess Partial SS, SL, andd T Cost run that play and I score, you’re going to have to go ahead and take that fifteen yard penalty FREE CAROLINA/ A/CLEMSON TIICKET for excessive celebration. I’m doing a cartwheel WITH H PURCHASE OF EACH H TICCKET or something.” Whether or not Zandi gets his chance to do Call (803) 920-79699 something acrobatic on the field, he knows his
by Brad Muller South Carolina Director of Content
Spurs & Feathers • 7
July 27, 2016
Lewis enters final season with new perspective by kyle Heck Reporter The last four years for Marquavius Lewis have been a whirlwind. He went from Greenwood High School all the way out to Kansas, where he attended Hutchinson Community College for two years. After an outstanding career there, Lewis was finally able to enroll at South Carolina, and on Thursday, July 14, he was on the big stage at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama. Despite some struggles adjusting to the SEC last season, Lewis put together a solid year with the Gamecocks. He was one of just six players to start every game, and finished with 45 tackles, 4.5 for loss and three sacks, which ranked second on the team. His six quarterback hurries led South Carolina. Even with the long journey from South Carolina to Kansas, and then back to the Palmetto State, Lewis never lost sight of his goal, which was to be a prominent defensive lineman in the SEC. “I always knew I had it in me to actually play in the SEC,” Lewis said. “One of the reasons I chose to play in the SEC was because if you play in the SEC, you can play anywhere.”
Lewis enters his second and final season with the Gamecocks as one of the clear leaders on defense. It was no coincidence that the senior was the only representative from the defensive side of the ball that made the trip to Hoover with head coach Will Muschamp. “Mason Zandi and Marquavius Lewis are two guys that have really made our transition as a staff very smooth, and really carried our message to our football team,” Muschamp said. “Very proud of those guys and how they’ve handled themselves.” Lewis knows that last year was extremely disappointing for he and his teammates, and they have worked hard over the offseason to make sure there is some improvement for this upcoming year. Lewis said the new coaching staff, led by the defensive-minded Muschamp, have done a lot of things to change the culture of the program. “We’re better because of our mentality,” Lewis said. “With the new coaches, they’re changing the way we think and how we scheme things to become a better defense.” In particular, assistant head coach for defense/defensive line Lance Thompson has meant a lot to Lewis and his development from year one to year two.
“He’s a big part of what we’re doing,” Lewis said. “He’s molded us, and he’s teaching us his ways. He’s got an old-fashioned ‘I’m going to grind you and then I’m going to love you up.’ He wants us to practice every day like it’s a game, take it more serious, and just understand the concept of the defense more.” Lewis’ first year with the Gamecocks taught him a lot of things that will be extremely important for his senior year. As
with a lot of players. there was an initial shock with Lewis about how hard it is to play in a league like the SEC. As a result of that, Lewis enters the 2016 season with an entirely different perspective. “No matter what position you’re in, you can be humbled,” Lewis said. “You might feel like you’re on top of the world, but in reality, it takes a little bit more to overcome it and do the things you want to do, and be successful.”
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July 27, 2016
National pundits believe Muschamp will do good things with Gamecocks speak and interviewing him myself, I really think he’s a damn good football coach. He’s one of those guys that wears so much emotion that players respond to that. I look forward to asking him what he’s going to take from Florida to South Carolina. I did hear him say that it’s mostly offensively. He learned that he has to be integrated into that part of the team more. ‘It’s on his shoulders’ is what he said. He’s a brilliant defensive coach, we all know that. Can he resurrect South Carolina? I think it’s a very tall order. It’s an extremely difficult league. They need talent, and he’s a great recruiter so he can get it. I wish him well, and think that he has a great chance. I believe in the guy. What’s the one key thing that the Gamephoto by brian hand cocks must do to improve upon last year’s 3-9 record? 3-9, I would think. I think there’s more talent I heard him say today that they were a beaten there, but clearly quarterback play for any team down bunch when he met with every one of is going to be key, and it is for them. Finally, what are your expectations for the those young men at the beginning. I think honestly that’s the first step. I think it’s reinstalling Gamecocks this season? I don’t think you can expect a whole lot more confidence. I know that’s very elementary and than 6-6. If they can get to 6-6 in the first year, fundamental, but it’s also vital. It’s not offense, it’s not defense, it’s not special teams, it’s not that’s a great accomplishment and great way philosophical and it’s not schematic. It’s huto take a first step forward toward relevance. I think more importantly is what they’re going to man. They need confidence. Playing well and do in recruiting this year, and trying to solidify improving is what would instill that. As fundamental as that is, I think it’s that. the talent base as you get into Will’s second or Finally, what are your expectations for the third year. Gamecocks this season? Having won three last year, and with yet anMarty Smith, ESPN reporter other rough schedule, I think in year one five Initial thoughts on Will Muschamp and wins or six wins would be great. I found it interhow he fits in at South Carolina? Initially, I thought it was an odd hire, but that’s esting that he said ‘we don’t have a three-year plan, we don’t have a five-year plan, we’re here only because of my perception of what happened at Florida. That was unfair of me because to win now.’ Not easy. I wish him well in that endeavor. having studied him more now and seeing him
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gether a staff of a lot of guys I know who are just really good recruiters, and they’ll coach them well. I think in the short-term when you More than likely, the folks in and around look at South Carolina’s roster, the talent to me Columbia have heard plenty of local opinions looks pretty thin. They’ll coach them up, but I about what will happen this season for South think this could be a tough first year. But I think Carolina over the last few weeks. With around down the road, South Carolina is going to be 1,000 media members conversing on Hoover, very happy they hired Will Muschamp. Alabama for SEC Media Days, Spurs & FeathWhat’s the one key thing that the Gameers wanted to see what the broader perspective cocks must do to improve upon last year’s was on the Gamecocks and new head coach 3-9 record? Will Muschamp. To that end, reporter Kyle To me, they’ve got to be able to run the ball a Heck asked four prominent national media little bit more effectively, protect the football, figures three questions about South Carolina. make sure the quarterback doesn’t turn the ball Their answers are below. over. They need to play pretty low-scoring, tight games. I just think losing your best offensive Laura Rutledge, SEC Network reporter playmaker in Pharoh Cooper, and losing Skai Initial thoughts on Will Muschamp and Moore, that’s brutal. Now, the SEC East after how he fits in at South Carolina? Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, I think the rest I think it’s a great hire, and it makes perfect of those four teams are all about the same. So sense. He’s a guy that knows how to have some I think South Carolina will have a chance, but success in the SEC, but he’s also someone they have to make some hay when they play who’s learned a lot from the situation at Florida. Vanderbilt, when they play Kentucky, when I think he’s kind of a new and improved Will they play Missouri, they have to find a way to Muschamp. He’s someone that we know will win those games. If they’re going to get to a be great on defense. I think he’ll put more of an bowl, they’re going to have to do that. emphasis on offense too. Finally, what are your expectations for the Gamecocks this season? What’s the one key thing that the GameI think 6-6 would be a really good year. I cocks must do to improve upon last year’s think 7-5 would be a great year. I just think the 3-9 record? talent is such that it’s going to be difficult to I think the biggest thing is to figure out how to overcome that. I think a bowl game in Musscore some points. It’s so simple, but if they can champ’s first year would be a really good start. do something to generate some sort of offense. I think their defense will be okay because MusDan Wolken, USA Today champ is a guy that can have an instant impact Initial thoughts on Will Muschamp and on defense. They have to figure out how to do how he fits in at South Carolina? something on the other side of the ball. And I think he fits in fine. He’s a good football replacing Pharoh Cooper is not easy. coach. I think he’ll do a good job there. He’s got Finally, what are your expectations for the a lot of work to do. I think they’ll recruit pretty Gamecocks this season? well there. Will Muschamp is a guy, I think, Unfortunately, I think it may be similar to people sort of have wrong in terms of his repuwhat we saw last year in this first year. I just tation. I think he’s a players coach, an excellent hope that South Carolina fans are willing to be recruiter, and his guys love him. Obviously patient with Muschamp. I think the administra- offensively at Florida, he didn’t handle some of tion will be because he will get it together, he the decisions very well, and that’s what he’s got will make this program much better, and he’ll to fix. He’s recruited great defensive players and make a difference. But they’re just maybe going has had tremendous defenses, but you have to to need a couple years at least, and then I think score points. If they can improve that side of the we’ll be talking about the potential of, if they ball, he’ll be a good fit. recruit well, a seven, eight-win season. What’s the one key thing that the GameTony Barnhart, writer and broadcaster for cocks must do to improve upon last year’s SEC Network, columnist for GridironNow 3-9 record? Initial thoughts on Will Muschamp and I don’t think 3-9 was a true representation of how he fits in at South Carolina? that team. When you get in that situation and I think the longterm looks good for South Spurrier leaves midseason, there’s a lot of tranCarolina because Will learned a lot in his four sition and chaos. I just don’t think it’s really fair years as a head coach at Florida. He’s put toto judge what they did. They’ll be better than
by Kyle Heck Reporter
Spurs & Feathers • 9
July 27, 2016
After strong end to last year, Samuel poised for breakout season in 2016 by Kyle Heck Reporter
about his business. I thought he had a very good spring.” Samuel redshirted his first year on camShortly after Will Muschamp was hired at pus, and was able to play in just five games South Carolina, a string of pictures started last year as a redshirt freshman because of appearing on the group message between the a hamstring issue. It wasn’t until the final Gamecock wide receivers. game of the season against Clemson that All of the photos had one thing in comSamuel appeared to put it all together for mon - an irate Muschamp screaming on the the first time. In that close loss to the No. 1 sidelines. Tigers, Samuel caught five receptions for a “I thought he was crazy,” wide receiver career-high 104 yards, and added his first Deebo Samuel joked of his initial thoughts of career touchdown. the new coach. That performance was a springboard to But, as is the case with virtually all of the Samuel’s offseason, and gave him the conplayers that have played under Muschamp, fidence and drive that obviously impressed Samuel respected that fire and intensity. Muschamp. Speaking of respect, Muschamp had a lot of “Whenever the ball comes, I make a play, it for Samuel after watching him in offseason and when someone makes a mistake, I tell workouts. them what they have to do to get better,” “When he’s been able to stay healthy, he’s Samuel said. been a very productive player for us,” MusComing in as one of the best players in champ said. “For us to play well offensively, South Carolina and a four-star prospect, he needs to have a good year. He’s a guy that Samuel expected to play right away for really caught my eye in the offseason prothe Gamecocks. However, as he found out gram with how he worked, and how he went quickly, life likes to throw you a few curve-
balls. “Coming in I was thinking I was going to play, and then coach redshirted me,” Samuel said. “So as time went on as a redshirt I was trying to become better. I was becoming bigger, faster and stronger, and I worked on everything possible to get better for the next season. The season came around and I pulled my hamstring. It was not expected.” Samuel pulled his hamstring in the first game of the year against North Carolina, and it affected him for most of the year. This
season, he’s hoping to stay healthy and keep a positive mindset. From a national perspective, there isn’t a lot that is expected of the Gamecocks in Muschamp’s first season. However, Samuel and the rest of the players that were around last season certainly want to start an upward trajectory. “3-9 was bad, but we have a new coaching staff, and probably one of the best strength and conditioning coaching staffs in the nation,” Samuel said.
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10 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Would you like to nominate a Legendary Fan of the Game? The University of South Carolina athletics department and the Gamecock Club will once again recognize a dedicated Gamecock fan at each home game of the 2016 football season. During a predetermined timeout at Williams-Brice Stadium, each individual will be recognized over the loudspeaker and will be presented with a “Legendary Gamecock Fan” blazer from BP Skinner Clothiers and a commemorative plaque. If you would like to nominate a dedicated Gamecock fan, please submit your suggestion in writing and explain why you feel this person would be a good recipient for the award. Please include your name
and contact information should we need to contact you for further information. Your nomination must be received prior to August 31st. Please send nomination letters to Hayden Lipham, c/o Gamecock Club, 1304 Heyward Street, Columbia, SC 29208 or email lipham@ mailbox.sc.edu. The basic criteria for the Legendary Fan of the Game are: • Member of the Gamecock Club with at least 40 years of consecutive membership • Background/Story that illustrates his or her devotion and unwavering support of the Gamecocks
Don’t let anybody ever tell you South Carolina athletics is not elite by brian hand Executive Editor
Armour. Officially approved by the University Board of Trustees on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, South Ray Tanner was beaming. Carolina now has a new 10-year, $71.5 million And why not? On Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in deal with Under Armour that ranks as one of Charlotte it was incredibly plain to see from the top-10 most lucrative deals in the country everyone in attendance that the passion for and the second-most lucrative deal in the SEC. Gamecock football was at a fever pitch. The deal just further proves South Carolina “There is definitely a buzz here tonight,” athletics is considered elite nationally. Simply Tanner said to me as I went by to shake his put, Tanner and South Carolina do not get that hand as I was leaving the Charlotte Gamedeal unless they are valued. cocks Signing Day Recruiting Roundup at the It’s easy to see why. Charlotte City Club. South Carolina men’s and women’s basketThere was a standing room only crowd at the ball combined for 58 wins this past season second of two events centered around National with both programs garnering postseason Signing Day and the consensus top-30 class invites. brought in by new head football coach Will Gamecock fans everywhere took notice as Muschamp and his staff. the South Carolina men’s basketball team was What the new Gamecock football staff was in the top-20 in the country during the regularable to bring in to the fold in under two months season in regards to total attendance. The on the job at the time was incredibly impresSouth Carolina women’s basketball program sive, and the enthusiasm was warranted. has led the nation in total attendance for the But at South Carolina the passion and the past two years. success is not just confined to football. What is taking place on the basketball court In fact, it always kind of makes me laugh at the Colonial Life Arena along with the when South Carolina is called a football strong recruiting class brought in by Musschool. champ are only a small portion of the overall This is not to say that football is not imporsuccess right now with Gamecock athletics. tant. It is. There is no doubt. The South Carolina softball program has Under the watchful eye of Tanner as athletplayed in the last four NCAA Tournaments. ics director everyone can be assured though The Gamecocks played for a regional champithat all Gamecock sports have onship this past season. the resources and ability to The South Carolina men’s find success in the SEC and and women’s golf teams both nationally. advanced through stroke play And it is safe to say that into match play at the NCAA South Carolina is considered Championships this past one of the top athletic proseason. All Gamecock grams in the country. The South Carolina men’s beach volleyball coverage and women’s soccer teams Just look at the deal Tansponsored by James W. ner and South Carolina were both played in the NCAA Smith Real Estate Co. able to procure with Under Tournament this past year
photo by jenny dilworth
with the women’s team earning its eighth trip in the last nine years. The men’s team finished the past season undefeated at Stone Stadium for the second time in program history. The South Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at South Carolina are consistently considered among the tops in the country. Akaram Mahmoud recently won the 1,650-yard freestyle at the SEC Championships and Julia Vincent earned an Olympic qualifying score at the FINA Diving World Cup. Multiple Gamecocks will be competing in the Rio Olympics this summer. The South Carolina men’s and women’s track and field teams both have numerous individuals in line for the Olympics as well this summer in Rio. The two teams also had very strong indoor and outdoor seasons this past spring. Last year, Jeannelle Scheper won the NCAA outdoor high jump national title. The South Carolina men’s tennis team closed out the year by besting nationally-ranked Arkansas in consecutive matches before just narrowly missing on an upset of No. 13 Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament. On the women’s side, the Gamecocks made their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament, and hosted an NCAA Regional. The South Carolina beach volleyball team
was only in its third season of existence this past year, but the Gamecocks won a programrecord 20 matches and advanced all the way to the CCSA Conference Tournament semifinals after knocking off No. 10 FIU, 4-1, in the quarterfinals to pick up their first ever win over a top-10 team. The South Carolina cross country team had another strong season this past fall, but what is most impressive about their efforts might just be in the classroom where they last year had the top GPA in the country among all cross country teams. This past year they finished just off the top spot with a cumulative team GPA of 3.826. The South Carolina volleyball program every year improves dramatically, and this past season despite injuries plaguing the squad the Gamecocks closed things out strongly by winning three of their last five matches. The South Carolina baseball program put together another elite season in 2016, winning the SEC East title and advancing to the Super Regionals after winning the NCAA Columbia Regional. The South Carolina equestrian program might just be the standard in all of equestrian as the Gamecocks have won three national championships, which includes one just a year ago in 2015. All of this is in addition to the fact that South Carolina student-athletes have combined for a GPA of 3.0 or better for 19 straight semesters. All of this is also in addition to not even mentioning South Carolina’s efforts with community service, which saw the Gamecocks combine for 11,153 community service hours during the 2015-16 academic year. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that South Carolina athletics is not elite. South Carolina is an athletics department capable of competing across the board.
Spurs & Feathers • 11
July 27, 2016
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12 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Gamecock baseball alumni best Blowfish in annual meeting by brian hand Executive Editor South Carolina great and current USC Aiken assistant coach Phil Disherâ€™s three-run home run in the sixth inning changed the complexion of the game, and the Gamecock All Gamecock baseball baseball coverage sponsored by alumni nevDiPratoâ€™s er looked back in an 8-4 win over the Lexington County Blowfish. The annual GameFish Cup between the Blowfish and the Gamecock baseball alumni is now tied at five wins each after the alumni were able to take this yearâ€™s game on Friday, July 1, at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Current South Carolina pitcher Wil Crowe was on the hill for the Blowfish for the first five innings of the game. The Gamecock star gave up only three hits and one run in his five The South Carolina baseball alumni were innings on the mound, fanning eight. down 4-1 to the Blowfish at the start of the After Crowe left the contest was when the sixth, but Disherâ€™s three-run home run tied Gamecock alumni took over. things up at 4-4.
photo by allen sharpe
From there behind equally solid hitting and pitching - including Gamecock legend Matt Price closing things down in the contest by pitching the seventh and final inning - the
Gamecock alumni would score four more runs while at the same time holding the Blowfish without a run in their eventual fourrun victory.
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Spurs & Feathers • 13
July 27, 2016
Playing in Olympics a ‘dream come true’ for D’Angelo by kyle heck Reporter
career shutouts are good for second as well. D’Angelo is also a two-time NSCAA first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC player, and On the morning of Monday, June 20, former was the SEC’s Defensive Player of the year as a South Carolina women’s soccer star Sabrina junior in 2013. D’Angelo was checking her email on her phone D’Angelo set a goal at the beginning of this when she came across a life-changing message year to make the Olympic national team, but at from the Canadian national team. the time thought it was too lofty a goal to accomShe had made the squad as one of the two goal- plish. As it turns out, it wasn’t. keepers and would be participating in the Olym“Just with positive thoughts and hard work, it’s pic games down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. become a reality,” D’Angelo said. “I was still in bed when I read that I was on the At qualifiers in February, D’Angelo was the team, and I screamed and I ran out and told my third-team goalkeeper for Canada. After returnroommate and called my parents right away,” ing to her professional team, the Western New D’Angelo said. “I was just emotional and truly York Flash of the National Women’s Soccer honored and grateful to be selected to be on this League (NWSL), D’Angelo felt her confidence team. It was definitely a good Monday morning rising and as time went on, the goal of making for me.” the Olympic team seemed more and more attainD’Angelo is just under two years removed from able. a fantastic career in goal for South Carolina. She That confidence and improvement paid off, came in as a freshmen in 2011 and had a stranand D’Angelo made her national team debut on glehold on the goalkeeper job all four years she March 4, 2016, against Belgium in the Algarve was on campus, becoming one of the best to ever Women’s Cup in Portugal. Despite it being play for the Gamecocks at the position. her debut, D’Angelo performed like a veteran, Her career goals against average of 0.76 ranks recording a clean sheet while playing all 90 minsecond in school history, and D’Angelo is at or utes in the 1-0 Canada win. near the top of the record book in a lot of other She would come back five days later and play categories. D’Angelo’s 7,535 minutes in goal the second half of the championship match rank first, her 241 saves are second and her 29 against Brazil, allowing one late goal in the even-
To fully complete the journey from the youth system to the Olympic national team was something that’s hard to put into words. “Ever since I began with the youth national team, this has definitely been something I wanted to do,” D’Angelo said. D’Angelo still keeps in touch with a lot of her former coaches, and they were incredibly proud photo by allen sharpe of her accomplishment. She knows that without what she learned while playing with the Gametual 2-1 win for Canada that clinched the Algarve cocks, she would never be in the position she is Women’s Cup. now. “It was unbelievable,” D’Angelo said of her “I always still talk to (former assistant coach) national team debut. “I was walking out next Libby (Bassett), my old goalkeeper coach, and to (captain) Christine Sinclair and playing with then I was in contact with (associate head coach) Diana Matheson and Melissa Tancredi and all Jamie (Smith) and (head coach) Shelley (Smith) of these older girls that I had grown up watching and they congratulated me. They are a huge and dreaming of being on that team. During the part of my life, and they helped me get to where national anthem I was getting choked up, just I wanted to be. Every year (at South Carolina) because it was a dream come true to get that op- I felt like I grew as a goalkeeper and improved portunity.” and matured. It set me up for the NWSL and During that experience, D’Angelo said she the Olympics, just with my communication and realized that she “deserved to be there,” and my management of the game. The competition that helped to give her even more confidence. was so physical in the SEC, and you’re playing D’Angelo has long been a part of Canadian against some of the best players in the nation.” national team soccer, having risen up the youth The 2016 Rio Women’s Olympic Football ranks. Before heading to South Carolina, she Tournament begins on Aug. 3 in Brazil. The was a two-time member of the Canadian U-17 three other teams in Canada’s group include national team. Australia, Germany and Zimbabwe.
Moody extremely proud of Gamecock duo in Olympics Back in late June and early July, the South Carolina swimming and diving team made some noise at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha with swimmers on both the men’s and women’s side breaking personal records. The attention now turns to one male swimphoto by jenny dilworth mer and one female diver, both rising juniors for the Gamecocks. Akaram Mahmoud and Julia dates and times of when they would make a deciVincent will represent Egypt and South Africa, sion. She traveled for almost four straight weeks respectively, in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Summer Olympics. in the spring going to different trials, but still “Very proud of our whole group,” men’s and managed to put up an outstanding GPA at South women’s swimming head coach McGee Moody Carolina. said. “We’re looking forward now to kind of get“I’m unbelievably proud of her,” Moody said. ting folks finalized and ready for Rio and moving “All the credit in the world to Todd Sherritt, our that way.” diving coach, and what he’s done with that group Vincent will compete for her country in the to be able to put her on that stage. I had a meeting 3-meter diving competition after a stellar season with him yesterday, and he absolutely believes for South Carolina in which she claimed Allthat if she dives well, she can get in that top eight, American honors by finishing and that’s going to set her up fourth at the NCAA Championfor a great junior season here at ships in the 1-meter. South Carolina.” She won the 3-meter at the Mahmoud has already had an South African Olympic trials outstanding Gamecock career with a score of 298, but it was All Gamecock swimming and after arriving in January of last diving coverage still a bumpy journey on the year. Soon after arriving on sponsored by Aquarian way to Rio because Moody said campus, he broke the school Pools of Columbia South Africa kept changing the record in the 1650 freestyle, and
was part of the All-American 800 freestyle relay team that same year. This season, Mahmoud was an All-American in three different races and finished second at the NCAA Championships in the 1650 free, South Carolina’s highest ever NCAA male finish. The original plan when Mahmoud arrived on campus was to aim for a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics. However, with outstanding performances in pretty much every event since arriving, those goals have been expedited. Mahmoud will compete in both the 400 and 1500m free in Rio. “Our goal for 2016 was initially to try and get in the top eight, to try and get a championship final swim, which would be a huge accomplishment that some people swim their whole career to try and achieve,” Moody said. “I think that changed a little bit when he got fourth at World Championships (and) when he got second in NCAA’s. I think if Akaram swims the way he’s capable of racing (in 1500m free), he can get 14:42, 14:43, and that’s going to push for a top three spot. Anything under 14:45 is going to compete for a medal. That’s definitely a higher level than what we thought we were going to be looking at in 2016.” The two Gamecocks competing at the Olympics is icing on the cake for Moody and his team in what has already been a successful summer. The great showings by the team over the course of several events will help build momentum for
the upcoming season. “It does wonders for us,” Moody said. “I think going into next year, this momentum that we’ve had this summer with a great Olympic trials and these guys that are going to Rio, I think it sets us up to make another big jump, not only in the men’s program, looking to go into the top-15 of the nation, but also with our women’s program, who are poised to bust into the top-25 by the end of the year.”
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by Kyle Heck Reporter
14 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Gamecocks report for camp on Aug. 1
south carolina athletics media relations
The University of South Carolina football team, under the direction of first-year head coach Will Muschamp, will officially report for fall camp on Monday, Aug. 1, and will hit the practice fields for the first time on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The team will conduct 29 practices prior to the first game at either the new practice fields,
located at the west end of Gamecock Park, in the new Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility, or at Williams-Brice Stadium. The season opener is set for Thursday, September 1, in Nashville, Tenn. against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The 8 pm ET kick between the two SEC Eastern Division rivals will be televised on ESPN. The Gamecocks have scheduled three practices that will be open to the public – Monday, Aug. 15, Tuesday, Aug. 16, and Wednesday,
Aug. 17. Each of those three practices will begin at 6:30 p.m. More details will be announced at a later date. The annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21, from 2:30 - 4 p.m. More details, including the site for this year’s event, will be announced at a later date. The weekly Carolina Calls radio show, featuring Coach Muschamp and Todd Ellis, the voice of Carolina Football, will air from 7-8
forget, and doing the Viking Clap with the players and the fans in the stands after the game was breathtaking,” Gudjonsson said. “I have no other words to describe the feeling. My spontaneous decision in going to the game is probably the best decision I have made, besides deciding on coming to South Carolina, of course.” ‘It is certainly hard to put into words’ Iceland would eventually bow out to tournament runner-ups France in the quarterfinals, but to Gudjonsson and everyone else in Iceland to see their national team put in the type of performance they did at the Euros shows them they can do anything. In fact, when asked to describe what seeing Iceland compete at that level was like left Gudjonsson somewhat speechless. “It certainly is hard to put into words, but I will try my best,” Gudjonsson said. “The whole run the team made in the Euros was outstanding. The team had the whole nation behind them supporting them. I saw an interesting saying after the England match that said ‘the difference between England and Iceland is Iceland have their whole nation behind their back meanwhile England have their whole nation on their backs.’” Gudjonsson’s thoughts are backed up by the numbers as well as just 298 people in Iceland did not have their televisions tuned into the round of 16 matchup between Iceland and England. “Despite a loss in the quarterfinals against the runner-ups of France, the people of Iceland felt like we won something,” Gudjonsson said. “It might not have been the Euros or France (match), but I think it is safe to say that we won the hearts of the people of Europe and the World with unbelievable team effort, fans that screamed their lungs out and wouldn’t leave the stadiums after the games and finally Gummi Ben (Gudmundur Benediktsson), the Icelandic commentator that has become a viral sensation. All-in-all, I think Iceland showed Europe what being Icelandic is all about.” A passion for the beautiful game Gudjonsson grew up playing both soccer (or football as it is obviously called in Iceland) and handball. In fact, Gudjonsson was a member of the Icelandic handball national team at the U15, U16 and U17 levels. At the age of 16 though, Gudjonsson made the
more or less since I started playing football at the age of five. It makes me proud that the hard work that has been put in by the Icelandic players in very harsh conditions at times reached this far and beat teams such as England, with all their worldclass facilities. I think this is a good example of if you have the desire and put in the hard work you south carolina athletics media relations can achieve whatever you want.” ‘Everything is in place for us to make a run hard decision to focus his attention solely on the just like the Icelandic team’ beautiful game. A 6-foot-1 forward, Gudjonsson was somewhat “I was involved with the youth national teams injury-plagued during his freshman season with of both sports, and at times it was hard to make the Gamecocks in the 2015 season. time for both, but looking back those were the best Despite this, he had an extremely solid opening moments of my youth career,” Gudjonsson said. “I year with South Carolina with two goals and an could definitely notice the increase in effort being assist, and he feels like much bigger things are put into football in Iceland throughout my youth ahead in his sophomore season in 2016. career, but to be honest handball was considered The 2015 Conference USA Academic Honor the national sport of Iceland until 2012 when Lars Roll member knows anything is possible for the Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson took over the Gamecocks in the upcoming year, and all he has football national team. Knowing Heimir personto do is look to his home country for inspiration. ally, I knew the team was going to go places after “Seeing the Icelandic team succeed in the he was appointed. Since then the popularity of Euros has made me more motivated than ever,” handball has declined significantly and football Gudjonsson said. “It has always been a dream of has taken over. However, I always had more pasmine to wear the blue shirt, and I don’t give up sion for football, and eventually I picked football on my dreams even though I know that is going regardless of people advising to pick handball as it to be hard and take a lot of hard work. Right now, is easier to go professional and I was to be honest I’m 100 percent focused on this season with the slightly better at handball. I had been dealing with Gamecocks, and hopefully I can play professiona shoulder injury (at the time) for a while that of ally after college. After seeing Iceland succeed, course made my decision easier, but I would have something no one would have predicted, one can always picked football.” see that with hard work and desire, anything is Much was made during the Euros as Gudjonspossible.” son alluded to of the country’s emphasis on the Last year, Gudjonsson and the Gamecocks beautiful game, and, particularly, Iceland having put together an undefeated season at home and top-notch indoor facilities, but to Gudjonsson that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Touris just part of the story. nament. “It makes me unbelievably proud that the efGudjonsson knows that with a solid returning fort that is being made on improving football in nucleus along with strong newcomers that the Iceland is starting to show on international level,” 2016 season could also be special for South CaroGudjonsson said. “People say that we can thank lina men’s soccer. the indoor facilities that have been rising in recent “I believe that this team we have can achieve years that makes it possible to train all year as the everything we set our mind to with the right atharsh winters of Iceland make it hard to train and titude and desire,” Gudjonsson said. “We certainly have great players returning, and from what I’ve play outside, but people forget that the majority heard the freshmen class will be strong too. So of the Icelandic players didn’t have the privilege everything is in place for us to make a run just like to train in those facilities and they were forced to train either indoors on plastic floors or just outside the Icelandic team. Hopefully though we can go all the way.” in the cold. I have trained outside in the winter
p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at GamecocksOnline.com on Thursday night’s during the season. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. There are two preseason shows scheduled - Wednesday, Aug. 24, and the annual Pep Rally show on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The Gamecocks return 45 letterwinners, including a dozen starters, from last year’s squad that posted a 3-9 record.
Euro run for native Iceland motivates Gudjonsson by brian Hand Executive Editor
South Carolina men’s soccer assistant coach Joey Worthen knew it was not something sophomore Bjorn Gudjonsson would want to miss. A Reykjavik, Iceland native, Gudjonsson had just returned from the United States to Iceland at the start of the prestigious Euro 2016, which was being contested in France. Gudjonsson had been watching intently obviously Iceland’s time in the group stages of Euro 2016, which included a draw against eventual tournament champion Portugal on June 14, but he really had no plans at first to make the trek to France for Euro 2016. After Iceland closed out the group stages with a thrilling 2-1 win over Austria on June 22 to advance to the knockout stages of Euro 2016, Gudjonsson took Worthen’s advice to travel to France no matter the cost. “After sitting at home seeing the Icelandic team beat Austria and advance to the last 16, I was so caught in the moment, I instantly bought a plane ticket to Nice to go see the game versus England (in the round of 16),” Gudjonsson said. “Like my coach Joey (Worthen) texted me, ‘you’ll always have time to make money, but watching Iceland´s historic run in the Euros might only happen once,’ and I completely agreed with him.” From Reykjavik, Iceland to the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France according to Google Maps is 4,181 kilometers. That translates to 2,597 miles overall and a four hour and 10-minute plane ride. The smallest country to ever compete in the Euros, Iceland has a population of just over 330,000, and like Gudjonsson pretty much the entire country wanted to be at Allianz Riviera to see their national team take on England in the round of 16 on June 27. “I did not realize that the demand for tickets was out of this world,” Gudjonsson said. “Luckily, I was one of the few from Iceland that got a ticket.” That could not be more true as Gudjonsson was one of just over 3,000 Iceland fans in attendance that evening to see Iceland pick up a historic 2-1 win over traditional international power England. “The night in Nice is something I will never
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16 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
One of the nation’s top linebackers, Sherrod Greene of Rocky Mount, NC, planned to visit USC July 23rd for the social gathering of invited prospects. Greene was at USC in June for camp and worked out for the coaches then. Greene also has been to Alabama, Georgia Tech and Georgia this summer along with the trip The Opening. He also plans to revisit his other top schools of Alabama, NC State and Virginia Tech. So, he has a top four of the Gamecocks, Crimson Tide, Hokies and Wolfpack with no leader. Greene doesn’t plan to make a decision until January and he plans to take his official visits in the fall. Last season Phil Kornblut Greene had 154 tackles Contributing with 4 forced fumbles Writer and 4 recovered fumbles he took back for scores. WR OrTre Smith of Wando has a decision date of September 11th and a top five of USC, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. He has visited each and is now in the process of seeing each at least one more time before he decides. He’s already underway in this round of visits. Last Saturday Smith was back at Georgia traveling there with his mentor Ramon Robinson of Elite Position Training. Last Sunday Smith was at USC for the High School Sports Report media day and while there, according to his mother, he met with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp and receivers coach Bryan McClendon. Clemson and USC are holding invitation only gatherings for recruits and his mother said her son would attend both. Next week Smith plans to return to North Carolina and he is also going to try to get back to Florida in August. “He just wants to go through it one more time,” his mom said. “Everybody is even right now.” LB TJ Minniffee of Lebanon, TN visited USC Tuesday and with an offer in hand from the Gamecocks but they did not push for a commitment at this time, so Minniffee will take his time and consider other options. “I like South Carolina a lot. I was at Louisville and I like them a lot, and also I like Purdue. Really it’s between those three. Coach Muschamp is wanting us to create a pipeline from South Carolina to Tennessee, so Chris Bell, Cain McWilliams and TJ Carter, they are really high up on those three guys also and those are good friends of mine.” Minniffee said the Gamecocks like him for the Buck linebacker position. Last season Minniffee had 70 tackles with 8 sacks and 1 interception. LB Cain McWilliams of Lewisburg, TN will
announce his college decision July 29th. He has offers from USC, Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee Martin. USC offered him in June at a satellite camp near Nashville and he visited later in the month. He and some of his workout mates who also have USC offers plan to visit USC later this month. DE MJ Webb of Madison, GA went back on the road to check out some favorites starting this past Saturday with a visit to Kentucky. Thursday he is going to Tennessee and on July 23rd he returned to USC for the third time since the middle of May. Webb said the Gamecocks continue to have a strong recruiting presence with him. Webb said at this point he’s focused on USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky and Florida and he’s looking at November for making his decision. He does not have a favorite. He has scheduled an official visit with USC for the Georgia weekend and he will also take one to Tennessee. USC joined fellow SEC programs Tennessee and Kentucky in offering DB Shakur Brown (6-0 175) of Stockbridge, GA. His teammate and fellow defensive back Yusef Corker also has a USC offer. Brown also has offers from West Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon State, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, Troy and Miami of Ohio. Brown said the Gamecock offer was relayed to him Thursday by his coach. “I really like how their bond is and how they are like a family and when I go up there I feel like I’m part of something big. They are in my top five, guaranteed.” Brown played mostly quarterback for his team last season but he did play four games at cornerback and registered 23 tackles and 4 interceptions. The Gamecocks and the rest like him for the secondary. Brown last visited USC in the spring and he hopes to get back again later this month. He said Kentucky, Tennessee, Oregon State and West Virginia are the other schools he’s strongly considering along with the Gamecocks. DL Romello Martin (6-3 305) of Brooklyn, NY has USC in his top ten along with Tennessee, Kansas, Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Louisville, Penn State and Syracuse. Martin is planning to visit the Gamecocks in August. Martin said USC, Florida, Rutgers and Penn State have been recruiting him the hardest. He does not have a favorite. Martin said he won’t make his decision until late January or Signing Day and he plans to take official visits this fall. Last season Martin had 45 tackles with 7 sacks. ATH Eric Stokes Jr. (6-0 170) of Covington, GA camped at USC last Tuesday and turned in 40 times of 4.25 and 4.28 according to his track coach who also is an assistant football coach.
Stokes lists his current offers as LSU, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Purdue, Louisville and others. He plans to visit Alabama Sunday and Florida a week from Friday. Stokes does not have a favorite at this point. Stokes helped Eastside win the 4A state track and field championship in May winning the 100 and 200 meters. DL Ben Hutch (6-3 300) of Nashville camped at USC last Tuesday. He has not yet picked up an offer from the Gamecocks. He has been favoring Louisville and Texas A&M. This weekend he is visiting LSU and Texas A&M. RB Chase Hayden of Collierville, TN plans to announce his decision sometime next week. His favorites are USC, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma State. DB Bam Laguerre of Miami visited USC Sunday. He also visited the Gamecocks in early June. He has not been offered by USC but he does have offers from Georgia Southern, Idaho, UAB, Central Michigan, Toledo, Western Illinois and Tennessee State. He has several other visits and camps coming with stops at Georgia State, Clemson, Alabama, UAB, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State and Southern Miss. DE Tyree Johnson of Washington, DC released a top 12 of USC, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Missouri, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Iowa and Rutgers. OL Jordon Carty of Hollywood, FL was at USC last Monday. USC target DE Matthew Butler of Garner, NC was offered by Kentucky. USC, Tennessee, NC State, North Carolina and Duke have been his top schools. DB Terrell Bailey of Marrero, LA named a top nine of USC, Mississippi State, Arizona State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Colorado. DE Mike Allen of Buford, GA has a top six of USC, Tennessee, Alabama, Southern Cal, Georgia and Wake Forest. USC commitment DB Damari Mathis of Lakeland, FL was offered by Minnesota. He committed to the Gamecocks in June over Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Central Florida and Cincinnati. 2018 QB Dakereon Joyner of Fort Dorchester has cut his list from ten to five. However, he has not revealed the final five. In June he released a top 10 list of USC, Clemson, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia, NC State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Auburn. He will visit NC State Friday and USC Saturday. 2018 DE Xavier Thomas of Wilson, a USC target, was offered last week by Penn State. 2020 DE Demon Clowney (6-6 186) of Fredrick, MD is the cousin of former USC star Jadeveon Clowney. He plays football and basketball
but his college future appears to be on the gridiron. Clowney made an unofficial football recruiting visit last weekend to USC along with a friend, 2021 OL Collin Henrich (6-3 285) whose father Chuck played for the Gamecocks in the early 90’s. Basketball News: USC basketball coach Frank Martin has one scholarship remaining for the 2016 class thanks to the departure of guard Marcus Stroman and he said recently he might use it if he can find the right player. Perhaps he has identified that individual. 6-9 Ran Tut of Monroe JC, NY made an official visit earlier this past week. “I loved everything about it,” Tut said. He’s expecting to hear back from Martin Thursday regarding an offer and that’s dependent on being able to get into USC. Tut also visited WisconsinMilwaukee, San Francisco, Kansas State and Murray State. He said if USC offers, he’ll have a decision between the Gamecocks and Milwaukee. Tut is a native of Melbourne, Australia and played two seasons at Monroe leaving him two to play at the next level. Last season he averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He shot 46% from the floor and 64% from the line. He appeared in 15 of the Mustangs’ 30 games as they reached the national tournament. 6-7 Duane Moss of Carolina Forest has had a very productive summer and has caught the eye of several coaches including USC’s Frank Martin who liked him enough to offer earlier this summer. He also has offers from Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, New Jersey Tech, Furman, Delaware and Coastal Carolina where his father is an assistant coach. Moss said Martin has told him he has the type of game he needs in his program. “I’m a big wing that can shoot and that’s what they need, more shooting on the team,” Moss said. Moss said he’s not sure if he’ll sign early and there is no favorite. He plans to narrow his list at the end of this month. 5-10 guard Haley Troup of Gadsden City, AL announced a commitment to the USC women’s basketball team last Friday night. Some of her other offers were Texas, Vanderbilt and Auburn. She’s the second commitment for Dawn Staley’s 2017 class. 2018 6-6 Zion Williamson of Spartanburg Day said Wednesday at an AAU event in Atlanta that his top ten right now are USC, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Oregon, Georgetown, Arizona and Virginia. USC offered 2018 6-7 Duncan Demuth of Seminole, FL. He also has offers from Wyoming, Western Carolina and South Florida. He’s drawing interest from Oklahoma, Florida and Florida State.
Spurs & Feathers • 17
July 27, 2016
Moore: Road to success in the fall is made in the summer I don’t know about you, but the summer time for me growing up meant freedom as a kid. Not having to worry about school, waking up early, or concerning myself with any type of responsibility for the most part. Everything about summer break was great until my parents would hit us with those dreaded words “we’re going on a road trip.” That would be quickly followed up with an eye roll, “teeth sucking,” and “maaaaaaaan” (probably all three in combination). These road trips as a youth seem like pure torture to us in the back seat along for the trip.Something you promised you would never subject yourself to as an adult when Langston Moore you had your own Contributing family later in life. Writer It goes into that “when I grow I’m never gonna do this again” category. But these road trips that seem like drudgery and torture become glue for you and your tribe. Enduring the aggravation, uncertainty of plans, heat, terrible radio selection ... All the things that make you want to be left behind at the next truck stop. But It also makes you in some strange way appreciate this crazy bunch you call your family...
For a football team going through the paces of “offseason” workouts, when it rolls around to this point of the summer, for the most part you’re physically in shape and ready to practice real football (in pads). But you haven’t made that “road trip” bond as a family. You haven’t had all the time to learn how to work, communicate and gel as a team yet out in the world. Learning how to coexist with all your different teammates and coaches, deal with their idiosyncrasies, personalities all the while trying to win. You don’t appreciate this time together much like you didn’t appreciate those hours in the car stuck with your family. But it’s paramount as it relates to the success of the team and how far they will go this season. Of course being in the best physical shape is important individually, but it starts to become less about you and more about developing a mentality, a group all singularly focused on the same destination. Much like it’s your parent that sets the agenda for the family road trip, the coaches and staff set the direction post spring game in April. Ultimately, it’s the players that have to police themselves on this part of the trip per se and steer the vehicle . With the NCAA rules in place, coaches are limited in their interaction with the players during the summer months.This affords the opportunity for the leaders of the team to emerge and step to the forefront and drive the car. The teams that come together during these sweltering monotonous workout days are the teams that win games in the fall. The magic of accountability and ownership take over the identity of the team. All championship teams and orga-
either become closer or become divided. Having been on losing teams and seeing firsthand the difference between genuine respect and accountability, it makes all the difference between successful teams and those who aren’t. I can recall a late summer “team meeting” where we would end up being blindfolded and led across Bluff road by a teammate. Or the “trust fall” exercise which was really an exercise in faith, especially knowing the photo by allen sharpe inconstant hands we had on the team at that time. Coaches spend a lot of mental energy infigurnizations all have this one hidden ingredient to ing out genuine ways to have their teams come success stirred into their team/company’s ethos. together on a deeper level, but there is no one way Without it, the foundation is weak at best and it’s to get there. Trust me, there is nothing worse than only a matter of time before that foundation starts trying to manufacture and force this bond within to crack and turns into petty fingerpointing and a group, only to see it crumble when the trip gets blaming. rough. The summer sessions are the proverbial Much like the summer road trips these summer family bonding time for football teams and they workouts test your love and tolerance for your must take that trip every summer! family. There’s only so many times you can play Just as each workout is important this sum“I Spy” and sing “on the road again” in the car. mer for Coach Muschamp’s group physically, How many times can you stop and take another the attendance and buy-in is just as important. bathroom break for your little brother (will we The 2016 Gamecock team will have to be a tight ever get there?!!!!). Similar for the players on the group that pays little attention to the noise outside field, “how many times can we lift these same the locker room this season. The talent level is weights and run 100-yard sprints? Will the season what it is, last year’s record is what it is. For the ever get here?!!” But if you can see through all the Gamecocks to have success this season, especialannoyances, agitation and adversity on this part ly early on the road they got to rely on each other. of the trip, come the fall the team will be stronIt’s not gonna be individuals that go out there and ger and well equipped to take on tougher quest win games in 2016, but a group committed to dothrough the SEC. ing it’s job. A group that put in the work and came together in the summer to win in the fall for each There’s no real way around building genuine other. strong team bonds and accountability. Going #SpursUp #ForevertoThee #JustaChicken through adversity gives people an opportunity to
by kyle heck Reporter
ment to the University of South Carolina, to our coaches, to our training staff and to our weight room. All of those things add together so that the athlete can reach the ultimate goal. The Olympics are the ultimate goal for anyone in an Olympic sport. We have four athletes that take the banner of Gamecocks.” Hastings, a three-time national champion with the Gamecocks, will be participating in her third straight Olympics for Team USA. She will once again be part of the 4x400m relay team, but will also race as an individual for the first time in the quarter-mile event. After having two Olympics to get used to the process, Frye is expecting great things from the seasoned veteran. “Now I see her as a 29-year-old, so getting autographs is not what she’s doing,” Frye said. “She’ll be focused, she’ll be in her room (and) she won’t be running around to visit other nations. Natasha’s expectation is to make the finals and to not let the awesomeness of it overcome her.” The 19-year-old Abrams is coming off a stellar freshman season with the Gamecocks where she helped the 4x400m relay team claim bronze
at the outdoor national meet and silver at the SEC Championships. She’ll be competing in the 4x4 and 400m event for Guyana, and Frye has tried to prepare the teenager for what’s coming. “She’s so happy to be on an Olympic team,” Frye said. “I talked to her the other day about her work and don’t (just) participate. But it’s hard for a youngster. They’re thrilled about the ceremony and walking and having the uniform and being in the village with the big girls.” Beckles was a three-time All-American for the Gamecocks, and will be competing for Barbados in the 100m hurdles. She broke her country’s national record in the event last summer, and Frye has big expectations for her. “I’d like to see Kierre get through the semifinals and into the finals,” Frye said. “That’s incredible (and) that’s the first step.” Scheper is yet another athlete who did great things while with South Carolina. The 2015 NCAA outdoor high jump national champion with the Gamecocks will represent St. Lucia in the event, and has the potential to place in the top-10. “Jeannelle last year was seventh in the world,” noted Frye. “I would like to see her get back to
Gamecocks in Olympics ‘give us something to brag about’
For South Carolina track and field head coach Curtis Frye, representing the University of South Carolina is something that gives him great joy. He’s able to work with tremendous athletes that are also great students, and one of the main goals is for him and his team to represent the University in a good way. This August at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Frye and four of his current and former Gamecock athletes will get a chance to represent the Gamecocks in the Red, White and Blue on an international level. South Carolina sent seven former and three current athletes to the USA Olympic Trials while two additional athletes competed in trials overseas. Rising sophomore Aliyah Abrams will join former stars Natasha Hastings, Kierre Beckles and Jeannelle Scheper in Rio. The four athletes will represent four different nations at the Olympics. “We’re always excited about being able to represent our country, and to have kids that represent their country,” Frye said. “It’s a testa-
that, and to get to the point where she’s there and rises above it.” Frye will also make the trip to Rio with his athletes as a member of Team USA. The longtime South Carolina coach will be the men’s sprint and hurdles coach for Team USA. The last part of July and all of August will be a busy time for Frye, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “When I first started this, it was to get a chance to be the college coach at a local University,” Frye said. “It was to be able to make a difference in lives. I never dreamed that a smalltown guy from Vass, North Carolina could get all the way to the Olympics.” Frye is incredibly grateful for what the University of South Carolina has done for him, and he’s excited for the chance to watch his quartet of athletes compete at the highest international level in Rio. Frye has always been proud of the fact that his athletes work hard for everything they receive, and it will be no different in Rio. “Our athletes that go to the Olympic games give us something to brag about,” Frye said. “We hope that they all make the Olympic finals so that we can say hard work beats talent.”
18 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Staley preparing to help U.S. go for another gold medal in Olympics by kyle heck Reporter
team (at South Carolina), they’re not the Olympic team. You kind of get used to seeing the best out there playing and executing and talking. It’s like While she has already had a busy summer basketball Utopia.” traveling and taking her first vacation in eight Because she has been a part of the Olympic years, South Carolina women’s basketball head team for so long, Staley has learned most of the coach Dawn Staley is about to get a lot busier in a major things she can learn from the coaching couple of weeks. staff, which includes head coach and UConn For the first time since 2008, Staley will be an coach Geno Auriemma. Now it’s about takassistant coach on the U.S. Olympic women’s ing the small things that she can use to help the basketball team. However, despite the long break, Gamecocks when she returns to the United Staley is very familiar with the Olympic national States. team. She was a three-time gold medalist as a “You can’t use someone’s whole system, you player in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 games, and have to take little things from them to create an became an assistant coach for the gold-medal edge or to give our players something a little winning team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics bit different that they need to be successful at before sitting out the 2012 games the next level,” Staley said. “Of in London. course, you want to be successful As she gets ready to travel to at the collegiate level, but when Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Sumyou tell them this is what the pros mer Olympics, Staley is preparing are doing (and) this is what the for the immense amount of talent Olympians are doing, they take she’ll be dealing with. it a little bit differently than you “Just being around such great saying this is what you have to talent, it’s a gift and a curse,” do.” All Gamecock basketball Staley knows that it is incredStaley said. “You’re seeing the coverage sponsored by ibly beneficial to be able to have best of the best, and you know, Yesterdays although we do have a talented the experience of coaching the
the U.S. flag at Opening Ceremonies, something that still amazes her to this day. “You don’t plan for it, it just happens,” Staley said. “When it does happen, I still can’t believe it. It was cool to have that experience and bring basketball to the forefront.” Everyone involved with the Olympic women’s basketball team knows what the goal is, and that is to bring home the gold medal. Anything else is photo by allen sharpe considered a disappointment. The U.S. has done a nice job of accomplishing that goal over the Olympic national team. Along with picking up years as the Americans have won the gold medal things from legendary coaches like Auriemma, at the last five Olympics. she’s able to use it as a recruiting tool to tell playStaley has been a part of four of those gold ers she knows how to coach an Olympian, the medals, and will be looking for No. 5 this sumNo. 1 goal of pretty much every young women’s mer. She says it will be tough, as the competition basketball player. has continued to improve, but is confident she “It’s always a great thing because I’m learning and the talented Americans can get the job done. as a coach how to coach players of that caliber,” “It is gold or failure,” Staley said. “Of course, Staley said. “I think our players are pretty special that’s an incredible amount of pressure, but that’s in that they get it. They get it firsthand from me, what we do, and that’s what we train for. That’s and how to have that kind of success.” why the committee puts together what they think Staley has a lot of fond memories from her ex- is the best team to represent us, and that’s why periences with the Olympics. One that may never they put together the staff that will increase our be touched is her first time with the team at the chances of winning.” 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Her playing The national team gets started in Rio de Janeiro career was then capped off at the 2004 Summer on August 7, when the Americans start prelimiOlympics in Athens, Greece, where she carried nary play against Senegal.
Shaw eager to get started in Chicago by brian hand Executive Editor
The NFL is a business, and South Carolina great Connor Shaw completely understands that, which is why he was not surprised at all when the Cleveland Browns released him at the end of June. “When you go through a complete coaching change and personnel change (like Cleveland), the odds of you sticking around are slim,” Shaw told the media at the Connor Shaw Football Camp at River Bluff High School in Lexington on Friday, July 22. “I’m blessed and fortunate to go play somewhere else.” That somewhere else for Shaw is to Chicago where he will be joining the Bears for training camp. But it was not just the Bears who were interested in Shaw after his release from Cleveland. In fact, the New Orleans Saints were so interested that they leaked to the entire NFL that they were going to be claiming Shaw off waivers in early July.
about it,” Shaw said. “It’s good to reunite with some of these guys that were in Cleveland. I’m ready to compete.” One of those individuals that Shaw will be reuniting with is Chicago offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who was Cleveland’s quarterbacks coach during Shaw’s rookie year in 2014. photo by brian hand Shaw knows that having worked with Loggains in Cleveland will be huge as he heads to a The Bears wanted Shaw though just as bad, new team. and swooped in and claimed him off waivers “I’m sure some of the stuff will be a little simibefore the Saints. lar to when I was in Cleveland my rookie year,” For Shaw after just being released a few days Shaw said. “It’s not a total new learning curve for earlier the whole experience was nice in that “it me. It’s just good to be back with those guys in a felt good to know I was wanted again.” new city.” “It’s obviously something you don’t see a whole Overall, Shaw is just excited to play for former lot, and I just think it’s meant to be when someCarolina Panthers and current Chicago head thing happens like that,” Shaw said. “Chicago’s coach John Fox. the place for me to be right now.” “I’ve heard nothing but great things, so it’s goThe Connor Shaw Football Camp on Friday, ing to be an awesome opportunity and learning July 22, at River Bluff High School is one of the experience for me,” Shaw said. “I’m eager to get final things Shaw will be doing before heading started.” to Chicago. Another individual that Shaw will obviously “I go on Tuesday (July 26), so I am stoked get the opportunity to play with in Chicago is fel-
low Gamecock football legend and NFL All-Pro wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The two have been texting back and forth as Shaw prepares to make his way to the Windy City. “It’s going to be nice (playing with Jeffery again),” Shaw said. “I miss those days. It’s going to be fun when training camp begins tossing to him again.” Before the grind of an NFL training camp though, Shaw was once again just happy to be back teaching the game he loves in the Midlands at his football camp where he was joined by former South Carolina teammates Mike Matulis and Cody Gibson and former Coastal Carolina great and NFL quarterback Tyler Thigpen among others. “When I was growing up, I enjoyed being coachable, and to give back to these kids you can see all over their faces that they are eager to learn,” Shaw said. “They wouldn’t be here on a summer morning (if they weren’t), so I’m proud of all of these guys that come out here, and it’s so much fun for me.”
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July 27, 2016
Gunter: ‘This is one of the more highly anticipated seasons for me that I can remember’ and both financial and administrative support to be a national success. I debated on my new radio show this past week, “The All New Early Game,” on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with new co-host Tim Hill that the expectation level for the Gamecock football program has changed. The program itself has changed since September of 2005 when Spurrier coached his first game against Central Florida. Granted, this year’s team is a work in progress and this year’s team is not ready to compete for a division or league championship, but the program itself is on a solid foundation. I argued with Mr. Hill (as we like to do in a friendly, yet spirited fashion) that the Gamecocks program should now expect to not just compete for, but win a divisional championship at least once every five years. Tim’s argument however was that history did not suggest the Gamecocks were capable of such a thing. That based on the mediocre past of Gamecock football, that type of success was unreasonable and it was much more reasonable for the Gamecocks fan base to expect to win a divisional championship once every seven or eight years. Again, I do not buy that and refuse to accept it. The bottom line is that while Coach Muschamp inherits a team that does need a little retooling and remodeling, he inherits an overall program that features some of the best facilities in the country. Muschamp inherits an athletic department run by Ray Tanner that is as committed to helping coaches succeed and win league championships as well as any in the nation. However, most importantly, he inherits a program that has now seen it could compete and win a league championship.
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as well just tear the whole thing down.” Well, Spurrier did win fairly big. He did prove that a coach can use in-state talent, mesh it with key players from outside the Palmetto State and produce a winner. So now there should be a higher level of expectation moving forward with this program. Now, it should be noted, I am not saying that if a coach does not win a divisional championship in a five-year stretch that things need to be blown up and the football program needs to find a new guy. There are more variables in this particular equation when we are talking about winning bigger than the Gamecocks have ever done. wire photo Still, as Muschamp begins fall camp in a few weeks and kickoff creeps ever closer it That is the difference between the prois the dawn of a new era. Not just the start gram that Spurrier stepped onto the field of the “Muschamp era,” but the start of a with that night 12 years ago against Central new era in Gamecock football as now both Florida. I remember speaking to many fans fans and players know it is possible to win prior to that game and the same feeling or big at South Carolina and moving forward, opinion kept popping up as I was told, “If I believe that should be the expectation for Steve Spurrier can’t win big here, we might the program.
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With the excitement of SEC Media Week (I know it’s supposed to be Media Days, but I was there, trust me it is a week) behind us, the countdown to kickoff now shifts into high gear for the 2016 South Carolina football season. I must admit that even with the success of 2010 through 2013, this season is one of the more highly anticipated seasons I can remember for me personally in my lifetime. Of course, the excitement is not for the Gamecocks opportunity to win a divisional Bill Gunter or conference Contributing championship. Writer It isn’t because I think this maybe some type of great season that produces a highlight video and New Year’s Day bowl game when things come to an end in January. No, this is more of the excitement of a new era for Gamecock football. I know we want to label this as the start of the Will Muschamp era at South Carolina and that is true, but when I use the term “new era” I am speaking much bigger and broader picture. Lou Holtz showed both Gamecock Nation and the SEC that this program could be competitive, that it could hold their own in the conference and not be a constant doormat. Steve Spurrier took it much further and proved you could win and win big in Columbia. Spurrier showed the Gamecocks program has the tools, fan base, facilities
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20 • Spurs & Feathers
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Athletics Department set to launch new premium parking lot The pregame atmosphere and festivities around Williams-Brice Stadium are rivaled by few and envied by many. Over the past decade, the Athletics Department has made it a priority to expand and improve the parking and tailgating areas around Williams-Brice Stadium. In 2009, in conjunction with the South Carolina State Fair, the university-controlled area of the fairgrounds was renovated with new landscaping and fixtures. In 2012, the Athletics Department began the transformation of the old Farmers Market into the center of the Gamecock Football gameday experience – Gamecock Park. This was accomplished through the construction of the Garnet Way, four parking quads fit with tent space, two premium lots, restrooms and more. Demand for parking spaces in these lots has been at a fever pitch since they were built, with little turnover each year. In an effort to continue to expand an already fantastic gameday environment, the Athletics
Department has announced the launch of the new Garnet Society Lot to be located on the former Bojangles’ property adjacent to the Premium North lot in Gamecock Park. With construction of 55 premium spaces set to be completed this August, the Garnet Society Lot will be the only university-owned lot with full cable and electrical hook-ups, the ability to purchase catering service to your vehicle on gameday, extended tailgating hours, and a pregame shuttle. Each and every space in the lot will feature these amenities, as well as a sodded tent space. “We wanted to create a gameday tailgating experience that is unrivaled. The lot has the best in amenities and is less than 100 feet from Williams-Brice. The location simply cannot be beat,” noted Steve Eigenbrot, Associate Athletics Director, Development. Garnet Society member Tim Packer will be one of the first to park in the lot this season and is excited about the opportunity to not only give back to South Carolina but also enjoy a fantastic tailgating experience. “We are
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fortunate that we can give back and make a difference at South Carolina. I’m also incredibly excited that while doing so, we can tailgate a few feet from the gates of Williams-Brice!” said Melissa and Tim Packer of Clayton, NC. Availability in the Garnet Society Lot is extremely limited. A capital pledge to the Athletics Department is required to request a space. Monies raised for the lot will be committed to the Williams-Brice Stadium Plaza Fund,
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Spurs & Feathers • 21
July 27, 2016
Martin excited about opportunity to take team to Costa Rica by kyle heck Reporter
While South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin has been a college basketball coach for more than 15 years, this August will feature a first for Martin. From Aug. 6-12, Martin will take his team on a foreign tour to Costa Rica, the first such tour for the Gamecocks since the fall of 2008. For Martin, it will be the first time he’s taken a team on a foreign tour. “We have to handle this summer a little differently than we have (in the past),” Martin said. “This is my first foreign tour, so it’s something different than I’ve done during my time.” In regard to handling the summer differently because of the practices starting earlier, Martin said he’ll have to spread the workload for the players over a longer stretch of time so that they won’t be burnt out in February. In addition, Martin noted that he’ll likely allow some of his assistant coaches to take a bigger role during the practices for the foreign trip. While in Costa Rica, the Gamecocks will play two exhibition games against the Costa Rica national team, in addition to holding a joint practice with the Costa Ricans as well. The team will also hold two clinics, including one for the Spe-
photo by jenny dilworth
cial Olympics. Prior to leaving for Costa Rica, the Gamecocks will have 10 days of practices, per NCAA rules, which will allow Martin and his coaching staff to get an early start with the team after working with each player individually throughout the summer. “It gives us 10 practices to understand our players and for us to see what they can and can’t do,” Martin said. “As coaches, we sit in an office and say ‘let’s put this guy in this area, and let’s do this with him,’ and then when you actually go out on the court and they do it, you’re like ‘he can’t do that.’ It gives us an opportunity to teach the new guys, and go through some of that with our team.” In addition to the basketball-related activities, the Gamecocks will have the opportunity to tour the capital city of San José, and spend two days in Playa Conchal, a beautiful beachside city in the country. The trip will give the team a unique chance to bond and grow as a group, which is something Martin is looking forward to. “It forces them to communicate with each other,” Martin said. “It forces them to communicate with the coaches because we’re all huddled up in the same hotel, in the same environment, and that’s the biggest part. We all get to know each other a little better. That’s what I want to see happen on this trip.”
Dozier learned from one of the best in Stephen Curry at SC30 Select Camp
by brian Hand Executive Editor
brought together for the camp sponsored by Under Armour what Curry believes are the top guards in the world Recently, rising South Carnot playing professional basolina sophomore guard P.J. ketball. Dozier had the unique opEveryone in attendance at portunity to participate in the the camp received a personal third annual Stephen Curry invitation from Curry. SC30 Select Camp. “The SC30 Select Camp Hosted by the two-time represents an opportunity reigning NBA Most Valufor each person to get betable Player, the camp - which All Gamecock basketball ter and inspire one another ran from June 28-July 1 in coverage sponsored by while developing the ‘I Will’ the California Bay Area Yesterdays mentality,” Curry says of the
prestigious camp on its website. A 6-foot-6 point guard, Dozier put together a tremendous freshman campaign for the Gamecocks in the 2015-16 season, ending the year averaging 6.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin is expecting even bigger things from the 2015 McDonald’s AllAmerican in the 2016-17 season. “P.J. has made an unbelievable jump,” Martin told the media on Thursday, June 23, before later relaying, “he’s so much more prepared.”
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Pictured is long-time South Carolina fan and member of the Gamecock Club Tom Masi having a great time getting the unique opportunity to play Pebble Beach in California.
Spurs & Feathers • 23
July 27, 2016
George Rogers Foundation celebrates 25th anniversary by Kyle Heck Reporter
George Rogers understands how important an education is, and also how difficult it can be for some people to receive a proper education. He received an athletic scholarship to South Carolina and went on to become one of the best players in Gamecock history, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1980. However, the education Rogers received at South Carolina was invaluable, and he made it a point after he left school to give back to the community and University that provided him with so much. A quarter of a century later, that mission still lives on through the George Rogers Foundation, a program that provides, among other things, financial aid to first generation college students. On Sunday, June 26, at the University of South Carolina My Carolina Alumni Center, a special celebration was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the foundation. “25 years, that just goes to show that South Carolina and the people I’ve been associated with, they stood behind me,” Rogers said. “Of course, a lot of these people are my friends. But the important thing is that kids get a chance to go to school, and an opportunity to make grades.” More than 400 people showed up for the special event, and it went even better than expected, according to event organizer Michele Beagle. “The turnout was really great,” Beagle said. “We had people come up to the door. Social media helped, all the news media outlets helping to promote it really helped. We were very happy with the people that were there to support the cause of George, and see the new alumni center. It was a good combination for everyone involved.” The anniversary event consisted of both a silent and live auction, and had a multitude of celebrities present from all across the country. Former Gamecock stars like Ryan Brewer, Rashad Faison and Corey Miller were in attendance, but so were legendary figures like Tony Dorsett, Larry Holmes and Ron Dayne. “Anyone who wants to know the power of George Rogers, all they have to do is come in this room and see the people that have come out to celebrate him and his foundation,” said South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin, who also came out in support of Rogers. “I’m super excited. I’m like a little kid in a toy store meeting some of these folks.”
A lot of people know of Rogers because of his success on the football field, but those around the University of South Carolina know how important he is across a lot of other different areas as well. “People will forever know George Rogers,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said. “He wasn’t just a guy that came through and people are going to forget, ever. Not only because he was a great football player, but because of that smile and people know how genuine he is. This is the 25th anniversary of giving back and doing scholarships and trying to help people get an education that might not otherwise get that opportunity. It’s all about who George is. We all remember him from being a Heisman Trophy guy, but we remember him just as much for the things that he does outside of football.” His impact reaches further than even South Carolina, as evidenced by the celebrities in attendance at the 25th anniversary celebration. However, that reach is particularly strong in the Palmetto State, where the George Rogers Foundation is extremely well-known. “George came to Hilton Head a couple years ago; we had a big charity event there,” former South Carolina star and longtime basketball coach Bobby Cremins said. “People love George Rogers. He has such a great personality and it’s great what he does. I enjoy being around him, so when I can come, I come.” New head football coach Will Muschamp hasn’t been in Columbia for very long, but it took no time at all for him to understand the kind of man Rogers is. “George has been great since I’ve been in Columbia, and I really appreciate his support,” Muschamp said. “Anything I can do to help him is something I certainly want to do.” Rogers was obviously very thankful for everyone that came out to show their support to him and his foundation. Over the past 25 years, Rogers has had a lot of help from many different people. But for him, the University of South Carolina will always hold a special place in his heart. “They helped me a lot,” Rogers said of the University. “Without them, none of this would’ve happened. I went to the University, and they kept a hold of me and allowed me to be able to do some of the things that I’m doing. Thank the University for that. Kids going to school, it makes a difference. If I didn’t make my grades and do good in school, I wouldn’t be who I am.”
photo by allen sharpe
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Genuine Gamecocks: Muschamp, Rich share love for community by Brian Hand Executive Editor During the interview process, South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp made sure to let athletics director Ray Tanner know he considered it incredibly important. And Muschamp has more than lived up to his words to Tanner in that it is readily apparent that he considers it imperative to be involved with the Columbia community. “You’ve got to be accessible to people,” Muschamp said. That accessibility was on display for everyone in attendance at Heathwood Hall the evening of Thursday, July 21, during the first day of playoff action in the annual SC ProAm, which is run by South Carolina men’s
basketball great Carey Rich as the commissioner. Over Muschamp’s first months in the Midlands, Rich and Muschamp have become good friends. That’s why it was a no-brainer to Muschamp to come out to Heathwood Hall to not only support his friend and be involved in the community, but also to watch some great basketball with many former and current Gamecocks in action. “Carey has been great to me,” Muschamp said. “He’s a really good friend, and a guy that I’ve got a very good relationship with.” The superintendent of recreation for the City of Columbia, Rich is not surprised at all that Muschamp would give of his time in this way because he is that type of individual. “It means everything (that he would at-
photo by brian hand
Rich, Fifth Judicial District solicitor Dan Johnson and Muschamp at SC Pro-Am tend the SC Pro-Am),” Rich said. “I think it speaks to his sincerity. I think it speaks to the genuine spirt that he has.” Rich noted that with Muschamp the perception that some have is definitely not the
reality as just like another friend of his in fifth-year South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin, the first-year Gamecock head coach is seen as someone that is a “loud guy, very demonstrative and a passionate guy on the sidelines.” While Muschamp like Martin is definitely a passionate individual, Rich points out that “those that are close to him, they would run through a wall for him because he’s loyal and he cares.” Count Rich among those individuals. “It means the world that he would come out to the Pro-Am to not only enjoy basketball, but what we’re doing and support Carey Rich,” Rich said. “He’s a big part of the community. That’s why a guy like him, I’m willing to do whatever to help because it’s reciprocated.”
U.S. Open experience something Stachler will never forget
until Saturday just allowed me to get the fuller experience, and spend a lot of time around the tour pros,” Stachler said. “I wasn’t really asking Every college golfer spends their summer getguys for advice. I kind of just watched how they ting better and perfecting their craft. prepared, and just took some notes mentally.” But, not every college golfer - particularly risWhile not necessarily seeking out some of ing sophomores - get to play in the U.S. Open photo by juan blas those at the top of the game of golf, Stachler did during the summer. have the chance to interact with two-time major That was exactly the opportunity that Ryan time for me playing in front of crowds, I had a winner and 2015 U.S. Open champion Jordan Stachler of the South Carolina men’s golf prolittle pressure on me and felt the nerves, but goSpieth. gram afforded himself this summer though, and ing forward I need to work on getting more of “I ended up talking with Spieth on a putting it’s something he will never forget. a consistent shot that I can go to. That is kind of green,” Stachler said. “He was just like, ‘go out “It was an awesome experience,” Stachler told what I lacked there. I didn’t have the confidence there and have some fun today.’ Really nice guy. Spurs & Feathers just two short days after finish- to hit that one shot every time, and that threw me I had lunch with his family too. They didn’t have ing his time playing in one of golf’s four majors. off (a little bit). It’s a hard golf course.” somewhere to sit, and we had them over at our “I definitely won’t forget it. I’ll learn a lot from Calling Oakmont Country Club a “hard table.” everything I did.” course” is definitely a vast understatement as it is The whole experience was made even better Stachler finished second during a sectional consistently ranked among the top-10 courses in for Stachler in that he also had his family there qualifier at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek all of golf. as well as South Carolina men’s golf head coach Course to capture a spot in the second major of “By far the hardest course I’ve ever played all Bill McDonald. the year. The Alpharetta, Georgia native carded a around,” Stachler said. “It challenged every part “It was really cool having coach there,” 36-hole score of 8-under 136 to give South Caro- of your game. Overall just experience-wise, it Stachler said. “It meant a lot to me that he came lina a current Gamecock in the U.S. Open for the was really cool just seeing what it is like out on up for five days, and that he was there for me second straight year. South Carolina’s first-ever the tour. That’s something I want to do when I when I needed him on a swing. It was great just first-team All-America selection this past season, get a little older. It was really cool checking it out having him and my whole family there.” Gamecock great and current professional golfer and knowing that is exactly what I want to do. It Even the crowds at the Oakmont Country Club Matt NeSmith qualified the year before for the was just a lot of fun out there.” began to take notice of Stachler while he was 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Course In addition to being a part of the U.S. Open there. in University Place, Washington. contested June 16-19 that was won by Columbia “When I was out on the course most of the Stachler admittedly did not play his best golf native Dustin Johnson, Stachler also had the people didn’t even know who I was to start, but during the 116h U.S. Open at the prestigious unique opportunity to interact with some of the as the week went on more people knew my name Oakmont Country Club in Plum, Pennslyvania best golfers in the world. and were rooting me on,” Stachler said. “It was as he missed the cut with a two-round score of Stachler’s time at the U.S. Open was procool to see how throughout the week people 22-over (162), but for a young golfer as noted the longed even longer due to the fact that he had the started to root for me.” opportunity to compete at one of the top tourna- chance to embrace the opportunity at the major Stachler came to play for McDonald at South ments in all of golf at such a a little longer due to inclement Carolina as a two-time all-state selection in young age is priceless. weather wreaking havoc on Georgia. In his freshman season for the Game“For golf-related and makthe tournament until Saturday, cocks in 2015-16, the American Junior Golf ing my game better, I realized June 18. Association Academic All-America selection as probably my game is close, “I think having the rain a prep golfer played in four events for the GameAll Gamecock golf coverage delays and just stretching out but it’s not quite there yet,” cocks. He played in a total of only 11 rounds, Stachler said. “I think the first sponsored by Jeffers-McGill the time I was able to play but he knows his U.S. Open appearance shows
what he is capable of for the Gamecocks going forward. “I knew my game was getting into form,” Stachler said of originally qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Open. “I was thinking I was going to have a good summer, but I was kind of using the U.S. Open qualifiers as just getting ready for other tournaments.” Now the rising sophomore has the added experience and, really, added confidence of knowing that he can play golf at the highest level, and he knows that shows that despite losing some vital pieces in three elite seniors now playing professional golf, South Carolina men’s golf is in good hands going forward. “I think it shows we have a lot to offer coming up,” Stachler said. “We lost three starters, but if our No. 6 or 7 or whatever I was can make the U.S. Open, we have a really good chance to do what we did this year, if not even more next year.”
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July 27, 2016
Spurs & Feathers â€¢ 25
26 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Preseason Depth Chart for Gamecocks South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: LT: LG: OC: RG:
1 Deebo Samuel 5 Terry Googer 14 Jamari Smith 89 Bryan Edwards 88 Javon Charleston 74 Mason Zandi 77 Malik Young 78 Zack Bailey 55 Christian Pellage 70 Alan Knott 51 Cory Helms 51 Cory Helms 72 Donell Stanley RT: 69 D.J. Park 63 Blake Camper TE: 81 Hayden Hurst -OR- 3 K.C. Crosby QB: 10 Perry Orth -OR- 11 Brandon McIlwain RB: 33 David Williams 25 A.J. Turner
6-0, 205, So. 6-4, 220, So. 5-10, 210, Jr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-0, 195, RFr. 6-9, 315, Sr. 6-3, 300, So. 6-6, 315, So. 6-6, 305, So. 6-4, 290, Jr. 6-4, 310, Jr. 6-4, 310, Jr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 330, Jr. 6-8, 300, So. 6-5, 250, So. 6-1, 227, So. 6-1, 200, Sr. 6-0, 205, Fr. 6-1, 220, Jr. 5-10, 195, RFr.
OL: 79 Trey Derouen Inman, S.C. Atlanta, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Conway, S.C. Gurnee, Ill. Chapin, S.C. Pelzer, S.C. Summerville, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Tyrone, Ga. Alpharetta, Ga. Alpharetta, Ga. Floydale, S.C. Dillon, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Jacksonville, Fla. Bamberg, S.C. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Newtown, Pa. Philadelphia, Pa. Clifton, Va.
NOTE: The following offensive players were injured and missed all of spring practice. They will be evaluated in the fall:
6-3, 310, RFr.
DEFENSE DE: 8 Marquavius Lewis 18 Keir Thomas DT: 94 Kelsey Griffin 93 Ulric Jones DT: 90 Taylor Stallworth 99 Abu Lamin DE: 30 Daniel Fennell 5 Darius English SLB: 4 Bryson Allen-Williams MLB: 28 Jonathan Walton -OR- 11 T.J. Holloman WLB: 11 T.J. Holloman -OR- 23 Larenz Bryant CB: 1 Rico McWilliams 16 Rashad Fenton S: 17 Chaz Elder 6 Chris Moody S: 3 Chris Lammons 24 D.J. Smith CB: 3 Chris Lammons 31 Chris Smith N: 16 Rashad Fenton 29 Antoine Wilder
6-3, 270, Sr. Greenwood, S.C. 6-2, 265, Fr. Miami, Fla. 6-2, 295, Sr. Buford, Ga. 6-5, 300, Jr. Oxford, Ala. 6-2, 310, Jr. Mobile, Ala. 6-4, 310, Sr. Fayetteville, N.C. 6-3, 235, RFr. Loganville, Ga. 6-6, 245, Sr. Powder Springs, Ga. 6-0, 230, Jr. Ellenwood, Ga. 6-0, 230, Sr. Daphne, Ala. 6-2, 230, Sr. Stone Mountain, Ga. 6-2, 230, Sr. Stone Mountain, Ga. 6-0, 225, Sr. Charlotte, N.C. 5-11, 190, Sr. Hampton, Ga. 5-10, 190, So. Miami, Fla. 6-2, 200, Sr. Union City, Ga. 6-1, 220, Sr. McDonough, Ga. 5-10, 190, Jr. Lauderhill, Fla. 5-11, 195, Jr. Marietta, Ga. 5-10, 190, Jr. Lauderhill, Fla. 5-10, 180, Fr. Rock Hill, S.C. 5-10, 190, So. Miami, Fla. 5-10, 185, RFr. Riverdale, Ga.
NOTE: The following defensive players were injured and missed all of spring practice. They will be evaluated in the fall: DL: 91 Shameik Blackshear DL: 95 Dante Sawyer DB: 42 Jordan Diggs
6-4, 265, RFr. 6-3, 275, Jr. 6-0, 205, Sr.
Bluffton, S.C. Suwanee, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla.
SPECIALISTS PK: P: LS: KOR: PR: -OR- -OR-
29 Elliott Fry 13 Sean Kelly 47 Drew Williams 16 Rashad Fenton 25 A.J. Turner 3 Chris Lammons 16 Rashad Fenton 1 Deebo Samuel
6-0, 170, Sr. 5-10, 190, Sr. 6-2, 215, Sr. 5-10, 190, So. 5-10, 195, RFr. 5-10, 190, Jr. 5-10, 190, So. 6-0, 205, So.
Frisco, Texas Oakland, Fla. Irmo, S.C. Miami, Fla. Clifton, Va. Lauderhill, Fla. Miami, Fla. Inman, S.C.
WR: 9 Jerad Washington 5-8, 175, RFr. Jacksonville, Fla. *This depth chart is taken from South Carolina preseason media guide. Please note Vanderbilt has not released a preseason depth chart. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after the conclusion of each game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.
Will Muschamp continues to be impressed with buy-in of stakeholders by brian Hand Executive Editor
coach at Florida, Muschamp in his now over half a year in charge of the Gamecocks has South Carolina defensive end Marquavius been pleased with how he has been received by Lewis considers it the way it was supposed to so many different stakeholders of the program be in the first place. in his players, the fans, donors and many more. Lewis had originally considered Florida dur“I’ve been in Columbia since December,” ing his recruitment, but the senior from Green- Muschamp said. “The support of our fan base wood obviously decided it was the best decision has been outstanding. The positive energy that for him to don the garnet and black. we’ve gotten everywhere we’ve been, we really That’s why he considers Will Muschamp be- appreciated this and now I want them to know ing the head coach at the University of South how much myself and our staff appreciate them. Carolina kind of destined. The support from president (Harris) Pastides “I didn’t go to Florida, but he’s here now at and coach (Ray) Tanner, first off all, to give us South Carolina, so I see at as a destined thing,” the opportunity to be at South Carolina, we’re Lewis told the media at SEC Media Days in honored. But also, the support they’re giving us Hoover, Alabama on Thursday, July 14. to take our program to the next level and build Lewis’ thoughts came as Muschamp made his on what coach (Steve) Spurrier and their staff first round as the head coach at South Carolina did.” “I’ve been really pleased with the reception of at SEC Media Days. Muschamp has been thrilled overall with the our players,” Muschamp said. “Any time there No stranger to the event after being the head buy-in of the players such as Lewis. is a change or coaching changes, and those
things happen, there’s resistance. We’ve had very little. Our guys have really bought into what we’re doing.”
Spurs & Feathers • 27
July 27, 2016
Forging a career? Meet B.E. Chapman, South Carolina’s most bizarre big leaguer.
fter six years of grinding in the minors, Whit Merrifield made his longawaited debut for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals May 18. He learned of his call-up shortly after finishing a round of golf at Chambers Bay in Washington, the site of the 2015 U.S. Open. Merrifield’s call-up has nothing on B.E. Chapman. One of the earliest Gamecocks to play in Major League Baseball, Chapman, a catcher, has a little-known story that may never be topped in USC pro baseball lore. Like any tale approaching Andy Demetra 100 years old, it Contributing has all the eleWriter ments: characters, controversy, conflicting accounts, and plenty of amusing, apocryphal details along the way. In a banner year for Gamecocks in the pros, Chapman’s career may not have been the most decorated. But it certainly was the most bizarre. Technically, Bert Edgar Chapman never played at South Carolina. The Pelzer, S.C., native attended USC from 1912-14 but never played for the baseball team according to the Garnet and Black yearbook. Newspaper articles later stated that he left USC to serve in the United States Navy during World War I. The timeline makes sense – Chapman’s professional
career began in 1919 in the newly-formed Class D Florida State League, a level equivalent to rookie ball. Chapman landed in Sanford, Fla., as a player-manager for the delightfully named Sanford Celeryfeds (Sanford, outside Orlando, was known as the “Celery City” for its most successful crop). His statistics have been lost to time, but the left handed-hitting Chapman enjoyed success in his rookie season as a manager. The Celeryfeds played in the championship series of the sixteam league, but had two of their wins vacated because of ineligible players. The league wound up awarding the title to both teams. Chapman said the controversy caused him to be suspended from organized baseball. He also suggested another reason behind it. “During the second half of the season, every club started cheating by bringing in better-class players than they were allowed,” Chapman explained to the Sporting News years later. “I brought in an emery-ball pitcher and eventually I was fined $500 and suspended from Organized Ball.” An “emery ball,” in which a ball is illegally roughened by powdered emery or a piece of emery cloth, had become an outlawed pitch in the later part of the decade. The length and nature of Chapman’s suspension is unclear, and his quote seems to be the only surviving account of it. But in the same year as the 1919 Black Sox scandal, it’s plausible that league officials wouldn’t take kindly to his cheating. Chapman, though, found a workaround: he joined another league and continued playing under an assumed name. The following year, a catcher turned up on the roster of Carrollton in the Class D Georgia State League named “Ed Chaplin.” “Not a soul knew my real name,” Chapman, now Chaplin, told the Tampa Tribune. He said he derived his nom de baseball from “Chappy,” a nickname he picked up from teammates, and “Ed,” a shortened version of his middle name.
The Red Sox, either unaware or unbothered by Chapman’s alias, purchased his contract from Carrollton later that summer. The 5’7” Chaplin made his MLB debut a few weeks shy of his 27th birthday, on September 4, 1920 against the New York Yankees. He drew a pinch-hit walk in the first game of a doubleheader (Babe Ruth also hit his 45th home run in that game, a 5-3 Yankees win). Chaplin played in three more games for the Red Sox in 1920, finishing with one hit, one RBI and four walks in nine plate appearances. His rookie year also coincided with the final season of another rule-bending ballplayer who briefly lived in Pelzer, S.C., “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Yet even as he played as Ed Chaplin, the former Gamecock appeared to keep his old identity back in Florida. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, in November 1920 bounced around the minors for several more the Tampa Tribune noted that “B.E. Chapman years without distinction. Oddly, the Tampa of Sanford, formerly manager of the Sanford Krewes, a team in the Class B Southeastern Baseball club, was among the arrivals in the city League, listed a catcher on its 1928 roster named yesterday from central Florida. He will attend – wait for it - Bert Chapman. the Tulane-Florida game today at Plant Field.” After retiring from baseball, Chapman settled MLB officials never wised up to Chaplin’s back in the place where his ruse first took root. con (or perhaps they did, but never cared). Chap- A Sporting News column mentioned that he lin appeared in only 31 games for Boston over worked as a celery grower and concrete block the next two seasons, finishing with 7 RBI and a manufacturer in Sanford, Fla., before passing nondescript .184 batting average. away in 1978 at the age of 84. And yet, remarkably, he is part of an MLB From Merrifield and Jackie Bradley Jr. to record that stands to this day. In a game against Steve Pearce, Justin Smoak, Michael Roth and the Cleveland Indians September 21, 1922, Sam Dyson, Gamecocks have left their mark on Chaplin drew a walk against reliever Doc HaMajor League Baseball in 2016. mann, a callow 21 year-old who But no Gamecock had a was making his big-league decall-up, or a career, as colorful but. Hamann faced seven batas Bert Edgar Chapman, the ters, didn’t retire any, and never catcher/veteran/identity changpitched in an MLB game again. er/celery farmer whose story He still holds the major league forms an eccentric, oft-forgotrecord for most batters faced ten part of South Carolina’s pro in a career without recording baseball legacy. All Gamecock baseball an out, for a lifetime ERA of Gamecock fans would be coverage sponsored by infinity. wise to remember his name. DiPrato’s Records show Chaplin Make that names.
28 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Avant looking forward to taking over Greater Augusta Area Gamecocks by Kyle Heck Reporter
with the Greater Augusta Area Gamecocks, and Avant is very much looking forward to what will be a busy summer. The first event For the first time in nearly 10 years, there will be the eighth annual football kick-off will be new leadership of the Greater Ausocial on August 23. The time and location gusta Area Gamecocks. At the elections on are still to be determined, but Avant said that May 25 at Southbound Smoke House, long- Gamecock great and sideline reporter Langstime member Curley Avant was elected new ton Moore will be the featured speaker. president, taking over for Tom Rogers, who “Here’s a guy that’s on the sidelines, he’s had been president for eight years. played there and that will be a really mean“I’m looking forward to the challenge of ingful thing when he says ‘here’s what’s stepping into the role,” Avant said. “Tommy happening, here’s what needs to be done,’” has done a great job over the last eight years, Avant said. “We’re looking forward to that.” and I’m just looking forward to taking the Shortly after the football kick-off will be club to the next level and making everyone the annual Border Bash at Augusta Golf in the Augusta area aware of the Gamecock and Gardens. That event is always one of Club.” the biggest of the year, and it will be held on Also elected to office for the Greater AuOctober 7. gusta Area Gamecocks were Tiffany Padgett “That’s a big thing,” Avant noted. “It’s an as vice president, Reed Dyches as secretary event that raises money for charities in the and Sarah Davis as treasurer. The four atAugusta area.” large board members are Rogers, Earl BarAvant said they are also planning watch ton, Bubba Helton and Bernie Enevoldsen. parties for away football games this upcomAs mentioned, Rogers did a fantastic job ing year. The new president wants to keep
doing what Rogers did for the Greater Augusta Area Gamecocks, but there will also be some changes. One of the biggest things Avant hopes to implement is more of a social media presence. Dyches has spearheaded that move-
ment by creating Twitter and Facebook accounts to go along with an email address as well. “He’s kind of moving us toward the social media aspect of it, which I think is a big step that we need to take,” Avant said.
Spurs & Feathers • 29
July 27, 2016 Important Gamecock Club information/upcoming events
Aiken, SC 29804
Lancaster Kickoff – Monday, August 1 6:00 Dinner 7:00 Program The Moose Club 200 Shrine Moose Dr. Lancaster, SC 29720 Speakers: Andy Demetra, Preston Thorne and Langston Moore
Cherokee Gamecock Club Golf Tournament – Saturday, August 13 The Cherokee County Gamecock Club Golf tournament is Saturday August 13th @ 9:00 at the Gaffney Country Club. We have spots left for 6 teams. The Tournament is a Captains choice and the cost is 200.00 per team.
Lexington Gamecock Club Garnet Girls – Saturday, August 6 When: Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT) Where: Country Club of Lexington - 1066 Barr Road, Lexington, SC 29072 What an exciting year for the University of South Carolina and Women’s Athletics. We have so much to be proud of and want to celebrate! A Women’s Brunch sponsored by the Lexington County Gamecock Club will be held on Saturday, August 6th, from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon at the Country Club of Lexington. This brunch will feature coaches and other invited guests from South Carolina Women’s Athletics and various coaches’ wives from other sports. All proceeds will benefit women’s athletics. We are excited to host this event for the 2nd time and hope you can join us. Reserved sponsor seats - will be sold for the cost of $45.00 per ticket and you will be sitting with an invited guest from Women’s Athletics of the University of South Carolina. Non-reserved/general admission seating - will be sold for $35.00 each. Tickets will not be sold at the door. An Event Sponsor is an opportunity for you to advertise your business and support this event for $25.00. Your business logo will be advertised on a screen throughout the event and listed in the program. This does not include an admission ticket. The coaches will speak about their upcoming season and reflect on this past season and all the success that they have accomplished, as well as a Q&A session. The menu includes: scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, danish and muffins, grits, fruit, bacon, ham, coffee, tea, water and unlimited mimosas. Each attendee will receive a “swag bag” filled with lots of surprises and a commemorative “thank you” gift. Door prizes will also be awarded as well as raffle prizes. Silent auction items include: 2 Will Muschamp Autographed Footballs and a Lou Holtz autographed football. Please email any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org Cherokee Gamecock Club Fall Banquet – Tuesday, August 9 Limestone College Stephenson Dining Hall Guest speakers include: Andy Demetra Langston Moore Preston Thorne And other Gamecock Staff and Personnel Cocky and the cheerleaders will also be there! Tickets are $15.00 for adults, and $10.00 for kids 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased from the following: • Sub Station II (489-7827) • Dr. Hank Jolly’s office (489-2221) • Progressive Screen Printing & Embroidery (487-3871) • Matt Benton (864-761-7454) • Matt Davis (812-0411) • Nick Federico (864-491-3342) • Jim Inman (491-1587) • Jason McSwain (490-3020) • Daniel Phillips (864-761-6737) *Tickets must be purchased in advance Aiken County South Carolina/Clemson Golf Classic - Friday, August 12 Where: Woodside Plantation Golf Club Cost: $75 per person/four-player captain’s choice Includes golf, range balls and player prizes. Krystal’s breakfast and Outback lunch provided. Team members will be entered into a raffle after the tournament. All golfers must register by Monday, August 8. Mail entry form and fee to: Tripp Bryan (803-642-2954), Bryan Young (803-648-2672), Chris Fulmer (803-2707050) PO Box 5129
Charlotte Gamecock Club Golf Tournament – Monday, August 15 Breakfast, lunch, adult beverages, golf at the Ballantyne Resort, gift bag, and more all for your local scholarship fund that will pass $100,000 this year! Players are needed for only $150! Anyone can play. Make sure to sign up to secure your spot on Monday, August 15th! http://www.mycarolina.org/s/842/site2014/interior-1col.aspx?sid=842&gid=1&pgid=66 97&content_id=8786 Charleston Gamecock Club Kickoff Party – Friday, August 19 Join us for our annual Football Season Kick-Off Party! Presented by: Kickin chicken We will be at the beautiful Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. Tickets include food, beer, wine, and open bar. Tickets are $40, $10 for kids 12 & under. Home Team BBQ will be catering Live & Silent AuctionHere are some of the awesome auction items we will have: -Tickets for each home football game -Tickets to the final game of the year at Clemson -Passes to be on the field for 2001 at the ECU game -Gamecock Corn Hole set Cocky & the Cheerleaders will be in attendance for photo ops Live music from Moxie! Former Gamecocks Langston Moore and Preston Thorne will be on hand with their children’s book “Just a Chicken” Guest Speakers- Head Coach Frank Martin, Head Coach Chad Holbrook, Former Gamecock Student-Athlete Drew Meyer. Rain or Shine! WHEN: Friday, August 19, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar WHERE: The Cotton Dock - Boone Hall Plantation - 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Augusta Gamecock Club – Tuesday, August 23 The Football Kick Off social is set for 23 August, 2016. Langston Moore, Preston Thorne and Andy Demetra will be the guest speakers. Location TBD Colleton County Gamecock Golf Tournament at Dogwood Hills Golf Club Saturday, August 27 9:00 am shotgun start, captains choice. Contact Brantley Strickland at 843.909.0199 email@example.com or Lori Beard firstname.lastname@example.org or 843.909.1919. $100 hole sponsorships available. Greenville County Gamecock Club Kickoff Golf Classic - Saturday, August 27 Where: Willow Creek Golf Club Bring your own team. It will be four-man captain’s choice scramble Cost: $75 per player, and $300 per team The entry fee includes the following: 18 holes of golf, range balls before the tournament, door prizes and food after the tournament. Mulligan puchases will also be available. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places as well as contests on the course. Send entry form and payment to: T. Wayne Poole (864-901-8462) 1 Partridgeberry Way Taylors, SC 29687 If you are paying by check, make checks payable to the Greenville County Gamecock Club. **Current listing of known upcoming Gamecock Club events: Please contact Brian Hand (email@example.com) if your upcoming event is not listed**
30 • Spurs & Feathers
July 27, 2016
Locker Legacy Campaign unique way for Gamecocks to leave their mark by brian hand Executive Editor
Leaving a legacy is important. Every time a South Carolina student-athlete puts on the garnet and black they are leaving their legacy for years to come. Now alumni, fans and even former student-athletes can leave their mark with South Carolina athletics in another way with the special Locker Legacy Campaign. According to assistant director of the Gamecock Club Kendall Belk, that is exactly why the Locker Legacy Campaign was created. “The money that we raise from the Locker Legacy Campaign directly impacts the student-athletes that utilize these at our venues,” Belk said. “This is a way for former student-athletes, alumni and fans to leave their legacy within our facilities.” Those interested in providing a gift are given the opportunity to have a permanent name placard installed above one of the lockers in the locker room of your choice. Right now, this is available for men’s or women’s soccer, men’s or women’s swimming and diving, men’s or women’s tennis,
men’s or women’s basketball, baseball, equestrian, softball or volleyball.
For more information or for any questions contact Kendall Belk at 803-777-2272 or on the Locker Legacy Campaign, please firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrera on NBA summer league: ‘It was a great experience’ by kyle heck Reporter
He was obviously trying to make an impression, and performed well over his 11 games played. Carrera started three of those games, and averIn the middle of one of the games at the annual aged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 17.6 SC Pro-Am on Sunday, July 17, at Heathwood minutes played per game. Carrera also averaged Hall, one of the side doors opened, and in walked nearly one steal per game, and took on a larger Michael Carrera. He walked down the sideline role with the Heat in the final two summer league and sat on the first row of bleachers to watch three games. After not playing more than 24 minutes of his former teammates in action. in the previous contests, Carrera played 26 and 35 Once his former teammates realized he was minutes in his final two games, respectively. there, Justin McKie walked over during a break “It was a great experience,” Carrera told Spurs to shake Carrera’s hand before both Duane No& Feathers at the SC Pro-Am. “I had a great time. tice and P.J. Dozier saw him as well and waved. Just to be around all those great players, and of Across the court on the other bleachers, Sindarius course those wonderful coaches that I had.” Thornwell yelled ‘Mike!’ to draw Overall, Carrera was pleased his attention. with the way he performed, but Those former teammates were wanted to be a little more conexcited to see Carrera, who had sistent with his shot, saying it’s a just returned from a successful big adjustment to get used to the stint in the NBA summer league NBA three-point line. However, with the Miami Heat the day beCarrera had several highlights fore. Fresh off of an outstanding over the two week period, the senior season for South Carolina, biggest coming on July 12 against All Gamecock basketball Phoenix. In that game, Carrera Carrera joined the Heat for the coverage sponsored by played 21 minutes and racked summer season as an undrafted Yesterdays free agent. up 16 points on 5-of-5 shooting
his future. Carrera is hoping for an NBA contract offer, but said his agent has already received a lot of interest from several European professional teams. “I was trying to impress not only the Miami Heat, because when you play with a team (in NBA summer league), it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be with that team,” Carrera said. “You can get a contract from another team. We still photo by jenny dilworth have time to get a contract, and if not, I’m going to Europe.” One of the big focuses for Carrera is being able from the field. He also made five of his seven free to move his family from Venezuela to wherever throw attempts. he lands. To be able to do that, Carrera would have One of the Miami coaches that Carrera was to receive an NBA contract or take one overseas, most excited about working with was Juwan Howard, a two-time NBA champion and former so the likelihood of Carrera staying in the United member of the “Fab Five” team at Michigan in the States to play in the NBA D-League is low. Right now, however, Carrera is going to enjoy early 1990s. his time back in Columbia. He said he’s going to “I’m a big fan of him from when he was at spend time with his girlfriend and teammates, Michigan,” Carrera said. “I kind of got that fire and pay a visit to his former head coach, Frank game from that Michigan team.” Martin. As for the basketball situation, Carrera is Carrera’s competitive edge and energy were confident he’ll find a professional home that fits something that stood out to the NBA coaches, him, and is keeping his options open. and he hope it made a lasting impression. The “Let’s see how it goes,” Carrera said. “Anything Venezuelan native will travel back to Miami in about a week to meet with the team and talk about can happen.”
Spurs & Feathers • 31
July 27, 2016
Girardeau: I can’t wait for the season to start It’s that time of year where with each passing day the excitement of football season starts to build. Now that the British Open is out of the way (The Open for you purists), and the Braves are just going through the motions, really there is not much else to do but count Ed Girardeau down the days. Contributing There’s an InEditor ternet site which I have participated in for the past few years (www.areyouthesmartestfan.com). It’s a five question quiz with the option of a bonus question on Gamecock sports. It’s multiple choice and they put a clock on you. It’s harder than it looks, though some of you out there are amazing. Not only do they get every question right, but they do it in 15 seconds. It takes me that long to read the five questions, so I don’t know how that feat is accomplished. Some of the questions seem a little ridiculous. For the life of me, I don’t know why anybody would remember the score of the Vanderbilt game
in 2004, or for that matter in any year over a year or two, but there are folks out there that can give that answer and for any other school in any year. Then other questions are thought provoking. The other day the question stated the fact that Steve Spurrier won 35 games in his first five years, so how many games did South Carolina win in the previous five. Remember, you’re under the gun with the clock, so you don’t have time to think about it, much less look it up. I picked 19 for my answer which was wrong, so I looked it up. The correct answer was 33. The 0-11 season was six years before coach Spurrier’s first year. In the years of 2000 and 2001, USC won 17 games. That was the most wins in a two-year period in the history of South Carolina football at that time. Believe it or not, the five years from 2000-2004 with 33 wins was the most wins in five consecutive years in the history of the school at the time. The first five years of coach Spurrier’s tenure eclipsed that record with the aforementioned 35. Not exactly earth shattering numbers. The HBC’s first year in 2005 resulted in seven wins, the most of any coach’s first year in Gamecock history. Before we celebrate that accomplishment, that was equaled by quite a few. Brad Scott, Jim Carlen and Warren Geise all had seven wins in their first year. In fact, those of you who were around
would be a new record. All of this to say, let’s not get carried away with expectations. Coach Muschamp has indicated that his goal for this year is the East championship. Things would have to go extremely well. We cannot afford injuries to key players as has been photo by jenny dilworth pointed out, but there is a good base of athletes on campus and we will see how this falls out. But if there was ever a time to enjoy the ride, in 1925 will remember that Branch Bocock won this is it. It took coach Spurrier six seasons before seven games (he also won six in 1926 and finwinning the East for the first time in our history ished his career with 13 wins). and to win more than eight wins in one season. None of this is very impressive. What came between 2010 through 2014, the next five years in This after the strong five-year run mentioned by coach Holtz. coach Spurrier’s time with us resulted in results that blew away the former records at USC with 49 Keep the season in perspective. Rather than wins in those five years, including 11 wins in each make my standard prediction of 8-0 going into the Tennessee game (aside from the fact that there of the seasons between 2011-2013, the most ever are only seven games before we play the Vols), in one season. A SEC East championship, five I’m just going to enjoy these one at a time. Can we straight bowl wins and a streak for five wins in beat Vanderbilt on the road to open the season? a row against Clemson with plenty of wins over Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and who could ever Absolutely! The defense cannot help but be better and the forget the win in Columbia over #1 Alabama. offense will end up surprising people. At least There is a lot of excitement over coach Boom for the first game. We’ll worry about Mississippi and his coaching staff and the prospects for the future. A top-notch staff is in place and recruiting State and the rest the following week. It’s almost here! Two things remains constant: I has reflected an uptick of new stars for the future. can’t wait for the season to start, and as my friend Keep in mind that the most wins South CaroGlenn Snyder always said in his column before lina has had in a coach’s first year is those seven his retirement earlier this year, it’s a great time to wins. After winning three last year, seven does be a Gamecock! not seem to be a terrible goal. Eight? Well that
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