november 18, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 23 • $1.50
‘The Show’ begins with top-10 win
Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite
Publication mailed from Columbia on Monday, Nov. 16
2 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Spurs & Feathers
Donor Appreciation Day gives Gamecocks chance to say thank you
Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
by brian hand Executive Editor
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager email@example.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive email@example.com (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 firstname.lastname@example.org Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 email@example.com Reporter Kyle Heck firstname.lastname@example.org Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Jenny Dilworth) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 23 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to February, bi-weekly in March, monthly in April, bi-weekly in May, biweekly in June, monthly in July and August and weekly from September through December 2. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in April and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.
Last year, the South Carolina equestrian team won their third national title. Junior equestrian team member Courtney Allen knows that national championship could not have happened without the efforts of the Gamecock Club. “The equestrian team is so thankful for everything that the Gamecock Club does for us and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Allen said. Every year, the University of South Carolina holds a special Donor Appreciation Day. This year the annual event was held on Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center. During Donor Appreciation Day, South Carolina student-athletes take time out of their incredibly busy schedules to sign thank you cards for donors. For Allen and the other South Carolina student-athletes it is a very rewarding day. “Getting to take this day to do a small thank you to all of the people that help us out in the athletic community is really cool,” Allen said. “I like that it involves the entire athletic body and it’s a nice way to say thank you.” Donor Appreciation Day is not just confined to the Gamecock student-athletes signing the thank you cards. The special day allows South Carolina the opportunity to maximize its social media outlets as student-athletes, coaches, administrators, the Gamecock Club, the University of South Carolina and many others took the time to personally say thank you to donors. Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland looks forward to Donor Appreciation Day every year. This year’s Donor Appreciation Day was even that much more special in that it is the 75th anniversary of the Gamecock Club. “Everything seems a little more special with the 75th anniversary,” McFarland said. “This is really no exception. This day is
photo by brian hand
Raina Johnson of the South Carolina women’s soccer team signs the special thank you cards. very important because it allows our current student-athletes to connect with our donors. They’re able to come by and take time out of their day and sign a thank you card. We’ve heard from a lot of our Gamecock Club members who received the thank you cards and they tell us it makes their day and that they hang them up in their office. It’s a fun event for us.” Every year, McFarland is ecstatic with how much the South Carolina student-
athletes involve themselves in Donor Appreciation Day. “They’re more than happy to do it, which is neat,” McFarland said during the event. “Just a minute ago, we had a group of more than 10 student-athletes come by and they were excited about being able to thank the donors for their support.” The special thank you cards signed by Gamecock student-athletes will be mailed out over the course of the next few weeks.
Gamecock Club information/upcoming events Colleton County Gamecock Club Annual Pep Rally Party
EVENT: The Colleton County Gamecock Club Annual Pep Rally Party will be Monday, November 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the Walterboro Elks Lodge. CONTACT: Come out and join the fun! There will be a DJ, snacks, Cocky and a cash bar. For more info contact Lori Beard at 843.909.1919 or email@example.com
Spurs & Feathers • 3
November 18, 2015
Frank Martin after win No. 1: ‘I’m real happy with our guys’ by brian hand Executive Editor With 11:32 left in the second half, heralded freshman South Carolina point guard PJ Dozier stole the ball from Norfolk State’s Brian Kelley and proceeded to get out in transition. On his way to the hole, Dozier (seven points, three assists) noticed fellow heralded freshman Chris Silva out of the corner of his eye and Dozier promptly flipped the ball up to Silva (12 points, nine rebounds), who emphatically flushed the alley-oop to put South Carolina ahead, 61-49, with 11:29 to play in the game. The sequence as you can imagine electrified the 10,623 in attendance at Colonial Life Arena and it was the signature moment of South Carolina’s season-opening 84-69 win over a highly-regarded mid-major program in Norfolk State on Saturday, Nov. 14. The two freshmen both played over 20 minutes in South Carolina’s win and All Gamecock basketball as you can imagine with it coverage sponsored by Yesterdays being the first game of the year - and for them their first college regularseason games - it was a contest filled with highs and lows. In fact, fourth-year South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin likened the first game of the year from his vantage point to navigating a dark room. “If you walk into a dark room - I don’t know about you - but when I walk around my house and the lights are off, I don’t walk as aggressively as when the lights are on,” Martin said. “And the first game of the year is always like that. It’s like you walk into a dark room and you don’t know what you’re going to collide into.” Martin’s words were in reference to how he felt heading into the game. Much has been made heading into this season about how South Carolina is heading in the right direction, but that was all speculated before the season officially commenced. Now the lights are on and Martin in general was pleased with how his players performed.
photo by allen sharpe
“I’m happy with our team. I’m telling you, I needed to get this first game myself, personally,” Martin said. “I needed to get it out of the way. I was probably a little too wound up for the game. These guys have been awesome in preseason. Absolutely awesome. The whole team. I knew we had a hard game tonight and I’m real happy with our guys.”
Martin knows however that there is still a lot to work on over the course of the season for a Gamecock team that shot 39 percent (23-for-59) overall, 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from beyond the arc and 69 percent (29-for42) from the free throw line as a squad in game No. 1. The Gamecocks out-rebounded Norkfolk State, 46-35, in the contest.
“Think about it, outside of (junior guard) Duane (Notice; team-high tying 14 points) early in the game, we really never shot it well the rest of the game and yet we beat a good team (by) 15 and we got to the line 42 times, we got 19 offensive rebounds and we probably took another six charges today. Those are winning plays.”
4 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Florida’s McElwain: Cooper one of best players in U.S.A. by brian hand Executive Editor
Florida head coach Jim McElwain admits South Carolina junior do-it-all Pharoh Cooper is one of those elite level players that every coach covets. “Going into this game, we talked about what a great player this guy is - a top player in the SEC - which means he’s one of the best players in the United States of America because he plays in this league,” McElwain said. “He throws it, he runs it I’m sure he can kick it - he catches it. He probably does their postgame meal, too.” McElwain’s comments about Cooper are indicative of how the South Carolina superstar is seen throughout the country, but with the game of football such a team sport the junior personally cannot do it all for the Gamecocks. Cooper tried mightily though for the Gamecocks in the fourth quarter to do overthrew me for a little bit and I looked as much as he could as he threw for one touchdown and caught another touchdown up and I had to go run and chase it and I ended up catching it and scoring.” in South Carolina’s loss. Cooper’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Overall, Cooper finished the loss to Gamecock quarterback Perry Orth with Florida having caught three passes for 40 8:59 left in the game was a trick play that yards and the touchdown. He ran the footSouth Carolina (3-7, 1-7 SEC) had been ball three times for 16 yards to go along practicing over the past week entering the with his 17 yards passing on the touchgame. down. Cooper received the ball on the left side Cooper’s exploits in the fourth quarter and once he obtained the football on the ended up being just a little bit too late as quick out by Orth, he realized that he had SEC East champion Florida (9-1, 7-1 SEC) to get the ball in Orth’s hands as quickly would tack on a touchdown in the final as possible. minutes to pull away from the Gamecocks. “I had to roll out a little bit and throw Losers of three straight, many are queshim a ball that he could outrun the guy tioning whether South Carolina will be and go get it and he caught the ball,” Coo- able to be motivated in its final two games per said. “I had to just put the ball where of the season. Cooper is definitely not one only he could get it.” of those individuals. Just over four minutes later, Orth re“I feel like we will respond well,” Cooturned the favor when he connected up per said. “The last three games we’ve the middle with a streaking Cooper for a been coming out and playing with a lot of 38-yard touchdown pass that pulled the energy and fire and it always comes down Gamecocks to within just three at 17-14 to that last play of the last quarter and we with 4:49 left in the contest. just can’t finish. That’s something we have “Perry threw just a little to do better. We always streak down the middle of start kind of slow, either the field - they had played on offense or defense. This outside coverage pretty game it was on offense. much the whole game - so We’ve just got to be able Pharoh Cooper it left the middle of the to start fast these next two KeenanSuggs field wide open,” Cooper games and continue to Player of the Week said. “I thought he actually score.”
photo by allen sharpe
From our dedicated, local team of industry specialists, to our experienced client service and risk management departments, KeenanSuggs Insurance is proud to serve as the trusted advisor to our commercial, personal and benefits clients throughout the Southeast. Insurance is complicated. We can help.
INSURANCE. IT’S A SERIOUS DECISION. 800.532.1674 KEENANSUGGS.COM COLUMBIA | GREENVILLE | RALEIGH AS20-1367751a
Spurs & Feathers • 5
November 18, 2015
South Carolina/Florida postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations
we didn’t have the juice to finish and win the football game.” Category SC UF 1st Downs 13 20 GENERAL NOTES Total Yards 201 404 • South Carolina fell to the Florida Gators, 24-14. Carolina is Passing 180 256 now 24-5 in its last 29 home games. Rushing 21 148 • The Gamecocks featured a new helmet design for the first Penalties-Yards 4-45 8-55 time since 2004, when the team wore black helmets. Black 3rd Down Conversions 3-10 11-19 jerseys with black pants were worn for the second-consecutive 4th Down Conversions 0-0 1-2 home game. Turnovers 2 2 • Captains for South Carolina for the game: junior linebacker Time of Possession 20:04 39:56 T.J. Holloman, senior safety Isaiah Johnson, junior wide receiver Passing Leaders Pharoh Cooper and senior offensive lineman Mike Matulis. South Carolina COM ATT YDS TD INT • The game marked the 36th gridiron meeting between South Orth 13 24 163 1 2 photo by allen sharpe Carolina and Florida. With the win, the Gators now lead the seCooper 1 1 17 1 0 ries, 25-8-3. Florida COM ATT YDS TD INT • Attendance was 78,536. Opening statement Harris 19 33 256 1 2 OFFENSIVE NOTES “This has been the story of our football team the last few weeks. Rushing Leaders • Junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper hit junior quarterback We don’t start off very quick, but we finish strong and today South Carolina CAR YDS AVG TD LG Perry Orth for a 17-yard touchdown pass and later hauled in a wasn’t any different other than the fact that I thought our defense Cooper 3 16 5.3 0 13 38-yard toss from Orth to pull the Gamecocks within three in the played very well in the first half and they kept us in the ball game. Williams 3 14 4.7 0 8 fourth quarter. It was Cooper’s first touchdown pass of the seaThey made a couple of mistakes here and there in the first half Florida CAR YDS AVG TD LG son, and fourth of his career. Cooper finished the day with three but they played a tremendous game I thought. It was unfortunate Taylor 20 105 5.3 1 53 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, three rushes for 16 yards with that third-down play there at the end. Offensively today Cronkrite 6 24 4.0 1 14 and 1-1 passing for 17 yards and a touchdown. we were just dominated by a really good defense and a really Receiving Leaders • Carolina’s 14 fourth-quarter points were the most points good coaching staff that had a good game plan. They were just South Carolina REC YDS AVG TD LG scored in the final quarter by the team this season. ready to shut us down. It was no secret they have great players Adams 4 46 11.5 0 18 • Senior tight end Jerell Adams tied his career-high with four and they have great players up front. They have as good as skill Cooper 3 40 13.3 1 38 catches for 46 yards. His four catches also led the team. position players in the secondary. We knew all that. We knew it Florida REC YDS AVG TD LG • Freshman wide receiver Hayden Hurst received his first career was a tall task going in. But I never felt it was going to be the way Callaway 5 60 12.0 0 26 start. He hauled in two catches for 12 yards. it was starting out. It was as if we were off rhythm so to speak. McGee 5 45 9.0 0 16 • South Carolina was held scoreless in the first half for the first Quarterback and our first half time since Oct. 26, 2013, a 27-24 win against Missouri. play weren’t very good. Early on DEFENSIVE NOTES play we couldn’t get any push to • Junior defensive end Gerald Dixon led the defense up front run the football. Backs couldn’t with six tackles, a sack and two tackles-for-loss and his first camake any headway running. We reer interception. had trouble getting guys open. Official Clothier of Coach Frank Martin • Junior linebacker T.J. Holloman led the team with eight tackThat continued until about the les. fourth quarter. I don’t know if • Senior spur T.J. Gurley intercepted a pass near the goal line they relaxed a little bit but we near the end of the first half to keep the Gators from building on had a play here and there and got a 14-0 lead. It was his first interception of the season and third of some momentum going our way his career. and carried it down there. Just like SPECIAL TEAM NOTES I had the past couple of games I • Junior punter Sean Kelly had another stellar performance, thought we had a chance to take punting six times with an average of 46.7 yards and a long of 69. the last drive down there and have He had three punts downed inside the 20. the game winning score. But as it South Carolina interim head football coach Shawn Elliott has turned out the last two weeks
Ask us how yo can give to savu e
2818 Devine Street • Columbia (803) 771-2700 www.BrittonsOfColumbia.com PHONE ORDERS WELCOME
6 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Dixon: ‘I love the University of South Carolina and I always have’ by kyle heck Reporter
On a recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, King Dixon was asked by a hotel clerk if it was his first time in the area. “Ma’am, I visited back here I believe it was in 1956 or 1957 and I ran the opening kickoff back against the University of Texas for 98 yards when (Texas) coach Darrell Royal was here in his first year,” Dixon replied. In 1957, Dixon was a return specialist and halfback for South Carolina as they visited No. 20 Texas and he helped the Gamecocks upset the Longhorns that day. “I don’t know what prompted me to say that, but it just felt good to say it out there and to be back out there,” Dixon said in an interview with Spurs & Feathers. That was just one of many memories Dixon had about South Carolina athletics. He starred with the football team and around three decades later, he found himself back with the University as its Athletics Director. But we first must start at the beginning, when Dixon was a boy in a military family. His dad was in the Navy and when World War II broke out in 1941, Dixon moved from Florida to Nova Scotia to New York to Massachusetts to Virginia before finally ending up in Laurens, South Carolina where his dad’s mother lived. As he was about to graduate from high school in Laurens, Dixon could’ve went almost anywhere in the country because of his prowess on the football field. He was also a track star who liked to set state records. “I still tell folks that I was the fastest white man in the state of South Carolina,” Dixon said. Dixon took visits to schools all across the country, but there was one school that stuck out to him. “At that time Rex Enright was the head football coach at the University of South Carolina and had a wonderful staff,” Dixon said. “After looking all around and talking to a lot of people and my dad had gotten elected to the South Carolina legislature, I decided that the University of South Carolina was the place I wanted to go.” Dixon enrolled at South Carolina and since freshmen couldn’t play on the varsity team, he joined what he called one of the best freshmen teams in Gamecock history. “Coach Enright said at that particular time that he wanted to have the best freshmen team that he could possibly assemble at the University,” Dixon said. “And I think we had pretty much like three or four All-American high school football players on that team.”
time, he became president of the South Carolina Alumni Association. That was when he started to talk to then-President James “Jim” Holderman about trying to make the University of South Carolina better. “Jim Holderman kept telling me if you’re going to do something about your University, you come on down here and do something,” Dixon recalled. Not too long after that, Dixon relinquished and accepted the position of Director of Alumni Affairs where he was responsible for trying to get former graduates of the University to give back. That didn’t last long, however, as just a few short months after accepting his new title, Dixon got a summon to see Holderman. It was there he learned that Athletics Director Dick Bestwick would be stepping down and Holderman wanted him to be the new AD. That moment in 1988 was the start of an incredibly eventful four-year journey for Dixon. He was forced to overcome major allegations of rampant drug use at South Carolina and also had to deal with the sudden death of football coach Joe Morrison. south carolina athletics media relations “That was just a traumatic moment in my King Dixon put together a Hall of Fame career as a halfback for the Gamecocks. life,” Dixon said of the legendary coach’s death. On a brighter note, Dixon was the AD responWhen Dixon joined the varsity team, he betenant colonel. He also earned the Bronze Star, sible for getting South Carolina into the Southeastern Conference in 1990. That to him is by came an outstanding halfback and was particu- the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat far his proudest accomplishment as Athletics larly dangerous in the return game, although V for Heroic Services and the Vietnamese Director and he recalled another conversation opposing teams quickly learned to stop kicking Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. with Holderman where the President laid out the ball to him. He recalled another memory While servicing his country, Dixon also that came a week after returning the opening helped coach military football teams in Okina- his terms for him. “I said, ‘Dr. Holderman, tell me specifically kickoff for a touchdown at Texas. wa, Japan, San Diego, California and Quantico, what are your priorities for me?’” Dixon re“The next week against Furman University Virginia. membered. “He said, ‘No. 1, clean up the im(I was able) to run the second half kickoff back With that coaching experience, Dixon was against Furman,” Dixon said. “I think it was for able to frequently attend conferences involving age of the athletics department and two, seek conference affiliation to ensure that we can 86 yards. It was back-to-back kickoff returns. the American Football Coaches Association I don’t think the remainder of the season I was and that helped him tremendously when he be- grow our sports program and become a good member of a good conference.’ And that’s what able to field any more kickoffs.” came Athletics Director at South Carolina. By Dixon’s senior year in 1958, he was a Dixon retired from the Marine Corps in 1981 we set out to do from there.” In the two-plus decades since being Athletics tri-captain on the team and shortly thereafter when his mother came down with terminal Director, Dixon has returned back to Laurens, graduated cum laude in his class. cancer. He moved back home and became Thanks to a chance encounter with a Marine Executive Director of the Laurens YMCA. He where he and his wife operate a 300-acre tree while at South Carolina, Dixon enrolled in the recalled something his dad told him often when farm. Along with that, Dixon stays busy with several different government and church orgaMarine Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) while in he was younger that made him leave the milinizations. college and upon graduation, started what betary and return home. “I tell you what, it has just sped up for me came a distinguished military career. “My dad always told me when he would leave “It was more than I anticipated, but it was the from tour to tour in the Navy he said, ‘son, take since I got home,” Dixon said. “My wife and I are totally involved in so many things we thorgreatest training I think I had ever had,” Dixon care of your mama,’” Dixon remembered. “I said of the PLC class. “I went on to the basic never will forget those words. Take care of your oughly enjoy.” Dixon still keeps up with what’s going on at school and then when I graduated from the mama. So I retired from the Marine Corps and South Carolina and being a part of the UniverUniversity, I was commissioned there on the came home.” sity is just something that is ingrained in him. Horseshoe.” After being the Executive Director of the “I love the University of South Carolina and I Dixon spent 22 and a half years in the Marine Laurens YMCA for a few years, Dixon became Corps and by the time he retired, he was a lieu- a County Executive at a local bank. At the same always have,” Dixon said.
Spurs & Feathers • 7
November 18, 2015
SEC Family keeps going above and beyond for flood recovery efforts For all of those watching the ESPN broadcast of the South Carolina-LSU game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday, Oct. 10, it was a moment they’ll never forget. In what had been one of the most tumultuous weeks in Palmetto State history and had forced the Gamecocks to move their scheduled home game from Williams-Brice Stadium to Tiger Stadium, LSU star running back Leonard Fournette wanted to go above and beyond to help hopefully one day return things to normalcy. So after rushing for 158 yards and one touchdown against the Gamecocks, Fournette during his postgame interview with ESPN pulled out a prepared letter and said that he was going to donate his jersey worn that day for an auction to help raise money for the flood relief efforts in South Carolina. Under the NCAA rules this would not be allowed, but the NCAA stepped up as well and said that it would be possible. Recently, LSU started the auction on its official athletics website and when the auction closed on Monday, Nov. 9, according to ESPN.com Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell the gesture set a record for an Internet auction as the jersey sold for $101,000 with all of that money earmarked to help the victims of the flooding in South Carolina. The $101,000 paid for the game-worn Fournette jersey more than doubled the original record in an Internet auction for a game-worn jersey with the original record being $31,070 for a game-worn jersey of Georgia’s Frank Sinkwich, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1942. In addition to the Fournette game-worn jersey, the winning bidder also received signed helmets by LSU head coach Les Miles and former South Carolina Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier, who coached his final game at South Carolina that day. The $101,000 raised through the efforts of Fournette was just another example of the SEC family helping out the state of South Carolina. For example, Vanderbilt donated over 100,000 bottles of water to the recovery efforts. Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletics Director David Williams and the rest of the Vanderbilt athletics department announced shortly after the flood that they were going to send as many 18-wheelers as possible
filled with water to the midlands to help with the relief efforts. It was something they wanted to do as they had been there before when Nashville went through a historic flood of their own in 2010. “This was about helping other people,” Williams told Spurs & Feathers the day the 18-wheelers were being filled through donations. “You guys are us and we’re you and we went through that. We had a flood here, so we know. And a lot of times - I know for me - I didn’t quite understand what a flood was about until I was in the middle of one. What got us through was people helping each other and when we heard you guys were underwater, our people right off the bat said, ‘what can we do to help?’” The Texas A&M Student-Athlete Advisory Committee sold commemorative 12th Man towels when South Carolina visited College Station, Texas on Halloween and the $30,000 raised from the towels went to help South Carolina flood relief. Former South Carolina athletics director and current Texas A&M athletics director Eric Hyman could not have been more proud of their student-athletes stepping up for the cause. “I am truly proud of the selfless service of our Aggie student-athletes and for the outstanding leadership provided by our Aggie SAAC,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman said in a release. “They really responded to help the communities affected by the flooding in South Carolina.” This is all just a small sampling of the efforts of everyone in the SEC as every institution in the conference as well as the league office in some way helped out the recovery efforts. The South Carolina athletics department also helped the efforts as Gamecock student-athletes, coaches and administrators donated their time and money - and continue to still do so - in numerous ways. South Carolina also came up with the idea of a t-shirt where the proceeds of the sale of the t-shirt would be distributed by the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the American Red Cross of South Carolina and the United Way of the Midlands to agencies providing flood relief statewide. South Carolina originated the idea on Wednesday, Oct. 7. They then executed the idea on Thursday, Oct. 8 and by Friday, Oct. 9, the t-shirts were on sale. The unique t-shirt that is being manufactured by Schools Cuts of Columbia is selling for $15 and it features the message
“Together” with the “o” in “Together” in the without. shape of the state of South Carolina. There In less than a week the “Together” t-shirt are two versions available - one with the reached over $50,000 in donations and that traditional Gamecock Block C logo and one number keeps rising daily.
by brian hand Executive Editor
1421 Atlas Road I 776-4466 I www.jeffersmcgill.com I Serving the Midlands for over 50 years
8 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Tragedy guides former Gamecock swimmer to assist others by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content
Former South Carolina swimmer Kassy (Kugler) Alia’s life was forever changed on September 30, 2015, when her husband, Greg, who was a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. As the 28-year-old mother of a seven-month old little boy copes with her grief, the attributes that made her a competitor come to the surface as she emerges from the tragedy to make an impact on others. “When presented with challenges in life, I try to find a solution,” Alia said. “With my husband, it’s the one thing that I’ve encountered where there is nothing I can do to change the outcome. I just miss him. What I can do is identify different ways of giving back, staying positive and using this experience and my grief in a positive way. So I think that does come from experiences as an athlete. When presented with a tough practice or tough round of meets, She added that there would be two primary you have the option to push through and take purposes for the organization. responsibility and take action to improve.” “First I would want to continue this growing Greg Alia, who was a Forest Acres police advocacy and awareness of the positive acts officer, was fatally shot at the Richland Mall that police officers do every day that may go in Columbia while responding to a call about unnoticed,” Alia said. “Secondly, I’d like to be a suspicious person. He was a seven-year vetable to give back to their families. The spouses eran of the police department. The night of her of police officers kiss their husbands or wives husband’s death, Kassy posted a message on goodbye every day, not knowing, but willing to Facebook, thanking everyone who had been accept that they may not see them again. I want supporting her. to make sure that we can continue the support “My initial reaction was to ask for two for their families. things,” Alia said. “One was to share stories “A vision that we have is that Heroes in Blue about my husband, so that our son (Sal) could could be used to raise resources for families of learn about the man that his father was. The fallen officers. I recognize how tremendously second was to continue to share stories about fortunate that I’ve been for the outpouring of other police officers doing great things every support, both financial support and human day. My husband was a great man and a great support, that has been provided from the compolice officer. Thankfully, we’ve been able to munity -- both locally and nationally. I hope see some of the good deeds he had done that I that we can find a way to structure those efforts had never even heard about. There are many to give back to those families so they have a other examples of officers doing that every similar experience.” day.” Alia earned her bachelor’s degree in psycholA Facebook page was set up dedicated to ogy in 2009, her master’s in clinical community this cause, which can be found under the name psychology in 2012, and she is currently work“HeroesinBlue,” (all one word). Alia is taking ing on her doctorate in clinical community it a step further and working to push Heroes in psychology at South Carolina. While she may Blue to a much larger campaign, and is hopeful not have intended for her initial Facebook post of it becoming a non-profit organization. to become a lifelong mission, Alia admits that “My long term vision is the effort is starting to grow in to have a liaison available that direction. through Heroes in Blue, that in “Based on the love for my the event of a tragedy, that perhusband and the connection son would work close with the that we had over his work in All Gamecock swimming and law enforcement, and a lot of spouse and the family of the fallen officer to help them nav- diving coverage sponsored the skills I’ve learned as a comby Aquarian Pools igate the multiple components munity psychologist, it all realof Columbia of that process,” Alia said. ly relates to this work in terms
of bridging law enforcement with community support,” Alia said. “It does seem that this could be a fitting role for me moving forward.” Kassy had met Greg following her junior year at South Carolina, and she has found strength in the support she has received, with a lot of that coming from ties to her alma mater. “The USC community has been incredibly supportive of me throughout all of this,” Alia said. “Of course the swim team has been incredibly important in terms of having some of my closest friends be there for us and be a part of our family. Many of my teammates reached out, and in fact, many of them came to the funeral. They travelled from all over the country in support. (South Carolina Swimming and Diving Coach) McGee Moody has continued to be a very positive supporter. It almost feels like he’s still my coach in many ways, which is really nice. “The psychology department has also been incredible. The fraternity and Greek Life people -- there have just been so many intersections of Carolina life that have come together in support of my family. Greg’s fraternity (Phi Sigma Kappa) brothers have been outstanding. President (Harris) Pastides and Mrs. (Patricia Moore-) Pastides were at the vigil that was held for Greg. What a tremendous community of support. I know Greg would be so proud of his Gamecock family, and I am too.” In addition to looking to support families of fallen law enforcement officers, Alia was quick to pay it forward in community support. The week after Greg’s passing, she volunteered at a local shelter and Harvest Hope Food Bank to help others recover from the recent floods in Columbia.
“I felt compelled to give back to the community that had given me so much over the past few days,” Alia said. “There are many factors that have been incredible in helping me cope and move forward. One of the major contributors of that was the love and the support that was given by the community. In that first day following the major floods, I felt I couldn’t just sit at home while the rest of the community was hurting so badly.” As she endeavors to give “Heroes in Blue” some direction, she has a simple message for all. “Small acts of appreciation toward a police officer make a difference,” Alia said. “My husband knew how dangerous his job was and the risks that were associated with being a police officer. I knew that as well. I was so proud of him. When I found out that he had been killed, there was a moment when I thought about the negative attention that the media had been paying towards the police and the lack of appreciation for the sacrifices, such as my husband’s, that they are willing to make every day. Having an avenue for those positive messages to be shared so immediately has been incredible for my grieving process. “There are moments when I miss him so much it’s hard to handle,” Alia continued. “Then I let myself find my moment, take a deep breath, and you just try to pick yourself up again and keep moving forward. That’s what you do as an athlete. I can remember many a swim meet with tears in my goggles. You take a deep breath and you push even harder. Sometimes that leads to the fastest swims or the fastest runs or the best events to make the most of whatever opportunities you’re presented with.”
Spurs & Feathers • 9
November 18, 2015
Gamecocks receive rings, hang up Final Four banner by kyle heck Reporter
Fresh off of its best season in school history a year ago, members of the South Carolina women’s basketball team took some time before the season opener against Ohio State to celebrate that fantastic year. Around 15 minutes before tipoff, a table was brought out that had rings on it for every member of that team and support staff. The Gamecocks then walked out to midcourt where they received the rings in front of the appreciative home crowd. After that, three banners were unveiled in one corner of Colonial Life Arena that will forever be a reminder to what was a season of All Gamecock basketball firsts in 2014-15. coverage sponsored by Yesterdays There were two banners that celebrated the SEC regular-season and tournament championship and a third that stood all alone - the NCAA Final Four banner. “The Final Four banner was really nice to hang up in the rafters and hopefully we can continue to build on that legacy, those milestones and hopefully we’ll have a banner that’s bigger than that one if we win a national championship,” head coach Dawn Staley said. No. 2 South Carolina couldn’t spend too long caught up in the emotions of the pregame ceremony as they had to quickly focus on the No. 6/10 Buckeyes, a tough way to begin a new season. However, the Gamecocks overcame a late charge by Ohio State and they pulled away in the fourth quarter for the 8880 victory. For the players, they knew they would have to contain their emotions before the game and they did just that, jumping out to a quick 17-5 lead over the Buckeyes. “We just knew coming into this day that there was going to be a lot of emotions and commotions going on,” senior guard Tiffany Mitchell said. “There was going to be a lot of people in the stands with us playing Ohio State and the ring ceremony. We just knew there was going to be a lot of hype around it,
photo by jenny dilworth
so we just tried to keep calm as much as possible and stay within ourselves.” An announced crowd of 16,815 people showed up to watch South Caroilna’s seasonopening win over Ohio State. The Gamecocks have grown used to pre-
game ceremonies honoring SEC championships over the last couple of years, but with the history-making season of last year, everyone knew that this ceremony was a little more special. “It was a blessing to come out and receive
such a big honor with what we accomplished last year,” senior guard Khadijah Sessions said. “Especially in front of the best fans in the country. Just a great feeling looking at those rings and knowing you got to the Final Four. Just real blessed and thankful.”
10 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Freshman star Aubrey Ezell: ‘Hard work does pay off’ by kyle heck Reporter When Aubrey Ezell arrived at the University of South Carolina, she made a bold claim to the Gamecock volleyball coaches. “I told all the coaches I want to get Olympics, I want to play pro, but my goal right now for college is my freshman year I want to be SEC Freshman of the Year,” Ezell said. “Ever since then I’ve just kind of stuck with that big, main goal and small goals as the SEC players of the week and setters of the week and all that. Trying to do my best in getting that and breaking records.” South Carolina head coach Scott Swanson said that is unusual for a freshman to come in and say, but wasn’t all that surprised Ezell did it. The reason? Ezell is a different type of person. “I think she’s extremely tough,” Swanson said. “I think she’s mentally tough, she’s physically tough, she takes a beating every day, diving for balls, sprinting and falling on the ground trying to get passes and digs. She’s a country kid. I think she had to grow up working hard and she’s just got that mentality that, ‘Yeah, I’m a little short, but I’m going to kick your butt.’ That’s what makes her really good.” Ezell grew up in Granbury, Texas with four other siblings so she is no stranger to competition and hard work. Once you know those facts and her mentality, her bold claims when she arrived on campus aren’t that surprising anymore. “I know it showed me right away that she was a really confident kid and wanted to do really well, which all of that has been true,” Swanson added. Indeed it has. It’s one thing to make claims, but another to actually go through with them. Ezell jumped right into the Gamecock lineup and has started all 27 matches to date. As a setter, Ezell is responsible for setting up her teammates for kills. So far, she has registered 1,032 assists in 99 sets played, which is more than any other freshman in the SEC. Overall, she ranks in the top-10 in the league with 10.42 assists per set. Ezell has also registered 41 service aces, which is again more than any other freshman in the SEC and second in the league overall. With those numbers, Ezell is well on her way to accomplishing her main goal of being named the SEC Freshman of the Year. So far, she has been named SEC Setter of the Week three times this year. “Honestly, I wasn’t necessarily expecting that, but it’s crazy because I guess hard work does pay off,” Ezell said of her early
photo by juan blas
success. “You just have to keep pushing yourself to get better. Even though you are getting one award, just keep pushing to get more and more.” Ezell credits Swanson for being able to get the best out of her. “He pushes me and, I’m a big critique on myself, and he’ll say something (and) I’ll say to myself, ‘I know that, I have to do it again,’” Ezell said. “He’ll always say extra reps makes confidence better. I’m always trying to come earlier and stay after to try and get more and more reps. He’s just really pushed me to be the good player I am.” Originally, Ezell wasn’t even supposed to be playing for Swanson right now. She was recruited out of high school as a beach volleyball player and was planning on playing for head coach Moritz Moritz her first two
years. However, Swanson and the volleyball team had an extreme need for a setter, so she decided to go ahead and join the squad. “The circumstances ended up being that we needed another setter and the fact that she was able to come in as a freshman right away was absolutely huge for us,” Swanson said. “I said all along (that) I’m like, ‘Wow, she’s really good.’ A really good get for us and the beach program.” Ezell plans on joining Moritz and the Gamecocks in the spring and if her volleyball performances are any indication, the beach volleyball squad could receive a major boost. The transition from high school to college is always tough, but Ezell said her teammates have helped her adjust well. She also loves being in Columbia, which was a major
reason she traveled across the country to come to South Carolina. “Whenever I did come to my unofficial, I came to a football game and that was amazing,” Ezell said. “I’ve never seen so many people so like hype and our school spirit and the campus was just so pretty. I got to see the indoor facility and the beach facility. At that point, the beach facility wasn’t quite ready, but I saw pictures of what it was supposed to look like and it was gorgeous. I just loved it all.” As her freshman year nears to an end, Ezell is incredibly thankful to be in the position that she’s in. After all, it’s not often you get to play the sport you love every day. “I’ve played since I was four so it’s just another game to me,” Ezell said. “Always getting to play is just what I wanted.”
Spurs & Feathers â€˘ 11
November 18, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule 09/03/15...........vs. North Carolina ............... Charlotte, N.C......................W, 17-13 09/12/15...........vs. Kentucky # ....................... Columbia, S.C....................... L, 26-22
5-0 3-1 281 145 W3
CONF OVERALL HOME ROAD
09/19/15...........at Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga............................. L, 52-20
5-1 2-1 282 179 W2
4-2 1-2 340 218 W3
09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 31-14
3-2 1-4 154 174 W1
3-3 1-3 214 281 L5
3-2 1-3 152 147 W1
2-2 0-6 209 270 L3
10/03/15...........at Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo....................... L, 24-10 10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Baton Rouge, La.................. L, 45-24 10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C......................W, 19-10 10/31/15...........at Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas....... L, 35-28 11/07/15...........at Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn..................... L, 27-24 11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C....................... L, 24-14 11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C........................ 12 p.m. 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
TERRY BISHOP TEAM
#1 RE/MAX agent
in Columbia Former Gamecock Football Player & Letterman
5-1 3-0 329 153 W7
3-2 3-1 344 279 W4
6-1 2-1 302 219 L2
5-1 2-2 407 230 L1
5-2 0-1 308 240 W1
4-2 3-1 318 186 L1
2-3 2-2 257 265 L1
CONF OVERALL HOME ROAD
HEATHWOOD 1533 WYNDHAM ROAD OPEN HOUSE! NOVEMBER 22, 1PM-4PM 4BR, 3.5 BA, 2917 SQ. FT. MLS #379341 $569,900
WALES GARDEN 3BR, 4.5 BA, 2826 SQ. FT. MLS #380507 $545,900
LAKE MURRAY 5BR, 4.5 BA, 4353 SQ. FT. MLS#367914 $749,900
ROSEWOOD 3BR, 1BA, 1176 SQ. FT. MLS#384879 $109,900
KINGS GRANT 4BR, 5.5 BA, 4492 SQ. FT. MLS#379471 $599,900
LAKE MURRAY 4BR, 4.5 BA, 3500 SQ. FT. MLS 385215 $939,900
(803) 665-1442 TerryBishopTeam.com
12 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Late rally falls short for Gamecocks in loss to Florida by brian hand Executive Editor
photo by jenny dilworth
stop Florida on their next offensive possession. South Carolina (3-7, 1-7 SEC) would take advantage of Florida’s inability to move the football with Orth connecting with Cooper for a 38-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Gamecocks to within three at 17-14 with 4:49 to play in the game. The Cooper touchdown finished off a fiveplay, 79-yard drive for the Gamecocks that lasted 1:58. Florida would respond to South Carolina’s 14 straight points by scoring on a oneyard touchdown run from Kelvin Taylor. The big play of the drive was when Taylor on third and eight from Florida’s own 46-yard line barreled up the middle for a 53-yard run that set up the ensuing touchdown one play later from the one-yard line. The touchdown finished off a six-play, 75-yard drive that took just 2:48. “It was unfortunate with that third down play there at the end,” Elliott said. “Offensively today, we were just dominated by a really good defense and a really good coaching staff that had a good gameplan.” Florida finished its win over the Game-
cocks with a 404-201 total yards advantage over South Carolina. The Gators ran 76 plays to South Carolina’s 48 in the game. Florida finished with a 39:56-20:01 advantage in terms of time of possession. Orth finished his day 13-of-24 with 163 yards passing. He had one touchdown passing and one touchdown receiving in the game. Orth threw two interceptions. Jerell Adams was the leading receiver for the Gamecocks with four catches for 46 yards. Cooper had three catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 16 more yards in the game. T.J. Holloman led the Gamecock defense with eight tackles. Gerald Dixon had six tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in the loss to Florida. Taylor ended his day for Florida with 105 yards rushing on 20 carries. He had the one rushing touchdown. Harris was 19-for-33 in total for Florida with 256 yards passing. He threw two interceptions to go along with one touchdown pass. South Carolina next turns its attention to
a noon game against The Citadel on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will be available on the SEC Network Alternate Channel and Watch ESPN.
Fabulous Tailgating Facility
31 South Stadium Road - $68,000
7 Deeded Parking Spaces - Private Covered Pavillion Full Water & Electrical Hookup - Bathroom Pavillion Tailgate for the day or bring a RV & stay for the weekend! Owner Financing Available FOR SALE BY OWNER
Harris Cashwell 843-442-8684
South Carolina came out with new helmets and a belief that they could knock off the SEC East champion in Florida, but their advances fell just short as another slow start doomed the Gamecocks in a 24-14 loss to the Gators before a crowd of 78,536 at Williams-Brice Stadium. “This has been the story of our football team the last few weeks,” South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott said after the game. “We don’t start off very quick, but finish strong and today wasn’t any different other than the fact that I thought our defense played very well in the first half and they kept us in the ballgame.” Florida would score the inaugural points of the game with 1:50 left in the first quarter when running back Jordan Cronkrite rushed up the middle into the end zone from three yards out to give the Gators a 7-0 lead after Austin Hardin’s ensuing extra point. The touchdown capped a 15-play, 87-yard drive that took 6:38 off the clock for the Gators. Cronkrite just about seven minutes into the second quarter would make it 14-0 when he caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Treon Harris on third and 11 for the Gators. The 41-yard touchdown finished off a 12-play, 76-yard drive for Florida (9-1, 7-1 SEC) that lasted 7:11. Florida looked as if they would punch it in again before the halftime break, but South Carolina’s TJ Gurley intercepted Harris in the end zone to leave the score at 14-0 in favor of the Gators at the halftime break. The interception was the third of Gurley’s career. Florida finished the first half with a 200-53 total yards advantage over the Gamecocks. The Gators held a 19:58-10:02 advantage in time of possession in the first 30 minutes. The Gators would extend their advantage to 17-0 with 4:50 left in the third quarter off a 39-yard field goal from Hardin. The field goal ended a 12-play, 70-yard drive for the Gators that encompassed 6:20. The Gamecocks were finally able to get on the scoreboard with 8:59 left in the fourth quarter when on a trick play South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth caught a touchdown pass from Pharoh Cooper. The play started with Orth throwing the ball out left to Cooper, who then found a streaking Orth down the right sideline for the 17-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Gamecocks to within 10 after Elliott Fry’s extra point at 17-7. The touchdown concluded an eightplay, 64-yard drive for South Carolina that took just 3:17. The Gamecocks from there would then
Mike Cashwell 843-514-7495 firstname.lastname@example.org
November 18, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 13
Previewing The Citadel football team by kyle heck Reporter
After playing five straight games against SEC opponents to wrap up the conference schedule, South Carolina will take on The Citadel at Williams-Brice Stadium in what will be the Gamecocks’ third nonconference game of the season. South Carolina has won the previous two against North Carolina and UCF. While the Bulldogs may be an FCS opponent, that doesn’t mean they are a pushover by any means. The Citadel has won five of six and has an overall record of 7-3, 6-1 Southern Conference. The Bulldogs claimed a share of the SoCon title this season. The Bulldogs feature a strong triple-option attack that averages a shade under 350 rushing yards per game. Going into their game against Chattanooga this past weekend, the Bulldogs had 33 rushing touchdowns, which led the FCS. As a matter of fact, The Citadel ranks near the top of the FCS in several categories. The Bulldogs are fourth in the country in yards per carry at 5.82, third in the nation in touchdown passes allowed with five, tied for first in the country in interceptions with 17 and also tied for first in interception return touchdowns with four. Their 24 turnovers forced rank second in the nation. Sophomore quarterback Dominique Allen leads the vaunted Bulldog rushing attack with 593 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground going into the Chattanooga game. However, he’s just one of six players to average at least 40 rushing yards per game. Sophomores Cam Jackson and Isiaha Smith are two other players to keep an eye on in the ground game. Because they’re a triple-option team, the Bulldogs don’t throw it a lot, but when they do, it’s likely to go to one of two wide receivers, junior Jorian Jordan or senior Brandon Eakins. Those two have combined for about half of The Citadel’s total receiving yards. The Bulldogs’ ball-hawking defense is led by sophomore defensive back Dee Delaney, who had five interceptions heading into the game against the Mocs and had also blocked a kick. Senior defensive lineman Mitchell Jeter is by far The Citadel’s most disruptive pass rusher and senior linebacker James Riley is the team’s leading tackler. A couple of other players to watch out for on defense are linebackers Tevin Floyd and Dondray Copeland. Even with all of the gaudy stats and impressive record, the Gamecocks still have the superior talent and a noticeable size advantage over the Bulldogs. The two teams haven’t met since 2011, when the Gamecocks won by a 41-20 score in Columbia. Overall, South Carolina owns an overall record of 40-7-3 against The Citadel and have won 10 of the past 11 meetings. The game can be seen on the SEC Network Alternate channel or WatchESPN.
photo by allen sharpe
14 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 15
November 18, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut
USC last week made an offer to DE Sadarius Hutcherson (6-6 250) of Huntingdon, TN and immediately joined Memphis and Arizona State as the teams at the top of his list. The Sun Devils have not yet offered. Hutcherson said he also has offers from Middle Tennessee, San Diego State, Nevada, and Massachusetts. “I was happy, it was a true blessing,” Hutcherson said of the USC offer. “It puts South Carolina as a top school because of the players’ effort, the coaches and especially the fan base.” Hutcherson has been to games at Memphis and Tennessee this season and as for official visits he plans to Phil Kornblut set, he’s looking at USC, Contributing Memphis and Arizona Writer State. Hutcherson said he’s looking to make a decision soon, likely some time in November. OL John Simpson of Fort Dorchester has set an official visit to LSU for this weekend and said two other visits he will take will be Alabama in December and Florida. He’s not sure about his other two officials. In fact, he’s not sure he’ll have time to take them. If he does, he’s looking at Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee for those visits. USC also has been a factor with Simpson but the program is in transition with the departure of Steve Spurrier. “Coach Elliott is still there and that would be the reason I would go,” Simpson said. “He showed me a lot at their camp, one of the first ones I went to. I want to wait and see (on the new coach) because Coach Elliott is one of the main reasons I’m attracted to the school because he’s such a good coach. He said he’s not sure how long he’s going to be there but wherever he goes he’s going to recruit me.” Simpson was at Clemson last Saturday and had another good experience. He also recently visited NC State for the Clemson game. Simpson said in recent days he’s heard from recruiters from Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Clemson and USC. Those schools along with Georgia comprise his short list with no favorite. DB JJ Givens of Mechanicsville, VA says he’s still committed to USC despite the transitioning taking place in the program but he also is keeping open his options. He was at Clemson Saturday and the previous weekend he was at NC State. He has set his official visit with the Gamecocks for the Clemson game. He is taking an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend and also plans to set official visits with Ole Miss, Arizona State and Wisconsin. WR Rick Wells of Jacksonville, FL has been
committed to Florida since January but has not shut down his recruiting. He camped at USC in June and has remained in contact with recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. and he will take a closer look at the Gamecocks in January. “I want to see how things go on my official visit (to USC) after the season,” Wells said. “He (Spurrier Jr.) came to the school and talked to me and he came to the game. He was talking about me coming in and my role if I go to South Carolina. I’m interested in South Carolina a lot. Just trying to get in and play early.” Wells said he’s also looking at Virginia Tech and South Florida for official visits along with his one to Florida. He calls his commitment strength as “pretty solid right now.” He’s only been to Florida for a game this season. He was supposed to be at USC for the LSU game but it was moved to Baton Rouge, so he’s looking at a possible visit for the Florida game. And despite the turmoil in Columbia with Steve Spurrier’s resignation and the losing season, Wells still sees things that attract him. “Coach Spurrier Jr. and my relationship with him,” he said. “My chance of coming in and playing early. Them needing receivers and my role in the offense and what kind of offense they run.” Wells said he will play in the Blue-Grey All American Game in Jacksonville and will wait until Signing Day before making a final decision. He said his list is down to USC, Florida, Virginia Tech and South Florida. USC commitment RB CJ Freeman of Greensboro was offered by Wisconsin and committed OL Will Putnam of Harrisburg, NC made an unofficial visit to NC State for the Clemson game. RB Tyrek Tisdale of Orlando, a former Florida commitment, wants to take an official visit to USC November 21st. He has taken an official visit to Oregon State and is scheduled for visits to Syracuse November 14th and West Virginia December 12th. South Pointe DB Nick McCloud and some underclassmen teammates planned to be at USC for the Florida game. USC and Southern Cal offered TE 2017 Logan Rudolph of Northwestern. USC offered 2018 DB Chamarri Conner of Jacksonville. 2017 OL Eric Douglas of Charlotte camped at USC last summer and immediately declared the Gamecocks his favorite. In fact, he nearly committed. Then he visited Clemson for a camp and came away with the Tigers in front. Recruiting has settled down for Douglas since then but he is still strong on the Gamecocks and Tigers. He has been to USC for a game and was at Clemson Saturday. He has also been to North Carolina and NC State for games this season. And he prob-
ably will return to USC for the Clemson game. Douglas has offers from USC, Clemson and NC State and is expecting more once recruiters get a look at his latest film which has just been sent out. “Right now I would say I like all of my offers,” Douglas said. “I think they all are building and going in the right direction. If someone stood out, probably Clemson and South Carolina right now. I’d say they are even.” When Douglas camped at USC, Steve Spurrier was still coach. Now Shawn Elliott is in charge. Elliott, as offensive line coach, has been highly active in his recruitment but he’s disappointed Spurrier is no longer around. “Seeing him go is sad but at the same time he wasn’t my position coach so that doesn’t really change my standpoint on South Carolina. To see my position coach now as the interim head coach, that’s awesome to see. That’s pretty cool.” Douglas will be patient and will wait and see who USC hires as head coach, but he would love for Elliott to still be on the staff in some form. “That’s big right there,” he said. “Coach Shawn Elliott is a great coach and a great person and is somebody I would want to play for.” Douglas said he’s not rushing his recruiting right now and is focused on winning another state championship in December. USC also is recruiting Douglas’ teammate OL TJ Moore and he said right now it appears to him USC and NC State are the top two with the big offensive tackle. Basketball News: 6-1 Hammond star guard Seventh Woods last Wednesday morning signed with North Carolina. “South Carolina was definitely in the picture,” he said. “It was kind of head to head between the two. I went to church and prayed about it and UNC came out on top. Everybody was telling me to go with my heart. That’s what I did. I went with my heart and that’s where I want to be.” Woods said he didn’t make up his mind until Monday night. He called Roy Williams Tuesday night and notified the other two head coaches on Wednesday morning. The Gamecocks, led by Frank Martin and Lamont Evans, fought an uphill battle with North Carolina for Woods. They were late to the party because by the time Martin arrived in Columbia, Williams had already established a relationship with Woods. But the Gamecocks recruited Woods hard and hoped his friendships with freshman guard PJ Dozier and women’s star A’ja Wilson would help sway him their way. “It’s my hometown, it’s my state really,” he said. “PJ is like my brother so it would have been great playing for him. But at the end of the day I had to make my decision on what I want to do and be selfish with it.” USC did sign 6-10 post Sedee Keita, a native of Philadelphia who attends 22 Feet Academy in Greenville. Keita, whose family hails from
Africa, took visits to USC, Temple, Providence and Penn State. “He was going to pick the school he felt most comfortable with,” said 22 Feet coach Matt Schmidt. “He liked the fact that Frank teaches and utilizes big guys and they really don’t have a big guy like Sedee with a face up game. He sees himself as kind of a different post player for them and that gives him a chance to earn some minutes.” Keita agreed with his coach’s assessment and felt playing at USC and for Martin would be best for him in the long run. “It does feel good being a Gamecock and relieving all this stress,” Keita said. “Coach Martin has a lot of posts that he’s coached and the program is on the up and coming. It’s a fast paced offense and that’s a style I could play in. It’s a great fit. I feel like it lets me run up and down and that’s what I like to do.” Schmidt added that Keita should be in a position to help out the Gamecocks early on the defensive end but it will take some time for his offensive game, at the SEC level, to mature. “His size and length are unbelievable,” he said. “Defensively he’s such an agile big man. He can cover the perimeter guys. He’s so light on his feet. Defensively he has a lot of tools. All he cares about is that the team wins. He’s not there for himself. He has the potential to be a very good face up post scorer and when he gets in the paint he can have a really good jump shot. He has a ways to go with his offensive game just being comfortable. He does see cuts and he sees the weak side. He’s very good kicking out of the post and finding the open guys.” 6-10 Dewan Huell of Miami is working on a decision between USC, Miami and Florida State and his coach said last week there’s not much progress being made. “I have no clue when he’ll have a decision,” coach Lawton Williams said. “I’m kind of frustrated. I’ve put two and a half years into this and he’s not putting much effort into it. I was finished with it as of October 26th. That’s when it stopped being about him and started being about the team.” Former USC commitment 7-0 Travon Bunch, who is now at Indian Hills JC, IA, said he has been in touch with Gamecock coach Frank Martin. Bunch said he’s not sure of Martin’s interest moving forward but they will keep in touch. He will play this season and next at the junior college. The USC women received a commitment last week from 6-1 Mikiah Harrigan of Pembroke Pines, FL. And 5-10 PG Tyasha Harris of Indianapolis made an official visit to USC this weekend. Baseball News: 2018 SS Blaze Alexander of Cape Coral, FL committed to the South Carolina baseball team last Monday night.
16 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Rico McWilliams CB 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 3 D.J. Neal WR 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Jalen Christian WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody FS 6 Connor Mitch QB 7 Al Harris Jr. CB 7 Shon Carson TB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DE 9 Carlton Heard WR 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Ernest Hawkins LB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Henry LB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves FS 15 Matrick Belton WR 15 Antoine Wilder SS 16 Rashad Fenton CB 16 Gage Pucci QB 17 Chaz Elder SS 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Danny Gordon QB 19 Landon Ard PK 19 Lorenzo Nunez QB 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 20 T.J. Gurley SPR 21 Isaiah Johnson FS 22 Brandon Wilds TB 23 Christian Owens WR 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith FS 25 Darin Smalls CB 25 A.J. Turner TB 26 Jasper Sasser SPR 27 Toure Boyd FS 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Daniel Fennell LB 30 Darius Paulk TB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Mon Denson TB 34 Scott Grant SS
Hgt. 5-11 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-1 5-9 6-6 6-4 6-1 6-3 5-11 5-8 6-1 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-11 5-10 6-4 5-10 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-3 6-5 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-3 5-8 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10
Wgt. 186 202 183 193 233 177 225 226 215 211 163 206 189 264 182 225 218 203 231 207 224 210 189 207 175 183 209 185 180 195 209 248 203 182 210 180 199 206 220 204 220 195 190 185 207 180 235 164 220 198 201 222 222 178
Cl. RS JR RS FR SO FR SO FR RS JR RS FR RS JR RS SO SO RS SR RS SR JR RS SR FR JR RS JR RS JR JR SO RS FR RS JR FR RS FR RS SO RS JR FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS FR RS SR FR FR SR RS SR RS SR FR JR SO FR FR RS SO JR JR JR FR RS JR RS SO RS SO FR RS FR
Hometown/High School/Last College Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Inman, S.C./Chapman Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Damascus, Md./Damascus Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Scranton, S.C./Lake City St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Cooper City, Fla./University Ponte Vedra, Fla/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Baltimore, Md./Dunbar/Hartnell College Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee JC Foley, Ala./Foley Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Glendora, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga Union City, Ga./Banneker Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Cairo, Ga./Cairo Cary, N.C./Panther Creek/Kansas Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Griffin, Ga./Griffin Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Summerville, S.C./Summerville Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Chaffey College Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Loganville, Ga./Grayson Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens
Coaches Shawn Elliott - Interim Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers Jon Hoke - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs G.A. Mangus - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Co-Defensive Coordinator Travelle Wharton - Offensive Line Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Joe Connolly - Director-Football Strength & Conditioning Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Grady Brown - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Brian Turk - Quality Control Coordinator (Special Teams)
# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James CB 39 Demetrius Smalls CB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh FB 40 Jacob August TE 40 Jason Senn FS 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB 42 Jordan Diggs SS 43 Garrison Gist FB 43 Benji Russell SS 44 Gerald Dixon DE 44 Max Moorman FB 45 Reubyn Walker LB 45 Clayton Stadnik TE 46 Cedrick Malone LB 46 Jakob Huechtker LS 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DE 49 Devin Potter TB 49 Boosie Whitlow DE 51 Cody Waldrop OG 52 Phillip Dukes DT 55 David Johnson DE 55 Christian Pellage OT 57 Cory Helms OC 59 Logan Crane LS 63 Blake Camper OT 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OG 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OT 78 Zack Bailey OG 79 Trey Derouen OG 80 John Dixon WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Sean Odom WR 83 Jamari Smith CB 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Michael Almond K/P 85 Devin Dingle WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Connor Redmond TE 88 Javon Charleston WR 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Shameik Blackshear DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Ulric Jones DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Dante Sawyer DE 99 Abu Lamin DT
Hgt. 5-7 5-9 6-2 6-6 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-2 5-10 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-10 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-1 6-6 6-4 6-3 6-8 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-3 5-11 6-5 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-4
Wgt. 154 170 245 258 181 210 209 251 188 269 234 220 240 200 188 213 224 293 203 240 300 319 240 314 301 212 295 325 270 328 320 314 295 293 308 320 314 185 252 194 200 243 200 160 238 225 185 231 308 250 327 300 316 291 326
Cl. RS JR RS SO RS SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS SO JR RS FR FR RS JR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO FR JR FR FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SR RS FR FR FR FR FR JR RS SO FR FR FR RS FR FR FR SR SO FR RS SR JR JR SO RS JR
Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Rock Hill, S.C./Florida A&M Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Opelika, Ala./Opelika Seffner, Fla./Armwood Manning, S.C./Manning Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville, S.C. Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Alexandria, Va./Episcopal Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer Gurnee, Ill./Warren Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Oxford, Ala./Butler (Kan.) Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fayetteville, N.C./Fort Scott C.C.
Spurs & Feathers • 17
November 18, 2015
# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 55 56 57
Name ShyPhillips DeAndreSchoultz JorianJordan DeeDelaney JoeCrochet DaneAnderson MarkThomas IsraelBattle KhafariBuffalo JordanBlack BenRoberts ShonBelton JalenLampkin VinnyMiller JoshMassey CamJackson DominiqueAllen MarielCooper MalikDiggs DondrayCopeland TyusCarter AronSpannIII ReggieWilliams JonathanDorogy NickWillis CraigMiller GrantDrakeford JauveerHammond RodJohnson PhilDavis QuinlanWashington EvanMcField TylerRenew DonovanWard J.J.Baldwin IsiahaSmith KailikWilliams SethGreer TreyNelson TevinFloyd JordanThomas CurtNixon CarlCunninghamJr. CalebBennett KevinGraham JamesRiley MylesPierce RyanBednar TylerDavis DaSeanDaniels GregoryPappas RussellHubbs MichaelMabry KyleWeaver
Pos. DB WR WR DB DL QB DL LB DB QB DB QB A-Back A-Back LB QB QB DB DB LB DB DB A-Back A-Back DB A-Back A-Back A-Back A-Back LB LB B-Back B-Back B-Back DB B-Back DB DB LB LB LB DB DB LB DL LB LB OL OL LB LB LB OL OL
Ht. 6-0 5-9 6-0 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-1 5-9 5-11 5-10 5-10 5-11 6-2 6-1 5-11 6-1 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-9 5-8 6-2 5-8 5-10 5-8 5-11 6-1 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-10 5-10 5-10 5-11 5-11 6-0 6-1 6-1 6-0 6-1 6-0 6-1 5-11 6-0 6-1 6-1 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-1 6-2
Wt. 165 189 172 191 245 210 225 226 185 185 175 207 191 205 190 197 214 192 180 213 182 215 198 187 205 185 170 183 195 195 201 221 217 200 185 230 190 170 215 234 225 180 186 214 265 222 225 272 280 220 215 220 260 272
Yr. So. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Fr. Fr. So. R-Fr. R-Fr. Sr. So. So. So. Gr. Jr. Jr. So. Fr. So. So. Sr. Jr. R-Fr. R-Fr. Fr. Fr. R-Fr. R-Fr. Jr. Fr. Jr. So. So. So. So. Jr. Fr. Fr. R-Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. So. Jr. Fr. So. So. R-Fr. Sr. Jr.
Hometown (Previous School) Hartsville,S.C./Hartsville Aiken,S.C./SouthAiken Charlotte,N.C./MallardCreek Seabrook,S.C./WhaleBranch StoneMountain,Ga./St.PiusX NorthAugusta,S.C./Aquinas Brunswick,Ga./GlynnAcademy Cedartown,Ga./Cedartown Sumter,S.C./Lakewood Vidalia,Ga./Vidalia Statesboro,Ga./Statesboro Lugoff,S.C./Lugoff-Elgin Augusta,Ga./Westside NorthAugusta,S.C./NorthAugusta RockHill,S.C./SouthPointe Mobile,Ala./Davidson RichmondHill,Ga./RichmondHill Sumter,S.C./Sumter Laurinburg,N.C./Scotland Doerun,Ga./ColquittCounty Birmingham,Ala./ShadesValley Spartanburg,S.C./Dorman PalmBay,Fla./PalmBay Harmony,Pa./SenecaValley StoneMountain,Ga./Dunwoody HollyHill,S.C./LakeMarion Atlanta,Ga./Riverwood Graniteville,S.C./StromThurmond NinetySix,S.C./NinetySix Marietta,Ga./Hillgrove Gainesville,Fla./Buchholz GooseCreek,S.C./GooseCreek Columbia,S.C./BenLippen Columbia,S.C./Dreher Charleston,S.C./WestAshley Hagerstown,Md./SouthHagerstown OrmondBeach,Fla./Mainland Greenville,S.C./Eastside Beaufort,S.C./WhaleBranch Tallahassee,Fla./FloridaHigh Fairburn,Ga./OurLadyofMercy Folkston,Ga./CharltonCounty Cibolo,Texas/BryonP.SteelII TravelersRest,S.C./BlueRidge Durham,N.C./RabunGap-Nacoochee(Ga.) Mobile,Ala./Davidson Daphne,Ala./Daphne Glassport,Pa./SouthAllegheny MurrellsInlet,S.C./Waccamaw Lawrenceville,Ga./GreaterAtlantaChristian Darlington,S.C./Darlington RockHill,S.C./Northwestern MyrtleBeach,S.C./Andrews HiltonHead,S.C./HiltonHeadChristianAcademy
Coaches Mike Houston Head Coach Brent Thompson Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/B-Backs Maurice Drayton Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Blake Harrell Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Linebackers J.P. Gunter A-Backs/Recruiting Coordinator Ron Boyd Offensive Line Brian Rucker Wide Receivers Roy Tesh Defensive Line Joel Taylor Defensive Passing Game Coordinator/Safeties John Ward Tackles/Academic Coordinator Tripp Weaver Outside Linebackers P.G. Standard Offensive Quality Control Price Blagg Defensive Quality Control Jimmy Long Special Teams Quality Control Donnell Boucher Assistant Athletic Director/Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Floris Mendonca Video Coordinator
# Name 58 AustinHarrell 59 LeeRiley 60 HunterMorris 61 SamFrye 62 MitchellJeter 63 EmmetHowle 64 HughMcFaddin 67 ZackVanAlstine 68 KenAllen 69 MaxFord 70 LovequanScott 71 NickJeffreys 73 IsaiahPinson 74 SydneyMartin 76 AndrewLaulusa 77 TristanHarkleroad 78 CalebHester 79 GregDiCocco 80 CharlesClark 81 AlexGlover 82 BrandonEakins 83 RudderBrown 84 CameronScott 85 PatrickKeefe 86 AustinJordan 88 JakeRiggs 89 WhitMiller 90 WillVanvick 91 Tre’VonWhite 92 TravisJohnson 93 AdamWawrzynski 94 AttorneyGallman 95 NoahDawkins 96 Ja’LonWilliams 97 JonathanKing 99 EricGoins
Pos. DL LS LS OL DL OL OL OL DL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL DL OL WR WR WR WR WR LS K WR WR P DL DL DL DL DL DL DL K
Ht. 6-2 6-0 6-2 5-10 6-0 6-3 6-0 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-0 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-1 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-0 6-4 5-11 5-11 6-5 6-1 6-0 6-1 6-1 6-2 6-1 6-2
Wt. 278 205 257 277 275 300 274 250 275 265 265 254 264 245 245 277 226 290 205 227 205 215 200 190 205 206 185 179 221 224 228 255 225 245 248 200
Yr. Jr. R-Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. So. Fr. Fr. R-Fr. R-Fr. Jr. So. R-Fr. Fr. R-Fr. R-Fr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Sr. So. R-Fr. Jr. R-Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Jr.
Hometown (Previous School) Adairsville,Ga./Adairsville Walterboro,S.C./ColletonPrepAcademy Kannapolis,N.C./A.L.Brown Charlotte,N.C./ProvidenceDaySchool RockHill,S.C./RockHill Charlotte,N.C./MyersPark Manning,S.C./Manning GooseCreek,S.C./GooseCreek Elberton,Ga./ElbertCounty Sheldon,S.C./WhaleBranch MountPleasant,S.C./Wando OklahomaCity,Okla./BishopMcGuiness Wellford,S.C./Byrnes Lyman,S.C./Byrnes Columbia,S.C./SpringValley Savannah,Ga./BenedictineMilitary Anderson,S.C./WestSide Villanova,Pa./Radnor MountPleasant,S.C./BishopEngland MountPleasant,S.C./Wando McClellanville,S.C./Wando MountPleasant,S.C./Wando LasVegas,Nev./ArborView FortWaltonBeach,Fla./Choctawhatchee Columbia,S.C./Airport Greenville,S.C./J.L.Mann Anderson,S.C./T.L.Hanna Greenville,S.C./J.L.Mann Pelham,Ga./Pelham Fayetteville,N.C./CamdenCounty NewCastle,Pa./Neshannock Hiram,Ga./Hiram Lyman,S.C./JamesF.Byrnes Columbia,S.C./SpringValley Statesville,N.C./SouthIredell Herndon,Va./Oakton
18 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Depth Charts for November 21, 12 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: -OR- LT: LG: OC: RG:
15 Matrick Belton 3 D.J. Neal 11 Pharoh Cooper 9 Carlton Heard 5 Terry Googer 8 Shamier Jeffery 81 Hayden Hurst 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 69 D.J. Park 70 Alan Knott 78 Zack Bailey 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley RT: 74 Mason Zandi 63 Blake Camper TE: 89 Jerell Adams 84 Kyle Markway 86 Kevin Crosby QB: 10 Perry Orth 19 Lorenzo Nuñez 6 Connor Mitch 12 Michael Scarnecchia FB: 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TB: 22 Brandon Wilds
6-4, 209, Jr. 6-3, 193, Fr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-0, 182, Sr. 6-4, 226, RFr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 6-5, 252, Fr. 6-6, 328, Sr. 6-6, 314, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 270, So. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-5, 295, Sr. 6-4, 320, RFr. 6-9, 314, Jr. 6-8, 295, Fr. 6-6, 231, Sr. 6-4, 243, Fr. 6-1, 238, RFr. 6-1, 203, Jr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-3, 211, So. 6-4, 210, RFr. 6-2, 245, So. 6-2, 220, Sr.
Columbia, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. Havelock, N.C. Athens, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. St. Matthews, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Goose Creek, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Boynton Beach, Fla. Dillon, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Summerville, S.C. Milton, Fla. Floydale, S.C. Chapin, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Pinewood, S.C. St. Louis, Mo. Bamberg, S.C. Ponte Vedra, Fla. Kennesaw, Ga. Raleigh, N.C. Fleming Island, Fla. Leesville, S.C. Blythewood, S.C.
33 David Williams 7 Shon Carson
6-1, 222, So. 5-8, 206, Sr.
Philadelphia, Pa. Scranton, S.C.
DEFENSE DE: DT: NT: DE: WLB: MLB: SLB: SPR: LCB: FS:
49 Boosie Whitlow 5 Darius English 55 David Johnson 95 Dante Sawyer 94 Kelsey Griffin 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 52 Phillip Dukes 99 Abu Lamin 8 Marquavius Lewis 44 Gerald Dixon 18 Cedrick Cooper 10 Skai Moore 28 Jonathan Walton 11 T.J. Holloman 4 Bryson Allen-Williams 23 Larenz Bryant 12 Ernest Hawkins 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser 3 Chris Lammons 16 Rashad Fenton 21 Isaiah Johnson
6-3, 240, Fr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-1, 240, So. 6-3, 291, So. 6-2, 316, Jr. 6-3, 327, Sr. 6-3, 319, Sr. 6-4, 326, Jr. 6-3, 264, Jr. 6-2, 269, Sr. 6-2, 248, Sr. 6-2, 218, Jr. 6-0, 235, Jr. 6-2, 231, Jr. 6-1, 233, So. 6-0, 220, Jr. 6-1, 224, So. 5-10, 193, Sr. 6-0, 210, So. 5-10, 183, So. 5-10, 180, Fr. 6-0, 206, Sr.
Opelika, Ala. Powder Springs, Ga. Lithonia, Ga. Suwanee, Ga. Buford, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Manning, S.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Greenwood, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Lithonia, Ga. Cooper City, Fla. Daphne, Ala. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Charlotte, N.C. Baltimore, Md. Cairo, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. Lauderhill, Fla. Miami, Fla. Cary, N.C.
6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 1 Rico McWilliams 22 Jamari Smith
6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 186, Jr. 5-10, 200, So.
McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Hampton, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla.
SPECIAL TEAMS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SN: H:
19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Sean Kelly 85 Michael Almond 16 Rashad Fenton 32 Rod Talley 11 Pharoh Cooper 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 13 Sean Kelly 19 Landon Ard
5-9, 182, Sr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 6-3, 200, Fr. 5-10, 180, Fr. 5-10, 201, So. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-2, 213, Jr. 6-0, 224, RFr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr.
Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Oakland, Fla. North Augusta, S.C. Miami, Fla. Laurens, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Oakland, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C.
The Citadel OFFENSE
WR: 81 Alex Glover 83 Rudder Brown WR: 3 Jorian Jordan 82 Brandon Eakins LT: 73 Isaiah Pinson 76 Andrew Laulusa LG: 57 Kyle Weaver 70 Lovequan Scott C: 52 Ryan Bednar 53 Tyler Davis RG: 61 Sam Frye 77 Tristan Harkleroad RT: 56 Michael Mabry 71 Nick Jeffreys QB: 19 Dominique Allen 12 Shon Belton A-BACK: 18 Cam Jackson 29 Grant Drakeford A-BACK: 16 Vinny Miller 25 Reggie Williams B-BACK: 36 Tyler Renew -OR- 34 Evan McField -OR- 39 Isiaha Smith
6-3, 227, Sr. Mount Pleasant, S.C. 6-4, 215, Jr. Mount Pleasant, S.C. 6-0, 172, Jr. Charlotte, N.C. 6-2, 205, Sr. McClellanville, S.C. 6-3, 264, So. Wellford, S.C. 6-2, 245, Fr. Columbia, S.C. 6-2, 272, Jr. Hilton Head, S.C. 6-2, 263, RFr. Mount Pleasant, S.C. 6-1, 272, Jr. Glassport, Pa. 6-1, 280, Fr. Murrells Inlet, S.C. 5-10, 277, Sr. Charlotte, N.C. 6-2, 277, RFr. Savannah, Ga. 6-1, 260, Sr. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 6-3, 254, Jr. Oklahoma City, Okla. 6-1, 214, So. Richmond Hill, Ga. 5-11, 207, RFr. Lugoff, S.C. 6-2, 197, So. Mobile, Ala. 5-10, 170, RFr. Atlanta, Ga. 5-10, 205, Sr. North Augusta, S.C. 5-9, 198, So. Palm Bay, Fla. 5-11, 217, Jr. Columbia, S.C. 6-0, 221, RFr. Goose Creek, S.C. 5-10, 230, So. Hagerstown, Md.
DEFENSE DE: 7 Mark Thomas 6-2, 225, Sr. 48 Kevin Graham 6-1, 265, Fr. -OR- 92 Travis Johnson 6-1, 224, So. DT: 97 Jonathan King 6-1, 248, So. 68 Ken Allen 6-1, 275, Fr. DT: 62 Mitchell Jeter 6-0, 275, Sr. 58 Austin Harrell 6-2, 278, Jr. DE: 5 Joe Crochet 6-2, 245, Jr. 95 Noah Dawkins 6-1, 225, Fr. -OR- 55 Russell Hubbs 6-1, 220, RFr. RLB: 49 James Riley 5-11, 222, Sr. 8 Israel Battle 6-2, 226, So. KLB: 43 Tevin Floyd 6-1, 234, Jr. 50 Myles Pierce 6-0, 225, So. BANDIT: 22 Dondray Copeland 6-2, 213, Jr. 33 Quinlan Washington 6-0, 201, RFr. CB: 4 Dee Delaney 6-1, 191, So. 1 Shy Phillips 6-0, 165, So. ROVER: 40 Kailik Williams 5-11, 190, So. 27 Nick Willis 6-2, 205, Sr. -OR- 24 Aron Spann III 6-2, 215, Fr. FS: 21 Malik Diggs 6-1, 180, Jr. 40 Kailik Williams 5-11, 190, So. CB: 20 Mariel Cooper 5-11, 192, Sr. 23 Tyus Carter 6-1, 182, So.
SPECIAL TEAMS Brunswick, Ga. Durham, N.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Statesville, N.C. Elberton, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Adairsville, Ga. Stone Mountain, Ga. Lyman, S.C. Rock Hill, S.C. Mobile, Ala. Cedartown, Ga. Tallahassee, Fla. Daphne, Ala. Doerun, Ga. Gainesville, Fla. Seabrook, S.C. Hartsville, S.C. Ormond Beach, Fla. Stone Mountain, Ga. Spartanburg, S.C. Laurinburg, N.C. Ormond Beach, Fla. Sumter, S.C. Birmingham, Ala.
K: P: SS: LS: H: KOR: PR:
99 Eric Goins 6-2, 200, Jr. 86 Austin Jordan 6-0, 205, Sr. 90 Will Vanvick 5-11, 179, Jr. 99 Eric Goins 6-2, 200, Jr. 60 Hunter Morris 6-2, 257, Jr. 59 Lee Riley 6-0, 205, RFr. 6 Dane Anderson 5-11, 210, Jr. 33 Quinlan Washington 6-0, 201, RFr. 4 Dee Delaney 6-1, 191, So. 2 DeAndre Schoultz 5-9, 189, Jr. 4 Dee Delaney 6-1, 191, So.
*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. 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.
Herndon, Va. Columbia, S.C. Greenville, S.C. Herndon, Va. Kannapolis, N.C. Walterboro, S.C. North Augusta, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Seabrook, S.C. Aiken, S.C. Seabrook, S.C.
Spurs & Feathers • 19
November 18, 2015
Get to know Gamecock men’s soccer. It could be the story of the fall.
leader of Spurs & Feathers, Brian Hand.) A month into the season, the Gamecocks were 2-2-1 and coming off a desultory 5-0 loss ant to know the most feel-good to UNCW. They had also lost 6’1” freshman story in Gamecock athletics this Bjorn Gudjonsson, whom Berson recruited to fall? replace Knudsen, to an injury against Clemson. It may have escaped your notice while the The prospects looked shaky. Instead, it beGamecocks were battling Tennessee in Knox- came the starting point for a turnaround. ville, but over at Stone Stadium , the South “We knew at that point that we had to rapidly Carolina men’s soccer team was in the midst of improve. We challenged our guys, and they’ve a 1-0 win over #11 Coastal Carolina. The vic- come up and met the challenge,” Berson said. tory clinched the Gamecocks’ first undefeated A few things happened to ignite them. Inregular season at home since 1993, when they juries often force coaches to get resourceful. played for the NCAA title. It also guaranteed Without Gudjonsson, Berson relied more heavthem their first NCAA Tournament appearance ily on Asa Kryst and Kevin Walker, a pair of since 2011, and gave them a strong chance at small, fleet senior forwards. Both were coming hosting in the first round. off serious injuries – Walker missed all of 2014 At 11-7-1, South Carolina is playing its best with a neck injury, while Kryst only played soccer of the season – and among the best soc- three matches due to groin problems – but they cer anywhere. both brought quickness and grittiness up top. “For our guys, to see them improve as they Combined with the Gamecocks’ depth at have this year, and really get the job done midfield, Berson found a perfect identity: an against top teams, it’s really rewarding. I know experienced, technical group of players who they have to feel good. We certainly feel good can interchange positions and create scoring as coaches,” said head coach chances off their quickness. Mark Berson when I caught up Physically, the Gamecocks with him last week. aren’t imposing (at times they Considering where they startstart no one taller than 5’9”at ed, the success has been even midfield or forward). Athletimore stunning. South Carolina cally and creatively, they’re a entered the year without its top handful. goal scorer, freshman forward “We have a number of guys Mikkel Knudsen, who left for that can kind of unbalance his native Denmark to pursue an opponent, and that’s really a professional career. They the critical thing,” Berson exgraduated a pair of stalwart, Allplained. In addition to Walker, Conference USA central defenda second-team All-CUSA pick, ers in Braeden Troyer and Mo senior Jeffrey Torda (5 goals) Kaba. There was the predictable made third team All-CUSA. attrition from graduation and South Carolina also benefittransfers. ted from a pair of impact trans(Full disclosure: I broadcast Andy Demetra fers. Midfielder Danny Deakin USC men’s soccer for SEC NetContributing arrived at USC after an Allwork+ along with our fearless Writer American sophomore season at
Mercyhurst, where he led Division II in assists. The 5’9” Deakin, using his rocket left foot, scored 10 goals during the regular season, the most by a Gamecock since 2008. He was honored with a spot on the All-CUSA First Team. Berson also inserted sophomore William Pyle, a transfer from UNC-Greensboro, into goal in mid-September. He responded by finishing with a 0.97 goals against average. Transfers in all sports can be a crapshoot; the Gamecocks struck gold with theirs. It also took time to settle their needs at central defense. To replace Troyer and Kaba, Berson went with a pair of freshmen in Tor Nyboe and Peyton Ericson. After a rough start, their chemistry improved – as did their results. “They’ve both done a great job. It is a learning process. Toward the end of this season, they’re almost not freshmen anymore. We’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but these guys have learned. They have a great feel for how we want to defend and what we want to do,” Berson said. Nyboe and Ericson both earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors. The Gamecocks’ success hasn’t been without its unsung heroes, either. Junior Kurtis Turner, the Gamecocks’ returning leader in points, retreated to more of a defensive midfield role. He finished the year with no goals or assists, but his value never diminished. Junior Koty Millard, a quicksilver 5’5” midfielder, moved to right back. Berson raved about both of them. “Those are two absolutely critical people for us who have made changes that have been directly impactful on our season. Koty is an outstanding right back. He would really prefer to play more in the midfield, but he is a legitimate shutdown right back and he has defended some of the top players in the league this year and done exceptionally well. Kurtis is a leader. He gives you an incredible workrate, great heart, and most importantly, he’s a two-way player,” he said. Millard and his counterpart, junior
photo by allen sharpe
left back Ive Burnett, both made All-CUSA. The Gamecocks’ new identity started to click. The week of September 21, they knocked off #8 Elon and #7 New Mexico, the first time they beat back-to-back Top 10 opponents since 2000. They also got healthier, improving their depth at a key time of year. Gudjonsson and freshman Trygve Ellingstad became weapons off the bench, draining teams with their size and hustle. Still, a critical closing stretch loomed: the Gamecocks played three straight RPI Top 20 opponents to end the year, all at Stone Stadium. With an RPI of 32, their NCAA Tournament chances could take a giant leap forward – or be stuck in limbo. The Gamecocks began by shutting out FIU, the nation’s top goal scoring team, 2-0. They followed it up by smothering #13 Old Dominion 3-1. Then came the shutout of the 11thranked Chanticleers; Coastal Carolina had only lost one match all year. South Carolina bowed out in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals to Marshall, but it has hardly blunted its momentum heading into the postseason. It took time. It took players accepting new roles. But the Gamecocks have a team they believe can make life difficult in the NCAA Tournament. “It’s a process, and we feel like our team is always evolving regardless of whether it’s an experienced team or not. You need to be a different team at the end of the year than at the beginning of the year,” Berson said. South Carolina is certainly that. The best story in Gamecock athletics will keep on going.
20 • Spurs & Feathers
Enjoy our beaches every da y... Call about proper ties for sale.
November 18, 2015
JAMES W. SMITH REAL ESTATE CO. Real Estate Sales & Vacation Rentals
Over 40 Years....Making Vacation Dreams Come True
North Litchfield • South Litchfield Pawleys Island • Litchfield by the Sea
CALL FOR GAMECOCK SPECIALS! INFO@JWSRE.COM
www.JWSRE.com call 800.746.5651 or 843.237.4246 AS34-1357838
November 18, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 21
Holbrook, Win Anyway continuing to help and embrace community by brian hand Executive Editor
South Carolina baseball head coach Chad Holbrook knows his platform gives him unique opportunities. But even he cannot believe how much his Win Anyway Foundation has grown. “I never thought we’d put a goal of raising $5 million,” Holbrook told Spurs & Feathers in an interview in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 11. “That’s what we’re going to try and do is raise $5 million. It all started with wanting to raise $20,000 … but now we’ve got so many people involved and so many people pulling for us we can think big and really try to make a difference for kids and their families because there’s nothing worse than having a 3, 4 or 5-year-old kid and not knowing if they are going to see their next birthday. For us to be able to provide a chance that they’ll never forget - a timeless moment - whatever it is, we’re awfully blessed to be in that position and we’re awfully thankful we have a lot of people in our corner with us.” submitted photo The timeless experience to which Holbrook is referencing is a new endeavor being undertaken Last year, the Holbrook family through their Win Anyway Foundation were able to give the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital a $44,000 check. by the Win Anyway Foundation where they and country music star) Patrick’s (Davis) going midlands. will be utilizing some of the money they raise a great partner and our foundation bought the to have a special place for those children fight- to be there playing some country music along In fact, on Thursday, Nov. 5, at Lexington $5,000 worth of water to deliver and the people ing a terminal illness in the future. with some one-of-a-kind auction items.” County Baseball Stadium, the Gamecocks at Coke saw our team delivering the water and “What we’re attempting to do is raise enough Some of those one-of-a-kind auction items in- raised $4,300 through a Garnet & Black World they ripped up my check, so we actually ended money to provide a sanctuary for kids that are clude numerous South Carolina athletic-related Series game where around 1,000 people got the up getting the water for free and now we’re gofighting terminal illnesses and their families,” material along with things such as a Hootie & opportunity to watch the Gamecocks put on a ing to with that same money make a financial Holbrook said. “Now whether we do that in the Blowfish autographed guitar. There will show for a great cause. contribution. Coke helped us multiply the help town here in Columbia or in a resort area, that’s also be items available for auction such as a The charity event was the idea of the Gameso to speak.” to be determined. When you have a kid that’s Jackie Bradley Jr. signed bat and a Mike Trout cock baseball student-athletes and Holbrook In addition to all of this, the Win Anyway fighting a terminal illness and you don’t know autographed jersey. is really proud of the way they set aside themFoundation on Friday, Jan. 15, will be holding what tomorrow holds, time is precious with the Holbrook is especially excited about some of selves for the community. a very special benefit concert featuring Vince family. While we’re still going to give money the trips up for auction this year that include “It was neat,” Holbrook said. “And our playGill, Jenny Gill and Davis at the Township to hospitals, we’re still going to give money to even a package in the Dominican Republic. ers really wanted to help. They did a lot of stuff Auditorium. the leukemia and lymphoma society, we want This fight obviously hits home for Holbrook from an elbow-grease standpoint and not just a “We try to have a lot of fun (with the foundato put a stamp on something and have a place and his family as their life changed forever on financial standpoint. They got in the commution),” Holbrook said. “My wife and our whole in which these kids can go and smile. The ulti- Sept. 7, 2004, when they were told that their nity distributing water. They helped people that family are big music fans, so instead of playing mate playground so to speak where by the way 2-year-old son, Reece, had cancer. Three years had their homes flooded out and helped them golf this year we’re going to center our two you and your family can come and have a great and two months later, Reece, finished his cantake everything out of the houses. It was really, events around country music. Of course we will time. We want to make it a one-of-a-kind deal.” cer treatments and was considered in remission. really neat to see those guys without me saying have Patrick for our auction, but we’re also awThe annual 2015 Reece Holbrook Sports Despite his own son “kicking cancer’s butt,” it put baseball on the backburner and say ‘hey, fully lucky to have a 20-time Grammy winner Memorabilia Auction is one of the foundation’s Holbrook, his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons, let’s help some people out.’ That was really, re- and two-time Entertainer of the Year in Vince big money raisers for the year Reece and Cooper, through ally special to see our players have that type of Gill come and play for our foundation. We’re and the next one is set for 6:30 their Win Anyway Foundation attitude.” kind of excited, numb and humbled that so map.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at have continued to fight and The money raised through the game in Lexny people, including world-famous musicians, The Zone at Williams-Brice raise awareness. ington is on top of the already over $5,000 have reached out and tried to help us.” Stadium. In addition to all of this, worth of water donated by the Win Anyway To purchase tickets, donate to the founda“There couldn’t be a better recently Holbrook, the Game- Foundation for the recovery efforts. tion or just to find out more information on the setting than Williams-Brice,” cock baseball team and the “With the $4,300 we did at the game and Win Anyway Foundation, please visit http:// All Gamecock baseball Holbrook said. “We’re going Win Anyway Foundation what the foundation did, we hope it will be a www.winanywayfoundation.org. You can also coverage sponsored by to have the lights on in the stastepped up to help with the combined effort of well north of $10,000 to like the foundation on Facebook and follow on dium and (South Carolina alum DiPrato’s flood recovery efforts in the flood relief,” Holbrook said. “Coca-Cola been’s Twitter @Win_ Anyway.
22 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Pictured is assistant director of the Gamecock Club Jay Brown holding the phone for Jimmy Stewart’s personal call from South Carolina baseball head coach Chad Holbrook.
Jimmy Stewart’s commitment to Gamecocks honored on Veterans Day
by brian hand Executive Editor
Jimmy Stewart was scheduled to be the Legendary Fan of the Game for the Florida game. But with it being Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, it made sense that the Gamecock Club bestow the veteran with the honor on that day. To make this happen, Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland and assistant director of the Gamecock Club Jay Brown visited Stewart at Carolina Pines Hospital in Hartsville, South Carolina to present him with the Legendary Fan of the
Game blazer on Veterans Day. They were joined by Darlington County Gamecock Club chapter representatives and members of Stewart’s family, including his wife, Camilla. In addition to receiving the blazer honoring him for his dedication to all things Gamecock, Stewart even received a personal call from South Carolina baseball head coach Chad Holbrook. “Without supporters like you, our program would not be successful,” Holbrook told Stewart on the phone. “We appreciate you and we will be thinking of you.” Stewart said it was “fantastic” to receive
the Legendary Fan of the Game honor and the personal call from Holbrook. “I never expected anything like that,” Stewart said. Stewart originally started following the Gamecocks in 1967, which was just about the time his cousin Tommy Suggs started playing quarterback for South Carolina. Stewart would of course during that time frame get to enjoy seeing his cousin lead the Gamecocks to the 1969 ACC Championship. Stewart points out though that his favorite memory is watching his Gamecocks absolutely dominate Clemson, 56-20, in 1975. From their Hartsville, South Carolina
home, Jimmy and Camilla Stewart have traveled near and far to watch the Gamecocks with the Stewarts visiting the majority of the SEC schools. McFarland and the Gamecock Club are just in general more than thankful for Stewart’s commitment to the Gamecocks. “Jimmy has always been a true supporter of the Gamecocks,” McFarland said of the 28-year member of the Gamecock Club. “Through thick and thin, he and his wife are there in their garnet and black. We are so thankful for all they have done and continue to do for the Gamecocks. Most importantly, we appreciate their friendship.”
Spurs & Feathers • 23
November 18, 2015
Beach volleyball to rename facility as Wheeler Beach South Carolina Athletics Media Relations
serves as a volunteer assistant coach. Paige’s mother, Kim, helped develop beach volleyball in her hometown of Virginia The South Carolina beach volleyball proBeach and was part of a group that toured the gram announced recently that it will rename country looking at other beach venues leadits facility Wheeler Beach, in honor of the ing up to the construction of Carolina’s new generosity of Jon and Kim Wheeler. Opened facility. in 2014, the five-court facility was the first in “We are honored to play a part in providing the SEC and is among the finest in all of col- beach volleyball student-athletes the oplegiate beach volleyball. portunity to compete and train in one of the “The Wheeler family has come in right finest facilities in the country,” Kim Wheeler from the get-go to help build the foundation said. “Being involved in the launch of this and development of this program, head coach program has been tremendously rewarding Moritz Moritz said. “I think the influence that and we look forward to taking part in its futhey have had has just been tremendous, and ture successes.” we are grateful for everything A wrought-iron gate spanthey have done and continue ning the entrances to Wheelto do for our program.” er Beach will now bear the The relationship began family’s name. thanks in part to the on-court “It’s an appropriate name contributions of Paige Wheelfor our facility, the Wheeler, who started her Gamecock ers have always been part All Gamecock beach career with the indoor volleyof the process,” said Judy volleyball coverage ball program and moved to Van Horn, South Carolina’s sponsored by James W. the beach in its first season of Senior Associate Athletics Smith Real Estate Co. existence in 2014. Today, she Director and Senior Woman
south carolina athletics media relations
Administrator. “They’re great people, they’re very supportive and they help make things happen. The gate will be the jewel in the crown of the venue, and the family’s vision, support and generosity are why we have it today.” The naming of the venue has a special importance for Coach Moritz, who has worked with the Wheelers since the early planning stages, taking an idea and turning it into a model for others in the NCAA’s fastest-
growing sport. “This program today is a product of great teamwork and a singular passion for the sport of beach volleyball,” he said. “It takes a special kind of relationship to follow through with a plan like this, every program should be so lucky to have people like the Wheelers as supporters.” There will be a formal dedication made during the team’s first weekend of home competition in March of 2016.
Darlington County Gamecock Club excited about future by kyle heck Reporter The Darlington County Gamecock Club had their annual business meeting on Monday, Nov. 9, to elect new officers and it marked the end of an era for one longtime member. President Jimmy Griffin said he will be handing the reins over to someone else after serving in his role for 10 years. Curtis Tyner will now be the president of the Darlington County Gamecock Club. “It’s going to be different, I’ve already found out just from last night to today,” Griffin said the day after the business meeting. “I told (Tyner) I would still be around and help him in any way I can because he was real supportive of me the whole time I was there. I have to sit back and listen to what everyone else has got to say now instead of me making decisions. It was a lot of fun and I want to thank everyone that did support the club the time I was president. It was a lot of fun, made a lot of good friends and it was something that I will always remember and be quite proud of.” As far as the Darlington County Gamecock Club as a group, Griffin said he is happy with where the club is at currently. “Everybody is really interested in it,” Griffin said. “Like I keep saying, our club
is sort of unique. Most everybody down here, small club, all of us are friends, we keep in touch daily, even if it’s not Gamecock related.” Along with the business part of the meeting, Griffin said members of the club also talked about the remainder of the football season and the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball seasons. “We’re still in there strong with the football team,” Griffin said. “We spent a pretty good time talking about the upcoming basketball season and we’re looking forward to a great season.” As far as future events planned, Griffin said there are some things still in limbo as the club is in a transition. However, they normally participate in the Christmas parade in Hartsville and also have a Christmas party around the holidays. On the whole, the Darlington County Gamecock Club is looking forward to continuing to have great support down in the area and do all they can to help the University of South Carolina. “There’s no doubt, I know the club will continue to be one of the better clubs with the new leadership we have,” Griffin said. “I want to thank our board members and officers and all the Gamecock fans in this area for supporting us during the 10 years of my term.”
Market Your Business to the Gamecock Nation! Advertise in Spurs & Feathers and www.spursandfeathers.com Call me today! Kathy Boyette, USC Class of 1989 Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 email@example.com
24 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Gamecock Radio/Television Information
Inside the Roost South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff. South Carolina-The Citadel Television The South Carolina-The Citadel game will be on the SEC Network’s Alternate Channel and Watch ESPN. Please check local listings.
2015-16 RADIO AFFILIATES*
Abbeville WZLA-FM 92.9 johnston/Aiken WKSX-FM 92.7 Allendale WDOG-FM 93.5 Camden WPUB-FM 102.7 Camden WCAM-AM 1590 Charleston WWIK-FM 98.9 Chesterfield WVSZ-FM 107.3 Columbia WNKT-FM 107.5 Florence WFRK-FM 93.5 Florence WHYM-AM 1260 Gaffney WZZQ-FM 104.3 Gaffney WZZQ-AM 1500 Greenville WROO-FM 104.9 Hilton Head WVGB-FM 94.5 Hilton Head WVGB-AM 1490 Lake City WHYM-AM 1260 Myrtle Beach WSYN-FM 103.1 Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 Rock Hill WVSZ-FM 107.3 Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Sumter WIBZ-FM 95.5 Union WBCU-AM 1460 * Men’s basketball and baseball affiliates will be updated at a later time.
The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 24 affiliate stations for the 2015-16 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the @GamecockRadio Twitter page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www.GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. Visit www.wildwingcafe.com for more information.
Spurs & Feathers • 25
November 18, 2015
This season has taught us that everything changes
As a writer, you search for just the right word to describe a situation. My word for the 2015 South Carolina football season is “sad.” It’s sad the way the career of one of the all-time greatest coaches had to end. “I never thought I’d be talking about halves,” he said. It is extremely sad that a redirected, rejuvenated, underdog bunch of Gamecocks had a chance to win their last three games only to have one play dash those hopes. It’s the tired old saying Glenn Snyder that “close only Inside counts in horseLook shoes and hand grenades,” but having a chance at the end is the first goal. I hate all that “if you played your best there is no shame in losing,” and “losing builds character” crap, losing hurts, especially when those one or two plays that could have made the difference didn’t go your way. It sounds like a broken record and it’s sad that it does, but there was a good plan, the Gamecocks played their hearts out, but came up short once again. Moving forward, the pressure is off. There will be no winning season, no bowl game, the players can relax, pin their ears back and go play. At this point you can pretty much discard the “one game at a time” approach with just two left. The Citadel comes into town this Saturday with its pesky option offense. The Bulldogs are 7-3 with wins over Wofford and Furman, with the losses to perennial powers Georgia Southern, Charleston Southern and this past weekend No.9ranked Chattanooga. Translation, the Cocks will have to play at their best to capture what has been in other times an automatic W. In this sad season there are no gimmees. You always hear great teams say of their opponents “they’re going to give us their best shot.” Well, what kind of shot do you think a team struggling to win a fourth game will get from a confident squad ready to knock off a Division 1 foe? In a sad season it could be a “trap” game. It is unavoidable, of course, to not have one eye on the sad season finale. Give them their due, Clemson is an impressive football team. I suspect the Tigers will be a doubledigit favorite. A good friend pulled out the “you can throw the book out the window in
photo by jenny dilworth
this game” cliche to which I replied, “yeah, but the window might be rolled up!” These final two games are about beginning the cycle, win or lose, that is college football. The Gamecocks will watch as much film as possible to prepare to play their best games of the season, and after a short break begin lifting and conditioning for spring practice in March. Yes, I’m jumping over any prediction for the final game, since my usual “we’re going to kick their ass” seems highly unlikely,
and the reason I’m looking ahead to spring ball is, because in the past, when Carolina had seasons like this one, we fans would look to the spring hoping to see those one or two players who are going to be the saviors of the program. One thing is for certain about this spring, whether it’s Shawn Elliott or someone else, this will be an exciting one for the players, as I heard one coach say, “it’s like getting a new girlfriend.” I’ll tell you what I did like – the new hel-
met design. Trust me, I have always been a staunch supporter of the traditional Block C, but as this season has taught me, everything changes. I like the flowing Gamecock, it’s more visual for the cameras. As Coach Spurrier is fond of saying, “it is what it is,” and we need to pull up our big-fan pants, send the players and coaches a little love, and show visiting recruits that the recent past will be the future here again. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
26 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
Chatkevicius due for big senior season for Gamecocks Frank Martin entered his fourth season as head coach of the South Carolina basketball program this past weekend. Along for the ride have been seniors Michael Carrera, Mindaugas Kacinas and Laimonas Chatkevicius but of that group, Chatkevicius is the only player that was committed to Martin prior to his coming to Columbia as the 6-foot-11 center originally committed to play for Martin at Kansas State. The big prospect from Lithuania has developed into a solid player under Martin who will be expected to be a vital part of the lineup this coming season. That has not always been the case for Chatkevicius who struggled early in his career adjusting to Bill Gunter the game as well Contributing as college itself. Writer The development of Chatkevicius has taken time but has been something that he has never shied away from according to Martin. “I think his work ethic has grown every year,” Martin said of Chatkevicius during a recent press conference. “He has worked his way, physically he is a different human being than what he was the day he stepped foot on campus.” Upon arriving on campus, Chatkevicius was instantly needed to contribute due to being one of the few Gamecocks on the roster with size. That first season did not go as smoothly as Chatkevicius would have liked as he averaged four points and three rebounds in 13 minutes per game. Martin, however, has known that his big man was capable of so much more and pushed him hard since day one. Last year it started to pay off as Chatkevicius averaged 22 minutes per game while producing nine points and five rebounds per “I have been hard on Laimonas. I really game. Late in the season it appeared things have. You can ask him and he will tell you,” were coming together even more as the Martin said. “We have been on him, especial6-foot-11 center posted back-to-back games ly me and he has never run away from it, on against Alabama and Mississippi State of 18 the contrary, he has worked, more and more points and nine rebounds. and more to become better.” Through it all, Martin has In just two games this been there, pushing and prodseason, I have watched Chatding his young pupil to take his kevicius not just produce on game to another level. Though the court but also display it may have never been easy, leadership that is needed in a the Gamecock head basketball senior player. That is one of the coach respects how Chatkevireasons that I personally think cius has handled the coaching All Gamecock basketball he is due to have a significant coverage sponsored by season. staff making him the best Yesterdays player he can be. The other is that Martin
photo by jenny dilworth
believes he is ready to contribute. After developing during his first three seasons everything is in place for Chatkevicius to be a solid post player in the SEC. “He doesn’t understand just how good he really can be but I think he is starting to figure it out,” Martin said. “I think he as time goes forward will continue to feel more comfortable with his conditioning, his strength, with his ability to take on contact. He has worked real hard to where he is now. He is in a better place.” I firmly believe that South Carolina fans are on the verge of some fun seasons with the basketball program. As time goes, fans will remember the big names that took the chance
when it wasn’t “cool” to play for Martin like Sindarius Thornwell, Marcus Stroman and P.J. Dozier. Those are the guys that could have gone anywhere but choose to side with a program looking to build. Those players though will not succeed without players like Chatkevicius who put forth effort in practice each day and each offseason to make themselves better. Those are the players that fans tend to forget about, the guys who don’t make the flashy plays or put up the big numbers but make no mistake, the Gamecock program has grown because of Laimonas Chatkevicius and I expect him to help them take the next step this coming season.
November 18, 2015
Spurs & Feathers • 27
Gamecocks honor Emanuel AME Church shooting victims
photo by jenny dilworth
by brian hand Executive Editor
ously met Senator Clementa Pinckney, who “The reason that we scheduled this game is was a graduate of both South Carolina and the community. It just makes a lot of sense Allen, and a victim of the shooting along that we let them all know that in tough times It’s no secret that Frank Martin and South with Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. - which is what I’ve fallen in love with this Carolina men’s basketball go above and be- Sharonda Singleton, Rev. DePayne Middle- state about - that in tough times people don’t yond for the community. ton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simfight each other, they figure For that reason, it was no surprise that mons Sr., Susie Jackson, Ethel out a way to help one another. South Carolina men’s basketball decided to Lance and Myra Thompson. And to let them know that honor the nine victims of the Emanuel AME The South Carolina-Allen we’re here for anything they Church shooting at halftime of their exhibi- game was scheduled well need.” tion with Allen. before the shooting during Martin, his 2015-16 GameAlums of both the University of South a Bible study session at the cock men’s basketball team Carolina and Allen were among the Charles- Emanuel AME Church in and Allen all stood on the ton Nine. Charleston on June 17, 2015. floor with the families in atAll Gamecock basketball tendance at halftime of the Because of this, Martin felt it was the right “We had no idea that what coverage sponsored by eventual 71-43 South Carolina thing to do to honor them during the exhibi- happened this summer was Yesterdays tion, particularly since Martin had previgoing to happen,” Martin said. win.
Allen head coach Nelson Jones could not have been more appreciative of the efforts of Martin and the University of South Carolina after the exhibition. “It was wonderful,” Jones said. “I want to commend the University of South Carolina, the state and the governor for what they have done in regards to the shooting. I thought (the halftime) was wonderful that they honored both teams and the Charleston Nine. That was wonderful.” South Carolina junior guard Sindarius Thornwell also appreciated the moment and considered it a point of pride to stand with all of those on the floor. “It was good for the families and the whole community,” Thornwell said.
28 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
S&F exclusive interview with Chad Holbrook Spurs & Feathers executive editor Brian Hand talked with South Carolina baseball head coach Chad Holbrook in his office on Wednesday, Nov. 11, about his upcoming foundation event (story on page 21) and also about his baseball team.
to go in January. When you get Gene Cone back in there, Taylor Widener back in there, Dom back in there and Chris Cullen back in there it’s some impressive talent and I think it’s going to make a big difference in actually what we saw and what we observed this fall.
You’ve not been shy about noting the pitchers were strong during the fall. From your angle, was that the story of the fall? Is there anything else that stood out to you?
Is Taylor Widener somewhat of your “X” factor in that he can fill so many roles?
The fall was a good fall. As I sit here, the pitching did stand out. They pitched well. You’ve got to keep it in perspective a little bit because they’re pitching against maybe three or four starters on each team, so you don’t necessarily get to see what kind of team you’re going to have offensively or your pitchers might not be throwing against middle of the lineup-type hitters every atbat. But that being said, they threw strikes, they worked fast, their velocities were up and their curve balls were up. They controlled the things they could control and they did them very well. I was very, very impressed with a number of guys. A lot of our returners have improved. Tyler Johnson, who didn’t pitch much last year, maybe has one of our most powerful arms as far as if you look at the radar gun. Colie Bowers was a great surprise. I think Josh Reagan is much, much improved. Matt Vogel has done a great job of improving. (Alex) Destino is much better and more comfortable on the mound than he was a year ago. I think when you add in the new guys and how polished and powerful that Braden Webb is and Colton Provey and some of those guys - and while the newcomers are really good - I think our returners have improved a lot as well. Hopefully that’s a good combination and a good sign for our staff in not only do we have some talented newcomers, our returners improved, so that makes for a talented pitching staff. We’ve still got to put people in the right roles and we’ve got ers are terrific. Jonah Bride was a standout to make some difficult decisions, but I like all fall long and maybe one of our most conwhat I saw from a pitching staff standpoint sistent all fall. I know what Marcus Mooney this fall. I think the other thing that stood out to us can do, I know what DC Arendas can do and on our team was our catchers were terrific. we’ve still got to find out who will be our first Hunter (Taylor) and Johnny Jones caught baseman. We don’t know that yet. And we’ve every inning of every game. got to find the right combinaAnd they did a great job tions in the outfield. But I behind the plate. One of our think Dom Thompson-Wilmost gifted recruits in Chris liams has a chance to be one Cullen wasn’t available this of the most dynamic players fall, so that position looks on the field no matter who we like it’s going to be a very are playing, so I’m excited All Gamecock baseball strong one for us. about watching him play. I I loved the way that we coverage sponsored by love the youth and athleticism played defense. Our infieldDiPrato’s that Danny Blair and TJ Hop-
He is. I’m very interested to see how he comes back from his minor procedure. He is an “X” factor and right now we are leaning towards starting him. How well he does is going to depend on what role he has or where we start him, but he certainly has a powerful, weekend-caliber arm. And you put Taylor along with Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb and that’s three powerful arms. I’m not saying that’s our rotation because it might not be, but we’ve got to see how he comes back. We’ve loved the way Reagan’s thrown. Our pitching staff is going to give us a lot of options and as coaches we’ve got to put them in the right spot. And Taylor is part of that staff and if he is healthy he makes us even more formidable I think. Is it safe to say you are pretty energized and excited about your team after the fall? I’m excited about them. We have new faces, but they’ve worked extremely hard. It’s an athletic group. We’ll be able to run. I love teams that can run, I love teams that can steal bases, I love teams that can make a difference offensively and defensively with their athleticism and we’re going to have that. We have polish in the middle of the infield from a defensive standpoint. I think we’re rock solid behind the plate defensively this year and I like the way the depth on our pitching staff has unfolded. But our coaches have to put (the players) in the right spot and right now we don’t know who we’re going to put where. We’ve got to make some tough calls and for us to have a photo by allen sharpe good year we’ve got to make the right calls. kins bring. We haven’t had Gene Cone all fall In 2010 we didn’t know who our closer was because of a thumb injury, so we’re going to going to be and then Matt Price emerged, throw him back in the mix along with Clark so someone is going to step up and emerge. Scolamiero. We have a deep and talented out- Who’s that going to be? I don’t know. Somefield. I think we’ll have a chance to run down times you might not have it 100 percent correct when you start Opening Day and then a lot of balls out there maybe that fell in last kids start playing well and get on a roll and year because we seem to be a tad bit faster get comfortable. than we were a year ago. We certainly like the options that we have I guess the other thing about the fall that kind of stands out is that because of the inju- and I like the way that they performed this fall. I’m just anxious to get out there in Januries and because of Taylor Widener’s rehab, ary with our full team, healthy, altogether, Chris Cullen’s rehab and Dom’s shoulder popping out, we haven’t had our team healthy with no bumps, no injuries and see how we stack up. I certainly have liked what I’ve seen together on the field at one time, so I’m exand I think it will be a talented and athletic cited about January and seeing that happen team that I think will be fun to watch play. because I think all of the guys will be ready
Spurs & Feathers • 29
November 18, 2015
View from the Florida locker room by kyle heck Reporter
Florida entered the fourth quarter of its game against South Carolina with a comfortable 17-0 lead. However, the Gators suddenly found themselves in a three-point game late in the final quarter. Florida needed a late 53-yard run by Kelvin Taylor to set up a one-yard touchdown run and the Gators were able to get out of Williams-Brice Stadium with the 24-14 victory. “The art of winning is hard,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said after the game. “I don’t care who you are. Each one of you competed at one time in your life and you understand how hard winning is and figuring out how to win.” McElwain was proud of his team for figuring out a way to hang on for the win, but he knows his team can do some things better in the future. “We got out of gaps a little bit trying to do too much there on the last drive, especially in the rush lanes,” McElwain said. “But with that being said, I don’t know what the time of possession was, but I know our guys on the sideline, defensively, were getting antsy about wanting to get out there.” Florida (9-1, 7-1 SEC) ended the game with a 39:56-20:01 advantage in time of possession, which allowed them to keep the Gamecock offense off of the field. However, South Carolina (3-7, 1-7 SEC) put up a furious charge in the fourth quarter and nearly pulled off the upset. Gators’ quarterback Treon Harris saw a noticeable difference in the South Carolina defensive line in the final quarter. “They didn’t really change anything too much, they just started bringing a lot of pressure off the edge, so we had to tighten up on the A-Gap and B-Gap,” Harris said. “We just had to adjust to that.” The Gamecocks were able to intercept Harris twice in the game and they both came at big moments, particularly the first one. With Florida driving deep inside South Carolina territory already holding a 14-0 lead, Gamecock spur T.J. Gurley intercepted Harris near the goal line, denying the Gators a chance to get more points right before halftime. “That was a big possession at halftime obviously,” McElwain said. “We had a chance to kind of put a nail in it there right before half. We’ve got to take advantage of those. Obviously the turnovers are going to get us.” After controlling the game for the first three quarters, the Gators found themselves as the ones facing pressure when they went back on offense late in the fourth quarter
photo by allen sharpe
while clinging to a three-point lead. As give the Gamecocks the ball back. mentioned before, the long run by Taylor “Just finish strong,” tight end DeAndre helped Florida hold on, but the Gators knew Goolsby said of the message before the they had to make something happen and not clinching drive. “We always preach win the
fourth quarter. We knew we were under a little pressure, but we didn’t fold. We just followed what the coaches said and got a big play.”
30 • Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015
The Gamecocks need their fans now more than ever It was definitely odd. Williams-Brice filled with garnet and black wearing fans sitting quiet and befuddled. The scoreboard showed there was plenty of time left on the clock to make a comeback against the Gators. The score wasn’t out of hand, but judging from the silence inside Willy B, it might as well have been 1,000. The silence within the stadium was eerie. I’ve only heard this venue I call home this quiet once before and that was when our beloved Marcus Lattimore succumbed to injury that fall afternoon against Tennessee. The frustration and angst that the fans have endured all season seemed to be enough to dampen the Gamecock spirt that has made our fans distinct from everyone else. The silence was thick, the few “come on’s” and “wake up guys” were the only audible commands of support given. The look of frustration and stress seemed to overtake the entire home side of the stadium Saturday afternoon. The student section would start out sparsely filled because of the noon kickoff, but well into the game, the student section had plenty of leg room to stretch out if one felt so inclined to do so. The few towels swirling for “Sandstorm” after the Gamecocks pulled into one score of the SEC East champs was sad. It seems like we forgot to hand out our famed white towels before the game, but that wasn’t the case. The Gamecocks have only played one home game in a seven-week span. Coming back to the place we call home was something we all looked forward to, fans and player alike. Anticipation, expectation and just a flat out “we need to get this done” attitude welcomed the players when they arrived for the Gamecock Walk. The need to push pass moral victories and “good game all things considered” condolences weren’t going to cut it this week. We leading up was on the Gamecocks and how wanted a win. close they came numerous times to getting “a My former teammate Preston Thorne was win.” Rumors of the Gamecocks losing and part of a class that committed to come play for Clemson fans throwing “zero candy bars” on the Gamecocks after a abysmal season going the field to celebrate were some of the stories 0-11. This class was important to our develop- rumored to be going around. That game came ment as a program for obvious reasons, but al- and went and it was an emotional game knowso for the fact we were able to command some ing we couldn’t hang with that team from the quality commitments. To do that in the light Upstate, eventually we would lose the game, of a 20+ game losing streak, fulfilling expectations. Thorne Lou Holtz had to pull out all his recalls “ the game was terrible, magic tricks to get these players but the game was sold out and to commit and stay committed our fans stayed well past the end to the Gamecocks. Even Lou’s and wouldn’t let the Clemson routine wouldn’t be enough to fans make a spectacle out of seal the deal. Our closers were our misery. The players also the fans. surrounded the block C and Preston tells of his visit to wouldn’t let Clemson celebrate the last game of the season on it. I just remember the fans against Clemson at Williamsand how passionate they were Brice where the Gamecocks even in losing, they wouldn’t let Langston Moore sat 0-10 and faced a pretty the players forget that, I never Contributing good opponent in the Tigers. forgot that,” said Thorne, who Writer A lot of the attention the week chose the Gamecocks over Bay-
photo by allen sharpe
lor coming out of Summerville High School. As former players from that era we all have plenty of stories showing our fans loyalty and passion, much like Thorne’s. As poor as the football was on the field then, it may seem like the football on the field now is worse. It isn’t ... frustrating, “yes.” But when we all look back on our favorite Gamecock memory, at the core of it is the fans, always. Granted each year brings its own expectations with it and that varies, but what doesn’t is our fans and their support. I know past success and the uncertainty of the future make it hard to find a silver lining in all of this, but for me as a player this is when we need our “Coop” more than ever. Just like the story I told of Preston above, even in a loss we can “win.” Short term, losing bragging rights makes it hard to wear those sweatshirts around town sometimes, but who we are as Gamecock Nation is far more important. Like Thorne’s story the next student thinking of attending Carolina is watching. The next recruit and his or her family is watching, not just in the product on the
field, but the sincerity of support in turbulent times. The phrase “take the crowd of of the game” is a choice for fans. Saturday our fans wanted to choose anger and frustration, they wanted to be peeved. For three quarters the play on the field almost gave the crowd reason to do so, we almost let it get to us. But in the end when we made our attempted comeback, I saw some familiar looks on the faces in the stands for a quick second, before letting another win slip away. With only two more contests on the schedule this season we must choose to draw a line in the sand and not let it “become us.” Like the story Thorne told of our fans not taking anything off any fans, especially those who wear purple, even if it’s justified. We have to not let them “take us out of the game” emotionally. Sitting on our hands during the game can seem appropriate right now but that’s not who we are. What makes Gamecock Nation more than a collection of “fans” is how we overcome it all and support Carolina good and bad. “Forever to thee”
Spurs & Feathers • 31
November 18, 2015
It is what we do as Gamecock fans
Arriving back in Aiken after Saturday’s sure is a lot easier when you’re winning week in games, I was asked by someone who does not and week out, but we go so that we will apprecikeep up with college football (sometimes we ate the wins when they do come. forget that there are people who live amongst us They will come again, but would the three that do not care) if South Carolina had won. years of 11 wins have been as sweet without Well, the basketball team won. That was met the years of five or six wins? I know I could do with kind of a blank stare that was a “what do without those seasons, like this one, but it comes you mean by that” kind of look. They had no with the package. idea that basketball season had started. It’s why we go to the Colonial Life Arena to No, they wanted to know about the football watch Frank Martin and his teams get better. team. I’m not sure how I actually answered, but They won Saturday night and they will win I’m sure it was an exasperated “we lost.” The more than they lose this season and reach the next question was, “why do you continue to go?” post season. It was a rhetorical question and I don’t think an It’s why we went to the CLA and watched answer was expected, but it stuck with me. The Dawn Staley’s teams years ago before they beanswer is really pretty easy. It is came the national power that they because that is what we do. are today. They opened Friday Optimism reigned before the by beating the sixth-rated team in football game Saturday. In the the nation in Ohio State and the small sampling that I took Saturhomecourt was packed with fans, day morning, most thought it was as a national championship is a a good opportunity for the Gamereal possibility. cocks to pull an upset. It’s why we kept going back to As it turned out, indeed USC the Sarge Frye Field and then to would have its chance, but as it Carolina Stadium to watch Ray has turned out over the last three Tanner’s baseball teams. They weeks, it was too little too late. were agonizingly close for so Ed Girardeau Rehashing the game here isn’t remany years and that’s what made Contributing ally necessary. the National Championships back Editor So why do we continue to go. It to back so sweet for those of us
who go back to the Bobby Richardson and June Raines days. Now we go and support Chad Holbrook’s team because we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. We will have sat through the freezing Februarys to get to the warmth of spring and summer. And so it goes with football, too. Yes, this season is a disappointment. There is no better way to describe it. I do appreciate the team’s effort and play in the last three weeks. It would be easy to quit and mail it in. That has not happened. The team is actually better, however, that has not translated into wins and that is the bottom line. It is not what anybody wants. It won’t be this year, but in the future Carolina will win the SEC East and play again in SEC championship and one day we will win that game as well. If that happens, the Gamecocks will be in the picture for a National Championship. Believe me, one day it will happen and sitting through seasons like this will make it that much better. So there are two games left. Anybody who thinks The Citadel won’t come in and take its best shot to win is crazy. The Bulldogs are pretty good and for those of us who were around in 1990, it is very possible to lose this game. South Carolina will have to come ready to play and take care of business to put this one in the win
photo by jenny dilworth
category. Then there will be Clemson. I have no doubt that the stadium will be packed and we will be in our places hoping upon hope that the improbable can be produced. There will be more orange in the stadium than we would prefer, but that comes with the territory. It is just important for as much garnet and black to be in the stadium as we can possibly pack in there. That will be a huge opportunity, but there will be time and place next week to talk about that. In the meantime, we will be in Williams-Brice next Saturday and get the Gamecocks through a matchup that we should win and at this point, the team needs the fans support. And that is what we do.
32 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
November 18, 2015