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May 21, 2014 • Volume 36 • Issue 5 • $1.50

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID COLUMBIA SC PERMIT NO. 389

Clowney tackles the NFL

2nd Gamecock in history picked No. 1 AP Photo


2 • Spurs & Feathers

Brian Hand Executive Editor

May 21, 2014

Hand Writing

photos by allen sharpe and jenny dilworth

Top pick proves once again Gamecocks are force nationally When South Carolina Associate AD/Chief Marketing Officer Eric Nichols unveiled the tremendous “Here” campaign in a meeting I was in prior to its official release to the public my first thought was plain and simple, “wow. It really is great be a Gamecock.” It wasn’t that a light bulb went up over my head after watching the ins and outs of the brand campaign, rather it was this is not the South Carolina I grew up with. This South Carolina is elite. This South Carolina is a national player in all sports. Things have definitely changed. That things have changed has been more than evident in the lead-up to the 2014 NFL Draft. The Gamecocks were everywhere thanks to Jadeveon Clowney. Turn on the television, there’s Jadeveon. Pick up a newspaper, there’s a story on Jadeveon. Turn on your computer and head to a sports website and inevitably there’s a story about Jadeveon. Couple all the Clowney pieces with normal Gamecock day-to-day stories, the other Gamecocks who could be drafted and South Carolina’s unique image was loud and proud across the state, region and country. Even “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon took notice, bringing the charismatic Clowney on his program the day before the NFL Draft. The Gamecock logo has been featured so many places. If an individual didn’t somehow know about the University of South Carolina before, the NFL Draft process has more than likely changed that. It would be hard to quantify exactly what this has meant for the University of South Carolina, but rest assured the institution would probably have to spend upwards to hundreds of millions to receive this kind of attention and publicity. And that is not being too hyperbolic. The whispers were there that he was making a mistake when Clowney chose to attend the University of South Carolina. Paraphrasing, but the general thoughts nationally were “you’re the best player in the prep ranks, but attending South Carolina guarantees you won’t stay as highly thought of going forward. It just cannot happen at South Carolina. Plus, they won’t win con-

sistently.” Well it has happened and three straight 11-win seasons later Clowney and his teammates have completely changed the culture of South Carolina football. Yes, there is still more to be done with the football program such as winning an SEC championship, but it is obvious now that you can stay in-state such as Clowney or come from out of state like Mike Davis for example and contend for an SEC championship and maybe even more at South Carolina. You can also come to South Carolina and be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Clowney proved that again as he became the first college football player ever according to Anish Shroff to be the No.1 player in his high school class by ESPN to be selected first in the NFL Draft. Sure he isn’t the first Gamecock No. 1

pick, but it has been a long time since Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers was picked No. 1 by the New Orleans Saints in the 1981 NFL Draft. The Gamecocks played some fairly solid football over the next few years after Rogers was picked No. 1, particularly in 1984, but as the 90s began South Carolina was an afterthought for the most part nationally. In the early part of the Lou Holtz era of Gamecock football, South Carolina was able to make some headway nationally, but once again the forward progress was stalled, making the first few years under Steve Spurrier tough. Things changed in 2010 with the Gamecocks winning the SEC East and making an appearance in the SEC Championship Game. The back-to-back-to-back 11-win seasons

have followed that SEC Championship Game appearance. The current stretch is due to the type of players South Carolina has been able to recruit over the last few years. In fact, 15 Gamecocks have been selected in the last three drafts. That impressive haul also now includes the No. 1 pick. Things definitely have changed with South Carolina athletics and Gamecock fans are the beneficiary. The future is bright across the spectrum of all of Gamecock athletics and Clowney has shown the world that little old South Carolina can turn out the best of the best. That is not an exaggeration. That is factual, which is why “Here” at South Carolina it is and will always be great to be a Gamecock.


Spurs & Feathers • 3

May 21, 2014

Clowney top pick in NFL Draft by Brian hand and mike kucharski bhand@spursandfeathers.com mike@spursandfeathers.com

On May 8 in Radio City Music Hall in New York City, former Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney witnessed his dream come true. “With the first pick of the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end South Carolina,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said just after 8 p.m. Shortly after being picked, ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. noted that he had Clowney graded as the best defender coming into the draft since Hall of Famer Bruce Smith came out of Virginia Tech in 1985. “Clowney can be a great player,” Kiper said. “It’s up to him. If he does everything necessary to maximize his abilities, Clowney can be that good … to me as I said he can be spectacular if he wants to be.” Just after learning of his selection at No. 1, Clowney talked with ESPN’s Suzy Kolber about how good it felt to be the top pick in the draft. “It feels great,” Clowney said. “I’m glad to be a part of the organization. I’m ready to get to work, get in the NFL and play some football.” The Texans took all of their allotted 10 minutes during the NFL Draft before tabbing Clowney. According to him he didn’t know for sure if he was the No. 1 pick until the pick was made. “Man, I was nervous,” Clowney mentioned. “I’m like, ‘who they going to pick, who they going to pick?’ They didn’t get me a phone call. I had to let it out. I was happy about that moment, that situation.” Clowney then discussed the expectations he feels he will have on him as he enters his time in the NFL. “I’m ready to live up to them,” Clowney commented. “I’m ready to get to work. It don’t matter what people say about me. I know how I am. I know I can approach this game the way I want to. I’m just going to take my game to the next level. Go out there learn the game and just play.” Just before Kolber finished her conversation with Clowney she asked about his mother and what this moment meant to her with all the hard work and efforts she put in to get him to this point. “It’s a great moment for me and my family,” Clowney remarked. “I think she’s just as happy as I am, if not even happier, but I’m just glad I can take care of my Mom.” Clowney certainly has the accolades, abil-

“He’s a rare breed. For a guy that was No. 1 in the country out of high school and ... the No. 1 pick, how many people can say that?” ~ Donovan McNabb

the coaches for developing that talent when it arrives on campus. “We had some players that maybe got drafted in the middle rounds, late rounds or something like that, but obviously the last several years we’ve had some first- and second-round players. That’s why we’ve been winning more. We’ve been recruiting a lot better athletes and Jadeveon is a great example of that,” Spurrier explained. With his selection, Clowney became the second Gamecock to be chosen as the No. photo bY AP 1 pick in the NFL Draft with the previous Clowney became the second Gamecock along with George Rogers to selected No. 1. honor going to Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers in 1981. South Carolina has ity and athleticism that the Houston Texans Draft, Clowney has said that it was a goal produced 12 first-round draft picks all time, were looking for when taking him first of his and a matter of pride to be the first with seven coming since 2000. Stephon overall. He is a two-time All-American, overall pick. He even recalled telling his re- Gilmore (10th, Buffalo Bills) and Melvin Ingram (18th, San Diego Chargers) were the 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and cruiters that on a visit to South Carolina. most recent Gamecocks selected in the first finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy Bal“I think coming out of high school I told round, both in 2012. loting in 2012 among many other honors. (defensive coordinator) coach (Lorenzo) There have been many NFL analysts, Clowney left South Carolina with career Ward, (offensive line) coach (Shawn) Eltotals that put him second in program hisliott and (former defensive line coach) Brad draft analysts, bloggers, other media memtory in tackles for loss (47.0), third in sacks Lawing, I told those three in a meeting that bers and fans giving opinions on Clowney, but a pair of former NFL players weighed (24.0) and first in forced fumbles (nine). if I come to Carolina I wanted to leave in He ran a blazing 4.53 40-yard dash at the three years and I want to be the first person in on him at his Pro Day. “He’s a rare breed … for a guy that was NFL Combine, had a 124-inch broad jump taken in the draft. They said ‘that will be No. 1 in the country out of high school and (that is 10 feet, four inches) and was able to you if you come and we’re going to help could possibly be the No. 1 pick, how many move around like a linebacker during the you turn into that.’ So I said ‘I’m coming people can say that?” former NFL quarterSouth Carolina Pro Day workouts despite and help me get to my goal,’” Clowney reback Donovan McNabb said. never having played the position. Also, any called at Pro Day on April 2. Former linebacker Tedy Bruschi was Clowney mention brings back memories South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier of “The Hit” in the 2013 Outback Bowl recently commented on the influx of talent even more emphatic in his statement after against Michigan’s Vincent Smith. into the program since his arrival which has watching Clowney go through drills in At his Pro Day and many times throughallowed the Gamecocks to produce a No. 1 person. “They’d be insane not to take him No. 1. out the long process leading up to the NFL draft pick. He also credits the players and I’ll say that over and over again. I’ll say it to ESPN, to you, to whoever wants to here it. They’d be insane not to take this guy No. 1 because of what he can do and what he will Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans, 2014 (1st) Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers, 1988 (7th) bring,” Bruschi stated. Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills, 2012 (10th) George Rogers, New Orleans Saints, 1981 (1st) After the long process leading up to the Melvin Ingram, San Diego Chargers, 2012 (18th) Willie Scott, Kansas City Chiefs, 1981 (14th) draft, the Houston Texans finally ended all Johnathan Joseph, Cincinnati Bengals, 2006 (24th) Rick Sanford, New England Patriots, 1979 (25th) the speculation by selecting an outstanding Troy Williamson, Minnesota Vikings, 2005 (7th) collegiate defensive player with tremendous Dunta Robinson, Houston Texans, 2004 (10th) At least one Gamecock has been selected in each talent first overall. Now Clowney can begin John Abraham, New York Jets, 2000 (13th) of the past 13 NFL drafts. his quest to wreak havoc in NFL backfields Ernest Dye, Phoenix Cardinals, 1993 (18th) the way that Gamecock fans so enjoyed watching him do to offenses in college.

Gamecocks selected in the first round include:


4 • Spurs & Feathers

Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.

May 21, 2014

What’s Inside? - Table of Contents Bruce Ellington drafted by San Francisco...............6 Several Gamecocks pick up free agent deals........8

Something to crow about!

Staley, Gamecocks ready for next step....................9 A Gamecock, Boidy excited about the SEC Network..............................................10

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Ted Girardeau honored for ‘labor of love’............11 Gamecock Gala celebrates student-athletes......12

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NYC Gamecocks find home away from home..............................................13

Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc.

Bryan Bros. garnering exposure..............................14

Tim O’Briant General Manager tobriant@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor bhand@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Mike Kucharski Reporter mike@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 507 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/Sales Account Executive ed@spursandfeathers.com (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 kboyette@spursandfeathers.com Matt Socha Graphic Designer Postal Information: Spurs & Feathers (ISSN 074454368) is published weekly by Aiken Communications, 326 Rutland Drive, Aiken, South Carolina 29801. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is pending at Aiken, SC. POSTMASTER: please send address changes to Spurs & Feathers, 326 Rutland Drive, Aiken, SC 29801.

Gamecock baseball......................................................16 Sand volleyball inaugural season wrap................16 Greenwood County chapter check-in............ 17-18 Frank and Anya Martin fight cancer through ‘B-Ball of the South’ benefit......................................20 ‘Recruiting Roundup’...................................................21 Connor Shaw headlines Children’s Chance Celebrity Tournament............22 Landon Powell ‘perfect fit’ for NGU .......................23 Spring sports roundup...............................................24 Former Gamecock Moe Brown named to USC Board of Visitors ..................................................25 Gamecocks make a difference off the field.........26 Upcoming Events: Gamecock Club........................27 Athletics Department hosts ‘Evening with the Gamecocks’.................................28 Gamecock softball field dedication.......................29 Kershaw County donates to volleyball program at spring meeting.............29 Inside the Chart.............................................................30 Unique views from Ed sponsored by Unique Expressions.........................31

photo by allen sharpe

Rep. Chip Limehouse and South Carolina equestrian head coach Boo Major hold a copy of the resolution honoring the team with student-athletes and athletics director Ray Tanner.

South Carolina equestrian honored at S.C. State House The back-to-back SEC champion South Carolina equestrian team was recognized and honored at the South Carolina State House on Thursday, May 8, 2014. A resolution was passed in their honor by the South Carolina House of Representatives. Rep. Chip Limehouse introduced the resolution, while Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell was given a South Carolina equestrian back-to-back SEC championship hat and t-shirt. Gamecocks to represent USA Basketball University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was one of three head coaches selected to serve as assistant coaches for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team, USA Basketball announced on May 12, 2014. Staley joins DePaul’s Doug Bruno and Cheryl Reeve of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx on the staff, chosen by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee, to work with head coach Geno Auriemma. “I’m really looking forward to getting back into the USA Basketball network,” Staley said. “It’s reliving some of the best days of my life. To be able to work with Geno, Doug and Cheryl, it’s going to open me up as a coach to learn different things. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I’m looking forward to, as always, winning the gold medal.” Staley will also serve as the head coach for the U18 USA Women’s Basketball national team this summer. The honors did not stop with Staley as new South Carolina women’s basketball signee A’ja Wilson is one of 28 players who will attend the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s Basketball U18 National Team Trials, it was announced on May 7, 2014. Wilson will not be the only Gamecock student-athlete to compete for USA Basketball as sophomore Tiffany Mitchell helped her team, Takeover, to a perfect 7-0 record en route to the 2014 USA Basketball 3x3 Women’s National Championship. The team, which includes Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick, Louisville’s Sara Hammond and Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd, will represent the U.S. in the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship that will be played June 5-8 in Moscow, Russia. (Story courtesy of South Carolina Athletics Media Relations)


May 21, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 5


6 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Bruce Ellington drafted by San Francisco by brian hand and mike kucharski bhand@spursandfeathers.com mike@spursandfeathers.com

Ellington was a two-sport star at South Carolina, playing point guard for the basketball team, catching passes on the gridiron and graduating in three years. He has a knack for finding open areas of the field, making plays It was a little later than originally expected, with the ball in his hands and stepping up when but at the end of the day Bruce Ellington had the game is on the line. Ellington had a huge his dream realized when he was picked with the game in the 2014 Capital One Bowl, catch106th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. ing two touchdowns and throwing one and he The sixth selection of the fourth round, Elmade the fourth-and-goal touchdown catch lington was picked up by the San Francisco from the 15-yard line in overtime in Columbia, 49ers where he will reunite with former Game- Mo. this year to extend the game in South Carocock teammate Marcus Lattimore along with lina’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over former Gamecock Chris Culliver. Missouri. The pick of Ellington continued a tremendous The Moncks Corner, S.C. native concluded 2014 NFL Draft for the 49ers and immediately his final season as a Gamecock this past year as after he was selected the ESPN analysts gushed the team’s top receiver with 49 catches for 775 over Ellington’s potential. yards and eight touchdowns. One year earlier in “(ESPN analyst) Todd (McShay) and I have the 2012 season, Ellington caught 40 passes for been saying he’s the best player on the board,” a total of 600 yards. He had seven touchdown ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said. “I thought receptions. In his first season on the gridiron he was the best player on the board midway with the Gamecocks in 2011, Ellington started through the previous round.” two games and garnered Freshman All-SEC McShay continued by noting that he “was the honors. He caught 17 passes for 211 yards duronly player listed in the top-60 (pre-draft ESPN ing his first season playing football at South rankings) coming into today. The point guard Carolina. for three years at South Carolina, (he’s) still The knock on Ellington entering the NFL developing and I think he’s got explosive quali- Draft was that he was undersized - he was meaties with the instant acceleration. Also great sured at 5’9” and 197 pounds at the NFL Comroute-running and great hands. I’m surprised bine - but he can play with physicality when he lasted this long. I think he’s only going to get needed. His speed was not as great as some of better in the NFL with more experience.” the other receiver draft prospects, but Ellington

is athletic - a 39.5-inch vertical at the Combine about his size and speed. - and elusive. He can be explosive with the ball Kiper Jr. said before the draft on ESPN’s in his hands and his work-ethic and playmaking SportsCenter that Ellington was “the most unabilities could cancel out some of the questions derrated wide receiver in the 2014 draft.”

They do it all the time in college football as a matter of routine, and everyone understands the concept of “redshirting” players in a system that annually attracts up to two-dozen freshmen to a school’s roster. If that many new players work their way onto the field and contribute immediately, you probably have a pretty weak roster, so an entire recruiting philosophy developed around redshirting players. Coaches would take high school safeties with some lateral movement skills and send them to the weight room for a year to build bodies into something approximating the physical requireBart Wright ments for linebackers. The same is commonly done with Contributing Writer freshman linebackers, transforming them into defensive line aspirants, and so on. It was a luxury college football had that escaped pro football squads because of their limited, 53-player active roster, but that may be changing, thanks to successful college

Both coaches are building on their college careers, Harbaugh replicating an old-school formula that worked at Stanford, Carroll doing the same with an advanced degree-type execution of the same basic approach in Seattle. It’s an approach South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has been developing the past few years to great success, which helps explain why former Gamecocks are right in the middle of the NFL trend. Spurrier, Harbaugh and Carroll are all going against the trend of spread out, fast-play approaches with styles that rely on a heavy defense, a bullish running game and passing attacks that include quarterbacks who can run. Last year, Harbaugh drafted Carolina back Marcus Lattimore after his complete knee reconstruction following a grisly injury against Tennessee in 2012. The idea that a team would use a fourth round selection, the 131st pick overall, to select a player it knew wouldn’t contribute the first year was a statement by the organization. The 49ers feature the bruising running of Frank Gore who suffered his own knee surgery in college, but Gore has been at it 10

photo by allen sharpe

Gamecocks right in the middle of new NFL trend coaches on successful NFL teams. Today, the practice of NFL teams drafting players and signing free agents with no intent of playing them as rookies is starting to look like a luxury the best teams are willing to afford. That explains why every picture you see lately of South Carolina great Marcus Lattimore shows him with a huge grin. After a lengthy rehabilitation, his time to make an impact is here, on the roster of a team that has become a perennial Super Bowl challenger. Up the West Coast a bit, the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are also stockpiling and training rookie talent. The Seahawks have a handful of players on their roster - including former Texas A&M running back Christine Michae - who are entering their second seasons, all ready to compete for playing time on a squad stuffed full of talent. It’s no wonder that the copycat league, as the NFL has been known for decades, is mimicking the smart strategies of college football through two head coaches – San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh and Seattle’s Pete Carroll – who learned to coach and how to win in college football.

years, meaning Lattimore’s availability this season could extend Gore’s career while easing the former Gamecock into the NFL. In this year’s draft, San Francisco selected Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington with the 106th pick, reuniting him with Lattimore who was a major influence in causing Ellington to decide to turn out for football. Smart decision. Just before that, the Niners used their redshirt philosophy to draft Clemson lineman Brandon Thomas with the 100th pick. He will be unavailable in 2014 because of a knee injury he suffered in a private workout with the New Orleans Saints. The NFL redshirt plan is working for two of the best teams in the league with a decided Carolina flavor to it – after a 2013 season marred by a knee surgery, the Seahawks re-signed former Gamecock receiver Sidney Rice – but don’t expect this to be a trend sweeping through the league. You have to be good to afford the luxury of signing players to put on ice for a year, and as the Seahawks and 49ers are showing, it probably helps to have a successful former college coach in a decision-making role.


Spurs & Feathers • 7

May 21, 2014

Langston Moore camp focused on eating right, life success by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

Langston Moore knows what it takes to be successful. He also knows what it takes to have a body that is well-equipped enough to be able to compete in the National Football League for seven seasons. When the current Gamecock football radio sideline reporter closed out his time in the NFL he knew he wanted to help out the Columbia community by continuing to work camps, but he also knew he wanted to show children what eating right and being successful was really all about. To this end, Moore conceptualized the Eat2Win football camp, which he calls a (FUN) damental camp for children 9-17. Eat stands for Effort, Attitude and Technique and during the one-day camp Moore and his grouping of South Carolina All-Stars focus on showing those in attendance what it takes to a have healthy lifestyle to go along with eating habits that in turn will combine for long-term success. A member of the South Carolina football team from 1999-2002, Moore was a sixthround selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2003 NFL Draft. Moore played for the Bengals (2003-04, 09), Arizona Cardinals (2005-06) and the Detroit Lions (2007-08). He also played with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League for one year before retiring. During his time in the NFL and after Moore spent a great deal of his time working with different charities, but last year after envisioning the idea for quite some time, Moore decided to be the one who spearheaded the special day camp that features a little bit of everything in motivational speakers, NFL players, professional football instruction, sports performance coaching, concussion awareness, diabetes testing, blood pressure checks, vision testing, BMI measurements, endoscopy consulting, nutritional coaching and financial consulting. Moore’s Eat2Win football camp is different also in that they incorporate the parents and guardians as well. The special one-day camp is a passion for Moore since he more than understands what poor health and even just normal health screenings can mean to your family due to his father, who was a well-known radio personality in Ft. Wayne, Ind. and Charleston, S.C., passing away from congestive heart failure during his time at South Carolina. His mother passed away a short time ago from stomach cancer. “What got me involved was that when I was at school I lost my father at an early age to congestive heart failure,” Moore remarked. “He was a bigger guy. Before he got sick he was just a big old athletic guy that played football back in the day. Fast forward and it also affected a lot of the guys that I played football with even on down to players like (former Clemson/NFL defensive tackle) Chester McGlockton and (former Gamecock/Canadian Football League

defensive back) Jamacia Jackson, who died in his sleep from sleep apnea. This stuff affects South Carolina. “I’ve been doing some stuff in the State House with (South Carolina state) senator John Scott here and just always hearing the statistics of South Carolina’s always in the top-10 for obesity, diabetes. That’s just something that kind of gave me more of a push to get involved because I’ve always been doing football camps with (former Gamecock offensive lineman) Travelle (Wharton) and a bunch of the other guys, but not so much on my own,” Moore continued. Moore understands and appreciates the platform that being a former Gamecock and NFL player plus his position on the radio with the Gamecocks presently has given him. He knows it allows for greater sustainability for a camp that does things a little different since it provides the family aspect. “The kids will come out there for football, but we wanted to not leave the parents out so that’s why we offered the free health screenings, the free dentals screenings because a lot of parents come out and they’ll watch and we thought it was a great opportunity for us to really engage them and to try to teach them some new stuff … (and) to give them an opportunity to let us take the kids out and do the nutritional stuff and do all the football stuff, but then also give them an opportunity to learn some new things as well,” Moore mentioned. “Last year we targeted the Colony project houses – 3,000 something families in there – but a lot of them in essence there’s not a lot of access to fresh, whole food so in turn there’s a lot of obesity over there. “My mother was a teacher so I was aware of all these things, but a lot of that stuff you can improve with diet and just doing different things. That’s where we really try to come in and focus and show them that it may not sound cool to drink carrot juice and kale juice, but that’s something I did as an NFL player. That’s something you never see. All you see is Lebron eating a hamburger and every kid thinks Lebron eats cheeseburgers every day, but he doesn’t,” Moore noted. Moore is putting a lot of his own money and time into this project, but entities such as the Gamecock Club and other businesses are helping to subsidize whatever he can do for this great cause. “It’s just amazing the response we’ve gotten from the community, from the legislation,” Moore said. “It’s just all collectively coming together. This year we’ll have the Cocky Reading Express come out there. I’m going to try and push more of the educational tools for the kids, giving them books. Summer retention is always such a hard deal, especially in these lower income areas. There’s a lot of resources, but either they don’t know about it or it’s just not cool … we are just trying to use the camp kind of as a crossroads for resources, education

photo courtesy of south carolina athletics media relations

Moore played for seven seasons in the NFL with the Bengals, Cardinals and Lions. and fun.” Moore’s holistic approach to his camp also includes breaking down to those in attendance that success is definitely not just characterized by making the NFL or even playing professional sports at any level. “It’s not guys who just went on to play football (professionally) … I try to give kids different examples of success because everybody’s path is different,” Moore explained. “Even though there’s a Clowney in the group there’s also 99 other guys on the roster. That’s one of the last things before we send the kids home. We have about a 30-minute session where we kind of pull them away from the parents and kind of have a heart-to-heart with them and let them ask as many questions as they want about what did it take for us to be successful … we try to be as open and transparent as possible because the kids learn from it. “I tell kids all the time (if you get football scholarship), you’re winning. You went to school four years, you got a degree, you’re basically leaving the school with no debt so you’re 10-15 years ahead of everybody else. If you just get going in the direction you want to go you’ll be fine. Even if you do get drafted, the (NFL) lifespan is short. Half the guys I played with were high draft picks, but they were out of the league in two to three years. That is just some of the things we try to show them and give them different pictures of success,” Moore closed. This year’s Eat2Win camp will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10 at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The cost is just $35. To learn more about the Eat2Win camp, please visit the official website at eat2wincamp. eventbrite.com. You can also like the camp on Facebook, or follow the camp on Twitter at @ Eat2WinFootball. 2014 Eat2Win coaches Eric Sullivan (former Gamecock) Bennett Swygert (former Gamecock, West-

ern Carolina player/current Newberry Offensive Coordinator) Cedric Williams (former Gamecock/current Newberry Assistant Head Coach) Jamie Scott (former Gamecock) Jermale Kelly (former Gamecock/NFL Europe World Championship Team Member) CJ Frye (former Gamecock) Preston Thorne (former Gamecock) Jonathan Alston (former Gamecock) Erik Kimrey (former Gamecock/Hammond head coach) John Strickland (former Gamecock) Syvelle Newton (former Gamecock/professional football player) Dennis Quinn (former Gamecock) Shaq Wilson (former Gamecock/current South Carolina football graduate assistant) Marvin Deas (former Gamecock) Troy Williamson (former Gamecock/NFL player) Darrell Shropshire (former Gamecock/NFL player) Paul Beckwith (former Gamecock) Henry Taylor (former Gamecock) Landon Cohen (former Gamecock/current NFL player) Travelle Wharton (former Gamecock/current NFL player) Willis Ham (former Gamecock) Andrew Pinnock (former Gamecock/NFL player) Freddy Saint Preux (former Gamecock) Demario Jeffery (former Gamecock) Jeremiah Garrison (former Gamecock) Willie Offord (former Gamecock/NFL player) Andre Goodman (former Gamecock/NFL player/current South Carolina Director of Football Development) Trevon Mathews (former Gamecock) Eric Stroman (former Gamecock) Shaun Smith (former Gamecock/NFL player) Sheldon Riley (former Newberry College player)


8 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Several Gamecocks pick up free agent deals by brian hand and Mike kucharski bhand@spursandfeathers.com mike@spursandfeathers.com

The 2014 NFL Draft opened with former South Carolina standout Jadeveon Clowney emerging as the No. 1 pick of the draft by the Houston Texans on Thursday, May 8. Former Gamecock two-sport star Bruce Ellington a couple days later was picked by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round. Unexpectedly, Clowney and Ellington would prove to be the only two Gamecocks selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. That does not mean that some other Gamecocks will not get the chance to showcase their talents and hopefully make an NFL roster. Since the conclusion of the NFL Draft five former Gamecocks have announced where they will be heading as free agents. Former Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw is heading to Cleveland for a great situation with the Browns, who after drafting 2012 Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel will definitely be utilizing a system suited to the unique talents of Shaw and Manziel. An All-American defensive tackle at South Carolina, Kelcy Quarles agreed to terms for a free agent deal with the New York Giants. Former South Carolina defensive end Chaz Sutton will try to make it on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster. Former South Carolina defensive back Jimmy Legree is heading to Seattle to try and catch on with the Super Bowl-champion Seahawks, while former Gamecock offensive guard Ronald Patrick will work to make the Dallas Cowboys roster for the upcoming season. With Shaw, Gamecock fans know the numbers: 27-5 record as a starter, 17-0 record in Williams-Brice Stadium, 24-to-1 touchdownto-interception ratio in 2013 and the amazing second-half comeback in Missouri last fall. The numbers that caused questions prior to the draft were those of his size - measured at 6’0” and 206 pounds at the NFL Combine - and the games missed due to injury. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay lauded Shaw’s skills at the South Carolina Pro Day, saying “… you love his toughness, you love the way he competes; coach’s kid, film junkie. He’s got mobility so if he does have to come in games he can create with his feet and do different things. I love the kid. If he was a little bit taller and a little more consistent with his accuracy in throwing the ball down the field, then we’d be talking about him a lot earlier (in the draft). He’s shown improvement in terms of throwing the ball and I think he’s going to get a chance.” Shaw finished his part of South Carolina’s annual pro day by going 40-of-42 on his passes

photo by allen sharpe

according to statistics compiled by the scouts in attendance. The knocks on Shaw heard most consistently before the draft were of his size and his arm strength. The NFL’s Nolan Nawrocki noted that Shaw leaves the pocket too quickly at times to rely on his feet to get him out of trouble. Another perceived problem is the offensive system the Gamecocks play was not a typical pro set, but former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb said that he has shown the ability to adapt to different offenses. McNabb went on to further emphasize why he thinks Shaw has the capabilities to be successful quarterback in the NFL. “Everyone can improve in every facet of their game (in the NFL),” McNabb commented. “At the quarterback position, it’s pocket presence. It’s getting that timing down with three-, five- and seven-step drops. I know it wasn’t a traditional offense as far as pro set that they ran here, but he can adjust. He has the ability to adjust, has great size and I think for any team that gives him an opportunity, he’ll show that. “He’ll get a chance to compete and show the coaches that he has the ability and talent to adjust to their type of offense. Here’s a guy who over his career has adjusted in many different ways and progressed each and every year. Connor Shaw will have an opportunity to compete for a number two or three spot and years from now we’ll see what happens,” McNabb continued. Shaw is a proven winner who should get a

chance and he said that is all he needs at pro day. Quarles used his junior season and all that extra attention paid to Clowney to turn in an All-American season. Quarles dominated the line in the game at Missouri on one good leg while getting three tackles for loss, including two sacks. CBS Sports’ Rob Rang said before the NFL Draft that Quarles shows “both the burst to surprise would-be blockers and the power to crash through late attempts by his opponents to latch on to him.” Quarles was another Gamecock defensive lineman who has had his motor and stamina questioned, but he always seemed to be around the ball or in the backfield last season. The NFL’s Nolan Nawrocki said prior to the NFL Draft that his hands and pad level are weaknesses at times, but has “good pursuit effort when his battery is charged.” Character questions have come up of late from some sources, but that situation seems to have resolved itself. Quarles led the Gamecocks in tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (9.5 - good for second among defensive tackles in the nation) this past season to become an All-American. Quarles was projected to go anywhere from the third- to sixthround after being valued as high as the secondround early in the process. Quarles could find himself in a rotation on a defensive line in the NFL next fall. Sutton is another Gamecock defensive end who worked out as both a lineman and linebacker during the South Carolina Pro Day to

show his athleticism. Sutton measures 6’3” and 245 pounds and ran a 40-yard dash in the mid4.6 second range. His athleticism “intrigued” scouts at the pro day. Although he did not have a huge season in 2013, Sutton does have upside and will still likely find his way onto an NFL roster. Like Sutton, Legree was not invited to the NFL Combine but made the most of his pro day. At 5’11” and 192 pounds, Legree has decent size for the position to play in the league despite lacking elite speed (mid 4.6- range 40-yard dash). Legree was able to make big plays in big moments last season - see the interception in the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt this season - and is technically sound in his play. Kevin Koski of Pro Player Insiders says that Legree is extremely coachable and “he will find his way on an (NFL) roster” for the same reason. Patrick was a solid performer for the Gamecocks during his career, ending his South Carolina career as a two-year starter at the right guard position. He was tabbed by draft insiders as a hard-working lineman. As a junior in 2012, Patrick was one of only two Gamecock offensive lineman to start every game. He started all 12 games in which he appeared in the 2013 season. Strong academically, Patrick was a three-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. **Editor’s Note: Victor Hampton had yet to receive a free agent offer at time of Spurs & Feathers printing.**


Spurs & Feathers • 9

May 21, 2014

Dawn Staley, Gamecocks ready for next step by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

wanted to go. I let that fuel me for the season ahead, but you can’t take away from what we’ve been able to accomplish this past seaThe 2013-14 season was a banner year son. I’m really proud of the effort our playfor the South Carolina women’s basketball ers gave and hopefully we can ask of them program. to give a little bit more so we can play a little The Gamecocks won their first-ever SEC bit longer in the tournament next year.” regular-season championship, they claimed Staley knows that with the No. 2 recruiting the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the class in the nation coming in shortly coupled NCAA Tournament and they finished in the with only losing one player off the SEC regnational top-10 for just the second time in ular-season championship team means that school history. expectations from everyone are going to be South Carolina women’s basketball head extremely high entering the 2014-15 season. coach Dawn Staley is not content though Staley points out that she honestly doesn’t since the season did not end the way the know how her team will handle things “beGamecocks wanted with South Carolina cause it’s a place we’ve never been.” falling in the “Sweet Sixteen” of the NCAA “I’m talking to our team about going to the Tournament. Final Four, winning the national championThat disappointment fuels Staley and she ship because of the expectations,” Staley hopes that a fire ignites within her returning emphatically elaborated. “It’s not only the players and newcomers as they prepare for people externally (fans, etc.), but internally. the upcoming year. “Our coaching staff, our players, I think “I think our players are driven to get betthey got a little taste of what it means to win ter and hopefully they’ll come back more a national championship although somedriven than ever and just wanting to achieve times we can just say it because it’s the norm something that our program has never to say it, but when you get so close and you achieved,” Staley noted. feel like you can add some pieces that we’re What the program has never achieved is a missing to a team that was very, very good national championship and Staley is vocal you can almost feel a little step to closer about getting across the message to her team to getting it and it’ll fuel you to wanting to that is the goal. work hard in the offseason and to make sure In fact, Staley is done reflecting on the if we ever get that opportunity to get back huge step the Gamecocks took this past sea- to that place we could perform a lot better,” son. Her eyes are completely on the future. Staley continued. “I’ve reflected on it, probably more so Staley said that every player that was right afterwards rather than kind of letting scheduled to come back after individual it sink in,” Staley relayed. “I like the feel of meetings is still expected back despite the the disappointment of not going as far as we influx of new talent.

photo by allen sharpe

“We got a pretty strong group coming on all of our players to play well, play at back and pretty strong group of recruits high level. I know this for sure: that nobody coming in so hopefully we’ll be able to have will play by default like we’ve had in the a full roster that will allow us to continue past. You’re going to have to earn all of your the progress of our program,” Staley menplaying time and the time you’re out there. tioned. You’re going to have to be productive. The 2014-15 Gamecocks in ESPN’s very “It’s a good place to be. That (tons of talearly self-described “Pre-preseason top-25” ent) comes with problems. I understand were ranked second just behind national that part of it. Everybody wants to play and power Connecticut. Staley knows that is everybody wants to contribute, but our probecause she has a group that on paper is as gram is at a place where the depth chart is good as anyone in the country. incredible and they understand that. What Having this type of talent will make for we want to instill on our players is: ‘is what difficult decisions next year for Staley, parI’m saying, is what I’m doing helping us ticularly with playing time. She readily adwin a national championship?’ That’s the mits she has looked ahead a little to what her question that they have to pose prior to them lineup may look like in the coming year. doing certain things. That is what’s in their “It’s a question that’s going to come up thought process, what’s in their behavior next year and I’d like to think and actions. We’re trying to that I’d put some thought to win a national championship. it prior to it (2014-15 season) That’s the only thing that I tell happening,” Staley mused. our players. I don’t care what “I’m looking forward to pracour starting lineup looks like. tices, I really am. Just to see They don’t have any names the competition and to see who on them, they don’t have any is going to rise to the challenge faces on them, it is: can this of playing hard and producing All Gamecock basketball combination of players help every single day. It’s a tremen- coverage sponsored by us win a national championYesterdays dous amount of accountability ship?” Staley commented.


10 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

A Gamecock, Boidy excited about SEC Network by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

fun to see,” Boidy said. With the efforts to launch the SEC Network and get the attention of people more than in For those outside of their arena it would full swing, Boidy’s responsibilities will evenprobably be a justifiable thought to think tually change. that people involved with launching the SEC “Once the network launches on the 14th Network would be getting somewhat tired (Aug.) my responsibilities shift closer toward of getting asked the No. 1 question about the asking fans to actually watch the network,” network: “is my provider going to carry the Boidy elaborated. “So it’ll be more of a traSEC Network?” ditional sports marketing role where I’ll be That is far from the case. working on tune-in spots to promote the foot“I continue to answer it because we need ball game the next weekend, talking about to make sure fans know the situation we’re the various programs we have and making in,” Associate Director of Marketing for the sure people tune in to the SEC Nation show, SEC Network Katherine Boidy relayed. “It’s which is our traveling, similar to (ESPN a huge objective for our team, obviously, to College) GameDay show. Once the network make sure that we have full distribution or as launches, once we feel like we’re in a good close to full distribution before we launch on place with distribution, it’s all about making Aug. 14. That is our goal.” sure our fans are watching our programBoidy has been working with ESPN since ming.” graduating from the University of South Just shortly after the SEC Network debuts Carolina in 2008. ESPN is the operator of the on Aug. 14 the first football game on the SUBMITTED PHOTO network will be the South Carolina football SEC Network and when an opportunity arose regular-season and SEC opener against Texas in October of last year, Boidy decided to A&M on Aug. 28. move from New York City where she is cur- It’s a great networking opportunity as well. my team,” Boidy continued. Boidy is cognizant of how important this rently working right now to Charlotte, N.C. “Both my husband and I still when we see In addition, the latest SEC Network televiwhere the SEC Network will be based. people wearing Gamecock stuff around New sion spots and print advertisements have also day is for the SEC Network. “August 14th is a big date for us because “Previously (I) had been working at ESPN York, we’ll yell ‘go Gamecocks’ because it is been put together by Boidy and her team. it’s the start of the network, but we are all fofor a while and this was kind of a move for surprising,” Boidy mentioned. “We’re (South They have also worked in partnership with cused on making sure 8/28 goes off without me to remain focused on just the SEC NetCarolina) a huge school obviously, but up DISH, who is supporting the SEC Network a hitch because that night is a doubleheader work marketing and see the network launch,” here you just don’t see it as much so when do heavily. the South Carolina Darla Moore School of see it you have to call attention to it and we’re The special 30-second SEC Network “Take (Temple at Vanderbilt right after the GameBusiness graduate remarked. a family no matter where we are.” it All In” ads unveiled on April 22 have been cock football game). We have a lot of proBoidy is the epitome of a South Carolina Despite enjoying her six years in New York a huge hit with South Carolina’s ad focusing gramming that weekend. “We have three football games that Saturstudent taking advantage of their situation City immensely when the chance to work on “Sandstorm.” Boidy jokingly admits she day, a Tennessee football game on Sunday. as she originally interned with the consumer with the SEC Network came up, Boidy exis trying to not be biased on her favorite of It’s a huge weekend for us, making sure fans marketing department at ESPN between her plains she was definitely ready to embrace the 14 television ads, but it is hard. can see their team play is important and comjunior and senior year. She was hired fullthe challenge. “I’m trying to be as impartial as possible municating where the channel is going to be time just a couple days after graduating from “Knowing about this new network I actuin my new role, but that one I was anxious and making sure that the fans that aren’t faSouth Carolina. ally raised my hand to potentially be put on to see that rough cut,” Boidy explained. “It miliar with our digital platform can watch it A native of Connecticut, Boidy decided it for various reasons with one including the took longer than we wanted, but I was very online. There are a few things that we are goto attend the University of South Carolina move to Charlotte,” Boidy noted. pleased with how it came together. I think largely due to being able to enjoy the weathSince moving over to the SEC Network focusing on ‘Sandstorm’ ... it’s so fun and so ing to have to communicate before that point, but that’s a huge, huge weekend for us. I hope er, the culture and various other aspects that what Boidy does on a day-to-day basis has interesting. We thought that would be a perto be at Williams-Brice for that first game, a top-class city in the south like Columbia, varied, particularly in the remaining months fect thing to capture in a 30-second spot for depending on where we (SEC Network) are,” S.C. provides. leading up to the launch of the SEC Network South Carolina. Boidy communicated. She didn’t plan to move back up north, par- on Aug. 14. “Across the campaign we have a lot of To learn more about the SEC Network, ticularly to New York City, but the opportu“It’s been an interesting project to work different moments representing fandom please visit GetSECNetwork.com. nity with ESPN was too good to pass up. on,” Boidy commented. “We have been throughout the SEC so that one was a good “We need to show that SEC fans are like no During her time with ESPN, Boidy has focused on the brand campaign for the netone that showed inside the gameday experiother and we support our teams,” Boidy said. been actively involved with the New York work, making sure that fans are aware of it, ence, which a lot of schools have things that City Gamecocks, which includes the Greater they understand it and we’re kind of hyping it get them excited and pumped up throughout “I’m excited about bringing this programNew York chapters of both the My Carolina up and getting them excited about. As part of the game and ‘Sandstorm’ is just unique and ming to the SEC fanbase. We’re going to Alumni Association and the Gamecock Club. that awareness campaign it’s also to get fans we’ve turned it into something much bigger,” have 45 football games, over 160 basketball games and there’s a lot of content that we “It’s so wonderful to meet new people that interested so that they call their cable provid- Boidy articulated. don’t talk about very much, but things like went to the University of South Carolina and ers, go to GetSECNetwork.com, really show Aside from her love of all things Gamethe Gamecock Club is the first place that demand for the network, which helps us with cock, Boidy is really pleased in the end with track and field and gymnastics and all these other sports that have never seen the light of everyone turns to and on Saturdays at the distribution. just how all the advertisements turned out. day on TV that fans will be able to watch on Mason Jar it truly does feel like it is a second “So my day-to-day has been working “I love hearing people’s reaction to the home to Williams-Brice. It’s always been closely with our creative agency, McKinwork because everyone has their favorite and the network. so much fun … the crew that sets up those ney, developing marketing campaigns and everyone’s favorite is so different from some- “I’m excited to see it come together and I events does a great job and our partnership creative ideas to promote the SEC Network. one else’s and I think that speaks to the range know ESPN is putting its best behind buildwith the Mason Jar is so strong. I bump into Our group is responsible for all the fan com- of work we were able to produce and how ev- ing this network and making it just as good people all the time that I remember from munication. So anything that a fan would see eryone comes at it from their own experience as what you see on ESPN and ESPN2. We’re really excited about it,” Boidy concluded. school that I didn’t realize were in New York. related to the SEC Network comes through and obviously personal fandom … it’s been


May 21, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 11

Ted Girardeau honored for his ‘labor of love’ to Gamecock Club by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

gone on and he is very thankful that South Carolina took the time to denote his love of the Gamecocks. The passion and fervor for Gamecock ath“That’s something that we’ve come a long letics is unrivaled. South Carolina fans are way with,” Girardeau remarked. “That was some of the best in the country and people not true in the past and there’s a lot of hard go out of their way daily to show their affinfeelings for some of the older people, but all ity for their beloved Gamecocks. of the old people seem to be coming around There are not many people like Ted Ginow and it seems to be a good feeling from rardeau though. His passion for the Gameall of the old people of what’s going on here cocks has led to him being a member of at the University because it is a first-class the Gamecock Club for 55 years. He joined operation. the Gamecock Club after being a member “It’s very, very special. You never get of the football team at South Carolina. tired of getting recognized and looked after. Girardeau played on the freshman team in Most of these people gave a lot of time, en1955 before moving up to the varsity from ergy, blood, sweat and tears. They need to 1956-58. have a little recognition from time-to-time,” In addition to being a member of the Girardeau continued. Gamecock Club, Girardeau has served on Gamecock Club Executive Director Patthe Executive Committee and Gamecock rick McFarland considered it an honor to be Club Board of Directors for 36 years. He’s able to recognize Girardeau. photo by ALLEN SHARPE been the Chairman of the Executive Com“He’s been integral for the Gamecock Pictured (left-to-right) is Patrick McFarland, Ted Girardeau, Brent Skinner and Ed Girardeau. Club for many years,” McFarland committee for the past 12 years. A resident of Aiken, S.C., Girardeau has mented. “A lot of the decisions made he also served as the Aiken County Gamecock win over Alabama on Sunday, April 27. be rewarded because everything that I’ve gives his thoughts and works very hard in Club chapter President. Girardeau was presented a blazer for this done through all of the years – I’ve been on representing the Gamecock Club. It’s not For his devotion and commitment to the achievement by Brent Skinner of BP Skin- one board or another for 36 years – is more just a volunteer position for him. It truly is a Gamecocks, Girardeau was honored as the ner Clothiers. a labor of love than anything else. “ labor of love and something he cares deeply Legendary Fan of the Game prior to the “It’s extremely exciting,” Girardeau noted. As a football letterman, Girardeau realiz- about. For us to be able to honor him today South Carolina baseball series-clinching “Everything that I’ve done doesn’t need to es that this type of honoring has not always it means a lot for us to be able to do so.”


12 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

South Carolina Athletics celebrates student-athletes by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

the student-athletes. “I’d say that it’s good because we get to meet the other athletes and hear about their accomThe annual Gamecock Gala was held in the plishments to see how hard they worked,” DaColonial Life Arena on Monday, April 27 as the vis said. “I think that everyone likes it because South Carolina student-athletes got a chance all the athletes come together, get to talk to each to celebrate the year’s accomplishments before other, have fun and be goofy. I think it’s a great finals begin. thing that we do. South Carolina Athletics held a ceremony ESPN’s Cara Capuano and Anish Shroff with hors d’oeuvres and a program to honor served as emcees for the event as they recogthe student-athletes’ contributions to their nized the different programs’ successes and programs and the excellence displayed across announced the award winners. the athletics department. The student-athletes The event opened with a moment of silence dressed up in their best outfits as they took to to recognize the loss of a member of the Unithe red carpet entering the Gamecock Gala. versity of South Carolina family. Lt. Vinny Senior South Carolina volleyball standout Ju- Bocchino passed away the previous weekend. liette Thévenin reminisced about her time as a Bocchino was a member of the South Carolina Gamecock before the event. Thévenin recently Police since 2008 and helped to coordinate law signed a contract to play volleyball profession- enforcement for many of the Gamecocks’ athally in Belgium. letic events. Bocchino was 29 years old. “We had a great year and the high had to be After the moment of silence, Shroff recogthis great group of girls on the team. This was a nized special guests in attendance from Board fun year and I was glad to have so much fun as of Trustees members to Athletics Director Ray a Gamecock,” Thévenin commented. Tanner. Capuano said that there was “nothing Gamecock quarterback great Connor Shaw better than celebrating the fabulous studentcommented that he was happy and excited to athletes at one of the SEC’s most-successful return to South Carolina one more time to cel- athletic programs in the South Carolina Gameebrate his time in Garnet and Black. cocks.” “This is kind of like the last hoorah with all After Capuano went through some of the the guys that I played ball with and the whole bullet points highlighting the successes of athletics department, so it’s nice. It’s a wonder- all of the Gamecock programs an all-sports ful opportunity and I’ve been looking forward highlight reel was shown on the screens in the to it,” Shaw said. Colonial Life Arena. Following the highlight Freshman sprinter Maya Evans spoke about reel, the awards ceremony began (all award her first year as a Gamecock student-athlete winners listed below) with a short break to see prior to the event. a “Gamecock Spotlight” blooper reel from the “Running for the University of South Caroli- year before continuing to honor the outstanding na has been phenomenal. I just love the athletes student-athletes. I work with and the training that we do with the Tanner then took the stage to give out the final staff. It has been a great first year here at South two awards of the evening. Before presenting Carolina,” Evans remarked prior to the event. the Garnet Award and the President’s Award, Sophomore running back Mike Davis said Tanner thanked the hosts Capuano and Shroff, that he enjoys the Gamecock Gala, as do all of the Gamecock Gala organizers and recognized

Team MVP’s:

Women’s Basketball: Tiffany Mitchell Men’s Basketball: Sindarius Thornwell Equestrian: Allison Ceresani Football: Connor Shaw Women’s Golf: Justine Dreher Men’s Golf: Matt NeSmith Women’s Soccer: Stevi Parker Men’s Soccer: Braeden Troyer Softball (2013 season): Samie Garcia Men’s Swimming & Diving: Marwan El Kamash Women’s Tennis: Elixane Lechemia Men’s Tennis: Andrew Adams Women’s Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field (2013 season): Jeannelle Scheper Men’s Outdoor Track & Field (2013 season): Chris Royster Men’s Indoor Track & Field: Jermaine Collier

Volleyball: Juliette Thévenin Cross Country: Meredith Mill Cheerleading: Erica Levy Women’s Swimming & Diving: Victoria Mitchell

SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Awards: Stephen Anderson (men’s soccer) Danielle Au (women’s soccer)

SEC Brad E. Davis Community Service Award:

Taylor Josserand (women’s swimming & diving) Jay Warner (men’s swimming & diving)

New Student-Athlete of the Year: Alaina Coates (women’ basketball) Sindarius Thornwell (men’s basketball)

photo by ALLE N SHARPE

Bruce Ellington (left) and Grayson Greiner (middle) with Athletics Director Ray Tanner. the senior class of student-athletes. The Garnet Award is “the most distinguished and highest honor given to a member of Gamecock Nation” symbolizing passion and devotion to Gamecock Athletics. The Garnet Award was given to Dr. Eddie & Kay Floyd. The President’s Award is the highest award that may be presented to a single student-athlete once a year by the athletics department. It goes to someone who displays “extraordinary talent in the areas of athletics, scholarship, leadership and service.” The recipient of the 2014 President’s Award was Jeannelle Scheper of the Gamecock Track and Field team. University President Dr. Harris Pastides closed the event by saying, “we are celebrating the best year in the athletics history at the University and the best year in the University’s history. You see it all goes together. At some universities people try to divide it up … not here,” Pastides proclaimed. “As your integrity, your athletics and your academics have gotten

Scholar Athlete of the Year: Liz Sinclair (women’s soccer) Stephen Anderson (men’s soccer)

Community Outreach Team of the Year: Women’s Soccer

Athlete of the Year: Sabrina D’Angelo (women’s soccer) Grayson Greiner (baseball) Bruce Ellington (football & men’s basketball)

Garnet Award: Dr. Eddie & Kay Floyd

President’s Award: Jeannelle Scheper

stronger, it has been a rising tide that has lifted the whole University.” Pastides pointed out that the the Gamecock student-athletes boasted the highest-ever average GPA across all the programs at a 3.2. That included 181 student-athletes on the Dean’s List, 61 on the President’s list and 18 Academic All-Americans among other outstanding accomplishments in the classroom. He also recognized excellence by the teams on the fields of play, noting that five teams rank in the top-10 of their respective polls, nine in the top-25 and three teams claimed conference titles among other honors. The department also bossed the best home attendance in the history for all sports with 1.09 million fans attending Gamecock Athletics home events throughout the year. Pastides then closed the ceremony the same way that teams finish each of their games, which was by leading all in attendance in the singing of the Alma Mater.


May 21, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 13

NYC Gamecocks find a home away from home by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com Home means something different to everyone, but for most that graduate from the University of South Carolina or are even just Gamecock fans they definitely consider the University and Columbia, S.C. home. Life can take people many different ways. A job can lead you a mile down the road or it could mean you have to relocate to somewhere as different as the Big Apple. New York City may seem miles away from the subtle southern charm of Columbia, but for the transplanted Gamecocks in the area there is a place that they think feels like a secondary home to WilliamsBrice Stadium on football gamedays, Colonial Life Arena on basketball gamedays and Carolina Stadium on baseball gamedays. That special place is the Mason Jar in New York City. The New York City Gamecocks have been to a variety of different places over the years, but once they came upon the Mason Jar it just felt right. The feeling was mutual as Mason Jar primary owner Ed Martinson even went as far as signing a $50,000 commitment to the Gamecock Club and the My Carolina Alumni Association to show his support for all things Gamecock. Martinson officially signed the commitment at the NYC Gamecocks’ spring event on Saturday, April 26. Those in attendance also watched the second game of South Carolina’s eventual baseball series win over then eighth-ranked Alabama. The game-watching spring event was scheduled as a fun gathering, but it was also as much about thanking Martinson and his staff for their commitment to Gamecock country. “It was our chance to recognize them,” New York City Gamecock Club President JR Buzzelli articulated. “To say thank you because they do so much for us, will do so much for us over the next year from different drink specials that they run to anytime anybody who’s a South Carolina fan or alumni or whatever comes into the Mason Jar … it’s kind of open arms. We’ve got our sign that’s going to be hanging in there now and that lets people feel even more at home. There’s already Gamecock stuff in there, but now we also have our sign in there.” The unique attention does not just come from Martinson according to Buzzelli with Mason Jar bar manager Brendan Gardner always welcoming Gamecock fans with his smiling face. Gardner even goes out of

his way to try and sell NYC Gamecocks merchandise, which in turn helps their philanthropy back to the Gamecock Club and the athletic department. The Mason Jar is also part of the Garnet Market and they offer a special discount to Gamecock fans who show their Gamecock Club membership card. To Buzzelli - who partners closely with Caitlin Stevens, the NYC President of the My Carolina Alumni Association - their efforts along with the Mason Jar are not just about those that are members of the Gamecock Club or the My Carolina Alumni Association. “We welcome anybody that is a fan of the University of South Carolina,” Buzzelli remarked. “That’s our mantra. You don’t have to be in the Gamecock Club. You don’t have to be in the alumni association. If you’re a fan of the University of South Carolina we’ve got wide-open arms. People who love the University, that’s who we welcome and that’s what we’re all about.” Buzzelli hopes they like the group enough to join the Gamecock Club and the submitted photo My Carolina Alumni Association at some Pictured is Ed Martinson, the Mason Jar owner, signing the $50,000 pledge on April 26. point in the future. That passion for the Gamecocks is shared by many of the NYC Gamecocks who are selfless with their time. Those people include NYC Gamecock Club Secretary Matt Garrick along with key volunteers Kenny Rick, Amanda Neel, Lauren Koch, George McDonald, Eliza Akers, Kyle Bussey, Andrew Zank and Jade Ho and many others. “Our organizations run on volunteers,” Buzzelli relayed. “It’s not me or Caitlin. It’s the folks that volunteer up here. It’s our great partnership between the alumni association and the Gamecock Club. We really work one in the same. The hard work of our volunteers really makes all of this go and it’s their love and their passion.” The NYC Gamecocks are open to all in the Greater New York City area who love the University of South Carolina. The group includes the Greater New York chapters of both the My Carolina Alumni Association and the Gamecock Club. The group focuses on creating networking, entertainment and University fundraising events in the area. NYC Gamecocks is one of the largest and most successful Gamecock groups outside of South Carolina. More information on NYC Gamecocks and how to get involved can be found at www.NYCGamecocks. com. You can also find the NYC Gamecocks on Twitter - @NYCGamecockClub and @NYCGamecocks, Facebook Group - NYC Gamecocks and Instagram - #NYCGamecocks.


14 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Bryan Bros. garnering exposure through trick-shot artistry by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com Over the past few years the golf establishment has worked extremely hard to try and make the sport attractive to the younger generation. The Masters Tournament Foundation to this end recently created the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship where younger golfers have the chance to play the Augusta National Golf Course if they qualify for the event the Sunday before the annual Masters. Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson along with PGA Tour players Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan even created the hysterical “Golf Boys” videos on YouTube to show that golf may be serious, but you can still have fun. Initiatives such as these are great, but siblings George Bryan IV and Wesley Bryan have taken those efforts even further by following in the footsteps of trick-shot aficionados Dude Perfect. “We just figured that whatever they could do (Dude Perfect) with a basketball we could do with a golf club,” Wesley noted. “It was just something fun for us to start doing.” George IV relayed that Dude Perfect is kind of what they modeled their YouTube channel around. “They were the first, I guess, trickshotters, who were popular,” George IV mentioned. “We’re kind of going to try that with golf and try and incorporate the same kind of model on how they do their YouTube channel and see where it goes.”

photo by brian hand

The Bryan Bros. - George IV (left) and Wesley - have become Internet sensations.

trying to do - and what differentiates what we’re doing - is that we’re trying to make everything look like a golf swing. The balls that I put on his plate, if he has to move to get it then we’re not going to use it. If he doesn’t have a good follow-through or good swing, we’re not going to use it. If the ball doesn’t go relatively straight, we’re not going to use it. Anyone can throw a ball and hit it crazy in the air and make contact, but we’re trying to make it look like golf where everything is in fluid motion.” “Every shot that you’re going to see on How it formulated our YouTube channel are shots that would Dude Perfect in the end is not how the idea hit fairways and go the length of a normal formulated for the Bryan brothers (branded drive,” Wesley said. “We’re not going to put as Bryan Bros Golf). ones out there that are shrimpers. It’s hard to “We got the idea from watching this guy fake a reaction to a bad shot.” on ESPN just chipping a ball and hitting To the outside world, the shots probably it,” Wesley articulated. “I was like, ‘really, look incredibly tough to get quickly on video, that got this much attention.’ It got a million but for golf lifers like the Bryan Brothers it is views on YouTube and it doesn’t look that actually the easiest part. hard. So we tried it and we got it on the first “There’s only been a couple times where The videos couple of times so we were like I guess we we’ve messed up,” George IV noted. “We “I’m just the setup man,” George IV said. can start doing stuff if people think that’s had one the other night where the camera “He’s (Wesley) more the hand-eye; the guy cool.” wasn’t recording and we got a pretty good who’s hitting the ball. I know my roles. I need one. We had to go back and redo it because Since that time the former South Carolina golf standouts have unveiled their own You- to get work on my game hitting balls in the it was a really cool shot. And then we’ve had air, but he’s good at it and I know I’m not as Tube channel and upped the ante from that times where you could see on the camera that original golf trick-shot video to an incredible good at it and I’m the setup man. I’m more of it goes way left or way right or it wasn’t hit the Steve Nash.” level. solid, so you could hear the solid factor.” Wesley never even thought about the fact The golfing community has taken notice “There’s a lot of times that as long as it’s in that his tremendous hand-eye coordination with numerous media outlets, including my little wheelhouse I can hit it on the first ESPN and PGA.com talking with the Bryan could help in the game of golf in this way. try,” Wesley continued. “The setup stuff is “I’ve always had probably better hand-eye brothers about their videos. probably the hardest to get it on the money coordination … it’s helped out in (other) The fact that the videos have spawned so where I don’t have to move. It takes more sports growing up, but I never knew it could precision to set it up then to actually hit it.” much attention excites the Bryan brothers. “I guess the first video we did it was just on be used for something in golf,” Wesley The Bryan brothers don’t necessarily conFacebook, Instagram; it wasn’t anything big,” mused. sider their trick-shot artistry a business just George IV points out that “what we’re George IV said. “People kind of started sayyet, but they do plan to keep doing the videos ing how awesome the shots were. We didn’t really put any effort into it. We just kind of messed around. Like in my mind I thought if we could get some momentum, maybe we could turn it into a YouTube channel. I guess the last month it’s just kind of blown up. It just keeps getting bigger.” The former Gamecocks look like naturals on their videos, but they had never even really tried some of the stuff until about a month ago. “I’ve always thrown up balls and hit them, but never even tried chipping a ball and hitting it with a driver until a month ago,” Wesley elaborated. “I’d never even thought about chipping a ball to Wesley and him hitting it until a month ago,” George IV reiterated. The Bryan brothers are the main stars of the videos, but friend and former Newberry golfer Shaw James joins the group on some of the videos as well.

as long as people keep watching. “We’re going to keep going,” George IV remarked. “It doesn’t take much time. We could sit there for an hour, maybe two hours and knock out a whole bunch of different shots and have some cool content. As long as people keep watching then we’re going to keep putting out (videos) because I think we’re only kind of scratching the surface of ideas. Once we get a little bit farther developed and a little more creative we’ll get more ideas in our head and cooler stuff.” Wesley continued by articulating “like the other night we went and messed around and for probably like an hour and got five or six shots that we’re going to have on our next video. It’s something we’re not like every single day hitting balls that are moving … one day out of two weeks, maybe two, I’ll devote to hitting golf balls that are moving. The rest of the time, I’ll hit them while they’re still. It’s a lot easier that way.”

The future

The past month of trick shots is just the beginning for the Bryan brothers. The brothers who bleed garnet and black have definitely formulated ideas of grandeur for the future. “I guess in my mind, I’ve got two different entities on how the trick shots are going to help us,” George IV mentioned. “We have the YouTube and trick shot side and we’re trying to grow that fanbase and make something that we can put out every week, every two weeks where people can watch it and it be kind of cool and to also have that translate to just exposure.” One of the ways that the Bryan brothers want to garner exposure is by utilizing Gamecock country. “We’re trying to see how many USC athletic people we can get involved to cross kind Please see Bryan, Page 28


Spurs & Feathers • 15

May 21, 2014

74 Gamecock student-athletes graduated during May commencement ceremonies South Carolina Athletics Media Relations Seventy-four Gamecock studentathletes earned their degrees and graduated at the University of South Carolina commencement ceremonies Friday May 9, and Saturday, May 10 at Colonial Life Arena. Baseball Brison Celek Josh Knab Hunter Privette Adrian Morales Adam Westmoreland Men’s Basketball Brenton Williams Cheerleading James Armstrong Caitlin Atkinson Karli Deal Brittany Dinnuzzo Greg Francendese Meghan Green Cory Hart Adrienne Hinton Brittney Holt Cody Horchak Tahirah Jackson Kara Mackey Jacob Mided Nikki Parise Ashley Patrick Rachel Sanna

Serena Olivi Courtney Stoltz Taylor Wanish Men’s Diving Andrew Helmich Equestrian Jordan Brown Alison Ceresani Morgan Hale Samantha Nicholson Football Patrick Fish Jeff Homad Damario Jeffery Nick Jones Connor McLaurin Sidney Rhodes Connor Shaw Dylan Thompson Men’s Golf Alan King Blaine Woodruff Women’s Golf Suzie Lee Sam Swinehart Men’s Soccer Hunter Wyer Women’s Soccer Gabrielle Gilbert Taylor Leach Samantha McGowan Elizabeth Sinclair Softball Samantha Garcia

Dana Hathorn Men’s Swimming Michael Flach Matt Navata Gerard Rodriguez Brooks Ross John Warner Jacob White Women’s Swimming Maryn Bieganski Taylor Josserand Lauren Raczkowski Women’s Tennis Dominika Kanakova Men’s Track & Field Leroy Dixon Drew Ricci Andrew Seay Joshua Suttmeier Sand Volleyball Megan Kent Paige Wheeler Volleyball Lindsey Craft Women’s Track & Field Vashti Bandy Penny Boswell Asia Delaney Sanura Eley-O’Reilly Kelly Fischer Elizabeth Locke Tylar Mangan Kaysee Sullivan

The Gamecock Club remembers the following members of Gamecock Nation who have recently passed away... John Maguire Easterling - Born December 5, 1960, in Columbia, SC, he was the son of Charles M. and Doris Fanning Easterling. He was employed for 18 years with Westinghouse and was an avid Gamecock fan and Gamecock Club Member. Furman Monroe “Doc” Robinson Jr. - Born in Honea Path, SC, he was the son of the late Furman Monroe Robinson, Sr. and the late Ola Margaret Bannister Robinson. He was a member of Providence Baptist Church and was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Mr. Robinson retired as a Pharmacist from Eckerd Drug Company after 33 years of service. Mr. Robinson was a member of the Gamecock Club and a big supporter of South Carolina athletics.


16 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Gamecocks focused on playing their best as postseason arrives by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

As far as implications for the postseason regarding national seeds, hosting Super Regionals and other projections, Holbrook said that South Carolina’s baseball team finished the series win at Vanderbilt does not guarantee the regular season with a road series victory anything. over a top-10 opponent in Vanderbilt to build “People say it was for a national seed and momentum heading into postseason play. The I’m not so sure. Vanderbilt can go down there victory in the final regular-season game coupled and win the SEC Tournament easily. I don’t with an Alabama win over Mississippi State think it’s us against Vandy, we’re just trying garnered the Gamecocks the fourth seed in the to play well. I’m sure our RPI is going to be in SEC Tournament and keeps them from playing the top-10 and that’s all you can do. We won a on the first day. road series against one of the best teams in the Gamecocks’ head coach Chad Holbrook rec- country, so I’m proud of my team,” Holbrook ognized the magnitude of taking the series from commented. the Commodores in Nashville, Tenn. following The Gamecocks will begin the SEC Tournathe 6-3 win on Saturday, May 17. ment on Wednesday, May 21 against the winner “It was a big road series, but they’re all big of the Mississippi State-Georgia game. The road series in the SEC. Auburn was a big road Gamecocks will begin in the double-eliminaseries for us because our season was spiraling tion portion of the bracket because of earning out of control at that point in time too, so we’ve the No. 4 seed. won some big games. We’re 42-14. We’ve Holbrook discussed the possible scenarios for won 42 out of our 56 and faced a heck of a lot the postseason prior to the Vanderbilt series and of adversity. This team wants to win and they echoed the same thoughts again after the win. showed that today, so I’m a happy coach. I’m “There’s plenty of wins left … would I love going to enjoy the heck out of this one,” Holto be in the top eight? Absolutely, but if not, it brook said. doesn’t mean we can’t play at home in a Super

Regional. The other guys have got to win too. but we’re just going to try and take each game, There’s a number of factors … it’s hard to go try to get a win each day and not really worry on the road, yes, and we’d love to play at home about the big picture because honestly we can’t because of the home-field advantage here control what’s on the outside and what people and we’ve won a number think or say. We’re just going to take of games in a row here in it game by game,” Greiner said. tournament play, but I’ve got Though the Gamecocks have a good team. We can go on come back in the conversation for a the road and win if we’ve got national seed, Holbrook said they do to go on the road. We can not mind being seen as a dark horse match up with anybody, esor not being mentioned as one of the pecially when we’re healthy. All Gamecock baseball top teams in the country. If we’ve got to go on the road coverage sponsored by “When we went through that and play somebody really little losing streak, I think people DiPrato’s good, including a top-eight kind of wrote us off maybe nationteam, we’re going to go play them really good ally … but I kind of like it people not talking and try to win. I think when we get on the bus, about us right now. That’s fine with me. If we our guys are going to think they can win,” Hol- get into a tournament setting and they beat us brook explained. and we’re healthy, you’ve beaten a damn good Junior catcher and team co-captain Grayson team. That’s the way I feel about my team and Greiner said that the team is focused only on we have a chance to do some special things. We what they can control and will worry about have to play well and it would really help if we postseason draws once they are announced. get healthy, but if we play the way we’re capable “At the end of the day, a lot of people on the of playing - we pitch and play defense - you’re outside get to control our destiny as far as if we going to have to be pretty damn good to beat get to play at Carolina Stadium or have to travel, us,” Holbrook remarked.

mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

ter and how we can improve. This summer is just working to get to that next level, then is definitely part of that process too,” Moritz the next level. said. “We loved the experience of the first “They’re just trying to raise the level from year and we enjoyed it, but now we figure out the bottom up. Not only from the top down, ‘where do we turn our focus, what’s the task but everybody is pushing for that which is at hand and what’s important for us to do?’ huge for the program’s development … the “That’s the outlook of (assistant coach) RJ starting point for us has now risen for us and (Abella) and I and I think the kids have reit just continues to be an unbelievable opporally absorbed that as well … if we don’t start tunity going forward,” Moritz said. preparing now for next spring, that clock is Moritz said that the team will not shy away going to fly by as we learned this year and from playing against top competition next we’re going to be competing again. We want year because it pushes the team and helps to be ready for that. Now that know how fast them improve. He also said that it provides a it goes, we want to be ready for that,” Moritz chance for the Gamecocks to be at the foreexpounded. front of a growing sport. One of the biggest benefits for the program “It’s such a great opportunity. One of the is the fact that the team and things we focus on in the coaches have a year of expeprogram is that we’re stewrience according to Moritz. ards of this program and He said that it is great to have we’re stewards of growing the benefit of being able to the sport within the SEC make “new errors” rather and on a national, collegiate All Gamecock sand volleyball level as well. We have to be than having to start from coverage sponsored by zero again. He added the responsible to the sport to student-athletes are probably James W. Smith Real Estate Co. make it grow and expand the biggest assets to the the as much as possible. Part of program. that is selfish because we want to create the “The whole group is really taking ownerbest environment that we can to compete for ship of what they need to do to get better,” championships in the future. For that longevMoritz reiterated. “Whether it’s the top kid ity for the program and the sport itself, what or the kid that is not at the top but wants to we need to do is to make sure that the sport get there, they’re pushing each other to get will be able to stand the test of time and that better … everybody is working and it’s this we will be able to compete for the duration as self-motivated, self-driven thing. Everybody well. It’s super exciting,” Moritz concluded.

Sand volleyball inaugural season wraps up

The South Carolina sand volleyball team continued to grow and improve throughout its inaugural season and ended on a high note with a home victory over College of Charleston on April 22, 2014. Gamecocks’ head coach Moritz Moritz said that he and the student-athletes felt great encouragement and excitement on the state of the program in their postseason meetings. “Ending on a high note the way that we did was huge for rebuilding the momentum I think because we don’t lose a single kid off this roster and we add in some great talent on top of it,” Mortiz explained. “We’re getting more depth, we’re going to have more experience and we’re just getting better in this whole thing and I think the girls are starting to piece those things together. It’s getting exciting for them because they’re taking an active approach and ownership of what they’re going to do this summer in preparation for the fall and getting better for the spring. “They’re excited about competing and getting better … I think the basis that we’re building on with the character and the culture and everything that these girls are bringing to this program is exactly the direction that we want to go. It’s just going to continue to get better and better,” Moritz continued. The recruiting class coming in features four strong players with beach experience

and different levels of accolades according to Moritz. Highlighting that class will be Julia Mannisto who was recently named an AVCA High School Sand All-American, one of four in the nation. He said players of Mannisto’s caliber and of the whole recruiting class will help continue growing the program. Moritz credits the University, the facilities and the support staff for being able to help recruit talented players that will help push the team to continue to improve. “I think South Carolina sells itself. If we can get a kid on campus, show them our facility, show them all our resources and really show what they’re going to be able to have to be successful as students and athletes here, then it’s just a matter of them realizing their potential within that scheme,” Mortiz remarked. “It’s just going to continue to build and develop the future for us … they’re the kids that are going to continue to push everyone else to get better … the year of experience that we have for all of these kids returning and the level of the recruits we’re bringing in is huge for us.“ Moritz said that he and the team took a moment to reflect on the first year during their postseason meetings, but the focus quickly shifted to learning, improving and continuing to build the program. “We just continue to have this unbelievable opportunity to learn on a daily basis … to get better we can never get away from contestant self-evaluation and learning how we get bet-


May 21, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 17

Passion leads to progress for Greenwood County Gamecock Club by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com The proximity of Greenwood, S.C. to Clemson, S.C. has made the Greenwood County Gamecock Club one of the more passionate chapters. In an area that is described as 50 percent South Carolina, 50 percent Clemson - but nestled in what is supposed to be Clemson’s area in the Upstate of the Palmetto State the Greenwood County Gamecock Club has worked hard of late to further the Gamecock cause. It was emphatically evident that the efforts are paying off at the Gamecock Club Fan Fest in Greenwood, S.C. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 as Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland noted shortly after the conclusion that the Fan Fest in Greenwood, S.C. was the largest Gamecock Club Fan Fest ever with over 1,000 in attendance for the event in Uptown Greenwood. “They (Greenwood County Gamecock Club) do a phenomenal job,” McFarland said. “You can just look at the Fan Fest. Just as a group, I mentioned it at our board meeting today - not just me - but I think everybody has mentioned it from the Gamecock Club staff in every single meeting how well that Fan Fest went and there’s a reason why that it was so far above: it’s because of their board. “They put a lot of time and energy into it. They took time off of work to make it happen. That’s why events are successful is you put a lot of work into them, you have grassroots (marketing) and this group did it. Coach Spurrier said it, I think I said it, (Fan Fest emcee and Spurs & Feathers’ own) Ed (Girardeau) said it; it’s Gamecock country. That’s kind of exciting for sure, especially for people that live in Greenwood. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like it has not always been well represented by Gamecocks or vocally represented by Gamecocks. Now you go there – all the players we get – historical players like Robert Brooks, there’s a lot to be proud about in Greenwood,” McFarland continued. Greenwood County Gamecock Club Vice President Ray Lewis II noted that “people look at Greenwood as really small. We’re just a close-knit community. We capitalize on that passion (for the Gamecocks) … we want this to be impactful on the community in a positive way and that’s what we ended up making it.” A perfect example of one of the ways that they have impacted the community comes every June during the annual South Carolina Festival of Flowers in Uptown Greenwood. The Festival of Flowers encompasses the whole month of June, but the Greenwood

Greenwood.’” That the chapter worked hand-in-hand with the city of Greenwood is similar to their efforts with the Gamecock Club. McFarland utilized an example of the efforts of the chapter after their Fan Fest to make this thought valid. “It was the fastest cleanup we’ve ever had at any Fan Fest,” McFarland remarked. “I can’t tell you how much that is appreciated because it’s usually just us loading the truck.” Lewis II continued by saying “we work directly with the Gamecock Club and that is something I think other chapters could do in working directly with the Gamecock Club and understand that we weren’t owed anything, so it’s a blessing for them to give us the resources and for us to have Fan Fest.” Despite their recent successes the Greenwood County Gamecock Club is not content on resting on their laurels. For example, the chapter’s Facebook page started at just 76 likes. As of early May that number had increased to almost 900 likes due to hard work and dedication. photo by brian hand The board also even likened their uptick to Pictured left-to-right are Greenwood County Board members: Jim Cox, the progression of South Carolina athletics. Alison Loper, Richard Loper, Ray Lewis II and Ray Lewis. Not pictured: Bob Young. “Our change can easily be reflected in the change in Williams-Brice Stadium,” County Gamecock Club has a special County board member Richard Loper reLewis II pointed out. “10 years ago it was a Gamecock Flower Festival Fan Day on marked. “We had a lot of old blood and … place that opposing fans liked to come play one day during the month. The event has we had to pump a lot of new blood into it to because everyone was nice and they could become a hit over the past few years with keep it lively. We even meet out for dinner come in and our whole upper deck would be 300 or more Gamecocks visiting the special from time-to-time.” decked out in a different color and Carolina event each June. Greenwood County Gamecock Club Pres- fans weren’t vocal. They weren’t confident. One of the main draws for the Gamecock ident Ray Lewis continued by relaying that It’s like (South Carolina Athletics Director) Flower Festival Fan Day is the famous “(former Greenwood County Gamecock Ray Tanner said today (at Gamecock Club South Carolina topiary. The Greenwood Club President) Gene (Hancock) did a lot board meeting on Friday, May 2), we expect County Gamecock Club pays for the upof it himself. He spent a huge amount of his to win, we don’t go anywhere to lose. It keep and usage of the topiary throughout time and now we have more to spread it, so doesn’t matter if we have our backs against the year. we can do more.” the wall we expect to win. That’s the same “It’s not necessarily the topiary itself they To honor Hancock for his contributions thing with our chapter. We know we’re gocome for,” Lewis II said. “They come for and helping to guide the chapter to a point ing to have turnouts. Let’s get the events the event. We market it as we’re Gameto where it could get to where it is today the there and get the people there and they show cocks. We haven’t always been able to be Greenwood County Gamecock Club even up.” vocal … but after our chapter got together named the topiary the “Gene Hancock MeThe Greenwood County Gamecock Club and put together the vision we wanted we morial Topiary” at the Gamecock Flower events at the end of the day are not only (decided) we want people to know that Festival Fan Day on June 19, 2013. about having fun, but also furthering the we’re Gamecock fans, you’re going to wear A lot of the reason for the success of the Gamecock Club and South Carolina athletgarnet when you walk out the door, when chapter in the past by Hancock and others ics. you (Gamecocks) lose a game we don’t pull as well as going forward with the current “All of our events have been geared to be our flags off our car like the Clemson fans board members can also be attributed to the family-friendly and affordable,” Lewis II around here are doing. The bottom line is strong support from the city of Greenwood. said. “We do a cookout right before football we have a place for us to all go and be voThe city’s support was evident at the highly season … we go over how to join the Gamecal.” successful Fan Fest on April 22. cock Club. The Gamecock Club’s been Greenwood County Gamecock Club “The city of Greenwood bought into wonderful. Jay Brown (Assistant Director board member Alison Loper agrees, articu- this,” Richard Loper commented. “They of the Gamecock Club) came down and we lating that “we have a vocal fanbase. They really did … they said this is incredible. I had 50 people who wanted to know how to would come out (to events) if it was a potted don’t think they realized the potential (of join the Gamecock Club and had questions plant on the sidewalk.” Fan Fest). We sold it to the city by (saying) and we met with them. Of that, probably 10 The Gamecock Flower Festival Fan Day ‘let’s bring Gamecock fans from all over of them have signed up.” is just part of the forward movement being the Upstate and show them Greenwood. Let To learn more about the Greenwood made by the chapter. them eat in your restaurants, let them go County Gamecock Club, please like them “We are a lot more social,” Greenwood into your stores in Uptown. Let’s showcase on Facebook.


18 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Greenwood proves it is Gamecock country at Fan Fest by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

event like this … it’s kind of like the ‘Field of Dreams,’ you build it, they’ll come and that’s what we’ve done.” Greenwood, S.C. to many outside of the The Greenwood County Gamecock Club area might not be seen as Gamecock country did a tremendous job of promoting the event since it is in the Upstate of South Carolina. to the area and this is something in which The first-ever Gamecock Club Fan Fest in Lewis takes great pride, particularly since it Greenwood, S.C. held on Tuesday, April 22 turned into an absolutely beautiful evening proved that is far from the case. in Uptown Greenwood. In fact, according to Gamecock Club “We were worried about the weather and Executive Director Patrick McFarland the it’s actually spring break in this area, but the Fan Fest in Greenwood, S.C. was the largway we marketed it is as a wonderful family est Gamecock Club Fan Fest ever with over event,” Lewis noted. “You don’t have to leave 1,000 in attendance for the event in Uptown town to go all the way to the beach to have Greenwood. something to do, so that’s how we marketed These numbers more than showed to Mcit and I think we had a good turnout.” Farland that Greenwood, S.C. is definitely At the event, South Carolina head football Gamecock country. coach Steve Spurrier served as the headlin“We are fired up,” McFarland noted. “It’s ing speaker. He signed autographs before adgood to be in Gamecock country, which is dressing those in attendance on the evening. known as Greenwood, S.C. Obviously we South Carolina women’s basketball head have a lot of guys that played ball at Carolina coach Dawn Staley also was on hand for the from here so it’s nice to visit with our fans event, signing autographs and interacting and Gamecock Club members and thank with the crowd. them for their support. We were very excited Spurs & Feathers’ own Ed Girardeau about this one from the get-go. We thought served as emcee for the first-ever Fan Fest in we would have a big crowd and they turned Greenwood. out for sure.” Spurrier also agreed that there was no Greenwood County Gamecock Club Vice doubt that Greenwood is Gamecock territory. President Ray Lewis II echoed McFarland’s “Appreciate everybody in Greenwood assertions. coming out tonight … we’ve had some super “It’s very exciting because you think the players from Greenwood - Kelcy Quarles big cities are the only places (the Gamecock this past year and the year before DJ SwearClub) will go,” Lewis remarked. “Greenwood inger, so this has been a good Gamecock city is a rural county, but we have surrounding for us, no question about it,” Spurrier mused. counties - Abbeville, Laurens, Saluda - with During the event, Spurrier continued his very avid Gamecock fans that either have to Fan Fest question of asking those in attentravel to Columbia or Greenville to go to an dance out of the South Carolina wins over

photo by BRIAN HAND

South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier waves to the crowd as he arrives. Missouri, Florida, Clemson and Wisconsin in the past season which was their favorite victory. There was a large applause for all them, but in the Upstate of South Carolina the biggest applause came for the fifth straight win over that school from the Upstate. According to Spurrier, the Missouri win was the favorite victory of the year among the players and coaches’ wives. Spurrier then joked “of course they don’t

live in Greenwood like you do … I guess if you lived in Greenwood the Upstate game had to be the big one. Alright, we understand. We understand. Some of us that are from out of state we like some of those others just as much, I can tell you that.” A fan in the crowd then smartly yelled out shortly thereafter “we like them all.” Spurrier completely agreed, reiterating “we like them all, you’re right. There’s more to life than one game.”

Junior Gamecock Club enjoys baseball game by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

The Fourth Annual Lexington County Junior Gamecock Baseball Event celebrated young Gamecock fans as they enjoyed food, fun and games before taking in the South Carolina-Alabama baseball game on Saturday, April 26. Lexington county board member Robbin Moss said that about 40-45 people committed to the event and game to enjoy a day of fun at Carolina Stadium. “This was a nice turnout. We always have fun doing this every year and the kids all enjoy it. This year we got to give out ‘Byron the Bunny’ ears to everyone who wanted them, so it was just another fun thing to do,” Moss said. “We love doing this and it’s always a fun time out here.”


May 21, 2014

Spurs & Feathers • 19


20 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Frank and Anya Martin fight cancer through ‘B-Ball of the South’ by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com South Carolina men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin considers himself the happiest married man in the history of the world. When talking about his wife he relays simply: “she’s awesome.” The camaraderie and teamwork between the two was evident when Anya Martin was explaining how the “B-Ball of the South” now in it’s second year - came about. “Actually I got roped into this one,” Anya joked. “When I arrived here in South Carolina when he first got the job, he said ‘hon, I need you to go to this meeting. Just go to the meeting, take some notes.’ So, I go to the meeting and it was already full steam ahead and they said, ‘oh no, no, no, you’re running the meeting. It’s anything you want to do. So, I pretty much was like, ‘excuse me?’ and when I talked to him he’s like, ‘yeah, yeah, I’ll fill in when I needed. I’ll come help you out’ and basically we just bring him in at the end.” “She’s not lying,” Frank said shortly after she broke down the origin. Her hard work and efforts and the platform her husband has as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina has turned the event into one of the biggest fundraisers on the calendar in just two short years. The “B-Ball of the South” is a Kentucky Derby-style ball that was formulated to raise money for “Coaches vs. Cancer,” which is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). In addition to Frank Martin and South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley this year’s “B-Ball of the All Gamecock basketball South” also feacoverage sponsored by tured Virginia Yesterdays Tech head men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams and ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas in attendance along with many former Gamecock greats. In addition to helping the above organizations for all the right reasons, the “B-Ball of the South” also hits home as Anya’s mother, Valerie Forrest, was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. Forest is currently in recovery and was in attendance for the second annual “B-Ball of the South.” This year’s “B-Ball of the South” sold out. The event featured a live auction, heavy hors-d’oeuvres and dancing. Individual tick-

photo by brian hand

ets cost $100 and reserved tables (seated 10) before the event were available for $2,500. The fact that the event sold out in just its second year meant a great deal to Frank and Anya Martin. “Cancer had a lot to do with us coming here and I knew it was something that had touched her in her heart,” Frank articulated. “I didn’t know she was going to be this excited about doing the event but she’s taken it and ran with it, but at the same time it’s something I knew would touch her because I knew it touched me and that’s why I’m the happiest married man in the history of the world. She’s awesome. She’s taken an initiative and she’s put people together to help her and the job that they’ve done in building this … just in the second year to sell out, I don’t think we ever envisioned selling out the number of seats that we could put in here in just the second year of the event.” Anya appreciated the fact that the event meant that the duo had the opportunity to work together outside the realm of basketball. “It’s a little nice to work together outside of basketball and he has to do what I tell him to do,” Anya remarked in jest. “That’s even better. I’m the boss and he has to listen to me. Definitely the community is the biggest reason why we’re here. We want to outreach. We want to let people know that we’re here for them and not so much that we want them to come to a basketball game and support us, but we’re also here for them in their time of need.” Frank echoed Anya’s thoughts, particularly since it means so much to him to not only

be the head men’s basketball coach at South Carolina, but also somebody that makes a difference in the community. “It’s important to me,” Frank mentioned. “It’s important that the community understands that this is our home, that my wife is not the wife of the basketball coach. My wife is Frank Martin’s wife. Her and our children are members of this community, so am I. Our job’s a little deeper than just winning and losing games. I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been given a platform and it’s my duty to utilize that platform to do things to help people that need it a lot more than we do right now because we can’t forget when were in a place where maybe we didn’t have the resources to be able to get help when it was needed. It’s an utmost duty. Our jobs is to help make Columbia a better place for kids that live in it and for the next generation that comes through.” Overall, the Martins were just pleased with the support by the community for such a great cause. “I’m telling you, I couldn’t be prouder of this community,” Frank elaborated. “I couldn’t be prouder of her (Anya). Last year this thing was a home run and this year it’s even bigger. It gives me a lot of pride that we’re in an awesome place that’s willing to help us in this fight against cancer.” Anya continued by saying, “definitely we want to call South Carolina our home. A lot of the people that are here tonight are here to support us, support the program and they just believe in what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s something that’s hit everyone here and we just want to make it as big and as wide-

spread as we possibly can make it.” About Coaches vs. Cancer: Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Coaches vs. Cancer provides critical mission outreach while raising funds in support of the Society’s lifesaving efforts. Since 1993, coaches have raised over $80 million to support the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.


Spurs & Feathers • 21

May 21, 2014

South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut

OL Jozie Milton (6-3 290), of Clinton, LA, committed to USC on Friday, May 16. Milton had over 20 offers, including ones from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, South Florida and Southern Miss. Earlier this month Milton said USC planed to play him at the center spot. “They said they are only taking one center and I’m the top guy for that position,” Milton said. “I like it there a lot. I’ve heard a lot about the fanbase. And coach Spurrier, that’s huge. And if I play center, I may be able to last longer in the game.” Other offers for Milton included Mississippi State, Arkansas, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, South Florida and Southern Miss. Milton was the Gamecocks’ 11th commitment for the 2014 class. He was the second offensive lineman to commit. WR Jalen Christian (510 173) of Damascus, MD announced a commitment to USC Thursday, May 15 Phil Kornblut during a pep rally at his Contributing school. Christian took only Writer a single cap to the announcement because there was no drama in his mind. He chose the Gamecocks over Maryland. He also had offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech, Duke, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma and others. “The Gamecocks just felt like home,” Christian said. “The atmosphere at South Carolina reminds me of my hometown. I have a great relationship with coach Mangus and coach Spurrier Jr. and I can see myself succeeding there.” Christian is a multifaceted athlete who plays receiver and running back and also excels in punt returns. Last season he rushed for 800 yards and 500 yards receiving despite missing three games due to an injury. Christian said the Gamecocks have a solid gameplan for him once he gets to school. “I’d be like a Bruce Ellington, a Damiere Byrd type of guy,” he said. “Positions where I can get the ball. And they plan to use me as a punt returner.” Christian is USC’s fourth wide receiver commitment. “It’s a blessing, it feels great,” he said of making his decision and ending his recruiting. TE Kyle Markway (6-4 219) of St. Louis, MO announced a commitment to the Gamecocks Sunday night. “I have officially committed to the University of South Carolina! So excited to join the Gamecock family and win a national championship!” is what Markway

wrote on his Twitter page. Markway made an unofficial visit to USC last month for the spring game weekend and that visit started the ball rolling in the Gamecocks’ favor. “It was the most comfortable I have felt at a school I have visited,” Markway said Sunday night. “The opportunities they have there are endless. To be able to play under head coach Steve Spurrier and to play in a program like South Carolina is a dream come true. Their new dorms for the players are going to be really nice also. And their new facilities were all very cool and made me want to commit even more.” Markway also had offers from Iowa, Indiana, Western Kentucky, Illinois and Memphis and said the decision came down to the Gamecocks and the Hawkeyes. Last season Markway had 28 catches for 254 yards and 1 touchdowns. He also plays defensive end and had 64 tackles with 16 for loss and 7 sacks as a junior. “I will be playing early they have told me,’ he said. “They said they will see how I develop to determine how they will use me. I’m thinking just as a traditional tight end who can do it all.” QB Lorenzo Nunez of Kennesaw, GA committed to USC last week in a tight decision over NC State and Ohio State and Nunez said a major reason he will be a Gamecock is the chance to be tutored by Steve Spurrier. “Spurrier is a great coach, a Heisman winner,” Nunez said. “I think he can make me a better player and quarterback and teach me things I don’t know. They’ve been 11-2 the past three years. There’s great weather and they are close to home. And I have a great relationship with the coaching staff.” Nunez also had Tennessee and Miami on his short list but he got that list down to the final three and thought about the decision for weeks. “It was very difficult,” he said. “The three schools were close to each other. I think I made the right decision. The SEC, the competition and Spurrier and his history with quarterbacks and stuff like that.” Nunez is well aware of Spurrier’s tough love approach to coaching his quarterbacks and he’s fine with that. “Coaches are going to push you hard and I think I’m ready to handle it,” Nunez said. “I’m not afraid to be yelled at or anything like that.” And Nunez won’t come to Columbia thinking about being a backup. “I’m ready to compete for a starting position.” Nunez is not graduating early so he will miss spring practice next year. Last season Nunez passed for 1148 yards and 5 touchdowns and rushed for 786 yards and 7 touchdowns. “I can extend a play,” he said. “My first option is to throw but I can move the pocket.” Highly recruited LB Ricky DeBerry Jr. of

Richmond, VA recently cut his list of over 60 offers down to 20 and USC made the shorter list. He has has set May 17th as a visit date for USC. DeBerry has taken visits to Virginia, Virginia Tech and Ohio State in recent weeks. He also plans to visit Arizona State and Miami this summer. DeBerry said he wants to visit more schools and then cut his list to eight before August. He said Virginia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina are certain to make his final eight. Others in his final 20 include Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Florida, UCLA and Southern Cal. USC continues to make a strong push for DB Carlton Davis of Miami and the hard work by recruiter Grady Brown has pushed the Gamecocks into his top five. “Coach Brown wants to get me up there because I would be one of the biggest corners (6-2 182) in his corps if I were to sign with them,” Davis said. “I plan to visit during the summer or the season. They are in my top five right now. We’ll see how the season goes. I would love to see them have a great season.” Joining USC in the Davis top five are LSU, Alabama, Miami and Florida. Davis said his favorite constantly changes among the five but USC’s early, strong interest is a bonus for them. “Coach Grady has been consistent. I talk to him on a daily basis. I like the program they are building.” Davis has visited Miami and plans to see more schools this summer. He’s also planning a summer commitment before the start of his season. DB Rashad Roundtree of Evans, GA has offers from all over the country and he plans to take some visits this summer before narrowing his list to five prior to the season. Roundtree said USC is a strong possibility for making that list. He has he’s been to USC for a camp

and plans a return visit to USC this summer. Other possible destinations this summer for Roundtree include Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Alabama. As a junior, Roundtree totaled 97 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He does not have a favorite. RB Ty’Son Williams of Crestwood has a top five of USC, Clemson, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and North Carolina. But that won’t necessarily be the five he chooses from. “I can’t say those are the final five because I could have later offers,” Williams said. Clemson, USC, Notre Dame and Wisconsin have been thru the school this spring. Williams said all are even among his five favorites right now and all are pushing hard. He wants to make his decision before the season and he probably will graduate early. Williams has a couple of items on which he’ll base his decision. “Playing time is the number one factor,” he said. “Academics also.” Williams has not taken any spring visits but plans to take some trips this summer. The day before USC visited ATH Jalen Julius (5-11 173) of West Orange, FL, this spring he committed to Florida. “They told me I broke their hearts when I committed to Florida,” Julius said. “They said they’re still going to recruit me. I think I’ll go to a camp there this summer.” Julius called his commitment to the Gators a strong one but has plans to take a few more visits. Other than his trip to USC this summer, he would like to visit Miami and Ohio State. His other offers include Auburn, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, South Florida, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Penn State. As a junior Julius rushed for over 700 yards on a Please see RR, Page 27


22 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Connor Shaw headlines Children’s Chance Celebrity Tournament by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com Gamecock great Connor Shaw spent his final weekend before the NFL Draft helping to give back to the children of South Carolina by partnering with Children’s Chance for a celebrity golf tournament. The weekend started on May 4 with a party at Travinia Northeast in Columbia featuring a a silent auction, raffle and a live painting of Shaw in Garnet & Black auctioned off. The fun continued the next day at the Columbia Country Club in Blythewood with a celebrity golf tournament all for the benefit of Children’s Chance. Children’s Chance is a 501 (c) (3) established in 1996 to assist children with cancer and their families in South Carolina with non-medical needs. The mission statement says “Children’s Chance is a statewide organization in South Carolina whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children and families who are dealing with the trauma of pediatric cancer. Our ultimate goal is to help families remain in tact and functional during their crisis.” Shaw was the host and headliner for the event, but celebrities from across the state showed up to support Children’s Chance as well. South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier was a special guest and Gamecock women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley showed up in support as well. Bruce Ellington played in the event along with PGA Tour golfer and South Carolina-native Tommy Gainey and many other celebrities with ties to the state. “These events help to get the word out about Children’s Chance. So many people don’t realize what Children’s Chance really stands for,” executive director of Children’s Chance Stephanie Amaker said. “The celebrities taking their time to volunteer and donate everything to come out and help support is absolutely fabulous. It helps a lot of families throughout the state of South Carolina. We work closely with a lot of hospitals and the kids here today are getting to experience being around celebrities and people that they don’t normally get to be around, so that in itself means the world to them. “Everybody has been so supportive and unbelievable. They have just enjoyed everything and we had them fly from all over to come support it. To have this be our first year, the response has been unbelievable. We’re definitely going to continue this and I hope it keeps growing every year so we can help more families here in the state,” Amaker continued. Mike Dorroh of Bi-Lo, a significant sponsor of the event, commented on how much he loved being able to support Children’s Chance. Dorroh was also lucky enough to

photo by mike kucharski

play with Spurrier and Gainey. “Congratulations to Stephanie and her crew, “Children’s Chance is a great charity and this is quite an event they’ve put together. we’re glad to help to be able to promote it. It’s Hopefully we can raise a lot of money, so nice to have a little fun and great to see all the thank everybody for coming out,” Spurrier support with the celebrities coming together added. for a great cause. It’s great to do something Staley said that it is “awesome” to be able fun like this knowing that it’s all for charity. to help Children’s Chance and show support It’s just a great way for us to be involved in the to the kids in South Carolina while wearing a community,’ Dorroh said. “Be the Change” shirt. Shaw opened the tournament with a greet“Anytime we can help children in anyway ing and thanked the players for participating - I’ve met several of the kids that Stephanie and supporting Children’s Chance. services - it just does your heart good to put “I know everybody has busy schedules so a smile on a kids face that needed that at a thank you so much for coming out and supcertain time in their lives. Anytime that I can porting this event. We lend a hand, I’m going have great weather to be there,” Staley “Connor and all the guys so this is going to be said. a great day. Have fun do an excellent job at that Ellington echoed and remember what Staley saying he felt luncheon and hopefully you’re supporting. lucky to be able to be This is a great organi- bring a little sunshine and a part of helping Chilzation that is very dear dren’s Chance on such to my heart, so thank light to the kids and I know a fun day. you all for coming,” “It’s just a great they’re all pulling for the Shaw opened. chance to come out Spurrier then took Gamecocks, so that’s good.” here, have fun with the the microphone next guys and meet new ~ Steve Spurrier and addressed the people. It’s all for chilgroup before heading dren and helping them out to the course. out in any way that we can. I’m just happy “We’ve been having a lunch with the to be one of the guys that can help support Children’s Chance kids for 14 years so, all them,” Ellington remarked. 10 years I’ve been here, and it’s been a wonAmaker again commented on how apprederful occasion. We have it before the bowl ciative she and Children’s Chance are of the game and have an opportunity to meet a lot support shown by South Carolina athletics of youngsters, pull for them and encourage coaches and players. them,” Spurrier explained. “Connor and all “Coach Spurrier and coach Staley have been the guys do an excellent job at that luncheon huge supporters of Children’s Chance from and hopefully bring a little sunshine and light the get-go and they’ve helped promote it in to the kids and I know they’re all pulling for every way. Connor, all his four years at USC, the Gamecocks, so that’s good. Bruce and a lot of the other players have just

come out and continued to support us … it just makes a world of difference,” Amaker said.. Mark Bryan, lead guitarist for Hootie & the Blowfish and a South Carolina graduate, said that he loves to help out a charity whether it is through golfing, playing music or making a donation. “You’re giving back and there’s always times in everyone’s life where you or someone in your family is in need,” Bryan said. “I feel like if you can help others anytime you can, it’s just good karma. It’s good to be able to help people in need. If I can do that by playing golf or music, that’s just a bonus on top. “It’s always nice to be helping out in South Carolina, but these last several years we’ve been able to do it all over the country, so it’s a good feeling. I don’t know how many of these I do over the year now, but I’m always happy to be involved,” Bryan continued. Gainey said that he was excited to get to play with Spurrier and be able to help a great cause at the same time. “This is my first time to play with coach. I am very much looking forward to it. It’s going to be an awesome day … I’m very happy to be here for the cause, the charity, the children and playing with coach Spurrier. I mean, what could be better?” Gainey said. The tournament featured 39 teams of four and the proceeds went to benefit Children’s Chance. To learn more about Children’s Chance, get involved or donate to the cause, visit www.childrenschancesc.org or call 803254-5996. “This is a wonderful organization. Coach Spurrier introduced Children’s Chance to me my freshman year. South Carolina football is really involved with it … there are a lot of great kids and it’s awesome to seem them smile. To be able to help this organization means a lot to me,” Shaw concluded.


Spurs & Feathers • 23

May 21, 2014

Landon Powell ‘perfect fit’ for North Greenville job

by Brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

Landon Powell was pretty much always destined to be a college baseball head coach. He just never imagined it would happen so quickly. Despite his relative youth in regards to being a head coach less than a year since retiring from professional baseball Powell finds himself in charge of turning around an NCAA Division II North Greenville University baseball program that managed just an 8-35 record in the 2014 season. Powell takes over the reins of the Crusader baseball program after most recently serving as the interim pitching coach at NCAA Division I Furman University just down the road from North Greenville on US Highway 25. The Apex, N.C. native commences his time as the head baseball coach at North Greenville as one of the most recognizable names in college baseball history. Powell fashioned such a career at South Carolina that he was named to the NCAA World Series Legends team in 2010 as a catcher. The two-time All-SEC selection closed out his time as a Gamecock as an All-American as a senior. The former SEC Academic Honor Roll selection holds South Carolina records for a catcher in career putouts (1,768) and assists (190). He ranks third all-time in Gamecock history in games played (251), including 242 as a catcher. He also ranks second all-time in doubles (61), is tied for third in at-bats (866) and stands fourth in both hits (265) and total bases (468) and fifth in home runs (44). After the conclusion of his stellar playing career at South Carolina, Powell was a first-round (24th overall) pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland Athletics. Powell’s professional career lasted six seasons and he spent three of the six seasons as a member of the Athletics with one of the highlights of his career being that he caught Dallas Braden’s perfect game in a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9, 2010. His college coach and current South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner believes his success across all spectrums of baseball are what is going to make him a success as a college baseball head coach. “I had a chance to visit with Landon a little bit as he began his coaching career at Furman and then this year when he had the opportunity to become a head coach,” Tanner noted. “We chatted about it as leading up to the opportunity that he was offered the job. I think he’s a natural fit to be a college coach. He played the game at the highest level. He respected it. He knows how difficult it can be at times. He was a student-athlete. He’s tremendous with young people. He’s a college graduate. I just think he’s a perfect fit and I fully expect him to be on the fast track to a major college position in coaching college baseball.” Powell appreciated the support that Tanner pro-

vided to one of his former prized pupils. “He’s just a person that I really value his input and his opinion,” Powell commented. “I always have and I always will. I was confronted with the two options of staying at Furman as a full-time coach or going to North Greenville as the head coach and I wanted to get his input, so I called him and he put his athletic director’s hat on for me and kind of gave me what he thought would be a good option. “It’s not that he told me not to go back to Furman, he just laid out all the pros and cons of each for me and kind of things he would think about after being a college coach for 30 years and now being an athletic director. He gave me a little different perspective than maybe I had, so it was great input. Ultimately, I still made my own decision, but all the advice coach Tanner gave me allowed to kind of formulate that opinion,” Powell continued. Powell’s decision at the end of the day was made by the fact that he was ready to helm his own program. “Growing up a coach’s son and having some of my biggest mentors be coach (Ray) Tanner and coach (Jim) Toman (current Liberty head coach and former Gamecock assistant) along the way, I think I always felt that I would probably end up coaching college baseball whenever my playing days were through, so that was a thought of mine when I retired that (it) was something I wanted to try and get into and if I liked it as much as I thought I would,” Powell remarked. “When I retired I got a phone call from coach (Ron) Smith (Furman head coach) right away and he wanted to know if I wanted to come out to Furman and be involved, so I signed up to do that and it’s been a great experience in dealing with the kids and the coaching aspect.” A small, private Christian institution with just under 2,500 students, North Greenville not only garners Powell the chance to be in charge, but it also aligns his beliefs in addition to coaching baseball. “I’m just really excited about the opportunity,” Powell said. “For a 32-year-old that literally hasn’t been out of his own playing career for less than a year - I retired at the end of last June - to have this opportunity to be a head coach and kind of run my own program, I feel really blessed and very honored. It’s a great opportunity for me as a Christian to help glorify God in my endeavor and that’s something else I’m really excited about.” Powell’s faith is a huge part of his story. His life story cannot be told without noting that he retired from professional baseball shortly after his five-month-old daughter Izzy passed away from a rare autoimmune disease in January of 2013. One of the reasons he left professional baseball was so he could spend more time with his other two children, Holden and Ellie (Izzy’s twin), and his wife Allyson, who works at Greenville’s WYFF-TV.

To Powell it is no accident that he is now in charge at North Greenville as he feels that God was pointing him in that direction. In fact, the gig was never really made public and he found out about the opening from North Greenville assistant men’s basketball coach Jimmie Williams as the two play in a morning basketball game in the Upstate at 6 a.m. “He sent me a text and … (it said) would you be interested in being a head coach there,” Powell recollected. “I said, ‘of course I would. It allows me to be a head coach.’ Even though I was at Furman, I thought it was an opportunity I should at least interview for.” Before fully immersing himself at North Greenville, Powell is finishing out the 2014 season with Furman. Once he departs Furman fully for the North Greenville head coaching job he knows it is going to be a long road ahead, but he is excited about what that means. “I know Conference Carolinas (North Greenville’s NCAA Division II conference) is a really tough league, so I’m going to have go out and get some good players and we’re going to try turn this thing around. That’s my goal.” If he is able to turn around the North Greenville baseball program he knows that his future could take him in many different ways with his bucket list even including maybe one day ending

up at the University of South Carolina. “Obviously I did not take this job at North Greenville to better my own career,” Powell said. “I’m going to pour my heart and soul into that program and try to turn the thing around. I was honest with the athletic director at North Greenville that I don’t see myself being at North Greenville 20 years from now. I do have aspirations of going to a big-time college program one day, especially the University of South Carolina would be a dream job for me 15-20 years from now. “Those were things I was upfront with them about and I think they understand, but at the same time I’m going there to turn that program around and make North Greenville a Division II powerhouse. That’s my goal. If I move on 10 years from now to go somewhere else, I hope that North Greenville continues to be a powerhouse even after I leave and I can look back and say that I kind of changed the culture there for baseball. That’s all the future. In the meantime now, I haven’t coached my first game. I have a lot to do, a lot to look forward to. Those are just my aspirations and dreams I guess, but I know there’s a lot of work to be done and I’ve got to hit the recruiting trail. I’ve got to get out there on the field and start coaching those kids up. I’ve got a lot of work to do,” Powell explained.


24 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Gamecock spring sports roundup by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

the way they have all year, they will have a good chance when the final ball drops in the hole. “We’ve played against the best all year and we’ve basically beat every team that is there at least once this year. They know that it’s possible … they know that they’re capable of winning and that is important,” Harris commented. “All we can do is worry about what we’re doing and play the kind of Gamecock golf that we’ve played all year and hopefully that will give us a chance to contend.”

mance we’ve had all year and it’s something that we can build off of going into next year.” Men’s Golf Goffi is proud of the way the program has South Carolina’s men’s golf team recorded progressed in his four years at the helm and a fifth-place finish in the NCAA Eugene knows that with the players he has and the Regional to advance to its second-straight ones coming in, the Gamecocks will conNCAA Championship with clutch play tinue to be a factor on the national level. down the stretch. Gamecock head coach “Last year we finished 18th, this year I Bill McDonald said that he was extremely think we’ll finish 25 or 26 and as far as proud of his team for having the mentality quantifiable results go, those are pretty good to “grind it out” when they needed to as the … I think that’s pretty good to get that as scores got tight on the final back nine. a base and we can move forward from this “Trying to advance through regional play point on,” Goffi remarked. There is no doubt and the way we do things, it’s just a very Softball in my mind that we are building a program difficult thing to do. I’m extremely proud South Carolina’s softball team advanced to that will stand the test of time. We’re not of the guys. It was just an extremely tough its second-consecutive NCAA regional for just trying to race to No. 1. It’s something day and thank goodness we found a way to the first time in a decade, but fell short of that’s going to consistently be a top-5 propull it out at the end,” McDonald said. “We the regional final. gram in the country. Things are looking up played tight this week, didn’t play our best Despite the season ending earlier than and I’m proud of the work the guys did this golf, but one thing we didn’t do was quit. the team hoped, head coach Beverly Smith year. We had a few setbacks with injuries I think that’s what paid off in the end … was extremely proud of her team. The and some other things, but we overcame that’s the main thing. We’re on to Nationals Gamecocks avoided elimination by defeatthose setbacks pretty quickly and ended up and we’re really excited about that.” ing Fordham on Saturday, May 17, 4-3, but salvaging in a pretty darn good season.” The Gamecocks now advance to the in the second game of the day they fell to NCAA Championships in Hutchinson, Kan. South Florida in a heartbreaking loss in the Women’s Tennis to be played at the Prairie Dunes Country Bulls’ final at-bat. South Carolina’s women’s tennis team Club. Although McDonald has never seen “I was really proud of my team and the claimed its 20th-consecutive NCAA Tourthe course they will play, he is confident way we answered today. I thought we nament berth this session and won its first that the team will be able to perform well played two great softball games. I’m cerround game against Ohio State before fallwith a few minor tweaks to their games and tainly really proud of our seniors and what ing to the fifth-seeded Duke Blue Devils. mentality. they did and accomplished for our proGamecock head coach Kevin Epley said “I think it will be a great experience for gram,” Smith said after the game. that the team is feeling good after going our young men and hopefully we can turn Smith reiterated that she is proud of her through some growing pains with a young the page a little bit, get excited about adteam, the leadership displayed from the five team in the SEC, which will be beneficial vancing and play a little bit better golf next seniors and added that they will be missed for the program long term. week. This team can play a lot better than in the program. “There were some peaks and valleys, we did this week if we play a little bit looser “We have been led by our upperclassmen some rough parts of the season, but I think and a little sharper in some areas,” McDon- and our experience and they’re certainly all of them were feeling better toward the ald concluded. going to be hard to replace. I’m certainly end of the season. They were knowing thankful for their contributions and you can more of what SEC tennis is like, what the Women’s Golf see how the program has moved forward expectations are, what the demands are and The Gamecock women’s golf team conover the last four years. I have all our seI’m feeling really good about the returning tinued its stellar year by finishing second niors to thank for that,” Smith concluded. freshmen,” Epley said. “I feel like they’ll in the NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, be competitive next year. They’ll get some Fla., earning its fifth-consecutive NCAA Men’s Tennis matches this summer, another fall of trainChampionship berth. South Carolina fought The Gamecock men’s tennis team earned ing and matches that I think they’ll be in a back from 11th place after the first round of the program’s third-straight trip to the better place next year coming into the SEC. the regionals to claim second place. NCAA Tournament and won its first round So I’m feeling pretty good about that.” “We ended up responding like we have matchup with George Washington before Epley noted that the returning players are all year and just playing the game that we falling in a hard-fought battle with seventh- excited for the summer to continue working know how to play. They certainly didn’t seeded North Carolina. to improve and they know that there will be play terrible the first day, we just kind of “I’ve been telling people that the match plenty of opportunities to play next year as respected the golf course too much … at the was collectively, as a team, the best match well. same time it’s all about making your poor that we played all year,” South Carolina “Some of the girls are coming back to day respectable which we did. They came head coach Josh Goffi said. “The 4-1 score train while they’re here in summer school and they answered which is really what unfortunately didn’t show that, which hapand we’re encouraging all of them to play they’ve done all year long,” Gamecock head pens a bit in tennis … unfortunately that’s in as many tournaments as possible. So coach Kalen Harris said. just the way the match went, but collectively I expect they’ll be working hard over the The Gamecocks are confident going into through all the training in those three weeks summer and coming back in the fall lookthe final challenge of the year as Harris said prior to the NCAA event, it was the best ing to make a statement. A lot of the girls that if the team can just continue to perform training we’ve had all year, best perforhave the potential to move up in the lineup

and this is a critical time for them over the summer and in the fall to sort of establish themselves, keep getting traction with their games and be ready to make those moves come the spring,” Epley concluded. Track & Field The Gamecock track and field teams competed at the SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky. looking to end on a strong note. South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye calls this competition “the reason you compete in track and field” as it is one of the premier events in the sport. He said that he likes the fact that the SEC Championships are a team-oriented competition when so many events are individually based. “Our kids are all dressed alike, they have the championship swagger and I think it’s really important to have a team atmosphere. The SEC Championships are really the first time in track & field when you really get to take ‘I’ out and be a team. All year long you can be an individual, you’re doing it for yourself, trying to improve your time, but at SECs you’re doing it for your teammates and I think our kids get it,” Frye said. The thing that Frye loves most about the SEC Championships is the competition itself and seeing his athletes and teams give their all for each other. “I’m proud to be in this league, it’s the greatest league and track & field is the greatest sport in the world and this is the greatest league in the United States, so it’s always going to attract the best and you’ve got to fight like crazy. We’re hoping that we can get ourselves up in the top-10 and in the top-25. I hope this meet here gets us in the top-25 after the meet in both men and women,” Frye concluded.


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May 21, 2014

Former Gamecock Moe Brown a member of Board of Visitors by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

Former Gamecock receiver (2007-09) Moe Brown was appointed to the University of South Carolina Board of Visitors on April 30, 2014 In this role he will serve as a ambassador to the University for a term running through July 1, 2016. “First off it is definitely an honor to be chosen to this group, but I am more humbled than anything,” Brown commented. “Especially considering my age and limited time in the business world, but being able to represent the University of South Carolina is extremely humbling.” Brown, 26, joins the 31-member Board of Visitors with the mission to assist with the overall advancement of the University. According to the Anderson Independent Mail, Brown is the first minority to represent the Anderson and Oconee district on the Board of Visitors. “It mens a lot. Anyone who knows me knows that at my core, my passion is people, seeing people advance themselves on a daily basis and better themselves,” Brown explained. “Anything that gives me a platform to where I can reach more people and have more influence over people is an opportunity for me to fulfill what I think is deeply at my core, which is to see people be successful and be happy. “I take this role with great honor and I think it

is exciting. I have great ideas that go through my head daily and I think in this position I will be able to reach the people, take these ideas off the pad and put them into action,” Brown added. Currently serving as a project manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Brown is in a good position to understand the needs of the state from a business standpoint. “My job is to help industry to find locations … to help business, to create jobs and bring investment to the state. So in my four years of doing that, I have understood the private sector from a public standpoint,” Brown explained. Brown also said he plans are to coordinate with the Darla Moore School of Business dean Peter Brews to help prepare students for the business climate of South Carolina. “I think it’s very important to see the intersection between education of what we’re doing on the public side of educating these students coming up now to where they are going to be able to understand private corporations. They need to be more prepared to deal with the private sector of corporations. If people are more economically stable, they’ll live better life and be more happy … his (Brews) views are kind of in line with what I’m hoping to do from an educational standpoint and an entrepreneurial standpoint, so we’ll see where we can go from there,” Brown remarked. University of South Carolina Board of Trust-

ees member Chuck Allen of Anderson was the member who appointed fellow Anderson-native Brown to the position with the Board of Visitors. “I am proud to appoint an individual to the Board of Visitors who has the character and integrity of Moe Brown. I’m sure Moe will serve with honor and distinction. I congratulate Moe and his family on this notable achievement,” Allen said. Brown said it is “a great honor” to earn the appointment, but said that he could not take credit for the recognition himself. “A large part of that is how I was raised between my parents, my family and the community I grew up in. They instilled a lot of the values that drive me today,” Brown noted. “My mother is probably one of the most compassionate people that you will ever come across … as well as being one of the strongest people I know. “The combination of that and going through the trials of my life and all the other things that you kind of put in the melting pot have probably made me a little bit more mature than a normal 26-year old to put me in a position where I can talk to people and interact with decision makers … it’s a great honor, it’s something that I work hard at daily and I’m very pleased to have Chuck come and ask me to be on the Board of Visitors,” Brown expounded. Brown received a BS in corporate finance from the Darla Moore School of Business with a

minor in sport and entertainment management in 2010. He credits his time as a student-athlete for enhancing his collegiate experience and preparing him for the business world. “I will be eternally grateful to USC for not only allowing me to come play football, but also earn my education there at the Darla Moore School of Business,” Brown said. “You hear going through college how being an athlete will prepare you for the business world, but you don’t get an appreciation for it until you get into the business world. My time playing under coach (Steve) Spurrier really taught me how to persevere. “Then balancing football and the pressures that come along with that along with being able to be a good student as well definitely teaches you discipline, responsibility and more importantly I think, accountability … without out a doubt I was more prepared for the business world from my time at USC from both on the field and off the field from an academic standpoint,” Brown continued. Brown once again took the time to reiterate his gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Visitors and the good fortune to be in a position to benefit the University and the state. “If I could emphasize anything it would be the privilege that I feel to be able to serve in this position. It’s one that I don’t take lightly and I plan on being the best ambassador for USC as I possibly can,” Brown concluded.


26 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Gamecock student-athletes make a difference off the field by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

Each year since 2006 one team has been awarded the Community Outreach Team of the Year at the Gamecock Gala for completThe student-athletes at South Carolina pering the most service hours. This year’s top form well in their sports and in the classroom. five teams were women’s track & field, men’s The recently released APR scores also indicate swimming & diving, equestrian, women’s their efforts do not stop there as they continue swimming & diving and women’s soccer with to make a difference in the community as the women’s soccer team winning the award. well. It was the second time the women’s soccer Gamecock student-athletes across the athteam has won the Community Outreach Team letics department completed a total of 7,739 award (previously in 2007). The Gamecock hours of community service this year, an aver- women’s soccer team completed 1,187 service age of 15 hours per student-athlete, with 15 hours, which averages 38 hours per team teams improving their totals from the previous member. season. Junior Taylor Leach of the women’s soccer Since 2010 Gamecock student-athletes have team said that community service is somecompleted 21,391 hours. thing that everyone should want to do. Erica Nelson, Coordinator of Life Skills and “We as student-athletes should give back to Community Outreach, explained that giving the community who supports us day-in and back to the community is something that is day-out. I love giving back to my community important to the whole department - adminby helping people of all ages do many difistration, coaches and student-athletes - and ferent activities. For me, the experiences are has become a part of the culture of being a extremely rewarding,” Leach explained. “I Gamecock. always strive to make a difference in some“It is really part of the culture starting really one’s life, even if it’s a brief conversation with (former AD) Eric Hyman requiring that with a young child that serves as motivation each team do at least one community service to dream. If I can help by putting smiles on project. That has never been a problem for people’s faces, it was all worth it. I want to our teams; our teams always excel beyond be remembered as someone who strived to that,” Nelson said. “With Coach (Ray) Tanner inspire and was always available for service to taking over it has continued. He has his own the community.” foundation of course and a lot of our other Nelson said that Gamecocks help out in the head coaches have their own foundations, so community in many ways by working with they get it. children, senior citizens, Pets, Inc., Harvest “They instill that same mindset in their Hope Food Bank, Palmetto Health Children’s teams. The other side of that is student-athletes Hospital and Ronald McDonald House to who are really passionate about wanting to name just a few in order to let them find what use their free time for good … it’s been very they enjoy, are passionate about and may rewarding for me to help put them in those po- continue after graduation. She said that it is a sitions to be successful,” Nelson continued. way to create a positive experience and many

times those student-athletes will continue doing what they enjoy, often encouraging teammates to join them. She added that the coaches are very helpful in encouraging the teams to serve, particularly because many of them have causes they are passionate about as well. Each sport in the SEC recognizes a Community Service Team that honors a member from each school and the conference also awards the Brad E. Davis Community Service Award. The award is chosen by a committee of faculty athletics representatives at the SEC Spring Meetings and a post-graduate scholarship is award to a men’s and women’s nominee from each SEC school with another scholarship going to the winners. South Carolina’s winners were Taylor Josserand (women’s swimming & diving) and Jay Warner (men’s swimming & diving). Josserand describes giving back as a passion and a way to show appreciation to the community that supports the Gamecocks. “It is important for us to make sure our fans know how much we appreciate there support and continue to give back to the community in as many ways as we can,” Josserand said. “We show how grateful we are for our fans, but we also are able to set good examples to many of the younger population that idolizes many collegiate athletes … participating in community service is not only a learning experience but it is also a chance for me to give back to others and give them some of the opportunities that they may have never been given. “I have also found that it kind of allows you a break from ‘your’ own life, gives you more of a perspective on life and allows you take a step back and really see and understand others, then also appreciate everything that you have … it is important to always remember

that no matter the amount, size or what the community service you are doing is, it is always appreciated and so important to take part in. Everything you do has a special value to someone else and you can help change the life or lives of others,” Josserand added. At the Gamecock Gala University President Dr. Harris Pastides recognized the Gamecocks for their great impact on the community and Nelson said that it was nice to be recognized. “We’re just trying to be a good campus partner. If you go to the University’s website, the first thing that you see is how many community service hours the student body have contributed to the community, so we’re just trying to do our part in that respect,” Nelson remarked. “It’s something that is definitely important to him (Pastides) and it’s important to us as well. With how feverish and passionate Gamecock fans are, we want to give back to them.” Nelson said that she sometimes has to remind student-athletes to turn in their hours and information, not because they do not want to help, but because they are not worried about receiving credit. “It says something when you think about how many other obligations our studentathletes have from an academic and athletic standpoint, just to devote (an average of 15) hours, it shows that it’s something that you’ve consistently put some time into … that really speaks to how important our student-athletes have made community outreach. I’m just really excited to let the community know what our student-athletes are doing outside of their sport. Of course they’ve done very well on the field, the court or the pool and in the classroom and this is just something else that shows how much pride our community should have in our student-athletes,” Nelson concluded.

Picturesque setting for Gamecock Club Fan Fest in Conway by brian hand bhand@spursandfeathers.com

The Grand Strand area of the Palmetto State is one of the finest areas in not just the state of South Carolina, but the entire nation. When it was decided earlier this year that the Gamecock Club Fan Fest in the area would be held at the Mayor Gregory K. Martin Riverfront Park in Conway, S.C. everyone figured it would make for a unique setting and a special experience for all Gamecocks in attendance. It provided just that as the weather was beautiful and a large grouping of over 400 Gamecocks attended the Fan Fest in Conway, S.C. on Wednesday, April 23. In addition to all the special offerings that each Fan Fest provides, the Conway,

S.C. Fan Fest was different in that South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier signed autographs for Gamecock fans on a dock overlooking the river. After signing autographs, Spurrier then took the microphone from emcee and Spurs & Feathers’ own Ed Girardeau to thank those in attendance for all they do for Gamecock country. He also continued to ask everyone what was their favorite Gamecock win of the year: Missouri, Florida, that team from the Upstate or Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. Once again, the fans were loudly behind the victory over that team from the Upstate with Spurrier noting the Missouri game was the favorite among the coaches, coaches’ wives and many of the players. “But we’re not from this state,” Spurrier once again joked.

The fact that there was such a great turnout on such a picturesque evening in Conway, S.C. is something that Horry County Gamecock Club President Jeff Mishoe is very excited about. “Happy to be here,” Mishoe articulated. “Enjoying last season, looking forward to next season. We’re hoping to not have that high-five, we want to give out six-fives now. We’re excited about it. We’re glad coach Spurrier came down to visit with us. Hope everybody’s looking forward to the upcoming season. I know we are down here. “It’s great that we got that many fans. The loyalty of everybody here in Horry County … we do appreciate it. We look forward to their support over the years,” Mishoe continued. Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland agreed with Mishoe about

photo by BRIAN HAND

the evening. “It’s great to be down here,” McFarland commented. “It’s the first time in two years that we have been down in the Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Conway area and we could not ask for a better night. This is a unique venue and we are thrilled to be able to be back in the area.”


Spurs & Feathers • 27

May 21, 2014

RR, cont. from page 21 little over 80 carries. He had another 120 yards receiving and totaled eight touchdowns. DE Marquavius Lewis of Hutchinson JC, KS is back at his Greenwood home for a few weeks and will take some time out to visit USC while in his home state. Lewis scheduled that visit to Columbia for May 17th. USC has been out to see Lewis this spring and recruiters Deke Adams and Kirk Botkin continue to work him hard via social media and a couple of times a week on the phone. “They lost Clowney and they are trying to find some guys that can play for them right away,” Lewis said. “They see me fitting in at that position and playing.” Lewis said Auburn and Alabama are also working him hard like USC but he hasn’t formulated a favorites list at this point. The USC visit will be the only one he’ll make while he’s home. Lewis does not plan to make a quick decision and will carry things out until after his season. So no matter what he sees at USC on his visit, he won’t jump in right away with the Gamecocks. “I want to see all their facilities and their strength program,” Lewis said. “Also what the school education wise has to offer. And how cool are the coaches and players.” The coolest of the Gamecocks no doubt was Jadeveon Clowney and Lewis was tuned in when the Rock Hill native was picked No. 1 in the NFL Draft. He says for a player like him, a fellow South Carolinian and a fellow defensive end, Clowney’s USC legacy works in favor of the Gamecocks. “It’s an amazing impact just because he’s a South Carolina kid and South Carolina has been putting out good defensive linemen for the past couple of years and that makes it a way to the NFL.” Southern Cal and Cincinnati are Lewis’ most recent offers. Some of his others are Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Tennessee, Arkansas, Miami, Missouri, West Virginia, Louisville and Auburn. He’s also seen coaches from Southern Cal, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Miami, Florida, Florida State and Texas A&M have come thru this spring. DL DJ Jones of East Mississippi JC and some of his family spent most of last Monday at USC getting a close up look at the school and the football program. Jones said they arrived around 9:00 a.m. and left around 4:00 p.m. “I really enjoyed it,” Jones said. “Saw a lot of new things. They showed me some new renovations and they are putting up some new buildings. I got to know coach Deke Adams a lot more. We sat down and talked some ball. We went to the academic building and talked to them a pretty good bit. They picked my brain and I picked theirs.” Jones said he and Adams looked at defensive game film and the defensive depth charts. “I just like the way they play ball,” Jones said. “He was telling me how I would fit in.” Jones is not ready to name favorites but said the visit helped USC’s standing with him. “It puts them up there. It opened my eyes. I never thought the South Carolina defensive tackles were produced but I got to critique Kelcy Quarles’ film a lot and he was coached, he was coached well. He’s coaching them. He’s coaching them the right way.”

Jones visited Tennessee last Saturday and this Saturday he plans to visit Clemson. He will go to Auburn on Sunday. He returns to his school May 27th to begin the summer term. USC has have offered LB Amonte Caban (6-2 210) of Smiths Station, AL and he plans to visit this summer. He has been to USC for a junior day. Caban’s other offers include Clemson, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Southern Miss and Cincinnati with interest from Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Florida and Purdue. As a junior he totaled 140 tackles, 70 solos, three sacks, 11 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Former USC commitment DE Arden Key of Lithonia, GA listed his current top 5 in order as Oregon, Miami, LSU, Ole Miss and USC. QB Brandon Wimbush of Jersey City, NJ, a one-time USC target, committed last week to Penn State. Penn State last week offered USC commitment DB Mark Fields II of Cornelius, NC. He remains firm with the Gamecocks. USC last week offered two North Carolina commitments in LB Andre Smith and OL William Sweet. Both are from Jacksonville, FL. USC offered 2016 WR Eli Stove and 2016 WR Romeo Findley, both of Niceville, FL. Basketball News: 6-7 Houston transfer Danuel House Jr. made USC the first stop of his second recruiting campaign, making an official visit from last Thursday through Saturday with his parents. House got a look at the facilities, met with the staff and learned more about the academic opportunities. “It was wonderful, it was a wonderful experience,” House said Saturday evening. “I got to see the campus, the arena and I got to know coach Martin on a personal level and his staff on a personal level. And I had a great time with my host Tyrone (Johnson). It was really nice to see how the school put time and effort into the men’s basketball program in order for the coaches and the players to have very nice things to get recruits to come to their facilities.” From his conversations with Martin and the staff, House believes he gained a good understanding of their vision for the future and how he would fit in. “Coach Martin told me he need a scoring guard, and a big scoring guard, and I fit the description of what he’s looking for, athletic ... and I can score the basketball,” House said. He visited UCLA earlier this week. He is also set to see UNLV May 31st. Iowa also is in his visiting plans but no date has been set. So with four schools on his mind right now, House has an option of joining a program in the building process or a program that’s already established as a winner (UCLA, UNLV, Iowa). “Every program that’s recruiting me can help me get to the next level and we also can win,” House said. “Big program, small program, there’s no such thing in my language because every program has some type of impact.” House said he won’t make a decision until he takes his other visits and he’s still planning to appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility.

Gamecock Club Upcoming Events Charlotte Gamecocks Giving Back Day When: May 31, 2014, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: 7819 Burch Shire Rd. Charlotte, N.C. 28269 Gamecocks Giving Back Day with Habitat for Humanity. You do not need any prior construction experience for this event. Volunteers must be 18 or older to participate on this day. All required tools and safety equipment will be provided. They recommend bringing your own work gloves, if available. Habitat does not provide lunch. Water will be available on site. They will be assisting with roof shingles. Come out for a great cause! Email Charlotte Gamecocks VP, Alex Nicyper, at anicyper@gmrmarketing.com with any questions. Register by visiting: https:// habitatcharlotte.volunteerconnect.com/ charlotte-gamecocks/full. Beaufort County Gamecock Classic When: June 14, 2014; 9 a.m. Where: Sanctuary Golf Club at Cat Island The Beaufort County Gamecock Classic Golf Tournament sponsored by DuPriest Construction Co. will be on Saturday, June 14th. It will be held at the Sanctuary Golf Club at Cat Island. This is a four-person scramble, Captain’s Choice format starting at 9:00 a.m.. Proceeds benefit USC scholarship athletes. Entry fee of $100 per player includes a green fee and golf cart, gift bag, sausage or chicken biscuits for breakfast, awards lunch, beverages (on the course), and hole contests & prizes. If you would like to play or get a team together, please call Linda McCarty - 843-521-1445 or send checks to Beaufort County Gamecock Club, 2 Carolina Lane, Beaufort, SC 29907. Darlington County Summer Pool Party When: June 19, 2014; 5 p.m. Where: Henderson residence, 1220 Fox Hollow Dr., Hartsville, S.C. Join us for an evening of Gamecock fellowship and fun. Former Gamecock football star Ryan Brewer will be the guest speaker at the Darlington County Gamecock Summer Par-

ty. The Darlington County Gamecock Club annual Summer/Pool Party will be Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the Henderson residence 1220 Fox Hollow Drive, Hartsville, S.C. This event will be outdoors covered with swimming available. Great food and refreshments will be provided. The social will start at 5:00 p.m. followed by the meal at 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Gamecock fans 6 and under free (hot dogs, chips). Gamecock Club personnel will also be in attendance to give you the latest updates. If you would like to attend or want more information email griffjf@msn.com or call 843-332-8761. Jacksonville Gamecock Club South Carolina/Florida football weekend When: Nov. 14-15, 2014 Where: Jacksonville, Fla. The Jacksonville Gamecock Club invites all Carolina fans to Jacksonville to prepare to beat the Gators again! November 14 & 15, 2014. Reserve your bus tickets and party tickets now! Friday night party starting at 7 p.m. at Jacksonville Marriott @ Southpoint; cost is $20 per person with The Sensational Epics performing. Game day bus ride on Nov. 15 five hours prior to kickoff; leaving from Jacksonville Marriott @ Southpoint with a coast of $40 per person, does not include ticket to game. Hotel accommodations at Jacksonville Marriott @ Southpoint, Gamecock Club rate $79/night. (904) 2962222. Make checks payable to Jacksonville Gamecock Club, 2948 3rd Street South #328, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250-5847. Please include email for confirmation. Any questions call: Belk Ingram: (904) 254-5969, bingram@pbclubrealty.com; Rod Brace (904) 755-4041, rrbrace@gmail.com; Dane Hall (904) 591-4877, dhall88@comcast.net; Rick Williamson (904) 699-7952, rwilliamson1301@yahoo.com.


28 • Spurs & Feathers

May 21, 2014

Athletics Department hosts ‘Evening with the Gamecocks’ by Kendall belk

lege of Charleston for the last home match of their inaugural season. Members also The Athletics Department hosted An Eve- attended the field dedication at Carolina Softning with Gamecock Athletics for All-Amer- ball Stadium at Beckham Field, where David ican Society members on Tuesday, April and Mitzi Beckham participated in a ribbon 22nd. This event started with a cocktail hour cutting and first pitch before the Gamecocks on the McBride Terrace at the Rice Athletics faced Georgia Southern. Center at 4:00 p.m. During the cocktail hour, “Hosting donors in a terrific facility like the Athletics Director Ray Tanner thanked these Rice Athletics Center is always a pleasure, society members, who have given $100,000+ and the view from the McBride Terrace is a to the Garnet Way Campaign, for their congreat reminder of the generosity of Gametributions to and support of South Carolina cock Nation. This support has allowed us to Athletics. Tanner spoke about the recent suc- enhance our facilities tremendously, building cesses of Gamecock Athletics and previewed one of the finest softball, tennis and sand upcoming facility enhancements and events, volleyball complexes in the country here in including the 2014 SEC Softball Champion- the Athletics Village,” Jeff Crane, Senior Asship which was played at Carolina Softball sociate Athletics Director/Development & Stadium. Gamecock Club. After the cocktail hour, several society For more information on the Garnet Way members attended the Sand Volleyball match Campaign, please contact Steve Eigenbrot at at 5:00 p.m, as the Gamecocks faced the Col- 803.777.8116.

Bryan, cont. from page 14 of into different sports,” George IV relayed. “Obviously we’ve been talking to Grayson Greiner and Dylan Thompson about how we can incorporate them. Just using both abilities to make one kind of shot is going to be really, really cool. The one that my eyes have been set on is doing one with Dylan Thompson at Williams-Brice and kind of incorporating like Dude Perfect went and did with Johnny Manziel. “Honestly if we could make that happen I think it would be huge for the University. There have not been too many golf trick shot videos shot in college stadiums and it’d be kind of cool,” George IV continued. Still, the trick shots by Wesley and George IV are very much a side project as the siblings are presently working hard to one day realize their goal of playing on the PGA Tour. The Bryan brothers were both destined to attend the University of South Carolina as their father, George III, also played golf for the Gamecocks in the early 80s. The siblings were immersed in golf from a very early age as George III is a PGA professional who runs the George Bryan Golf Academy in Chapin, S.C. The siblings were trained by famed PGA instructor Mike Bender before following in their father’s footsteps at South Carolina. Once at South Carolina, they both shined with George IV a three-time All-American and Wesley an All-SEC selection and an AllRegion choice. Both of the Bryan brothers have played on the eGolf Professional Tour and George IV is presently helping his father with the golf academy and playing Carolina Mountain Tour events. The trick shots are fun and the exposure

is good, but Wesley lets it be known being a professional golfer is still very much their end goal. “Exposure’s good, but at the end of the day you still have to get the ball in the hole quicker than the guy you tee it up against,” Wesley remarked. Wesley continued by saying “I don’t work on it all day, every day for it to lead to a dead end. I want to make it on the PGA Tour. I want to do well and be able to use golf to be able to provide for my family. As far as the trick-shot stuff, that’s basically just filling up free time that would have been spent playing videogames or just hanging out watching TV. It’s really not a lot of time spent. The main focus is making the PGA Tour.” George IV is in a little different position than Wesley, but he is still grinding for the same goal as well. “I guess I’m a little bit different,” George IV said. “He’s married and about to move to Augusta and has a little more responsibilities whereas I’m single and don’t have as many responsibilities. This will be my fourth year playing professionally. I’ve done three years of just straight playing. My first three years I was too worried about the short-term of I want to get out there now, now, now. Now I kind of see more of the big picture. I’m obviously going to keep playing, but this year my main focus is working on my game and not necessarily playing in tournaments and making money.” Both of them know that they would not have any of the opportunities available to them right now without the University of South Carolina. In fact, according to George IV “it really is exciting to see where the program is going (currently). I’m pumped.” “Everyone on that team’s not afraid to win. It’s been a while since (we’ve) been able to say

that. It’s fun to follow. They’re deep all the way through their five guy … I think they’ll make a run this year (in the NCAAs). I’m excited to see where it goes. Bill’s (McDonald) done a great job,” George IV concluded. For more information on Bryan Bros. Golf and to watch their trick-shot artistry, please

visit their YouTubeChannel at: www.youtube. com/user/BryanBrosGolf/videos. You can also follow them on Twitter at @bryanbrosgolf. They are also on Instagram at bryanbrosgolf. In addition, you can also follow George IV (@georgebryaniv) and Wesley (@wesleybryangolf) on Twitter.


Spurs & Feathers • 29

May 21, 2014

Gamecock softball field dedication honors donors by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

porters of the team and continue to do so. You’ll always find them in the stands. If they’re not at the game, they’re watching it and keepOn April 22, 2014 before a victory over Geor- ing up with everything. They have a lot of neat gia Southern, the South Carolina softball team relationships with the families. Anytime we recognized two special people on the field. have an opportunity, we like to honor them beDavid and Mitzi Beckham are donors to cause they’re a big part of our program,” Smith the program and their contributions were commented. recognized as Carolina Softball Stadium at The stadium and facilities made possible Beckham Field was officially dedicated before from the Beckhams were highlighted as South the game. Carolina hosted the SEC Tournament from The celebration featured the Beckhams, May 7-10. The pristine field and facilities Athletics Director Ray Tanner, Gamecock featuring indoor hitting facility, video room, softball head coach Beverly Smith and senior a new locker room and much more give the players Chelsea Hawkins and Dana Hathorn Gamecocks a top-notch place to practice and on the field. The ceremony consisted of an develop their skills. announcement of recognition, Mitzi cutting a “The impact of the facility has been incredceremonial ribbon and receiving a bouquet of ible. I think anytime we bring recruits here and flowers and David throwing out a ceremonial they see the athletic village, our stadium and first pitch. what’s available for a softball student-athlete to Before the recognition, the Beckhams spoke be successful, everybody’s impressed. For me, to and got hugs from many of the studentthis impacts the Carolina Softball program forathletes and coaches. Smith said they have ever because you’re talking about this stadium been big fans and constant supporters of the being here for 30 or 40 years. It’s really going program. to be impactful for the program for a really “The Beckhams have been long-time suplong time,” Smith said.

photo by mike kucharski

Kershaw County donates to Gamecock volleyball at spring meeting by mike kucharski mike@spursandfeathers.com

volleyball team for two years and Robinson said that having a local player, Kirkland who played at Lugoff-Elgin in high school, on the team has The Kershaw County Gamecock Club held its added to community support. “Great to be a Gamecock” spring meeting on Director of volleyball operations Amanda April 29, 2014 with a strong turnout. Brungs was in attendance as well to accept the The spring meeting also featured a gift for the check. South Carolina volleyball program. “She addressed the crowd as well and invited While South Carolina football’s co-offensive us over to some volleyball matches. Everybody coordinator/offensive line coach and Kershaw was very receptive and excited when it was over, county native Shawn Elliott was unable to attend talking about going to see some games in the due to flight delays in returning from a recruitfuture,” Robinson remarked. ing trip there was another special guest and KerGamecock volleyball head coach Scott Sawnshaw county native instead. son was appreciative of the support from Ker“It made for a very interesting day. I got a text shaw county’s chapter as well. from Shawn about one o’clock that day telling “It means the world to me as the head coach me that his flights were going to be delayed and to our players who put in so much work to because of the severe weather … of course I was become great. I think that we have the best fans hoping he was joking,” chapter president Casey in the country and their loyalty and support is Robinson said. “He said he was out recruiting, unmatched,” Swanson said. “The kind of supso I said ‘okay, then that’s forgiven,’ but we port we receive builds a pure appreciation of ended up still having a really good crowd. what Gamecock Nation is all about, this helps us “Jay (Brown, Gamecock Club assistant direc- get top recruits as we as motivating the current tor) and Patrick (McFarland, executive director) players we have to compete to be great!” came over and gave a facilities update for us. Swanson said that he plans to use the funds to Megan Kirkland, freshman volleyball player, continue a tradition that he has done every precame and did a phenomenal job. She addressed season while leading the team. the crowd and talked about the volleyball pro“Every preseason we reward the four volleygram for us … saying they’re looking for a ball athletes with the highest cumulative GPA brighter future ahead. She was very thankful for by making a lifesize cut out that lists their major the support of the community. I can’t say enough and GPA. We put these player cut outs out on good things about her as well,” Robinson added. display for game days so that all our fans can Kershaw county has adopted the Gamecock see that we have true ‘STUDENT-athletes’ who

work hard in both the classroom and the gym,” Swanson explained. Robinson said that the chapter is thankful for the relationship with the volleyball program because of the great interest in the sport in the area. He noted that there is a club team in Camden and many of the girls in middle and high school play volleyball, so the connection keeps the girls and their parents involved. “We’re going to hold onto the volleyball team for as long as we can. We’ve got a big volleyball community here … there is a lot of interest in volleyball in the area,” Robinson commented. “There’s a lot of excitement that Megan is on the team … and she’s a great role model for the many girls who play in the area to look up to.” The Kershaw county chapter’s next event was at the Gamecock baseball game on May 13 against The Citadel as the group tailgated before and attended the game. A football kickoff party is planned also for the week before the South Carolina-Texas A&M season-opener. Robinson said that they are working to continue to revive the chapter and there has been good response to the Facebook page and through word-of-mouth. He added that they are trying to bring a piece of the University back to Camden for Gamecock fans in the area and they have great venues for events and viewing parities now as well. To learn more about the Kershaw County Gamecock Club, you can like them on Facebook.


30 • Spurs & Feathers

Tom Harrington served in the Navy special forces, chasing down drug boats and picking up SEALS, before retiring to civilian life. Life after the service only became more hectic. In addition to holding a government job, Harrington also owns a dump truck business and lawn care service in his native Virginia Beach, Va. Hard work surrounded his second son, Pat, from an early age. “One thing my Dad always taught me is you can be one of those people who complain about going to make money,” Harrington recalled. “But there’s always money to be made if you’re willing to go out there and do it.” The redshirt juAndy Demetra nior has followed Contributing that wisdom well. Writer After four years in the Gamecocks program, ones marked by injuries, limited atbats - and a complete imperviousness to selfdoubt - Harrington has given the Gamecocks an unexpected boost during their stretch run. “He’s a hard worker. He’s an emotional leader in our dugout and our clubhouse. All of our players respect every ounce of effort that he gives to our baseball program,” said head coach Chad Holbrook. Still, Holbrook hardly expected to count on Harrington for an SEC game, let alone a month of them. A redshirt junior, Harrington had no hits, no RBI, and six career

May 21, 2014

plate appearances entering the season. That fight, energy, enthusiasm, want-to, grit, changed April 13, when Holbrook inserted toughness, all those things,” he said. him for a slumping Elliott Caldwell during He also brought impressive credentials South Carolina’s series finale against Florida. when he arrived at South Carolina in the fall He responded with a walk and an RBI groundout in a 6-4 loss. His first career hit came nine days later, on his 22nd birthday, in an 8-0 win over Davidson. His spot in the lineup was cemented soon after, when Caldwell went down with a stress fracture in his back and starting right fielder Connor Bright was sidelined by a hyperextended elbow. After a 1-for-23 start, Harrington went 7 for his next 22 (.318) with 7 RBI entering South Carolina’s final regularseason series at Vanderbilt. In 45 at-bats, he racked up more walks (7) and hit by pitches (3) than strikeouts (6). “I just feel great knowing they can depend on me to do it. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning,” Harrington said. His leadership is also evident before games. By the end of batting practice, Harrington’s shirt is often soaked in sweat, the result of a “power shagging” routine he adopted from former teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. His teammates also appointed him their pregame “hype man.” Before the Gamecocks take the field, you can find Harrington, hat backwards, crouched in the middle of a swaying circle, beatboxing while pitcher Jack Wynkoop delivers a freestyle rap. His playing time may be the product of an unfortunate series of injuries. But Holbrook says Harrington has willed himself into a key piece of the Gamecocks’ lineup. “I’m going to have a tough time when we get healthy putting him on the bench. He brings something to our lineup. He brings

of 2010. Harrington was an all-state catcher at Kellam High School, rated the #3 player in Please see ITC, Page 31


Spurs & Feathers • 31

May 21, 2014

Unique views sponsored by Unique Expressions I love baseball! I really do. And I’m not just saying that because USC beat Vanderbilt two out of three, and, well, I’m really happy about that, too, but no, this love affair goes way back. There is nothing like a ballpark from the smell of the grass, to the popping of leather, to the cracking of bats and the buzz of the crowd. If you can’t be there in person, watching it on TV is pretty good but listening on the raEd Girardeau dio is just as great. Contributing The love affair of Editor Gamecock baseball started in 1975. I can remember the family gathered around the radio while at Folly Beach listening to Bob Fulton call the games in Omaha. Carolina had their first trip to the World Series with names like Jeff Grantz, Hank Small, Earl Bass, Tim Lewis and coach Bobby Richardson. That team finished 51-6-1.

We returned to the finals in 1977 led by Mookie Wilson, Ed Lynch, and National Player of the Year Randy Martz who went 14-0 along with coach June Raines. In the late 70s and early 80s, I was lucky enough to get to spend my spring at Sarge Frye field covering the Gamecocks for various media outlets, even getting to do playby-play with the Jim Corbett on WUSC. I also had the good fortune to get to know Bob Fulton. There was never a nicer man and a greater Gamecock! Then coach Tanner came along and things went from good to great! Five seasons with 50-plus wins. Future major league players like Brian Roberts, Justin Smoak, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Michael Roth. In a trip to Aiken for a baseball camp, coach Tanner and I were talking and I remember asking him how would he replace Scott Wingo. He told me that there was a kid from North Carolina who could be even better at second. His name? Max Schrock. Yeah, I’d say he’s a pretty good one. This season has had more than its share of exciting games. Beating Clemson in

ITC, cont. from page 30

ed into playing time. Holbrook considered leaving him off the 35-man roster this fall. “He could have easily left. I told him he wasn’t going to play. He said, ‘No, I committed to come here and I’m going to see this thing through,’” Holbrook said. “I know the routine. We could sit there and sulk because we’re not playing, or we can have fun still waiting, preparing for the opportunity to present itself. You always have to be ready,” Harrington said, a touch of his Dad’s special forces training coming through. Now, late in his junior year, Harrington’s diligence has been rewarded. With injuries threatening to sink the Gamecocks’ season, Harrington, the lightly-used veteran, has suddenly, unexpectedly become one its feelgood stories. In spite of his success, though, he remains realistic. With Bright returning from injury, and freshman Gene Cone a more athletic option in left field, Harrington realizes his days in the lineup may be numbered. But he says he embraces his role as the Gamecocks’ utility man. “I take pride in it. Not a lot of people want to do it, because they feel like they’re not going to be a starter. That’s just like any job. Somebody’s going to have to do it, no matter what,” Harrington said. And with that, Pat Harrington retreated to the Gamecocks’ clubhouse, ready to put in another day’s work.

Virginia by PG Crosschecker. He also played outfield during summer ball. Head coach Ray Tanner knew he had signed a player who wasn’t afraid to work - the summer before enrolling at Carolina, Harrington worked on a farm, planting crops and doing manual labor to build up toughness. The Gamecocks athletic director also remembered Tom Harrington’s words of advice to him: I wear a size 12. Don’t be afraid to use it. All Gamecock baseball Coming in coverage sponsored by after the GameDiPrato’s cocks’ first College World Series title, Harrington knew the competition for playing time would be fierce. He appeared in three games, making one start, before taking a medical redshirt to heal a shoulder injury. When he returned, he found the depth chart difficult to crack. Harrington played in two games as a redshirt freshman, his appearances still limited by injury. His played even less as a sophomore, appearing once, in the late stages of a February blowout over Albany. All that hard work hadn’t translat-

the ninth trailing with two outs. The Ole Miss game with Schrock’s pinch hit, two out, two strike, broken leg (ok that’s a little exaggerated), home run to tie it and then win it in extras. The two walk off wins on home runs in one day against Tennessee, the second being just absolutely unforgettable, and now, the Vanderbilt win on Thursday night with Schrock coming through with a two out, two strike, RBI single to tie it in the ninth and win in extras. It makes the Vanderbilt final game win last Saturday with four in the eighth seem anti-climatic. So now we move on the SEC championship and then hosting the regional in Columbia. Keep in mind, the years we won national championships we did not do well in the SEC tourney. I’m sure coach Holbrook would prefer to win at least a couple, but South Carolina is in good shape to get a national seed. If South Carolina can get through to the World Series this team sets up to be tough to beat in Omaha. Will we get there? We’ll have to play the games and see, but I think we can safely look forward to some exciting baseball.

Baseball is tough to win. A bad hop here, a bloop single there and a great pitching performance and you can be left wondering what happened. That’s baseball, but I like our chances. I love baseball and I love the Gamecocks. It is a great time to be a Gamecock! Extra point: Please check out the special insert in this month’s issue. Wells and I grew up together and Holland Environmental has done some great work on ponds, lakes, canals, rivers and will be working on the ocean next. Wells was a very good basketball player, a four-year letterman at The Citadel, but he was always better at playing in mud puddles while we were kids, so if you have a pond or know somebody who does and you need work, Mr. Holland has graduated from those puddles to working with some nice tractors. Give him a call. And don’t forget Vista Art’s 25% sale and their Grand Re-Opening. Clip the coupon on the back page and get a great price on all kinds of great Gamecock stuff, not to mention some other great art. Go by and see them in Cayce/West Columbia.


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May 21, 2014


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