september 16, 2015 • Volume 37 • Issue 15 • $1.50
‘The season is not over. It’s just one game and we’ve got to bounce back and get ready to play the next one’ South Carolina officially unveils Springs Brooks Plaza, George Rogers statue
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Spurs & Feathers Published by Aiken Communications, Inc.
Contact Us: 326 Rutland Drive N.W. PO Box 456 Aiken, SC, 29801 To subscribe: Please call 800-559-2311; annual subscription price is $50 Ellen Priest Publisher Aiken Communications, Inc. Tim O’Briant General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 335-1400 Ext. 500 Brian Hand Executive Editor email@example.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive firstname.lastname@example.org (803) 646-9807 Dee Taylor Advertising Director (803) 644-2371 Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 email@example.com Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org Reporter Kyle Heck email@example.com Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Mary Watson Graphic Designer Cover Design Brian Hand (photo by Allen Sharpe) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 23 times annually. The frequency is monthly from December to February, bi-weekly in March, monthly in April, bi-weekly in May, biweekly in June, monthly in July and August and weekly from September through December 2. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in April and one in August. The annual subscription price is $50 for non Gamecock Club members. Members of the Gamecock Club receive a discounted subscription as a member benefit. Spurs & Feathers is published by Aiken Communications, Inc., 326 Rutland Drive NW, Aiken, SC, 29801-4010. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC Postmaster: Send changes to SPURS & FEATHERS, PO Box 456, Aiken, SC, 29802.
September 16, 2015
Student Gamecock Club tailgate held to honor, attract more students by brian hand Executive Editor
The Gamecock Club has worked tirelessly to bring back the Student Gamecock Club and as part of the 75th anniversary celebration and Gamecock Club Appreciation Week a couple of hours before the South Carolina-UNC Greensboro men’s soccer match on Tuesday, Sept. 8, a special tailgate was held. The purpose for the Student Gamecock Club tailgate was two-fold. “The crowd was really good,” Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland said during the tailgate. “Our goal for this event was to thank our current Student Gamecock Club members first and foremost and to also attract new members.” The tailgate, which featured hamburgers and hot dogs, also gave the students in attendance the chance to sign up for the Student Gamecock Club if they had not already. Plus, soccer posters and other Gamecock memorabilia were given out
photo by brian hand
over the course of the tailgate. Cocky was also in attendance. The event was part of a concerted effort by the Gamecock Club to involve the students more and earlier than ever in Gamecock athletics. “We’re going to have more tailgates, we’ll do facility tours and we’ll give some more behind-the-scenes-type tours,” McFarland relayed about some of the things in the works. “Really we’re just trying to get the students involved in Gamecock
athletics as much as possible.” After a short hiatus the Student Gamecock Club became something the Gamecock Club offered once again last year. It has been a huge hit since its reinstatement by the Gamecock Club. “We went from the last year we had it (2011) we had around 80 total members in the Student Gamecock Club to last year (2014-15) because of the hard work of our staff - especially (former Membership Services Coordinator) Jordan Gardner we grew to over 2,400 students. It’s amazing how quickly we grew,” McFarland noted. McFarland and the Gamecock Club know that it’s important to try to attract students at a young age, but really it’s almost more beneficial for the students than the Gamecock Club. “It will pay dividends once they graduate and they already have those points added up,” McFarland noted. To learn more about the Student Gamecock Club, please visit http://thegamecockclub.com/donate/.
Georgia parking information Parking: https://gameday.uga.edu/map Shuttle: http://www.transit.uga.edu/football Directions to Stadium: Access to Sanford Stadium via I-20 (from Augusta) Take I-20 west and exit at US Highway 78 north (west) to Athens. Continue on US 78 to Athens. Turn left onto the Athens Bypass (State Route 10 Loop). Exit onto College Station Road and turn right at the bottom of the ramp. Access to Sanford Stadium via I-85 (from Greenville) Take I-85 south to Highway 106 (Exit 166). Follow the road to Athens (no turns) where it becomes Danielsville Road and then North Avenue. Continue into downtown Athens on North Avenue which will become Thomas Street and then East Campus Road. Parking for those with disabilities: Be advised that fans with disabilities or who have difficulties walking up to 1/2 mile are advised to park in the vicinity of the East Campus Parking Deck and Ramsey Center - NOT the Intramural Fields. It is recom-
mended that fans, who want to park at or near the East Deck arrive far in advance of kickoff time. Post-game traffic does not allow buses or other vehicles to return directly to the Intramural Fields immediately after the game. Return shuttles will be provided at the end of each game from Gate 6 to an area adjacent to the Intramural Fields at East Campus Road and to the East Campus Parking Deck. Return shuttles will operate continuously for 2 hours after the end of the game. General Parking: The highest concentration of public parking on gameday is available on East Campus, surrounding the Ramsey Center off College Station Road. Free Parking is available throughout campus, primarily on east campus, on a first come first served basis. Parking for a $20 per game fee is also available in the North, Carlton, and PAC decks on a first come first served basis. Campus Transit provides free shuttle service from the East Deck and from the IM Deck. In addition, there are more than 1,500 overflow spaces at the intramural fields to help accommodate cars and make the postgame exit as simple and expedient as possible. Public access parking lots open at 7 a.m.
on gameday. There are shuttles available in the East Campus District (Ramsey Center and Intramural Fields) to transport you to and from the stadium. If you need to park on the intramural fields, we ask that you be extra conscientious about not leaving any litter, glass or sharp objects on the ground. All public access parking on campus is first come, first served, which means no saving places for friends coming later. NOTE: For safety reasons and to free parking spaces for fans, golf carts and ATVs are not allowed on campus on gameday. For information on gameday, please call ourhelpline at 706-425-3052. RV Parking: Recreational Vehicle (RV) parking with Gamecock Cruisers. Big Dogs on the River / Athens Blue Heron offers UGA Football RV parking. There are 20 RV sites with shuttle service to Sanford Stadium available. Come and see this great tailgating facility in Athens, GA. Call Terry Stephensfor pricing and reserve your parking space. Ph: (706) 353-6002 - Office hrs: 8:00-6:00 Mon-Fri | Sat 8:00-1:00 **Special thanks to Mike McManus and the Gamecock Cruisers for compiling this information**
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September 16, 2015
Orth: ‘I just try to give myself the best chance to succeed’ by brian hand Executive Editor
Perry Orth has worked almost his whole life for the opportunity. All he has ever wanted since he was 10 years old is to play major college football. “It was a blessing to be out there,” Orth said after South Carolina’s narrow loss to Kentucky. “I’ve been dreaming of playing at this level since I was 10 years old. It was awesome to get a chance. I just try to give myself the best chance to succeed and help the team (with) whatever that may be. I’m going to continue to prepare as hard as I possibly can to help us win ballgames.” Orth was not the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks in the game with Kentucky, but when starter Connor Mitch went down with a separated shoulder he took over the reins and performed well. “Perry came in and played pretty well … Perry made some beautiful throws,” Spurrier said after the game. Overall, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound junior ended his time in the Kentucky loss throwing for 179 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception. He was 13-for-20 in the game. Orth’s interception was an extremely costly one though as it came on South Carolina’s last offensive possession of the game, but it was just part of the learning curve for the probable new Gamecock starter as the Gamecocks head to Georgia for their first true road game. “I was rolling out to the left and - I think it was Deebo Samuel down the boundary - I just tried to put some air on it (ball),” Orth said of the interception. “I was running out full speed and I didn’t get enough on it. I’m really frustrated about that. We were really moving the ball … if I had thrown the ball four feet higher like I had planned to (it) probably would’ve been a different outcome.” Orth’s Gamecock teammates are fully behind him going forward with Mitch’s sepa- him in practice every day. We believe he can rated shoulder likely sidelining him for a few take Connor Mitch’s place. We’re behind him weeks. 100 percent.” “Since day one, I’ve always Orth is prepared and ready believed in Perry,” Gamecock for the challenge of being a running back Brandon Wilds starting quarterback in the said. toughest conference in the “We have all the confidence country. His constant prepain Perry Orth,” Gamecock Perry Orth ration and breaking down of linebacker Skai Moore added. KeenanSuggs the tiniest details has taken “He’s a good player. We see Player of the Week him to this moment.
photo by allen sharpe
“Honestly, the best thing I feel like I do is the preparation during the week,” Orth said. “That’s what helps me out there. I’m very comfortable with what I saw out there. I watched hours of film and that is what Connor Shaw and Dylan (Thompson) taught me and Connor (Mitch) while they were here. If you want to give yourself the best chance to succeed, you’ve got to get in the film room and break every scenario down that you possibly can and then when you get out to the
game everything will slow itself down and you can just get out there and play football.” As the starting quarterback, Orth is set to help his team forget about the Kentucky loss and move forward to try and knock off Georgia on the road. “The season’s not over,” Orth stated. “It’s just one game and we’ve got to bounce back and get ready to play the next one because we’ve got 10 more and hopefully the bowl game as well.”
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September 16, 2015
Gamecocks, Curing Kids Cancer come together to make impact in state by brian hand Executive Editor
The month of September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Atlanta-based nonprofit Curing Kids Cancer is working hard to make sure that the nation is aware that cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for children. In fact, eight football teams in the SEC, including South Carolina, have joined Curing Kids Cancer in their endeavors with players wearing gold ribbon Curing Kids Cancer stickers on their helmets and coaches wearing gold whistles with Curing Kids Cancer lanyards. In addition since gold is the official color for childhood cancer awareness, players and coaches both will wear Curing Kids Cancer glow-in-the-dark wristbands. South Carolina’s game in the effort to raise awareness is the Kentucky game. One day before the South Carolina-Kentucky game on Friday, Sept. 11, Curing Kids Cancer was in Columbia at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital making an announcement that shows that the awareness has more than paid off due to the efforts of the local police and fire departments and numerous others. At a press event on Sept. 11, Curing Kids Cancer founder and executive director Grainne Owen on the second floor of the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital presented a check of $50,000 to Dr. Ron Neuberg, the Aflac medical director of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. But the $50,000 check was just the beginning as Owen unveiled that Curing Kids Cancer in addition would also be establishing a $1.2 million endowment for pediatric cancer research with the research clinic to be named in Curing Kids Cancer honor as well. The endowment will support research and professional development activities associated with Children’s Oncology Group clinical trials and studies. Curing Kids Cancer was founded in 2004 and they have used sports to help further their cause because it was created in memory of Owen’s son, Killian, who was a huge sports fan that they lost to leukemia. “Unfortunately a lack of funding prevented him (Killian) from having some medicine that might have cured him and that’s why we started Curing Kids Cancer and it’s our mission to provide the best and most effective medicines for children when they need them and that’s what we hope Dr. Ron is able to do here at Children’s,” Owen said. “We hope
photo by brian hand
that $1.2 million endowment will enable him to do whatever he needs to do to get the children the medicine they need.” Owen could not have been more appreciative of all of those who helped the endowment happen. “We only have a staff of four, but we’ve raised almost $8 million for pediatric cancer research over the last 10 years and we are very fortunate to be raising more and more money every year, which in this economic climate is pretty amazing,” Owen relayed. The University of South Carolina athletic department has been working with Curing Kids Cancer for the last three years and the cause is one that hits home for deputy athletics director Charles Waddell, who was joined at the endowment unveiling by South Carolina senior associate athletics director for external affairs Charles Bloom. “I’ve been drawn to it because my grandson was treated here (Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital) for three years,” Waddell
remarked. “It’s a real worthwhile thing to be involved with. Grainne is very passionate about it obviously and we’re just happy to be a part of it. This is supported from Ray Tanner and the Spurriers on down. We aren’t raising the money ourselves, but we just want to create awareness through this cause.” Waddell is incredibly impressed with what Curing Kids Cancer has been able to do for the Columbia community and cancer awareness in general. “They’ve done a wonderful job,” Waddell said. “I’m actually on their board and I do all I can to support them and obviously that’s my way of giving back to these same people that took care of my grandson for three years.” The Palmetto Health Foundation headed up by president Samuel Tenenbaum was thankful for what this endowment means for the hospital, the community and the state. “On behalf of the foundation, we want to thank you for this incredible gift not only to
help Dr. Ron, but it also helps all of the children’s hospital,” Tenenbaum said. “This hospital is so unique. It takes care of children not just in our community, but in a whole range of counties and the state.” A Gamecock fan, Neuberg knows that this type of endowment means that hopefully children will not have to travel all across the country to get the treatments and attention they need. “I can’t say enough about Curing Kids Cancer and the work they’ve done,” Neuberg said. “We’ve had a close relationship with them for many years now and they have given so generously.” For more information about Curing Kids Cancer and to support the cause, please visit www.curingkidscancer.org. Gamecock fans can support National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by purchasing lanyards with whistles, helmet stickers and wristbands at curingkidscancer. org/blowthewhistle.
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September 16, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
football Schedule 09/03/15...........vs. North Carolina ............... Charlotte, N.C......................W, 17-13 09/12/15...........vs. Kentucky # ....................... Columbia, S.C....................... L, 26-22
CONFERENCE OVERALL PA W-L PF PA STRK
14 2-0 82 28 W2
22 2-0 66 55 W2
09/19/15...........at Georgia # ........................... Athens, Ga.....................6:00 p.m. ET
0 2-0 61 23 W2
09/26/15...........vs. UCF...................................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
0 2-0 92 37 W2
0 1-1 83 61 L1
26 1-1 39 39 L1
10/03/15...........at Missouri #........................... Columbia, Mo...............................TBA 10/10/15...........vs. LSU #................................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
31 0-2 26 45 L2
10/17/15...........vs. Vanderbilt #...................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
PA W-L PF PA STRK
19 1-0 21 19 W1
0 2-0 58 44 W2
10/31/15...........at Texas A&M #...................... College Station, Texas...............TBA 11/07/15...........at Tennessee #....................... Knoxville, Tenn.............................TBA
0 2-0 149 24 W2
11/14/15...........vs. Florida #............................. Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
0 2-0 72 27 W2
0 2-0 94 40 W2
0 1-1 60 29 L1
21 1-1 53 37 L1
11/21/15...........vs. The Citadel....................... Columbia, S.C...............................TBA 11/28/15...........vs. Clemson............................ Columbia, S.C...............................TBA
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6 â€˘ Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
Previewing the Georgia football team by kyle heck Reporter
The Gamecocks will head into their first true road contest of the season against a bitter SEC rival in Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Bulldogs are coming off of a 2014 season in which they went 10-3, 6-2 SEC. One of those losses came at South Carolina, where the Gamecocks held off thenNo. 6 Georgia, 38-35. With that win, the Gamecocks have taken three out of the past four meetings with the Bulldogs. However, this year South Carolina will have to travel to Athens, where they suffered a 41-30 defeat in the last meeting during the 2013 season. The Bulldogs are led this year by Heisman trophy candidate tailback Nick Chubb. The sophomore had an outstanding freshman season where he averaged 7.1 yards per carry on his way to 1,547 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 13 games. Fellow tailback Toddy Gurley is now in the NFL so Chubb figures to get even more touches this year. Keith Marshall and Sony Michel are also talented runners, meaning the South Carolina defense will have their hands full with a dangerous Georgia rushing attack. After a quarterback battle that came down to the first game of the season, junior Greyson Lambert emerged as the starter against Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener. Lambert is an experienced signal-caller who played two seasons at Virginia, starting all nine games he appeared in during 2014 with the Cavaliers. He has a reliable receiving option in senior Malcolm Mitchell, who has seemingly been around Athens forever. The tight end combination of Jeb Blazevich and Jay Rome provides a lot of experience as well. On defense, the Bulldogs are in their second season under defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who came over from Florida State. Georgia lost its top two tacklers from last season but still have a lot of talent on that side of the ball, particularly at linebacker. Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd anchor the middle of the field and will look to focus in on the South Carolina rushing attack that features three quality backs of its own in Brandon Wilds, David Williams and Shon Carson. On special teams, the Bulldogs have one of the best groups in the SEC. Placekicker Marshall Morgan is an All-SEC performer and set the SEC record last season at they did that with Gurley in his career. South Carolina with his 20th consecutive If history is any indication, this game made field goal. The Bulldogs could also could be a shootout. In each of the past put Chubb in the return game as well, as three meetings in Athens, neither team
photo by allen sharpe
has scored less than 30 points, with the winning team scoring more than 40 in each case. However, with both the Gamecocks and
Bulldogs breaking in new quarterbacks, this might be the year that streak ends. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and can be seen nationally on ESPN.
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September 16, 2015
Sharpe helps out cause that hits close to home by kyle heck Reporter
During what he thought was the prime of his career, Sterling Sharpe received some grim news. He had a severe spinal condition that could be life-threatening if he continued to play football. It was devastating news for a player that had racked up five Pro Bowls in just seven NFL seasons as a wide receiver. “My doctor tells me that I could’ve died while playing football,” said Sharpe, who was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. “‘Where else would you rather die,’ I asked my doctor, because it was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.” That’s why the event Sharpe was headlining on Tuesday, Sept. 8, hit close to home. He was the featured speaker at the “A Night With Sterling Sharpe” event that was a fundraiser for the Calhoun Traumatic Brain Foundation. Current South Carolina Special Assistant to Development Clyde Wrenn founded the fundraiser after members of the Palmetto Health Richland trauma unit helped save his son Calhoun’s life after he suffered a severe head injury. Many members of the Palmetto Health Richland trauma unit were present and the Wrenn family presented them with a Green Bay Packers helmet signed by Sharpe. Because of the severe condition that ended Sharpe’s career, he can relate to those that have went through similar situations, although he knows that he is lucky to still be walking around. “I am very fortunate to be standing here in front of you,” Sharpe told the crowd. Those in attendance were very familiar with Sharpe, who had an outstanding career at South Carolina and rewrote the Gamecock record books. He is not only a member of the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, but also the College Football Hall of Fame. His No. 2 jersey is also retired at the school, which is a tremendous honor for Sharpe. “My jersey can never, ever be worn by any other person who plays football at the University of South Carolina,” Sharpe said. “The College Football Hall of Fame means nothing compared to that.” The night started with a silent auction and dinner before a live auction was held to raise more money. There were several very unique items up for bid, including a Ray Tanner autographed jersey from one of the College World Series Championship teams, a collection of four mini helmets all signed by legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre and a framed picture of all 12 of South Carolina’s first-round NFL draft picks. Mark Jones, the current Medical Director of Palmetto Health’s trauma program, also spoke about four individuals who overcame severe trauma injuries. Those four people were Jack Enright, Martha Childress, Pete Reynolds and Ricky Harrison and they all were present at the event with their stories well-known all throughout the state. In addition, all said the same thing. They would not be where they are today without the efforts of Jones and his staff at Palmetto Health Richland. Sharpe then took the stage and delivered a powerful speech that touched on a lot of different things, including his love for the University and how important foot-
south carolina athletics media relations
ball was to him, just to name a couple. “I love my school,” Sharpe said. “Anyone who knows me will tell you my staff bag has the biggest Gamecock logo on it and my walking bag has a Gamecock logo on it. I love my school.” The night concluded with a roundtable discussion that involved Sharpe, former Gamecock and NFL player Corey Miller and longtime sports journalist Teddy Heffner. Athletics Director Ray Tanner was extremely pleased that such an iconic figure at South Carolina was doing the event for a good cause. “There’s a lot of important athletes and important people at this University and they go away and they do great things and have a chance to come back and have a chance to live in this community and contribute,” Tanner said. “Sterling has been very busy for many, many years and hopefully going forward, he’ll have more time to be
in this community and do things at the University. You have the George Rogers statue unveiling this week so it’s a wonderful week and to have Sterling here is special.” One of the major themes that Sharpe focused on was how blessed he is. He was able to do what he loved and while that was cut short, he has been happy with where his life has taken him since his football days have been over. He still lives in Columbia and will be forever grateful for the opportunities that the University gave him. “(Head coach) Steve (Spurrier) and his wife, Jerri, have been outstanding to me,” Sharpe said. “Ray Tanner has been great to me. That’s the one thing I love about this place. It’s like playing in Green Bay. Once you’re a Green Bay Packer, you’re always a Green Bay Packer. And once you’re a South Carolina Gamecock, you’re always a South Carolina Gamecock.”
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September 16, 2015
photo by allen sharpe
Pictured left-to-right are 2015 Hall of Fame inductees Devan Downey, Sheldon Brown, Mark Berson, Karen Sanchelli Johns, Greg Ward, Miki Barber, David Marchbanks and Ken McKinley.
‘This is home’: Eight honored at 2015 Hall of Fame induction by kyle heck Reporter
Former South Carolina track and field star Miki Barber put it best when describing what it was like to come back to the University to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. As a professional track athlete, Barber has to travel all over the world for events and competitions. Therefore, she isn’t able to come back to Columbia all that often. But when she finally was able to return for this special weekend, there was something that just felt right. “This is home,” Barber stated. Just three simple words, but it encapsulated what the other seven inductees felt as well. “We love Carolina,” baseball great Greg Ward said. “I love all of my former teammates and we have the best fans in the world. There’s no doubt. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I just love the University of South Carolina.”
The eight inductees and hundreds of family and friends gathered at The Zone located inside Williams-Brice Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 10 to celebrate the highest achievement that can be placed on an athlete from South Carolina. Members of the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame are part of a prestigious and elite class and it is something that the inductees will remember forever. “This is a great experience and it’s going to be a fun weekend,” baseball great David Marchbanks said. “I’m looking forward to it.” The eight members of this year’s class were Barber, Ward, Marchbanks, softball great Karen Sanchelli Johns, basketball great Devan Downey, football greats Sheldon Brown and Kenny McKinley and men’s soccer head coach Mark Berson. All eight were also honored at halftime of the football team’s game against Kentucky on Saturday, Sept. 12. Berson has led the Gamecock men’s soccer
program for all 38 years of its existence and has left a legacy that has touched hundreds if not thousands of lives throughout his career. “It’s really a testament to who he is and what the program he built is,” former soccer player and current assistant coach Joey Worthen said. “For me, I always say, if I didn’t enjoy my time playing here, I wouldn’t have come back to coach here.” Athletics Director Ray Tanner and University President Harris Pastides were in attendance for the special event. In his days as a baseball coach, Tanner had the opportunity to coach both Marchbanks and Brown, who played a year of baseball in his college career. “It is very exciting and this is a time to celebrate their careers here,” Tanner said. “They’ve meant so much to this University. It’s very special for these athletes and their families and all of us in Gamecock Country.” A Gamecock great in his own right and the current USC Association of Lettermen president, Ryan Brewer could not have agreed
with Tanner more. “It’s really exciting,” Brewer said of the evening. “The class we inducted tonight is incredible and the turnout we’ve had (at the Hall of Fame induction dinner) is great. It’s fun. We’ve got a great group of people this year.” The night was also an opportunity for the inductees to celebrate with their families and close friends. All eight of them were incredibly thankful of their families that helped them get to this point. “Moments like this, you just have to share it with your family,” Downey said. There’s a popular saying that a lot of former South Carolina athletes hold close to their heart: “Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock.” That could not have been more evident at the Hall of Fame event. “It’s a different life,” Brown said of being a Gamecock. “I played professional ball and it’s just not the same. I enjoy coming back to Columbia.”
Spurs & Feathers • 9
September 16, 2015
photo by kyle heck
Gamecocks begin season with win on new course country in Coastal Carolina, who finished 16th in the NCAA Regional last year. “For me, the way I grade this is Coastal Junior Mary Reiser is used to running in was 16th in the regional last year and we the sand. She spent her summer as a lifewere 18th, so it’s nice to step up and beat guard at a beach and grew accustomed to them,” Assistant coach for distance and trudging through the thick sand. cross country Andrew Allden said. “We That put her at an advantage on Saturday, competed very well against them. Basically Sept. 5, in South Carolina’s cross country our goal was to break up their top three and season opener at the Weston Lake Recreput a lot of people (in top-10) and we were ation Area on Fort Jackson. able to do that.” The Gamecocks debuted the new course to The Gamecocks accomplished exactly open the season and it featured a lot of hills what Allden wanted them to do, which was and sandy areas, which played right into start off the season strong. The first-place Reiser’s hand. She led South Carolina with a finish was particularly impressive seeing as third-place finish in the Carolina Challenge the course wasn’t officially ready to go until and helped the Gamecocks finish first as a just a couple of days prior to the meet. team at the event. “Honestly, I felt like we did as well as we “I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but could have,” Allden said. “I was very comI knew it was sandy and hilly and I was a fortable with the way the pack ran. We had a lifeguard over the summer so we actually lot of solid performances.” ran barefoot in the sand,” Reiser said. “So I Sophomore Hannah Giangaspro followed was used to the sand. But I just kind of went Reiser with a fourth-place finish while juout and ran and I felt good and I had fun nior Ashley Miller and sophomores Kaylee with it.” Wessel, Allie Sprague and Monica York finSouth Carolina narrowly edged out Coast- ished sixth through ninth, respectively. al Carolina for the title. The Chanticleers For the Gamecocks as a team, there is no claimed the first two spots, but with Reiser better way to start out the season than with leading the way, the Gamecocks took six of a win. the next eight spots and ended up with seven “Even though the course was a little slow finishers inside the top-10. because it’s a little hilly and a little soft, I It was an impressive finish by South Caro- feel like we’re in the right ranges,” Allden lina against one of the better teams in the said. “I was pleased with the performances.”
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10 • Spurs & Feathers
In his final season at USC, Shon Carson, dependable but perpetually overshadowed, seeks to break out in Gamecocks’ backfield
going to play out either way,” Carson said of his fourth-quarter touchdown run. He capped off his week by celebrating his 24th birthday two days later (no surprise - he says it was a low-key affair). e speaks the same way he runs: For most of his career, Carson has always straightahead, in short bursts, with seemed just beyond the reach of the first little wasted movement. Shon Car- string, on the depth chart but rarely receivson isn’t a threat to have a quote go viral or ing more than spot carries. When observers land on an opposing team’s bulletin board. talked about the Gamecocks’ depth at runAsk him to describe a play that sent 51,000 ning back this year, they primarily referred fans into a Holy to senior Brandon Wilds and sophomore Ghost frenzy at David Williams. Even wide receiver Bank of AmeriPharoh Cooper and freshman quarterback ca Stadium, and Lorenzo Nunez, it seemed, got more publiche’ll do it with ity as running threats. the emotion of Want irony? The last man who wore #7 a DMV clerk. at South Carolina, Jadeveon Clowney, may On the field, in have been the most scrutinized player in pre-game radio school history. Carson may be one of its interviews least. Carson prefers Now, the man whose style isn’t flashy, to keep things whose comments rarely beg for attention, quick, simple whose place on the depth chart seems perand purposeful. petually overlooked, may be competing not just for a change of pace, but a featured role Unlike his in the USC backfield. quotes, his runs “I just have to be patient and wait my Andy Demetra are bound to get turn like I did at North Carolina, and make Contributing headlines. Like a statement when I do get in the game,” Writer his performance Carson said, brushing away any “forgotten in South Caroliman” narrative. na’s season opener against North Carolina, Added USC running backs coach Everette when the 5’8,” 206-pound senior running Sands: “The thing that we’ve been saying back scored the game-winning 48-yard all along is we know Shon Carson has great touchdown in a 17-13 Gamecocks win. quickness and speed. Those are the same Carson finished the game with four carries things that we’ve seen and just giving him for a team-high 75 yards, giving the Game- opportunities to get out on the outside is cocks a fresh-legged, change-of-pace back huge for us.” that may have been too much for North Carson says the competition for carries Carolina’s tired defenders to corral. hasn’t hurt the running backs’ camaraderie. “Everybody made their blocks. I just had “We don’t see it as a competition. We just to trust my two pullers. We work on that push each other to be better, and try to be play in practice a lot. I knew how it was the best running back group in the nation,”
September 16, 2015
touchdowns, joining former Gamecocks Demetris Summers and Marcus Lattimore. He was talented enough as a two-sport athlete to draw recruiting interest from both Steve Spurrier and USC baseball coach Ray Tanner (under whom he later served an internship in the South Carolina athletic department). Carson chose the Gamecocks over offers from both the SEC and the Cincinnati Reds, who selected him in the 44th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. At USC, his career has been full of starts and stops. As a true freshman, he was listed as the backup to Lattimore to begin the year. He tore his ACL in his second career game. A broken wrist kept him out until the Outback Bowl the following year. He stayed wedged behind Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds on the depth chart as a redshirt sophomore, though he broke out for a career-high 102 yards in a win over Florida. He took a step back as a junior, logging only 18 carries while serving as USC’s primary kick returner. He’s had big runs – and a career 5.6 yards photo by allen sharpe per carry average - but not enough to gain traction in the Gamecocks’ rotation. Sands believes that could change as the Gamehe said, adding that they swap tips on the sidelines “so the next back will know what cocks search for their identity on offense. “We only had so many carries [for him]. to expect when they get out there.” Carson may be low-key to a fault, but that But again, when he had his opportunities, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some interest- he’s done some things with them,” he said. Carson will continue to be ready. Oh, and ing nooks in his backstory. Growing up another thing: Shon is his middle name. in tiny Scranton, S.C. (population: “ain’t no tellin’”), Carson had an old-school taste His first name is actually Jacquese. He asked people to start calling him Shon in in running backs. He admired the style of former Detroit Lion and NFL Hall of Famer grade school. The reason? “It was too hard to pronounce. And some Barry Sanders, who retired in 1998. “Because I’m short just like him and built people thought it was a girl’s name.” With more performances like the one he low to the ground,” he explained. Like Sanders, he also scored touchdowns had in Charlotte, there may not be any conat a prolific rate. At Lake City High School, fusion about his name – or his spot on the depth chart – any longer. Carson became the third running back in Just don’t expect him to tell you about it. South Carolina history to score 100 career
Spurs & Feathers • 11
September 16, 2015
South Carolina unable to complete comeback in narrow loss by brian hand Executive Editor
It was truly a game of two halves. But in the end, South Carolina could not score enough in the half they controlled, dropping their SEC opener to Kentucky, 26-22, before a crowd of 82,178 at Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC) thoroughly outplayed the Wildcats offensively and defensively in the second half and looked as if they would erase a 24-7 halftime deficit, but Kentucky (2-0, 1-0 SEC) did just enough in the latter moments of the game to escape with the win. “That was a game of two halves,” South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said after the game. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough touchdowns. We went down there and kicked a bunch of field goals, just didn’t connect and threw a pick there at the end of the game. But, I’m proud of the way the defense played in the second half. I don’t think (Kentucky) made a first down (in the second half) until late in the game. I wish we could have made one more stop to see what might have happened. But it didn’t work out that way.” The Gamecocks arrived on the scoreboard in the first three minutes of the game, but it was not on their first offensive possession. After a 53-yard punt by Sean Kelly pinned the Wildcats on their own two-yard line on their inaugural offensive drive of the game, the Gamecocks used their defense to turn into offense when linebacker Skai Moore plucked his third interception of the young season when he picked off Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles’ pass at the 15-yard line and returned it to the one-yard line. Gamecock starting quarterback Connor Mitch then rushed in from one yard out to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead with 12:03 remaining in the first quarter after Elliott Fry’s successful extra-point attempt. Kentucky would match South Carolina on their next offensive possession with the Wildcats completing a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 4:07 to tie things up at 7-7. The Gamecocks looked to have stopped the Wildcats on the drive, but Kentucky went for it on fourth and four from the Gamecock 39-yard line and then completed a 19-yard pass to Garrett Johnson to move into the red zone. Two plays later, Mikel Horton broke out right to score on a eight-yard run and tie things up with 7:49 left in the first quarter after Austin MacGinnis’ extra point. Shortly thereafter the Wildcats would gar-
photo by allen sharpe
ner their first lead of the game at 14-7 with 1:48 left in the opening quarter when Jojo Kemp finished out an eight-play, 76-yard drive that lasted 3:02 with a two-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats would extend that lead to 17-7 with 7:29 remaining in the second quarter when MacGinnis connected on a 28-yard field goal. The field goal was the culmination of a 15-play, 59-yard drive that lasted 6:45. Kentucky would tack on another touchdown just before the halftime break when Towles scored on a quarterback keeper from one yard out to make it 24-7 in favor of the Wildcats with 17 seconds left in the first half. The Towles touchdown run ended a sevenplay, 76-yard drive that took 2:29 off the game clock. In total, Kentucky finished the first half with a 307-161 advantage in total yards. The Gamecock defense would hold Ken-
tucky on their first offensive possession of the second half and the South Carolina offense would then take advantage by putting together a solid drive that resulted in a 27-yard Fry field goal that set the score at 2410 in Kentucky’s favor with 11:13 left in the third quarter. The 27-yard field goal finished off a five-play, 33-yard drive that encompassed 1:25. Another Gamecock stop on defense shortly thereafter would lead to another Fry field goal that pulled the Gamecocks to within 11 at 24-13. Fry’s 29-yard field goal with 6:18 left in the third quarter capped off a sevenplay, 47-yard drive for the Gamecocks. The drive lasted 2:06. The Fry show would continue as the fourth quarter started with his 21-yard field goal concluding a 10-play, 56-yard drive that pulled the Gamecocks to within eight at 2416 with 14:14 left to play in the game.
The Gamecocks would keep getting closer as quarterback Perry Orth would find tight end Jerell Adams for a 33-yard touchdown that pulled the Gamecocks to within two at 24-22 with 8:09 left in the contest. The Adams touchdown finished off a 10-play, 78-yard drive for South Carolina that took 4:09 off the game clock. The Gamecocks would look to tie things up by going for two next, but a Pharoh Cooper fumble on the attempt allowed Kentucky’s Denzil Ware to pick up the football and run untouched for a 98-yard defensive two-point conversion that garnered the Wildcats a 2622 lead. The Gamecocks would have a chance to take the lead down the stretch in the game, but a costly Orth interception gave Kentucky the football back in the final minutes and they would hold on for the narrow four-point win. South Carolina controlled things so much in the second half that they finished with a 417-399 advantage in total yards. Brandon Wilds led the way on the ground in the game for the Gamecocks with 106 yards rushing on 16 carries. He averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Cooper hauled in nine catches for 100 yards in the game. Overall, Orth was impressive in relief of Mitch, going 13-for-20 with one touchdown and one interception. He threw for 179 yards in the contest. Towles was 21-for-29 in the contest, passing for 192 yards. Linebacker Jonathan Walton finished the game for South Carolina as the leading tackler with 11 tackles. Walton and the Gamecocks as noted played much better for the second straight week in the second half. After the game, co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke said that really it was more about execution than anything else about why the Gamecocks came up big defensively in the final half of action. “The first (Kentucky) series (of the game) we get an interception and (then) we didn’t play as hard (for the rest of the first half),” Hoke said. “We didn’t play the run the way we needed to and that was the biggest thing that was disappointing. We worked extremely hard on it and played it better in the second half. (In the second half) we just played the base defense better and did our job better.” South Carolina will next travel to Athens, Georgia to face off against rival Georgia (20, 1-0 SEC) at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. The game will be televised by ESPN.
12 • Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
22nd Annual Border Bash scheduled for Sept. 18 at Augusta Golf & Gardens by brian hand Executive Editor
the hard work that we’ve done, that’s what gives us a warm feeling in our heart when people smile when they get a check from For a city that that is known for a tradithe Border Bash Foundation.” tion unlike any other, the Border Bash in This year’s Border Bash will be held on downtown Augusta, Georgia the day before Friday, Sept. 18, with the gates opening the South Carolina-Georgia football game at 4 p.m. at the Augusta Golf & Gardens. has become another celebrated annual tra- Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the dition in the CSRA. gate. Children 12-and-under will be adThe 2015 Border Bash marks the 22nd mitted free. VIP tickets, which included edition of the event and this year it will preferred viewing of the stage, food and be held at the Augusta Golf & Gardens in drinks are available for $50 for adults and downtown Augusta. $20 for children. The VIP tickets are availThe event may be a fun-filled affair the able online only at borderbash.net. day before the rivalry game, but most imThe South Carolina and Georgia cheerportant of all it is for a great cause. leaders will be in attendance with the “Our whole thing is raising money for Gamecock cheerleaders even arriving earcharity and that’s in the back of my mind lier that day to visit a local children’s hosmost of the time,” Augusta Gamecock Club pital. Cocky and Hairy Dawg will also be chapter president Tom Rogers said. “It’s making the rounds at the annual event. raising money for charities. Local chilThe Joe Stevenson Band will be the dren’s charities is what we give the money headlining act at this year’s Border Bash out to every year. We had over 20 local with South Carolina alum and fan favorite charities that we gave checks to last DePatrick Davis also scheduled to perform. cember. And that’s really the fun part. All Other scheduled performers on the evening
photo from last year’s border bash by mike kucharski
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include: Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Edison Project, People Who Must, Bobby Houck of Blue Dogs, Patrick Blanchard and more. Opening the show portion of the Border Bash will be Big Machine recording artists Waterloo Revival and The Unmentionables. Former South Carolina and Georgia football standouts are also scheduled to be in attendance on the evening that Rogers predicts will be the biggest Border Bash yet. “It’s grown larger and larger every year,” Rogers said. “I think that’s the most exciting thing about it and we’re also getting more and more South Carolina fans over on the Georgia side of the (Savannah) river.” The Border Bash Foundation has contributed over $800,000 to CSRA children’s charities and clubs over the first 21 years of the event. The Augusta Gamecock Club has also made sure to give back a significant amount to Gamecock athletics as well through their efforts at the event. “We’ve given back to the University of South Carolina over $28,000 to mainly our chapter adopted programs (cheerleaders and the men’s golf team),” Rogers stated. “We also have given some money to the
soccer team before and the equestrian team. We hope after this year we’ll be up over $30,000 given back to the University.” You can like the Augusta Gamecock Club on Facebook. To learn more about the Border Bash, please visit borderbash.net.
Spurs & Feathers • 13
September 16, 2015
Family legacy behind the Springs Brooks Plaza by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content Faith, family and football were important to Jack Springs. He passed that legacy on to his family, and he is recognized as a part of University of South Carolina football history through a lifetime of work and support of his beloved Gamecocks. Through the generous support of his family, that legacy is a permanent fixture at Williams-Brice Stadium’s new Springs Brooks Plaza, with a special display of the team travel blazers he designed and provided in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “I think this university does not have enough history for people to actually see,” said Tami Springs Brooks, daughter of the late Jack Springs. “I’m terribly oldfashioned. Things like the traveling blazer, dressing for the occasion and some common respect, it’s almost like a time gone by. Anytime that we can hold on to certain things and show the young people that this is the way it used to be, I think we should do that. I just think the history of the university is important. It’s what brought us to where we are today. It’s how we got here.” Born in 1935, Jack Springs’ love for South Carolina began as a young boy when he sold programs and concessions in the aisles at Gamecock football games in the 1940s. “My dad was of the hard working generation,” Brooks said. “My dad grew up very poor. He started working when he was a child. The Gamecocks were in his heart and in his blood from a very young age.” While in high school, his family moved to Myrtle Beach, but he didn’t want to leave Columbia so he lived at the YMCA and was an acolyte at the nearby Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. During his high school years, he worked for Lem Harper, who owned a men’s clothing store in Five Points. This experience would later help intertwine his love of the university and his professional life. He married and began a family while attending South Carolina in the 1950s. Springs later gave up a promising career so he and his family could return home to live in their beloved Columbia and opened his own tailoring business. “He opened that tailor shop, and business took off,” Brooks said. By the late 1960’s he was making clothes for the governor and eventually met with South Carolina Head Coach Paul Dietzel to begin outfitting the team with blazers to be worn when the team travelled. He hosted cookouts for the team, and his passion for the Gamecocks would be forever cemented with his family. “That was my dad’s idea,” Brooks said of
the blazers. “He was very innovative. He was always looking to do something that he loved. That was something that he was so proud of his entire life -- that he had made the traveling blazers for the Gamecocks. He thought it was such a privilege.” The student-athletes at the time were thrilled with their off-the-field uniforms. “They were really classy,” said Tyler Hellams, who lettered in 1968 and 1970-71. “The whole team was uniform. I don’t know of anybody at that time that had anything as sharp as that.” “I had never had anything tailored at the time, and they were very nicely done,” said Tommy Suggs, who played quarterback from 1968-1970. “They made us feel very special. Most of the time we wore them with a white turtleneck that had the Gamecock emblem on it. We were the best dressed football team in America, in my opinion. I think everybody enjoyed them, and we wore them with pride. They were specifically made for each one of us, and we probably never dreamed that something like that could occur.” Suggs added that the tailored “touch of class” made he and his teammates feel like they were part of something special. “Everyone would always tell us how good we looked, and I don’t mean that we were better looking than somebody else,” Suggs said. “We were just well-dressed. We didn’t have guys that were going to do anything really stupid anyway, but being dressed like that made you behave and be more serious about what you were doing, in my opinion. It set an air and a culture about you when you were travelling. When you were nicely dressed, you were supposed to act that way. I thought that was a nice by-product of the tailored outfits.” “At the time, I thought we looked pretty sharp,” said Ken Wheat, a defensive lineman who lettered for the Gamecocks from 1969-71. “It was probably the nicest set of clothes most of us had at the time. If you made the travel squad, you got the jacket and the turtleneck. So if they called you to get fitted, that was a good sign.” Wheat has also been a huge supporter in his own right, having made a sizeable donation toward the construction of the new indoor practice facility. Sadly, a change in fashion in the early 1970s marked the end of the traveling blazers. “Polyester leisure suits came in style, and that was the beginning of the end for Jack Springs Tailoring,” Brooks lamented. “There were still people that wanted nice suits, but not enough to support a family.” Jack moved his family to Myrtle Beach and opened Tony’s restaurant, but the
Springs’ still came to Columbia whenever possible for football and basketball games. “When I was young, I remember my mom and dad going to the football games dressed up,” Brooks recalled. “My mama wore high heels. They dressed like they were going to church when they went to a football game. I remember when the Coliseum opened and the first time my daddy took us to a basketball game there. We were so excited. I can still remember where we sat in relation to everything else. All of the grandkids have those memories too. “My dad was devoted to the university his entire life. Had it not been for his loyalty and dedication, then I would not be the Gamecock fan that I am today, and my children would not be the Gamecock fans that they are. My son and daughter have so many memories of hopping in the back of Pa’s car, and going up to Columbia for a game, then getting back in the car and going back to the beach. He couldn’t spend the night because he had to get back to the restaurant.” Jack Springs died in 2008, but his passion was inherited by his family and lives on today in the same place it all began. Now his family is making sure that legacy will live on for anyone who visits Williams-Brice Stadium by providing the gift of the Springs Brooks Plaza. “My dad was of the generation that when you invested in something, you took that investment seriously, whether it was your time, your money, or your devotion,” Brooks said. “He thought there was a lot of integrity in that and that it was a privilege to be a member of the Gamecock Club. God chose to bless me and my family, and since He has, I feel in my heart that you should share it and give it to others. My accountant tells me to quit it. When you God tells you to do something, you just do it. Everything is a blessing from God.”
Many of the Gamecock football studentathletes had the opportunity to know Jack Springs during their playing days, and that relationship continued years later. “Jack was just a nice guy,” Suggs said. “He loved Carolina. He was just a nice, affable, and caring guy. He always made you feel welcomed and that you were the most important thing to him at the moment. That’s a God-given talent.” One of the original travel blazers is on display in the new Springs-Brooks plaza, and you can bet it will be one of the first places the family visits on their next stop into Williams-Brice Stadium. “My dad wouldn’t be able to contain himself if he was still alive,” a teary-eyed Brooks said. “He’d be so proud and honored.” Some of those former Gamecocks still have their blazers and aren’t afraid to dust them off from time to time. “I remember trying it on a few years ago,” Wheat laughed. “I thought I was big when I played, but I guess I’m a little bigger now. It was form-fitted, so I guess I was built a little differently at the time. I guess I might need a tailor now.” “I still have mine,” Hellams said. “Maybe I’ll wear it for that first game.” The gift from the Springs Brooks family not only continues a tradition of love and support for the University of South Carolina, but also transforms how many others will remember their experience when creating memories with the Gamecocks. “I think it’s wonderful that Tami would make that contribution to the university and the athletics department,” Suggs said. “Just as outstanding is her wanting to recognize her father. It just illustrates how much Jack and his family love Carolina. I think the blazer display is a touch of class. It was very special to Jack. This will be a special way to remember part of our tradition and history.”
14 • Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks
Recruiting Round-up USC remains the leader for OL Pete Leota of Asheville even after his unofficial visit to Virginia Tech last Monday night for the Ohio State game. Leota will visit USC for the Kentucky game weekend and then will announce his decision between the Gamecocks and Hokies on September 17th. “The visit went great,” Leota said of the trip to Blacksburg. “I saw a lot of great players and coaches and I also saw a lot of people at the game which was very exciting.” USC was leading for Leota going into that visit and that’s not changed, though that doesn’t necessarily Phil Kornblut mean the Gamecocks Contributing are a lock to land his Writer commitment. “I would say Gamecocks (lead), but I’m gonna do a little homework on both of the teams and compare.” Leota said some family members and one of his friends will join him in Columbia, and he said the visit could be official in nature though that’s not yet been decided. As for decision day on the 17th, he said details of what time and how the announcement will be made public have not yet been worked out. Two of the highest profile prospects in the state, OL John Simpson of Fort Dorchester and DB Stephen Davis Jr. of Dutch Fork, also plan to be at South Carolina for the Kentucky game. Simpson did not go anywhere last weekend and the only other game day visit he has in mind right now is when Notre Dame plays at Clemson. USC and Clemson are two of seven schools Simpson is still considering. The others are Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Simpson said he talked last weekend with USC recruiter Everette Sands who scouted him last Friday night. “He said they are still real interested in me and he told me if I was even to commit the day before Signing Day they would take me. I’m what they want.” Simpson said he also talked with Clemson recruiter Tony Elliott last week and called it a “normal conversation.” He’s also hearing from the other five schools and feels Tennessee has been recruiting him the hardest based on the number of conversations he’s had with the Vols. Simpson said he plans to take all five official visits and right now he’ll make a decision before he plays in the Army All American Game. He’s undecided on the official visits but said the two he doesn’t visit officially will still be under consideration. Simpson said he doesn’t have a favorite at this point. Simpson sometimes travels to campuses with team-
By Phil Kornblut
mate 2018 ATH Dakereon Joyner but he said he’s not sure Joyner will go to Columbia this Saturday. Stephen Davis Sr. said his son is down to USC, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Auburn. He plans to take his five official visits before making a final decision. Per John Whittle of TheBigSpur.com, 2017 QB Jake Fromm of Warner Robins, GA plans to be at USC for the Kentucky game. Fromm also visited USC for the pool party in July and last spring for a practice. He recently visited Alabama and is also looking at Ole Miss. Richland Northeast LB TJ Brunson planned to commit to USC in March but the Gamecocks told him before they could accept a pledge they wanted to see him in action this season because he was coming off of hip surgery. Apparently the Gamecocks have seen enough to be convinced Brunson is fully healthy and worthy of a committable offer. Brunson said last Monday night he has been informed by Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin that he is now a take. Brunson was in touch with Botkin on Friday and Saturday. “Coach Botkin says that he really wants to coach me and I would be outstanding in their scheme,” said Brunson who had 14 tackles, 11 of them solo, in his game last Friday night. Asked if Botkin told him the Gamecocks are ready to accept a commitment from him, Brunson responded, “Yes sir.” The problem for the Gamecocks is Brunson currently is committed to Louisville. Asked if he’s ready to flip to USC, Brunson said, “Not at all. I’m going to enjoy the process and take my unofficials/officials and see as many places as possible.” Brunson said USC, Louisville and Georgia Southern are three places he wants to visit this fall. He’s considering going to the USC-Kentucky game this Saturday but a deep sea fishing trip in North Carolina may take precedence this weekend. He’s looking at an official visit to Louisville November 14th. He made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame last Saturday. Brunson is happy to have the hometown team back as an option but he’s not going to rush a decision in any direction, be that sticking with his Louisville commitment, which he called a seven on a ten scale, or leaping at the chance to play for the Gamecocks. “I never really cut them out,” he said of the Gamecocks. “I’m just waiting to see how everything plays out since I know more schools are coming this season.” WR Isaiah Graham of Bastrop, LA and his teammate DE Travez Moore will announce their college decisions on October 30th, the night of their homecoming game. By then Graham will have taken official visits to USC,
TCU and Arkansas. He and Moore are scheduled to visit the Gamecocks October 10th for the LSU game. Graham said Tennessee also has been working him and might get a visit, and he talked with Southern Cal and he wants to see how that goes. He’s also been in touch with USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. on a regular basis. “I’m really looking forward to getting down there and meeting them,” said Graham who will be joined by his parents on the visit. “I’m just taking my time with my official visits and weigh all of my options. I just want to be around a great coaching staff and at a place where I can see myself playing. I want to see the ball in the air more. I don’t really want to go to a running offense because I won’t be able to play at my highest level.” Graham said he doesn’t have a favorite at this point. Moore has a top four of USC, TCU, LSU and Charlotte with the Horned Frogs holding a slight lead over the rest. Moore said the only other official visit he plans to take is to TCU. Moore added that while he’s never been to USC and is still learning about the Gamecocks, he’s getting a good feeling from recruiter Deke Adams. “We’ve got an understanding with each other,” he said. “They show a lot of concern about my family.” DB JJ Givens of Mechanicsville, VA committed to USC in June following a camp visit and said the commitment remains in place. He has two official visits set at this point, USC for the Clemson weekend and Arizona State later this month. But he’s looking at other possible visits to Clemson, Ole Miss and Penn State. Givens said Clemson, in particular, has been making a strong push for him in recent weeks and is also recruiting him as a cornerback. “They’ve kind of been recruiting me a lot harder the last couple of weeks,” Givens said. “Coach Venables has been my primary recruiter and he has been recruiting me the hardest of all the coaches. He really wants me there. It’s crazy. I feel like if I were to decommit and go to Clemson I’d be the most hated person in South Carolina. On the maroon (garnet) side at least. I don’t know what the future holds but right now I’m a Gamecock. I’m still committed, still 100%, but I just feel as though I should take officials just to make sure I’m doing what’s best for me, just go have fun with the process even though I’m committed. Mainly, just going around and making sure I’m doing what’s best for me.” Givens said he won’t finalize the decision until December. DB Javon Jackson of Tyrone, GA plans to take an unofficial visit to USC for the Kentucky game. He has had USC and Duke at the top of his list but said Ohio State is starting to become involved. “We’ll see where that goes,”
Jackson said. TE Naseir Upshur of Philadelphia committed to Florida State over Michigan last Tuesday. USC also recruited him and he visited the Gamecocks this summer. USC offered 2017 LB Will Ignont of New Market, AL and 2017 OL Robert Hainsey of IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. 2017 DB Tank Robinson of Lake Marion was offered by Michigan last Saturday. USC also is on his offer sheet. 2017 WR OrTre Smith of Wando planned to attend the South Carolina-Kentucky game. 2018 LB Xavier Thomas of Wilson was offered last Monday by North Carolina. He also has a USC offer and plans to attend the Kentucky game. Basketball notes 6-1 Seventh Woods of Hammond has cut Florida from his list. Woods told Rich Taylor of MidlandsHSSports.com that he will only visit Georgetown, North Carolina and USC. He planned to Georgetown over the course of the weekend, North Carolina two weeks later and USC October 9th. Woods said he could have his decision within a week of his visit with the Gamecocks. 6-6 De’Riante Jenkins of Hargrave Prep, VA said he’s still talking with USC but has not scheduled an official visit. He made an official visit to VCU over the weekend and also has dates set with Clemson, Tennessee and Rutgers. He’s undecided about his fifth visit at this point. Baseball News: 2017 RHP Hunter Ruth (6-2 170) of Gainesville, FL committed to USC. Here’s the scouting report from PerfectGame.com: Long frame, slender build with high waist, solid present athleticism with plenty of room to fill out. Primary pitcher, quick leg raise delivery with compact-arm action. Works to high three quarter’s arm slot, arm gets through path quickly. Energetic delivery, slightly open landing with occasional early frontside release, body lean to first base side. Fastball up to 86 mph, offering shows some cut life, able to get on top of pitch. Has two distinct breaking balls, similar velocity range, but slider shows more short, darting 10-4 shape with late finish and curveball has more downer, 12-6 shape and more depth. Flashes feel for both, slider served as go-to out pitch. Also flashes mid-70s changeup with slight cut. Mixes pitches well, ability to throw strikes and miss barrels. Right handed hitter, wide base with slight crouch, quick hands with slightly uphill swing, shows some feel for barrel with line drives up middle.
Spurs & Feathers • 15
September 16, 2015
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EARLEWOOD 3BR, 2.5BA, 2117 SQ. FT. MLS #380993 $259,900
(803) 665-1442 TerryBishopTeam.com
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16 • Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Rico McWilliams CB 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 Chris Lammons CB 3 D.J. Neal WR 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Jalen Christian WR 5 Darius English DE 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody FS 6 Connor Mitch QB 7 Al Harris Jr. CB 7 Shon Carson TB 8 Shamier Jeffery WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DE 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 9 Jerad Washington WR 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 11 Pharoh Cooper WR 12 Ernest Hawkins LB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Henry LB 14 Shaq Davidson WR 14 Ali Groves FS 15 Matrick Belton WR 15 Antoine Wilder SS 16 Rashad Fenton CB 16 Gage Pucci QB 17 Chaz Elder SS 17 Carlton Heard WR 18 Cedrick Cooper DE 18 Danny Gordon QB 19 Landon Ard PK 19 Lorenzo Nunez QB 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 20 T.J. Gurley SPR 21 Isaiah Johnson FS 22 Brandon Wilds TB 23 Christian Owens WR 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith FS 25 Darin Smalls CB 25 A.J. Turner TB 26 Jasper Sasser SPR 27 Toure Boyd FS 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Daniel Fennell LB 30 Darius Paulk TB 32 Rod Talley TB 33 David Williams TB 34 Mon Denson TB 34 Scott Grant SS
Hgt. 5-11 6-0 5-10 6-3 6-1 5-9 6-6 6-4 6-1 6-3 5-11 5-8 6-1 6-3 6-0 5-8 6-2 6-1 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-11 5-10 6-4 5-10 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-0 5-9 6-3 6-5 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-0 6-3 5-8 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10
Wgt. 186 202 183 193 233 177 225 226 215 211 163 206 189 264 225 158 218 203 231 207 224 210 189 207 175 183 209 185 180 195 209 182 248 203 182 210 180 199 206 220 204 220 195 190 185 207 180 235 164 220 198 201 222 222 178
Cl. RS JR RS FR SO FR SO FR RS JR RS FR RS JR RS SO SO RS SR RS SR JR FR FR JR RS JR RS JR JR SO RS FR RS JR FR RS FR RS SO RS JR FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS SR RS FR RS SR FR FR SR RS SR RS SR FR JR SO FR FR RS SO JR JR JR FR RS JR RS SO RS SO FR RS FR
Hometown/High School/Last College Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy Inman, S.C./Chapman Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Damascus, Md./Damascus Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas Scranton, S.C./Lake City St. Matthews, S.C./Calhoun County Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Cooper City, Fla./University Ponte Vedra, Fla/Florida State College Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Havelock, NC./Havelock Baltimore, Md./Dunbar/Hartnell College Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee JC Foley, Ala./Foley Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Glendora, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga Union City, Ga./Banneker Athens, Ga./Clarke Central/Gardner-Webb Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Cairo, Ga./Cairo Cary, N.C./Panther Creek/Kansas Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood Griffin, Ga./Griffin Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Summerville, S.C./Summerville Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Chaffey College Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Loganville, Ga./Grayson Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens
Steve Spurrier - Head Coach Deke Adams - Defensive Line Kirk Botkin - Linebackers Shawn Elliott - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Jon Hoke - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs G.A. Mangus - Quarterbacks/Tight Ends Joe Robinson - Special Teams Coordinator Everette Sands - Running Backs Steve Spurrier Jr. - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator Lorenzo Ward - Co-Defensive Coordinator Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Joe Connolly - Director-Football Strength & Conditioning Robbie Liles - Director - Recruiting Operations Patrick Shine - Administrative Coordinator - Recruiting Scott Spurrier - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Travelle Wharton - Quality Control Coordinator (Offense) Grady Brown - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Shaq Wilson - Quality Control Coordinator (Defense) Brian Turk - Quality Control Coordinator (Special Teams)
# Name Pos. 35 Shannon James CB 39 Demetrius Smalls CB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh FB 40 Jacob August TE 40 Jason Senn FS 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB 42 Jordan Diggs SS 43 Garrison Gist FB 43 Benji Russell SS 44 Gerald Dixon DE 44 Max Moorman FB 45 Reubyn Walker LB 45 Clayton Stadnik TE 46 Cedrick Malone LB 46 Jakob Huechtker LS 47 Drew Williams LS 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DE 49 Devin Potter TB 49 Boosie Whitlow DE 51 Cody Waldrop OG 52 Phillip Dukes DT 55 David Johnson DE 55 Christian Pellage OT 57 Cory Helms OC 59 Logan Crane LS 63 Blake Camper OT 69 D.J. Park OT 70 Alan Knott OC 71 Brandon Shell OT 72 Donell Stanley OG 74 Mason Zandi OT 75 Will Sport OG 76 Mike Matulis OT 77 Malik Young OT 78 Zack Bailey OG 79 Trey Derouen OG 80 John Dixon WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Sean Odom WR 83 Jamari Smith CB 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Michael Almond K/P 85 Devin Dingle WR 86 Kevin Crosby TE 87 Connor Redmond TE 88 Javon Charleston WR 89 Jerell Adams TE 90 Taylor Stallworth DT 91 Shameik Blackshear DE 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. DT 93 Ulric Jones DT 94 Kelsey Griffin DT 95 Dante Sawyer DE 99 Abu Lamin DT
Hgt. 5-7 5-9 6-2 6-6 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-2 5-10 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-10 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-1 6-6 6-4 6-3 6-8 6-4 6-4 6-6 6-4 6-9 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-6 6-3 5-11 6-5 6-0 5-10 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-4
Wgt. 154 170 245 258 181 210 209 251 188 269 234 220 240 200 188 213 224 293 203 240 300 319 240 314 301 212 295 325 270 328 320 314 295 293 308 320 314 185 252 194 200 243 200 160 238 225 185 231 308 250 327 300 316 291 326
Cl. RS JR RS SO RS SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS SO JR RS FR FR RS JR FR RS JR RS SR RS SO FR JR FR FR RS SO RS SO RS SR RS FR RS JR RS SR RS SR RS FR FR FR FR FR JR RS SO FR FR FR RS FR FR FR SR SO FR RS SR JR JR SO RS JR
Hometown/High School/Last College Florence, S.C./South Florence Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Rock Hill, S.C./Northwesterm Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Alpharetta, Ga./Milton Rock Hill, S.C./Florida A&M Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford Camden, S.C./Camden/Coastal Carolina Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell Opelika, Ala./Opelika Seffner, Fla./Armwood Manning, S.C./Manning Lithonia, Ga./Lithonia Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Milton, Fla./Pace Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville, S.C. Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Alexandria, Va./Episcopal Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg Prep Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer Gurnee, Ill./Warren Pinewood, S.C./Scott’s Branch Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern Oxford, Ala./Butler (Kan.) Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fayetteville, N.C./Fort Scott C.C.
Spurs & Feathers • 17
September 16, 2015
# Name Pos. 1 Sony Michel RB 2 Jayson Stanley WR 2 Sam Vaughn QB 3 Roquan Smith ILB 4 Keith Marshall RB 5 Terry Godwin WR 6 Jonah Guinn SS 6 Natrez Patrick LB 7 Lorenzo Carter ILB 8 Shaun McGee LB 9 Reggie Wilkerson CB 10 KennarDaniels-Johnson CB 10 Faton Bauta QB 11 Keyon Brown OLB 11 Greyson Lambert QB 12 Juwuan Briscoe DB 12 Brice Ramsey QB 13 Marshall Morgan K 13 Jonathan Ledbetter DL 14 Malkom Parrish CB 14 Shaquery Wilson WR 15 D’Andre Walker OLB 16 Isaiah McKenzie WR 16 James Davis SS 17 Davin Bellamy OLB 17 Nick Robinson QB 18 Deandre Baker CB 18 Jesse Jones CB 19 Javonte Nelson CB 19 Jarvis Wilson CB 20 Quincy Mauger S 22 Brendan Douglas RB 23 ShakennethWilliams WR 24 Dominick Sanders S 24 Colter Creswell WR 25 Steven Van Tiflin WR 26 Malcolm Mitchell WR 27 Nick Chubb RB 28 Tramel Terry S 29 Matt Price WR 30 Tae Crowder RB 30 Johnathan Abram DB 31 Shattle Fenteng DB 31 Avery McNeely RB 32 Ridge Underwood ILB 32 Collin Barber P 35 Aaron Davis DB 35 A.J. Turman RB 36 Rico McGraw DB 36 Devin Gillespie S 37 Devin Bowman CB 37 Kenneth Towns WR 38 Ryne Rankin ILB 38 Clay Johnson FL 39 Rashad Roundtree S 41 Christian Payne FB 41 Chuks Amaechi LB 41 Jared Chapple TE 42 Tim Kimbrough ILB 43 Tommy Long ILB 43 Kirby Choates DB 43 Nick Moore ILB
Yr. SO FR RS FR FR SR FR JR FR SO RS SO RS SO SR JR RS FR JR FR RS SO SR FR SO FR FR SO SR SO FR FR SR SR FR JR JR SO SO JR RS FR SR SO RS SO RS FR FR FR JR SO JR SR RS SO RS SO FR JR SR JR JR JR FR SO JR JR JR JR FR FR
Ht./Wt. 5-11/212 6-2/205 6-3/189 6-0/215 5-11/212 5-11/170 6-0/191 6-3/248 6-6/242 6-3/232 5-11/176 6-2/192 6-3/215 6-3/249 6-5/220 5-11/185 6-3/213 6-3/194 6-4/251 5-10/188 6-1/190 6-3/212 5-8/170 5-11/197 6-5/241 6-0/200 5-11/174 6-0/179 5-11/196 6-2/190 6-0/200 5-11/215 6-1/199 6-0/189 6-3/180 6-1/201 6-1/195 5-10/220 6-0/195 6-0/197 6-3/220 6-1/200 6-2/185 5-8/180 6-2/231 6-2/208 6-1/190 6-0/204 6-0/195 5-10/179 6-0/182 6-3/202 6-1/218 6-1/170 6-1/195 6-1/232 6-3/230 6-4/232 6-0/226 6-2/231 6-0/184 6-3/245
Hometown/Previous School Plantation, FL (American Heritage) Fairburn, (Creekside) Fort Pierce, FL (Fort Pierce Central) Montezuma, GA (Macon County) Raleigh, NC (Millbrook HS) Hogansville, GA (Callaway) Walnut Grove, GA (Reinhardt University) Atlanta, GA (Mays) Norcross, GA (Norcross) Snellville, GA (Brookwood) Ocala, FL (North Marion) Perkinson, MS (Gulf Coast CC) West Palm Beach, FL (Dwyer HS) Wauchula, FL (Hardee County) Jesup, (Wayne County High) Waldorf, MD (Thomas Stone) Kingsland, GA (Camden County) Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Heritage) Tucker, GA (Tucker) Quitman, FL (Brooks County) Coral Gables, FL (Coral Gables) Fairburn, GA (Langston Hughes) Ft. Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) Baconton, GA (Baconton Charter) Chamblee, GA (Chamblee) Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (Serra Catholic) Miami, FL (Miami Northwestern) Alto, GA (Habersham Central) Wrens, GA (Jefferson County) Tupelo, MS (Tupelo) Marietta, GA (Kell) Augusta, (Aquinas) Macon, GA (Rutland) Tucker, GA (Tucker) Varnell, GA (NW Whitefield) Saginaw, MI (Heritage) Valdosta, GA (Valdosta) Cedartown, GA () Goose Creek, SC (Goose Creek) Snellville, GA (Brookwood) Hamilton, GA (Harris County) Columbia, MS (East Marion) Loganville, GA (Grayson) Athens, GA (Clarke Central) Moultrie, (Colquitt County) Cartersville, GA (Cartersville) Locust Grove, GA (Luella) Orlando, (Boone) Nashville, TN (Ensworth School) Grayson, GA (Grayson) Rossville, GA (Ridgeland) Albany, GA (Westover) Orlando, FL (East River) Calhoun, GA () Evans, GA (Lakeside) Athens, (Prince Avenue) Avondale, AZ (Arizona Western, JC) Alpharetta, GA (Greater Atlanta Christian) Indianapolis, ID (Warren Central) Marietta, (Wheeler) East Point, GA (Tri-Cities) Snellville, GA (Brookwood)
Mark Richt - Head Coach Bryan McClendon - Assist. Head Coach/Recruiting Coord./WR Coach Jeremy Pruitt - Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach Tracy Rocker - Assoc. Head Coach/Def. Line & Will LBs Coach Brian Schottenheimer - Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Mike Ekeler - Def. Spec. Teams Coord./Inside LBs Coach John Lilly - Off. Spec. Teams Coord./TEs Coach Thomas Brown - Running Backs Coach Rob Sale - Offensive Line Coach Kevin Sherrer - Sam Linebackers/Star Coach Olten Downs - Offense Quality Control Coordinator George Helow - Quality Control, Defense Blake Shrader - Defense Quallity Control Coordinator Carter Blount - Special Teams Quality Control Coordinator Courtney Coard - Graduate Assistant - Defense
# Name Pos. Yr. 44 Juwan Taylor LB FR 44 Cameron Faulkner FB SR 45 Reggie Carter LB JR 47 Kyle LeStrange FB JR 48 Quayvon Hicks TE SR 49 Turner Fortin FB FR 49 Nathan Theus LS SR 50 Johnny O’Neal ILB JR 51 Jake Ganus LB SR 53 Lamont Gaillard OG RS FR 54 Brandon Kublanow OL JR 55 Billy Seward OG RS SO 55 Dyshon Sims OT SO 57 John Huff ILB SR 57 Alex Essex OT RS FR 57 Pat Allen OL FR 58 Sterling Bailey DL SR 59 Matthew Herzurm LS RS SO 59 Jordan Jenkins OLB SR 60 Mirko Jurkovic OL FR 63 Sage Hardin OL FR 64 Jake Edwards OG RS FR 65 Kendall Baker OT RS FR 66 Hunter Long OL SR 67 Sam Madden OL FR 67 Michael Scullin OL RS SO 69 Trent Frix LS JR 70 Aulden Bynum OT RS SO 71 John Theus OL SR 72 Glenn Welch FB RS SO 73 Greg Pyke OL JR 74 Thomas Swilley OL RS SO 75 Kolton Houston T SR 76 Carson Hall OL JR 77 Isaiah Wynn OL SO 78 Trenton Thompson DL FR 80 Charlie Hegedus WR JR 80 Warren Coombs WR FR 81 Reggie Davis WR JR 82 Michael Chigbu WR FR 83 Jeb Blazevich TE SO 84 Leonard Floyd OLB JR 85 Jordan Davis TE RS SO 86 Justin Scott-Wesley WR 87 Jay Rome TE SR 88 Jackson Harris TE FR 88 Joseph Ledbetter DL RS SO 89 James DeLoach LB SR 89 Ben Souther WR SR 90 Tanner Stumpe K RS FR 90 Chancey Rivers DE 91 Josh Dawson DE SR 92 Justin Young DE FR 93 Patrick Beless K SR 93 Chris Mayes DL SR 94 Michael Barnett DE FR 94 Thomas Pritchard K JR 95 Hudson Reynolds LS FR 96 DaQuan Hawkins DL FR 97 John Atkins DL RS SO 98 Rodrigo Blankenship K
Ht./Wt. 6-1/205 5-11/232 6-1/228 6-0/233 6-2/251 6-1/230 6-3/238 6-2/231 6-2/227 6-2/298 6-3/295 6-3/260 6-4/293 6-1/218 6-5/276 6-4/295 6-3/282 6-0/233 6-3/253 6-5/275 6-6/285 6-4/284 6-6/310 6-4/303 6-6/330 6-2/289 6-0/211 6-5/268 6-6/311 6-3/244 6-6/313 6-3/295 6-5/295 6-5/295 6-2/290 6-4/305 6-2/202 6-3/206 6-0/170 6-2/220 6-5/248 6-4/231 6-2/235 SR 6-6/250 6-6/247 6-4/240 6-3/284 6-2/201 5-8/166 6-3/272 6-4/273 6-4/264 5-9/166 6-4/323 6-4/276 5-10/163 6-4/215 6-4/302 6-4/300 FR
Hometown/Previous School Hallandale Beach, FL (Hallandale HS) Snellville, GA (Bethel University) Snellville, GA (South Gwinnett) Milton, GA (Milton) Blackshear, GA (Pierce County) John’s Creek, GA (Northview) Jacksonville, FL (Bolles School) Dublin, (West Laurens) Chelsea, AL (Chelsea) Fayetteville, NC (Pine Forest) Marietta, GA (Walton) Watkinsville, GA (Oconee County) Valdosta, GA (Lowndes) Watkinsville, GA (Oconee) Richmond, VA () Reistertown , MD (Franklin HS) Gainesville, GA (East Hall HS) Augusta, GA (Augusta Christian) Hamilton, GA (Harris County) South Bend, ID (IMG Academy) Atlanta, GA (Marist) Franklin, GA (Heard County) Atlanta, GA (Marist) Memphis, TN (Briarcrest Christian) Barnegat, NJ (Barnegat High) Cumming, GA (South Forsyth) Calhoun, GA (Calhoun) Valdosta, GA (Valdwood) Jacksonville, FL (The Bolles School) Jesup, GA (Wayne County) Baltimore, MD (The Boys Latin School) Athens, GA (Cedar Shoals) Buford, GA (Buford High) Dallas, GA (Paulding County) St. Petersburg, FL (Lakewood) Albany, GA (Westover) Marietta, GA (Lassiter) Evans, GA (Greenbrier) Tallahassee, FL (Lincoln) New Orleans, LA () Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Christian) Eastman, GA (Dodge County) Thomson, GA (Thomson) 5-11/201 Camilla, GA (Mitchell Co.) Valdosta, GA (Valdosta) Columbia, TN (Columbia Central) Tucker, GA (Tucker) Millen, GA (Jenkins County) Gainesville, GA (Chestatee) Albany, GA (Westover) , (Stephenson) Tucker, GA (Tucker High) Loganville, GA (Grayson) Atlanta, GA (Marist) Griffin, GA (Spalding High) Dorchester, SC (Woodlawn) Louisville, GA (Jefferson County) Bainbridge, GA (Bainbridge) Atlanta, GA (Westlake) Thomson, GA (Thomson) 6-1/185 Marietta, GA (Sprayberry)
18 • Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
Depth Charts for September 19, 6 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: LT: LG: C: RG: RT: TE: QB: FB:
1 Deebo Samuel 8 Shamier Jeffery 3 D.J. Neal 11 Pharoh Cooper 15 Matrick Belton 17 Carlton Heard 5 Terry Googer 4 Jalen Christian 71 Brandon Shell 55 Christian Pellage 76 Mike Matulis 78 Zack Bailey 70 Alan Knott 78 Zack Bailey 75 Will Sport 72 Donell Stanley 74 Mason Zandi 63 Blake Camper 89 Jerell Adams 81 Hayden Hurst 84 Kyle Markway 40 Jacob August 6 Connor Mitch 10 Perry Orth 12 Michael Scarnecchia 19 Lorenzo Nunez 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh
6-0, 202, RFr. 6-1, 198, Jr. 6-3, 193, Fr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 6-4, 209, Jr. 6-0, 182, Sr. 6-4, 226, RFr. 5-9, 177, Fr. 6-6, 328, Sr. 6-6, 314, Fr. 6-5, 293, Sr. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-4, 270, So. 6-6, 320, Fr. 6-5, 295, Sr. 6-4, 320, RFr. 6-9, 314, Jr. 6-8, 295, Fr. 6-6, 231, Sr. 6-5, 252, Fr. 6-4, 243, Fr. 6-6, 258, RFr. 6-3, 211, So. 6-1, 203, Jr. 6-4, 210, RFr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-2, 245, So.
Inman, S.C. St. Matthews, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. Havelock, N.C. Columbia, S.C. Athens, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. Damascus, Md. Goose Creek, S.C. Brooksville, Fla. Boynton Beach, Fla. Summerville, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Summerville, S.C. Milton, Fla. Floydale, S.C. Chapin, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Pinewood, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. St. Louis, Mo. Columbia, S.C. Raleigh, N.C. Ponte Verda, Fla. Fleming Island, Fla. Kennesaw, Ga. Leesville, S.C.
OFFENSE X: LT: LG: C: RG: RT: TE: QB: -OR- TB:
-OR- FB: F:
26 Malcolm Mitchell 6-1, 195, Sr. Valdosta, Ga. 82 Michael Chigbu 6-2, 216, Fr. New Orleans, La. 71 John Theus 6-6, 303, Sr. Jacksonville, Fla. 70 Aulden Bynum 6-5, 268, So. Valdosta, Ga. 77 Isaiah Wynn 6-2, 278, So. St. Petersburg, Fla. 55 Dyshon Sims 6-4, 293, So. Valdosta, Ga. 54 Brandon Kublanow 6-3, 282, Jr. Marietta, Ga. 66 Hunter Long 6-4, 303, Sr. Memphis, Tenn. 73 Greg Pyke 6-6, 313, Jr. Baltimore, Md. 53 Lamont Gaillard 6-2, 298, RFr. Fayetteville, N.C. 75 Kolton Houston 6-5, 285, Grad. Buford, Ga. 65 Kendall Baker 6-6, 310, RFr. Atlanta, Ga. 83 Jeb Blazevich 6-5, 248, So. Charlotte, N.C. 87 Jay Rome 6-6, 250, Grad. Valdosta, Ga. 11 Greyson Lambert 6-5, 220, Grad. Jesup, Ga. 10 Faton Bauta 6-3, 215, Grad. West Palm Beach, Fla. 12 Brice Ramsey 6-3, 213, So. Kingsland, Ga. 27 Nick Chubb 5-10, 220, So. Cedartown, Ga. 1 Sony Michel 5-11, 212, So. Plantation, Fla. 4 Keith Marshall 5-11, 212, Jr. Raleigh, N.C. 22 Brendan Douglas 5-11, 215, Jr. Augusta, Ga. 48 Quayvon Hicks 6-2, 251, Sr. Blackshear, Ga. 41 Christian Payne 6-1, 232, So. Athens, Ga. 16 Isaiah McKenzie 5-8, 170, So. Miami, Fla. 5 Terry Godwin 5-11, 174, Fr. Hogansville, Ga.
43 Garrison Gist 22 Brandon Wilds 33 David Williams 7 Shon Carson
5-10, 251, Sr. 6-2, 220, Sr. 6-1, 222, So. 5-8, 206, Sr.
Rock Hill, S.C. Blythewood, S.C. Philadelphia, Pa. Scranton, S.C.
DEFENSE DE: 18 Cedrick Cooper 55 David Johnson 44 Gerald Dixon DT: 90 Taylor Stallworth 95 Dante Sawyer 94 Kelsey Griffin NT: 92 Gerald Dixon, Jr. 52 Phillip Dukes 99 Abu Lamin DE: 8 Marquavius Lewis 5 Darius English 49 Boosie Whitlow MLB: 10 Skai Moore 11 T.J. Holloman WLB: 28 Jonathan Walton 4 Bryson Allen-Williams SLB: 23 Larenz Bryant 12 Ernest Hawkins SPR: 20 T.J. Gurley 26 Jasper Sasser 27 Toure Boyd
6-2, 248, Sr. 6-1, 240, So. 6-2, 269, Sr. 6-2, 308, So. 6-3, 291, So. 6-2, 316, Jr. 6-3, 327, Sr. 6-3, 319, Sr. 6-4, 326, Jr. 6-3, 264, Jr. 6-6, 225, Jr. 6-3, 240, Fr. 6-2, 218, Jr. 6-2, 231, Jr. 6-0, 235, Jr. 6-1, 233, So. 6-0, 220, Jr. 6-1, 224, So. 5-10, 193, Sr. 6-0, 210, So. 5-11, 180, Jr.
Lithonia, Ga. Lithonia, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Mobile, Ala. Suwanee, Ala. Buford, Ga. Rock Hill, S.C. Manning, S.C. Fayetteville, N.C. Greenwood, S.C. Powder Springs, Ga. Opelika, Ala. Cooper City, Fla. Stone Mountain, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Ellenwood, Ga. Charlotte, N.C. Baltimore, Md. Cairo, Ga. Jacksonville, Fla. R. Cucamonga, Calif.
LCB: 3 Chris Lammons 17 Chaz Elder FS: 21 Isaiah Johnson 6 Chris Moody SS: 42 Jordan Diggs 24 D.J. Smith RCB: 1 Rico McWilliams 7 Al Harris Jr.
5-10, 183, So. 6-2, 209, Jr. 6-0, 206, Sr. 6-1, 215, Jr. 6-0, 209, Jr. 5-11, 195, So. 5-11, 186, Jr. 5-11, 163, So.
Lauderhill, Fla. Union City, Ga. Cary, N.C. McDonough, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Hampton, Ga. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
SPECIALISTS KO: PK: P: KR: PR: SN: H:
19 Landon Ard 29 Elliott Fry 29 Elliott Fry 19 Landon Ard 13 Sean Kelly 85 Michael Almond 1 Deebo Samuel 7 Shon Carson 11 Pharoh Cooper 3 Chris Lammons 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 13 Sean Kelly 19 Landon Ard
5-9, 182, Sr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 6-0, 164, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 6-3, 200, Fr. 6-0, 202, RFr. 5-8, 206, Sr. 5-11, 207, Jr. 5-10, 183, So. 6-2, 213, Jr. 6-0, 224, RFr. 5-10, 189, Jr. 5-9, 182, Sr.
Rock Hill, S.C. Frisco, Texas Frisco, Texas Rock Hill, S.C. Oakland, Fla. North Augusta, S.C. Inman, S.C. Scranton, S.C. Havelock, N.C. Lauderhill, Fla. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Oakland, Fla. Rock Hill, S.C.
81 Reggie Davis 2 Jayson Stanley
6-0, 170, Jr. 6-2, 204, Fr.
Tallahassee, Fla. Fairburn, Ga.
DEFENSE DT: -OR- N: -OR- DE: -OR- SAM: -OR- JACK: MIKE: -OR- WILL: -OR- BC: LC: -OR- LS:
97 John Atkins 6-4, 300, So. 89 James DeLoach 6-3, 284, Sr. 78 Trenton Thompson 6-4, 307, Fr. 93 Chris Mayes 6-4, 323, Sr. 97 John Atkins 6-4, 300, So. 96 DaQuan Hawkins 6-4, 302, Fr. 58 Sterling Bailey 6-3, 282, Grad. 91 Josh Dawson 6-4, 273, Sr. 84 Leonard Floyd 6-4, 231, Jr. 7 Lorenzo Carter 6-6, 242, So. 59 Jordan Jenkins 6-3, 253, Sr. 17 Davin Bellamy 6-5, 241, So. 51 Jake Ganus 6-2, 233, Sr. 45 Reggie Carter 6-1, 228, Jr. 42 Tim Kimbrough 6-0, 226, Jr. 84 Leonard Floyd 6-4, 231, Jr. 35 Aaron Davis 6-1, 190, So. 12 Juwuan Briscoe 5-11, 193, Fr. 14 Malkom Parrish 5-10, 188, So. 36 Rico McGraw 6-0, 192, Fr. 20 Quincy Mauger 6-0, 200, Jr.
Thomson, Ga. Millen, Ga. Albany, Ga. Griffin, Ga. Thomson, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. Gainesville, Ga. Tucker, Ga. Eastman, Ga. Norcross, Ga. Hamilton, Ga. Chamblee, Ga. Chelsea, Ala. Snellville, Ga. Indianapolis, Ind. Eastman, Ga. Locust Grove, Ga. Waldorf, Md. Quitman, Ga. Nashville, Tenn. Marietta, Ga.
25 Johnathan Abram 6-1, 200, Fr. 24 Dominick Sanders 6-0, 189, So. 19 Jarvis Wilson 6-2, 190, Fr.
Columbia, Miss. Tucker, Ga. Tupelo, Miss.
SPECIAL TEAMS P: 32 Collin Barber 97 Will Cowart PK/KO: 13 Marshall Morgan 32 Collin Barber SN: 49 Nathan Theus 69 Trent Frix H: 10 Faton Bauta 32 Collin Barber
6-2, 208, Sr. Cartersville, Ga. 6-3, 164, RFr. Warner Robins, Ga. 6-3, 194, Sr. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 6-2, 208, Sr. Cartersville, Ga. 6-3, 238, Grad. Jacksonville, Fla. 6-0, 211, Jr. Calhoun, Ga. 6-3, 215, Grad. West Palm Beach, Fla. 6-2, 208, Sr. Cartersville, Ga.
*These depth charts are taken from the listings from each team’s previous game. Spurs & Feathers goes to print shortly after the conclusion of each game. Please visit www.spursandfeathers.com over the course of the week for updated depth charts.
Spurs & Feathers • 19
September 16, 2015
Team effort honored at Springs Brooks Plaza dedication by brian hand Executive Editor
The late afternoon and early evening of Friday, Sept. 11, in Columbia, South Carolina was absolutely picturesque. As per normal it was a little hot in the latter part of the afternoon and early evening, but there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Since it was the day that South Carolina was officially dedicating the Springs Brooks Plaza on the grounds of Williams-Brice Stadium the Chamber of Commerce-type day was very apropos for a plaza that has been a long time in the works and already means so much to Gamecocks everywhere. South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner had been waiting a long time for the day to officially get here. “It’s very exciting,” Tanner said. “I think just like last night with the Hall of Fame celebration there was so much emotion and today is the same. This is the dedication of the Springs Brooks Plaza and so many wonderful people have been a part of this. Tami Brooks and her family are here for this wonderful celebration and it’s a new look to Williams-Brice and it’s so exciting. There’s so much energy and passion that we have for the University and the great state we live in. It’s a great day.” The celebration of Springs Brooks Plaza that was coupled around the annual Garnet Society kickoff event also featured ribbon cuttings of not only the plaza itself, but also the named gates and the Bignon Game Day Center as part of leadership gifts to help the funding of the Springs Brooks Plaza. The first ribbon cutting of the day was for the Bignon Game Day Center, which is a 12,000-square-foot building that will house the ticket office, the parking office and the merchandise store on the grounds of Williams-Brice Stadium. Following the Bignon Game Day Center ribbon cutting there were also ribbon cuttings on the day for the Adams Gate, the Hardee Gate, the Jeffcoat Gate, the Long Gate and the Mitchell Gate. Brooks and her family obviously gave the lead gift for Springs Brooks Plaza, but she knows it never could have been a reality without the generous donations of others. “Thank you so much to all the other donors,” Brooks said at the dedication. “If all of you had not given then this plaza could not be a reality.” South Carolina senior associate athletics director for development Jeff Crane completely
photo by brian hand
agrees with Brooks. He knows that the whole project was a total team effort. “It took a huge team to make this project a reality,” Crane relayed. “Everybody from the president to the Board of Trustees, the vision that they have of what this stadium could be and Coach Tanner who really pressed on the gas and said this is a priority for us, we’ve got to make this happen. And then the donors that gave the dollars to make it happen and also we had hundreds of folks morning, afternoon and night working diligently to make this place look like it does. It was a team effort for sure.” Current “Voice of the Gamecocks” and Gamecock quarterback legend Todd Ellis served as the emcee at the dedication and he fully believes the addition of Springs Brooks Plaza is akin to what is going on altogether at the University. “The transformation of this space that we see today is much like the transformation that has occurred at our University and athletics program under the leadership of Dr. Harris Pastides and Ray Tanner,” Ellis noted. “Ap-
plications at the University soar just as the success on the athletics fields rises to new heights.” During his time on stage speaking about the generosity of Brooks and her family, president Pastides pointed out that Gamecocks everywhere now have another place to brag about. “I now have a second favorite place after the Horseshoe,” Pastides said. “I don’t think the Horseshoe can ever be eclipsed as the favorite place for any Carolinian and any Gamecock. But I think now with the Springs Brooks Plaza, I have officially a second favorite place at the University of South Carolina.” Brooks knows that life is all about relationships and she particularly wanted to make mention of her late husband, Bob Brooks, at the dedication. “He was born in Loris (South Carolina) and grew up on a farm in Loris and he worked very, very hard and the Lord blessed him with wisdom to make good business decisions,” Brooks said. “Bob���s hard work and God’s blessing enabled me to give this money to the
plaza.” Springs Brooks’ father, Jack, fully believed in faith, family and football and he was a trailblazer for Gamecocks everywhere by providing the football program with team travel blazers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jack Springs’ passion for the Gamecocks was passed on to everyone in his family and now his legacy will be honored forever with a special display of the travel blazers on the Springs Brooks Plaza grounds. What started as a simple request by South Carolina for a donation with a couple of different options for Brooks is now a resounding success in the form of Springs Brooks Plaza. It might not have been game day at Carolina, but the picturesque evening for the Springs Brooks Plaza dedication sure felt like a Gamecock win. And it was. A win that will be remembered and enjoyed for years to come. To borrow a quote from the Head Ball Coach himself: “God is smiling on the Gamecocks.”
20 • Spurs & Feathers
September 16, 2015
View from the Kentucky locker room swered and not get rattled was huge. It was a huge step in our program and showed some maturity.” There’s a philosophy instilled by head Kentucky (2-0, 1-0 SEC) was forced to coach Mark Stoops that proved to be exhold off a late charge by an opponent for tremely useful during Kentucky’s 26-22 the second straight week. After blowing a upset win over South Carolina on Satur23-point lead in the season opener against day, Sept. 12. Louisiana Lafayette, the Wildcats almost Going into hostile road environments, let a 17-point halftime lead slip away Stoops tells his players to “run to war” and against South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC). embrace the pressure and adversity. A 33-yard touchdown pass from Perry After losing 22 road games in a row, his Orth to tight end Jerell Adams cut Kenplayers finally listened against the Game- tucky’s lead to two points at 24-22. With a cocks. little over eight minutes remaining in the Things didn’t start out so well for Kengame, South Carolina head coach Steve tucky as South Carolina got a Skai Moore Spurrier decided to go for two. Pharoh interception early to set up a one-yard Cooper received the direct snap, but fumtouchdown run by Connor Mitch that gave bled the ball as he was hit near the goal the Gamecocks an early 7-0 lead. line. Kentucky linebacker Denzil Ware However, Kentucky used a 10-play, picked up the ball and raced the other way 80-yard drive that was capped off by an to give the Wildcats a 26-22 lead. eight-yard touchdown run by Mikel Horton The Gamecocks were then driving late to tie things back up at seven. That proved in the game, but freshman defensive back to be the first of 24 unanswered points as Chris Westry intercepted an Orth pass Kentucky took a 24-7 lead into halftime. with about four minutes remaining in the “We talk about all kinds of situations to game to seal the deal. start the game,” Stoops said. “With that “We came out hot,” quarterback Patrick type of adversity and this type of hostile Towles said. “We did not sustain it the way environment, to overcome that in the first we wanted to, but we made plays when we half and bounce back to score 24 unanhad to. I think that is going to be a nice
photo by allen sharpe
theme this year.” “We knew this was going to be a fourquarter game,” Stoops added. “It always seems to happen, we are very evenly matched.” Despite holding a 256-92 advantage in total yards in the second half, the Gamecocks were unable to complete the comeback. “Give South Carolina credit, they played their tails off in the second half, got big stops and we got critical penalties,” Stoops said. The South Carolina defense was able to force four straight three and outs to begin the second half, but the Gamecock offense was held to field goals on the other end, preserving the Kentucky lead. It was obviously a huge win for the Wildcats as they broke the long road losing streak. It was the first win in an opposing stadium for Kentucky since the season opener in 2010. “This means a lot to me,” senior linebacker Khalid Henderson said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world. I feel our team is just united and it brought us together as a true family. We just need to build off of this moment and take it to the next game.”
by kyle heck Reporter
Spurs & Feathers • 21
September 16, 2015
Equestrian team receives National Championship rings by kyle heck Reporter
After getting their National Championship ring boxes on Tuesday, Sept. 9, the South Carolina equestrian team had to wait to open them. Not until everyone in the room had a box were they allowed to open the boxes. When that moment finally came, gasps filled the room as the student-athletes finally got to see their title rings. The moment came nearly five months after the Gamecocks knocked off SEC rival Georgia to claim their third National Championship. The equestrian team gathered in the Frank McGuire room at the Colonial Life Arena, where they were joined by University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides for the special occasion. “We really wanted to do something different,” head coach Boo Major said. “Last year, we got the (SEC Championship) rings the night before a football game, so we just gave them to them on the field. The year before we had a kind of impromptu (celebration) at the barn.” However, the Gamecocks wanted to do something special for the championship rings so they decided to hold it in the McGuire room, where there was a potluck dinner and a family atmosphere, just the way Major wanted it. With the National Championship this past year, Major said she and her team have started to get a lot more recognition around Columbia. “It’s been great,” Major said. “You start to notice that there are more people that understand that the University has an equestrian program. I find if I introduce myself, people will say ‘oh, your team has done really well at USC.’ That lets me know that the word is getting out and that these girls are doing a super job representing USC and the team. I think that’s what is really special.” Pastides agreed, saying that there aren’t many people on campus who don’t know about the great things the equestrian team is doing. That recognition will only continue to grow, as the Gamecocks were also honored on the field during the football team’s game against Kentucky on Saturday, Sept. 12.
photo by juan blas
Pictured from left-to-right at the ring ceremony are Dr. Harris Pastides, Samantha Kraus and South Carolina head coach Boo Major. Senior Samantha Kraus is running out of fingers to put rings on. She was part of the back-to-back SEC Championships as well as the title run in 2014. Of course, getting rings never gets old. “It’s awesome,” Kraus said. “To start the year off kind of remembering how last year went makes it even better and puts a little fire in us to get the new season started.” When designing the ring, Major and her staff wanted to make it as meaningful as possible. The end product was a massive rock that featured three big stones that represented the three National Championships the team has recorded, as well as four gar-
net stones that represent the four rings won over the past four years. In addition, there is an inscription inside the ring that shows the final scores of the three meets South Carolina won to win the title last season. “When people see this ring, they’re going to know it’s a National Championship ring,” Major told the team. The Gamecocks will get to admire their rings for a couple of weeks before they start their national title defense. This time next year, South Carolina is hoping that it will be holding another ring ceremony. “There is no better way to start this season off than coming off of a National Championship,” Kraus said.
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September 16, 2015
South Carolina/Kentucky postgame notes and quotes south carolina athletics media relations
On what to tell the team “It’s over with. We lost. We’ll go back on film and look at the mistakes and learn from them. We’ll get ready for Georgia next week. It’s an away game and they have a big, tough crowd. We’re past this game. We’re trying to get ready for Georgia. That’s the whole mentality now. We need to go out and have a strong week of practice and be ready for them.”
GENERAL NOTES • South Carolina fell to Kentucky, 26-22, at WilliamsBrice Stadium to open SEC play. • Captains for South Carolina for the game were: junior linebacker Skai Moore, senior free safety Isaiah Johnson, junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and senior offensive linemen Mike Matulis. • The game marked the 27th meeting between South Carolina and Kentucky. With the loss, the Gamecocks now hold a 17-9-1 lead in the all-time series including 8-4-1 at home. The Gamecocks have won 13 of 16 meetings this century. • Steve Spurrier now owns a 20-3 career record vs. Kentucky. • Attendance was 82,178. OFFENSIVE NOTES • Sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch’s one-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter marked the first of his career. He finished 4-of-7 for 43 yards and ran four times for seven yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. • Junior quarterback Perry Orth came on for Mitch in the second quarter and finished 13-of-20 for 179 yards, including his first career touchdown pass. Orth completed his first pass of the night for 19 yards for the longest completion of his career before he later hooked up with Jerell Adams for a 33-yard touchdown. • Junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper recorded nine catches for 100 yards. That marks the fifth 100-yard performance of his career. • Senior running back Brandon Wilds had 16 rushes for 107 yards. His 34-yard run in the third quarter marked his longest run of the season. Wilds now has five 100-yard performances in his career. • Senior tight end Jerell Adams finished with three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. His 33-yard touchdown reception from Perry Orth marked his longest catch of the season and the fifth touchdown reception of his career. • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Deebo Samuel recorded the first reception of his career with a 10-yard haul for a first down on a fourth-down play in the fourth quarter. • Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez received his first action of the season, recording a 33-yard rush at the end of the first half. He ended the night with 40 yards on two rushes.
South Carolina junior quarterback Perry Orth On the possibility of being the new starter “The first two weeks I prepared like I was going to start regardless of if I was backing up or not. I worked very hard to give myself the best chance to succeed so I felt like I’m just going to continue what I’ve been doing the first two weeks and hopefully have a better outcome next week. On missed chances in the red zone “It’s very frustrating. We moved the ball so easily to get all the way down there and then when we get there we can’t punch it in. We’ll have to look at the tape to see where we can learn from our adjustments. We are very frustrated. Especially considering if you change one of those field goals to a touch down and we win the ball game.”
Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops On the South Carolina defensive performance in the In his first action as a Gamecock, freshman quarterback second half Lorenzo Nunez finished with 40 yards on two rushes. “It was really big. The momentum was going against us and to get those stops was really big. I kept on thinking we • Darius English recorded a sack in the second quarter, would get somethings going offensively because we moved putting him at 1.5 sacks on the season and 6.5 sacks in his it pretty well in the first half. Again give them credit, they career. played really hard, they had the momentum, they had the • True freshman defensive end Boosie Whitlow registered crowd.” two quarterback hurries in his second career game. Category SC KY SPECIAL TEAM NOTES 1st Downs 22 19 • Junior punter Sean Kelly’s 53-yard punt in the first Total Yards 417 399 quarter was downed inside the five-yard line, the third punt Passing 222 192 downed inside the 20 this season. Rushing 195 205 • Junior placekicker Elliott Fry connected on field goals Penalties-Yards 5-50 7-74 of 21, 27 and 29 yards in the third quarter. That marks his 3rd Down Conversions 2-10 4-14 fourth-career game with three or more field goals. He is 4th Down Conversions 1-1 2-2 now 14-for-14 for his career inside 30 yards. He is now Turnovers 1 1 4-for-6 for the season, missing a 42-yard attempt in the secTime of Possession 28:12 31:48 ond quarter, and 37-for-49 for his career. • The 24-yard punt return by junior Pharoh Cooper in the Passing Leaders third quarter was his first return of the season and the lonSouth Carolina COM ATT YDS TD INT gest punt return for the Gamecocks this year. Orth 13 20 179 1 1 Mitch 4 7 43 0 0 South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier Kentucky COM ATT YDS TD INT DEFENSIVE NOTES On figuring out his team Towles 21 29 192 0 1 • Junior linebacker Jonathan Walton led the team with 11 “The second half we did a lot of good things. We moved Rushing Leaders tackles. Walton recorded the first forced fumble of his cathe ball offensively, we just didn’t score. We had Jerell South Carolina CAR YDS AVG TD LG reer on a Kentucky third down deep in Gamecock territory. (Adams) running open one time but Perry (Orth) went Wilds 16 106 6.6 0 34 The Gamecocks have now forced three fumbles through to the other guy. Perry made some beautiful throws. We Nunez 2 40 20.0 0 33 their first two games. play these games all the time where one play determines Kentucky CAR YDS AVG TD LG • Skai Moore’s grabbed his third interception of the season the winner as you guys know. This week one or two plays Williams 14 107 7.6 0 25 and the 10th of his career. He is now tied for 8th in school didn’t go our way.” Kemp 13 78 6.0 1 27 history for interceptions in a career. He finished with 8 Receiving Leaders tackles, a tackle-for-loss, an interception and a pass-breakSouth Carolina junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper South Carolina REC YDS AVG TD LG up. On the fumble on the extra-point attempt Cooper 9 100 11.1 0 24 • The Gamecocks defense forced four three-and-outs to “I just went up the middle and I honestly really don’t Adams 3 52 17.3 1 33 start the second half, helping South Carolina cut a 17-point know what happened. I lost it. It shouldn’t have happened Kentucky REC YDS AVG TD LG deficit to 2. The Kentucky offense was shut out in the secthat way but it did.” Baker 5 55 11.0 0 20 ond half and held to 92 yards and four first downs. Johnson 5 45 9.0 0 19 photo by jenny dilworth
Spurs & Feathers • 23
September 16, 2015
The best thing about the games is you don’t play them on paper When asked during the week what I awaits this team. The best thing about the thought about this season’s Gamecock team games is that you don’t play them on paper. my honest answer was, “we’ll know a lot What I can tell you is that this Steve Spurmore after the Kentucky game.” rier team has a very strong character. I can Now my honest answer is, “I don’t know.” assure you unequivocally that there will be Is the offense the one that could only score a no finger pointing, no name calling among short-field touchdown in the first half, or the the players over this setback. This was a team one that marched up and down the field with loss in every sense of the word. a backup quarterback in the second? It is my impression that this team will go Is it the defense that was scorched by the back to the film room and the practice field Wildcats for 24 points in the first 30 minutes, with an even higher level of intensity. This or the one that didn’t surrender a point in the group of Gamecocks may not win a lot of last 30? games, but I will guarantee you they will get Though some of you may disagree, I’m better each week, it’s just who they are. pleased with the effort the Gamecocks gave. As I always remind fans when the future Both sides of the ball picked up their intendoesn’t look bright – these are just young sity in the second half and gave college students, with all the it all they had until the final pressure that entails, trying to whistle. To me, the most imbecome better football players portant barometer of a football to help their team win and grow game is – were you in a position into adults. What they deserve to win it at the end? The Cocks from us is our support for their scratched and clawed their way efforts – win or lose. to that point, they just couldn’t I have to say something about close the deal on a good, wellthe new Springs Brooks Plaza. coached Kentucky team. It is absolutely the most perfect photo by jenny dilworth I’m already hearing the “it’s design for the stadium. The going to be a horrible season,” way the architects brought the and “we’ll be lucky to become look of the Horseshoe with pilon Carolina for not having an on-campus sta- eyes at Williams-Brice and you will believe Glenn Snyder bowl eligible” cries from fans, lars and posts and fencing was dium but it’s less than half a mile as the crow you’re there. Inside and maybe that’s the fate that genius. It’s always been a knock flies from Gamecock Village, and close your It’s a great time to be a Gamecock! Look
Langston Moore: Erase the shoulds
In life we have a tendency to play the “should game” when things don’t workout the way we want. I think back to my own trials I can distinctly remember saying, “I should’ve done this, I should’ve done that.” Ultimately working myself up to be upset about something I couldn’t change. After losing Saturday, The Gamecocks had a slight case of the “shoulds.” And rightfully so after being the team that finally let “big blue nation” win on the road in the SEC. It Langston Moore was a tale of Contributing two halves, Writer one where the Wildcats dominated offensively and then were dominated defensively by the Gamecocks. In between the two contrasting halves were opportunities for victory on the gar-
net and black side of things, but penalties, missed field goals, and red zone shutouts ultimately sealed the deal on the win for the other side. Now that the unthinkable happened Saturday (Carolina losing to a team they had the opportunity to beat) the “shoulds” will come on like a case of montezuma’s revenge. “Should we have kicked the extra point instead of going for two?” “Should we have run the ball instead of calling a pass play?” “Should we have recruited better in the past so as to not have some of the depth issues we have now?” Let me make you aware these are not the questions of this writer, these are the questions posed by fans that have not gotten what they wanted in a Carolina victory. No attention was paid to the obvious symptoms of the case of the “shoulds.” Yes the loss is nauseating but the cure isn’t more second guessing and doing that hindsight 20/20 thing. The cure is for our team to understand its strengths and weakness, and to not create more road blocks when in our pursuit of victory. I’m referring to how we will win games this season: playing lights out defense (see
photo by allen sharpe
2nd half of both games), run the football (even when it’s obvious it’s coming), no turnovers on offense and create plenty on defense (Carolina lost the turnover battle against Kentucky). This team is coming into the land of “self realization” of what its persona is on the field when it pertains to winning games. This is just who we are this
moment, and that’s OK (in my Dr. Phil voice). But when we play the “should” game we live in the past and dwell in a place that won’t change what happened. It takes the focus away on what one could possibly “be.” For our football team this means they could really develop into a tough team mentally and physically if they press on and improve daily. Putting the focus on the things we do well in games as opposed to the things we “should’ve” been doing in our past contest. On the horizon is another SEC opponent that cares very little about our “shoulds” and rightfully so because this squad will have to understand that it isn’t about the opponent and what they do, it’s about what we do. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a player, fan or coach the best remedy for all of these “should” thoughts is winning. So let’s stop “shoulding” on ourselves and focus on beating the Dawgs. Follow Langston Moore on Twitter at: @reMovetheChains #justachicken #eat2win #yoby
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September 16, 2015
Men’s basketball newcomers may be ready to make impact right away College basketball can be a tricky sport to figure out as you barely get to know the freshmen that enter a school before they bolt for the NBA. Fans rarely get to develop a love or hate relationship with players since you only see them play in 35 games at most before they join the nameless, faceless players that make up the NBA. This season for Frank Martin though, fans may want to start getting to know some of talented freshmen that will arrive on campus. Although Martin spent the past four years building the South Carolina basketball roster into one capable of comAll Gamecock basketball peting in the coverage sponsored by Southeastern Yesterdays Conference this year’s crop of newcomers may be ready to make their impact right away. The headliner of the class was Spring Valley High School product Perry Dozier Jr. who was sought by multiple high profile programs across the country. While some freshmen will want to take their time adjusting to the new system, their first year of college and all the hardships that go with it, Dozier is ready to make an impact starting in game one. Dozier’s versatile skill set along with his 6-foot-7 frame will allow him to play multiple positions and be on the court at the teaming with seniors Laimonas Chatkevisame time as veterans Duane Notice and cius and Mindaugas Kacinas which should Sindarius Thornwell. That should help ease help his transition. his transition into his first season but also Late in the recruiting process, the Gamemake the Gamecocks a better team when cocks also managed to gain a commitment he is on the floor. from 6-foot-7 power forward Raymond While Dozier might have been the most Doby orginally of St. Louis, Mo. Most visable signee of the class, he may not be fans might have just seen Doby commit the most important. That distinction falls and assumed it was just a late addition on 6-foot-9 forward Chris Silva who brings to Martin’s roster but that is not to be asa different element to the Gamecocks ros- sumed. ter. Those traits are what made for a happy Martin had targeted Doby much earlier Gamecock head basketball coach the day in the recruiting process however Doby Silva signed his letter of elected to commit to DePaul. intent. When head coach Oliver Pur“I couldn’t be more excited nell was let go following the to add him to our front line, season, Doby re-opened his and add his athleticism, recruitment and waiting with toughness and shot-blocking open arms was the Gameability,” Martin said. cocks head man who sees a Although still considered player ready to step in and a raw athlete that needs to contribute early on. learn some of the finer points “(Raymond) is that ideal of playing at the college levguy because of our defensive el, Silva has the athletic abilconcepts, where he can step ity to be a difference maker out and defend on the perimBill Gunter in the lane. Just as Dozier eter, but yet be strong enough Contributing will have help playing with to play and defend in the post. Writer upperclassmen, Silva will be Martin said.”
photo by allen sharpe
The Gamecocks also signed guard Jamall the SEC. Gregory along with center Eric Cobb however with Martin having built some depth Lexington County Gamecock Club on the roster it is possible those players Frank Martin Banquet will not be needed to contribute as much in 2015. WHEN: Tuesday, September 29 It would not surprise though to see WHERE: Country Club of Lexington Dozier, Silva and Doby be counted on to START TIME: 5:30 p.m. provide quality minutes. All three arrived BUFFET OPENS: 6:15 p.m. on campus with high expecatations and INTRO OF SPEAKERS: 7:00 p.m. bring with them a skill set the Gamecocks need early on. The biggest key will be how Table and Ticket prices: quickly they can adjust to the defensive concepts that Martin wants to employ in Head Coach Table (Frank Martin) $500 2015. (Sold) One of the biggest traits that Martin likes (1 Drink Ticket per Person) in his defenders is length to disrupt passing lanes and toughness to provide reboundAsst. Coaches Tables (4 tables) $350 ing. The freshman trio should be able to (These Tables are located on Front Row) step in starting from day one and give help in both of those area’s. Reserved Tables (8 tables) $300 While it is unlikely that any of the three (These tables located behind Front Row) freshman elect to turn professional after their first season in college, it would Individual Tickets $30 behoove Gamecock fans to get to know them. They will be the players that team Eventbrite (Tickets online) www.eventwith the veterans to provide the majority brite.com of firepower in 2015 and should transition Martin’s program into the upper echleon of Any questions, please call 803-608-2538
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September 16, 2015
South Carolina hoping to build off of historic season by kyle heck Reporter Coming off of one of the best seasons in school history, South Carolina is looking to do even more damage in 2015. With the return of studs Matt NeSmith and Will Starke, along with other talented veterans, the Gamecocks, who are ranked No. 7 in Golfweek’s preseason countdown, are in prime position to do just that. South Carolina won a school-record five tournament titles last season, notched a school-record 10 top-5 finishes and shattered the school record for team scoring average. The Gamecocks finished tied for second at the SEC Championship with NeSmith capturing the individual title. South Carolina was also runner-ups at the NCAA Bremerton Regional while securing their third straight appearance in the NCAA Championship. However, South Carolina stumbled at the championship and missed out on match play for the third straight year. With a talented, veteran group the Gamecocks know they have to take advantage of this season. “We just need to get over the hump and win some championships,” Starke said. “Everything in the regular season is just going to be building up and we’re trying to get better so we can compete for a SEC and National Championship.” Along with seniors Starke and NeSmith, South Carolina returns fellow senior Sean Kelly (five top-20 finishes in 2014), sophomore Keenan Huskey (73.89 scoring average in 2014) and junior Ben Dietrich (five career top-20 finishes). Throw in a talented trio of freshmen that include Will Miles, Ryan Stachler and Scott Stevens and the Gamecocks are in good shape. “The guys are experienced and the guys have done very well,” assistant coach Alex Hamilton said. “Sean had a good year last year and he’s continued to get better and had a great summer throughout. Matt of course made a great run at making the Walker Cup team and fell just short. Starke set our single-season scoring record last year, Keenan won the state amateur by nine shots, shot 19-under for four rounds. Really had a lot of positive things and then our freshmen have come in this year and competed really hard and worked really hard. We’re really excited to get a couple of them in the lineup. All three of them have played very, very well and all three we plan on playing this year. Ben Dietrich is coming back as a veteran who shot 70 the final round of nationals two years ago at Prairie Dunes as a freshman. He’s a heck of a player as well. We really feel like we’re eight or nine deep as far as people that can compete at a very high level.” The Gamecocks got the 2015 season started with a trip to Rocky Face, Georgia to participate in the Carpet Capital Collegiate over the weekend of Sept. 11, 2015. As Hamilton mentioned, several Gamecocks had outstanding summers. Kelly won a U.S. Amateur qualifier to make the championship field while NeSmith won the Players Amateur, clinching a spot in the PGA’s 2016 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head. Those performances in the offseason go a long way in determining how a team will do in the fall and spring seasons. Hamilton recalled an exercise used by another college coach early in his playing career to demonstrate the importance. “The coach said his first qualifier was to actually take
photo by allen sharpe
your shoes and socks off and see who has tan feet versus white feet,” Hamilton said. “If you have white feet, you’ve been playing golf and if you have tan feet, you’ve been going to the beach. So for these guys, the summer golf really is critical for their development as players and their potential growth in the professional ranks. Those are some of the best tournaments they could possibly play in and our guys have busted their tails all summer long and have done very well.” As mentioned by Starke, the Gamecocks are trying to
use this regular-season as a stepping stone to bigger and better things in the postseason. If they are able to do that, this senior-laden team will get one heck of a parting present. “The only thing we can do is try and work our hardest and do our best every time we tee it up,” Hamilton said. “If the chips fall where they may and we’re able to have another top-10 finish and No. 1 seed, that would be great. Our goals are set more long-term and we’re going to try and win a SEC or National Championship this year.”
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September 16, 2015
Anderson ‘very pleased’ with team entering 2015-16 season
by kyle heck Reporter
As the Gamecocks prepare to start another season, they’ll have to figure out a way to replace the production of Justine Dreher, who was a two-time All-American in her career with South Carolina. However, head coach Kalen Anderson has the talent on her team to help offset that loss. Katelyn Dambaugh returns after an outstanding sophomore season that saw her record five top-20 finishes and three top-10 and top-5 finishes. Sophomore Ainhoa Olarra and senior Sarah Schmelzel are a couple of the other golfers that will get a chance to step up in 2015. “Obviously, we’re going to have a couple new players in the lineup,” Anderson said. “We’re going to have to fill that gap with Justine leaving. I’m very, very pleased with what I’ve seen so far. Katelyn Dambaugh’s game has looked better than I have ever seen it and so does Sarah’s. They’re going to step out as our leaders. I’m very pleased with the way they’ve come back and the role that they’re taking on initially.” The outside world also has confidence that the Gamecocks can continue to perform at a high level as Golfweek has South Carolina No. 10 in their preseason rankings. After starting the season a bit later than normal last year, Anderson is doing the same in 2015. The Gamecocks won’t start the new campaign until the weekend of Sept. 18, at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tennessee before participating in the prestigious ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Reunion, Florida. “I thought that helped our team last year get a little more prepared and have an extra few weeks to get ready,” Anderson said. “I thought we were very prepared going into the ANNIKA last year.” Prepared they were, as the Gamecocks claimed the team title at the ANNIKA in 2014, their first of two tournament titles during the regular-season. South Carolina enjoyed a lot of success last season, garnering the first ever No. 1 ranking after its win in Reunion while also capturing the NCAA East Regional Championship. With that win, the Game-
photo by allen sharpe
cocks became one of only five teams to appear in six straight NCAA Championships. With new leaders emerging this season, Anderson has made sure they understand what kind of expectations the Gamecocks have year in and year out. “They know what the standard of our program is,” Anderson said of Dambaugh and Schmelzel. “They know what our program is about and they’re filling that leadership role to kind of uphold and show the others where we need to be. It’s kind of
set the standard for the younger players.” South Carolina has two freshmen in Gaby Amos and Isidora Nilsson that Anderson expects to make an impact this year. “They’re ready to go and certainly I think at this point, I couldn’t be happier with the way we look as a relatively young team,” Anderson said. When forming the schedule, Anderson made sure she put her team in the best possible tournaments to get ready for what she hopes will be another long NCAA Championship run.
“We just need to get better every day and every week and progress and get us to the postseason,” Anderson said. “We’re looking to contend every week and win championships. I think we have a really stacked field in the fall and spring. That will help us prepare and be ready for SEC, NCAA Regionals and the National Championship. If we’re getting better every week, that’s going to give us the best opportunity when we go to the postseason to be prepared and hopefully win at that time.”
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Imovbioh wants to be part of ‘something special’ by kyle heck Reporter Incoming transfer Sarah Imovbioh was the go-to player at her previous school, Virginia. Opposing teams knew that they had to focus the majority of their attention on the 6-foot-2 center. Imovbioh was a double-double machine with the Cavaliers, racking up 27 in three years at Virginia while leading the ACC with 10.8 rebounds per game last season. However, despite all of that, Imovbioh realized that if she wanted to accomplish one of her dreams of playing in the NCAA Tournament, she would probably have to do so at another school. In the three years that Imovbioh was with the Cavaliers, the team hovered around .500 and the only postseason berth was a WNIT bid in 2014-15. So after graduating this past May, Imovbioh decided to make the move to South Carolina to play her final year, knowing she would have a great chance to play deep into the NCAA Tournament with the Gamecocks coming off of a Final Four appearance the previous year. “I just wanted to end on a positive note,” said Imovbioh, who will be immediately eligible to play after graduating. “I’m excited to be a part of a team that has the potential to compete for a National Championship. I’m just really excited. I’ve never been on that platform before and I’m just ready for it.” Imovbioh said she was drawn to head coach Dawn Staley’s system of frequently using four post players and knew she would have a lot more help around her talent-wise. In addition, coming from Virginia, Imovbioh was very familiar with Staley, who helped lead the Cavaliers to three Final Fours and a National Championship game appearance as a player from 198992. “That’s something special,” Imovbioh said of playing for a Virginia legend. “I love the fact that I’m here playing for Coach Staley. She’s really big back in Charlottesville (Virginia). Everyone loves her. She definitely left a mark.” Speaking of leaving a mark, Imovbioh did just that in her three years at Virginia. As a freshman, she led the ACC with a 59.1 percent field goal percentage while also adding 6.8 rebounds per game. She upped her rebounds to 8.2 per game as a sophomore while also being the team’s second-leading scorer with 12.3 points per game. Imovbioh also averaged an ACChigh four offensive rebounds per game as a sophomore.
photo by kyle heck
Last year as a junior, Imovbioh established herself as one of the best rebounders in the country. She averaged 10.8 rebounds per game, which led the ACC and was 19th in the nation, while also posting 13 double-doubles. One glance at a few of her stat lines from last year quickly tell the story of how much of an impact player Imovbioh is. In the seasonopener against Ohio State, Imovbioh All Gamecock basketball scored 18 coverage sponsored by points and Yesterdays grabbed 24
rebounds, a single-game Virginia record. She had a 25-point, 15-rebound performance against Longwood, a 21-point, 19-rebound game against Davidson, 18 points, 18 rebounds at Pittsburgh and recorded 22 points, 17 rebounds against Louisville. “Rebounding is something I love doing,” Imovbioh said. “I would rather rebound than score. It’s just something that I love to do, especially offensive rebounds. That gets me going and it motivates my team also.” With that kind of talk, she’ll pick up right where Aleighsa Welch left off last year. Welch left South Carolina with 449 career offensive rebounds, which was the most in program history. “I really admired that about her,” Imovbioh said of Welch.
As for the teammates that she’ll be playing with this season, Imovbioh said the transition has not been quite what she expected, but in a good way. “I thought it was going to be hard to fit into this environment because I was new,” Imovbioh said. “But I fit in perfectly. They accept me. On this team, you’re going to find someone who has the same personality as you. The girls have definitely made the transition so much easier for me and the coaches too.” With the season just a few months away, Imovbioh is looking forward to helping the Gamecocks get back to the Final Four and beyond. “I’m really excited,” Imovbioh said. “Coach Staley has something special going on down here and I just want to be a part of something special.”
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Trip to China inspires Gamecock Coach by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content Matt Figger doesn’t allow himself to be defined by wins and losses. The South Carolina men’s basketball associate head coach isn’t shy about his Christian faith, and it gives him purpose inside and outside the 94 feet of hardwood. He explored that purpose, as well as another country, as the head coach of an Athletes in Action men’s basketball team that competed in China for several weeks this summer. “We were in China for 13 days, and the basketball was just a little part of it,” Figger said. “Watching the guys on the team open up and talk about their beliefs, learning each other’s stories, while also seeing how others have to fight to be able to practice their faith was incredible. There’s so much governmental control in China. Hearing a lot of the testimonials from some of the people there about the struggles they go through, that really moved me as a person.” Athletes in Action is an organization that use sports as a platform for education about the Christian faith. The organization sends competitive teams of all collegiate levels around the world, creating an environment where individuals can grow in that faith. “I wanted to strengthen my faith,” Figger said. “China is a communist country, and there’s no public mentioning of the Bible or any of that. So to see people there who are Christians and how they have to fight for something that we, as Americans, take for granted is really incredible.” The team toured several parts of the country, playing seven games against top level Chinese professional teams. Playing conditions weren’t always what they were accustomed to, as the gyms didn’t have air conditioning and many of the fans smoke cigarettes inside the arena. While the Athletes in Action team didn’t lose any of its contests, the goals of the trip went beyond what was in the box score. “Each guy was at a different level,” Figger said. “Some guys that do this are looking to find faith. Some kids are very strong in their faith. It was just a chance for all of us to bond with one another and to learn more about the things that we’re trying to ac-
complish, not only as athletes, but as stewards of our faith. That was a big emphasis of our trip.” Team-building was a constant focus on the trip, and opening the lines of communication early on between the players was critical. “The guys talked about where they are in life,” Figger said. “I watched how a group of guys, who basically didn’t know each other, stay together for these few weeks and come out of their comfort zone to really speak to each other. We have them talk about what we call ‘the five h’s’ - their heritage, heartaches, heroes, highlights and their hopes. Each kid had a chance to open up and talk about those five things. The bond that they developed was incredible and made them really easy to coach.” Figger believes that a lot of what he learned about team-building could be applied to his work with the Gamecock studentathletes. “It taught guys to depend on one another,” Figger said. “I think every team should be able to lock themselves away for a couple of days and truly get to bond with one another. That’s an incredible step. In the locker room and with teams, people always use the word ‘family.’ If you don’t know anything about the guy whose locker is to the left or right of you, how can you call them ‘family?’ Having that really allowed these guys want to fight for one another on the court.” In addition to seeing his players grow as young men and learning about themselves, they also had an opportunity to learn from the people in China. “I got to see how people in another country feel about Americans,” Figger said. “People in China love American athletes. It blew me away how much they love American basketball. That opened my eyes.” The team had guides and inAll Gamecock basketball terpreters to assist them, along with Luke Simons from Athletes coverage sponsored by Yesterdays in Action, who could also speak
Chinese. Despite political differences between the United States and China, Figger and the travelling party never felt threatened. “Believe it or not, we felt safe everywhere we went,” Figger said. “There was no crime. We walked around in these big cities with millions of people, and there wasn’t any fear of anything. In some of the provinces we travelled, we were the only nonChinese people there. Our kids did a great job of interacting with the people there. We would walk to a park, and it was amazing to see the love the Chinese people had for Americans. “Watching some of the guys on the team grow as people was the best part of the trip. After the games, a lot of the players from China wanted to interact with our guys to hear why they play so hard and what drives them. That gave our guys an opportunity to speak their opinions to those players. So I saw our players touch those athletes from another country and open their minds up to something they may have never heard before.” The opportunity to walk on the Great Wall of China and visiting other sites also made the trip memorable for all involved. While this was his first year coaching a team for the organization, Figger has been a sponsor of Athletes in Action for the last ten years. He knows that these trips are made possible through the generosity of others. “They have to fundraise for everything,” Figger said. “Everybody on the trip had to do their own fundraising to generate the $4,000 needed per person. There were a lot of people who made donations, and I want to thank everybody who did that.” While Figger is glad to be back home with family and ready to get the Gamecocks ready for the upcoming season, his trip to China was a memorable, and humbling experience. “There are far better people than me doing causes in the name of Christ,” Figger said. “I learned so much from those people that were on the trip with us. It was just a privilege for someone to believe in me and my abilities as a coach to be a part of this and coach this team. I’m forever indebted to them because it was a great experience. The people at Athletes in Action make a lot of sacrifices. They’re just incredible.” For more information, or to make a donation to sponsor future trips, visit www.athletesinaction.org/give.
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Gamecock Radio/Television Information
The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 24 affiliate stations for the 2015-16 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the @GamecockRadio Twitter page for weekly updates on channel information for Gamecock broadcasts. The weekly Carolina Calls show will air from 7-8 p.m. on the flagship station of the Gamecocks, WNKT-FM (107.5 FM), and over the Internet at www.GamecocksOnline.com. The show takes place each week at Wild Wing Café, located at 729 Lady Street in the Vista. Wild Wing Café, which is South Carolina’s home for the best wings south of Buffalo, has 12 locations in the Palmetto State. Visit www. wildwingcafe.com for more information. Inside the Roost South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner and Derek Scott from the Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College host an hour long radio show every Monday night at 7 p.m. from Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista. The show is broadcast on 107.5 FM and features discussions on current issues with Ray Tanner and interviews with coaches and athletics department staff. South Carolina-Georgia television The South Carolina-Georgia game will be available on ESPN. Please check local listings.
2015-16 RADIO AFFILIATES*
Abbeville WZLA-FM 92.9 johnston/Aiken WKSX-FM 92.7 Allendale WDOG-FM 93.5 Camden WPUB-FM 102.7 Camden WCAM-AM 1590 Charleston WWIK-FM 98.9 Chesterfield WVSZ-FM 107.3 Columbia WNKT-FM 107.5 Florence WFRK-FM 93.5 Florence WHYM-AM 1260 Gaffney WZZQ-FM 104.3 Gaffney WZZQ-AM 1500 Greenville WROO-FM 104.9 Hilton Head WVGB-FM 94.5 Hilton Head WVGB-AM 1490 Lake City WHYM-AM 1260 Myrtle Beach WSYN-FM 103.1 Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 Rock Hill WVSZ-FM 107.3 Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
WIBZ-FM 95.5 Union WBCU-AM 1460 * Men’s basketball and baseball affiliates will be updated at a later time.
Gamecock baseball to host Alumni Game on Friday, Sept. 25 south carolina athletics media relations
Former players, coaches and support staff from the University of South Carolina baseball program are invited back to Columbia, South Carolina for Alumni Weekend Sept. 25-26. The festivities include a golf outing on Friday, Sept. 25 as well as the Alumni Game later that evening. First pitch at Carolina Stadium for All Gamecock baseball the Alumni coverage sponsored by Game is DiPrato’s set for 6:15 p.m. with admission free of charge. All former players, coaches and support staff wishing to attend, please register by signing up on the alumni order form that includes information on golf, the Alumni game, a bbq dinner and football tickets for the UCF contest. Deadline has been set for Wednesday, Sept. 16.
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September 16, 2015
Never Forget 9/11
all photos by allen Sharpe
South Carolina and Mississippi State played the first NCAA FBS football game after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001. The 18th-ranked Gamecocks claimed a 16-14 victory over the 17th-ranked Bulldogs in the contest. Before resuming the major-college football season, the teams held an American flag that nearly covered a 20-yard stretch of the field as the national anthem was sung and ``God Bless America’’ was played. Then Mississippi governor Ronnie Musgrove addressed the crowd before the seven-minute ceremony that included both schools’ bands playing patriotic songs. Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill’s daughter, Bonnie, sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” the bands played “God Bless America” and about 30,000 mini flags were handed out to fans (South Carolina Athletics Media Relations contributed to this report).
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September 16, 2015
With every challenge comes a great opportunity On Tuesday of this past week, the SEC posted on Facebook the fact that for the first time in conference history, 10 teams were ranked in the Top 25. I quickly scanned the 10 teams to find no South Carolina. It’s not that I expected to find USC ranked, but it struck me that the Gamecocks were not in this Top 10 of SEC schools. In fact, I dug a little further and looked at the full ranking which includes those also receiving votes. Carolina was not in that either. In fact, Florida was the only “other” SEC team that received votes. I realized for the first time just how tough this season might be playing in this conference. Not that it’s not always hard playing in the SEC. It is. After a somewhat lackluster performance in the opener against North Carolina - and though it was a win - one could just not know what to expect. Kentucky, one of the four schools in the conference outside the Top 25, came to Columbia looking for a measure of respect after losing 20 straight SEC road games. Having beaten USC last year in Kentucky, this one worried me. My worst fears were realized. An awful first half doomed the Gamecocks, trailing 24-7 at the intermission. Carolina made a game of it as the defense stiffened allowing no points in the second half (two points were scored on a fumbled two point conversion returned by Kentucky), but the offense fell short, resulting in a 26-22 loss. I heard it said a couple of times before the first game that if South Carolina should lose it was not the end of the season. Ohio State infamously lost its opener last year to Virginia Tech, but went on to run the table and win the National Championship. Ohio State does not play in the SEC. Do not get me wrong, they are very good, but they don’t play very tough opponents. This season the Buckeyes are scheduled to play one ranked team for the entire season. at home, both of which may find their way That’s a pretty good recipe for winning a into the Top 10 before they play in Columlot of games. bia. Just looking at those six games (not South Carolina will not be that lucky. that Florida and Vanderbilt will be walkBefore the first game, ESPN overs), Carolina will have to ranked South Carolina’s win at least two of those six schedule as the second toughgames and win all four of the est in the nation. With the loss other ones just to have a winto Kentucky, it will be very ning record. difficult for USC to finish with Not that it can’t be done. a winning record. The biggest question is which Here’s why: the Gamecocks team will show up? The first will play away at Georgia, half team that played in CharMissouri, Texas A&M, and lotte and then was so bad at Tennessee. Four very difficult home this past Saturday or the places to play and all ranked second half team that played Ed Girardeau in the Top 25. Carolina will be very well giving up no defenContributing decided underdogs in all four. sive points in either game? Editor Throw in LSU and Clemson The first half team may not
photo by jenny dilworth
win another game. The second half team will have chances in all of them. Consistency will be important. To South Carolina’s credit, after the first half, they could have mailed the game in, but they fought back and made a game of it. The result is a loss, and that is not good, but it’s better than the complete collapse at the end of games last year. The challenge will be to get better each week. With this challenge comes opportunity and it starts this weekend in Athens. Georgia will be ranked in the Top 10 and they have had this game circled since the season ended last year. South Carolina has won four of the last five and I can tell you from personal knowledge that fact eats at the Bulldogs. Their fan base cannot stand the
idea of losing another game to the Gamecocks. Coach Spurrier has always seemed to get his teams to play at their best when they play Georgia. I’m sure that a lot of work will be put in this week in preparation for this fight. The opportunity to win big games will continue through the season. We have talent in Columbia. They showed some of that in the second half against Kentucky. The team will need to have that for two halves if they want to hang with Georgia. This will be as good a time as any to put two halves together and shock the college football world. There is very little that is better than spanking the Dawgs. Here’s to crossing the Savannah River and pushing a restart on the 2015 season.
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South Carolina links past and present with George Rogers statue by kyle heck Reporter
The number of the day was 38 as 38 years after he enrolled at the University of South Carolina, the legendary No. 38, George Rogers, had the statue erected of him officially unveiled at the Springs Brooks Plaza outside Williams-Brice Stadium. The statue was revealed before South Carolina’s game against Kentucky on Sept. 12, and it features Rogers standing on top of a sideline bench, admiring his teammates on the field, which is exactly what the Gamecock legend wanted and he let W. Stanley Proctor, the artist responsible for making the statue, know that. “When George and I first got together, George wanted to talk about one thing and that was that section over there,” Proctor said as he pointed over to Rogers’ former teammates in the crowd. “That’s what it was all about. This particular pose is when George is off of the field, he’s already done his thing. He’s sitting back watching his teammates.” From 1977-1980, Rogers amassed a schoolrecord 5,204 rushing yards to go along with 31 rushing touchdowns. In his final season at South Carolina in 1980, Rogers rushed for a nation-leading 1,781 yards to capture the program’s one and only Heisman Trophy. The Duluth, Georgia native went on to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints and made three Pro Bowls in seven NFL seasons. The 1981 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and last but certainly not least, the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame. Rogers took a moment to thank Patti Shelley, a former South Carolina cheerleader and the one who funded the project. “Thank you so much,” Rogers told Shelley. “Without the gift that you gave, this wouldn’t have been possible.” Along with Rogers’ former teammates, thousands of Gamecock fans showed up for the pregame ceremony. Athletics Director Ray Tanner spoke and said afterward that it was a wonderful honor to finally erect a statue of one of the best athletes in school history. “I think it was so important because we’re all about history and tradition,” Tanner said. “Our fans are so great and they have been for many, many years. It links the present and the past and I think that’s the strength of any University that has any greatness to it. It’s not just
photo by allen sharpe
what’s going on now, it’s what went on many years ago. This gives us an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion and bring George Rogers back.” University President Harris Pastides also spoke and was happy that he won’t have to answer any more questions about if South Carolina has ever had a Heisman Trophy winner. “I go to many other great universities and their stadiums that have a Heisman Trophy winner and they have statues outside of their University or stadium,” Pastides said. “We have people visiting here year after year, saying ‘didn’t Carolina have a Heisman Trophy winner?’ After today, we will never have that question asked again.” Former South Carolina administrator Harold White was also on hand and vividly remembers the first time he encountered Rogers at Duluth High School in Georgia in 1975, when he was recruiting him.
“Who walks in but George Rogers,” White recalled. “That was my first glimpse at George Rogers. With how many years that have passed, I still have fond memories of that day.” Getting the statue approved and erected was a long process that took several years. After getting the initial approval, Proctor said it took about a year for it to take shape. Moments after the tarp came off and everyone could see the finished product, Proctor said it was a special moment. “It was a culmination of a lot of work and a lot of good times,” said Proctor, who is a native of Florida and was responsible for the erection of the Steve Spurrier statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. “Most of all I got to interact with George and meet some of these people up at the University. It’s just a marvelous institution.” It was also a special moment for Rogers’ for-
mer teammate and current Board of Trustees member Chuck Allen, who was the one that officially introduced Rogers and has a lot of fond memories of their playing days together. “He meant the world,” Allen said. “Winning that award (Heisman) was of course the highlight for everybody, but also that was a good team. That team won a lot of ballgames and George was the primary reason for that.” After the ceremony, Rogers took a seat on the bench next to his statue and admired the work while also posing to take pictures with several people. It was a special moment for the legend, but he knows that none of it could’ve been possible without the great teammates and coaches he had around him. “I want to thank my teammates,” Rogers said. “Those guys made me look good. If it wasn’t for you guys, this would’ve never happened.”