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september 7, 2016 • Volume 38 • Issue 5 • $1.50

Gamecocks on fan support in Nashville: ‘It was incredible’ Postmaster: Time sensitive material. Please expedite

Muschamp era starts off the right way with road win at Vanderbilt Publication mailed from Columbia on Tuesday, September 6


2 • Spurs & Feathers

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/Advertising Director Aiken Communications, Inc. epriest@aikenstandard.com (803) 644-2345 Brian Hand Executive Editor bhand@spursandfeathers.com (803) 335-1399 Ext. 506 Reporter Kyle Heck kheck@spursandfeathers.com Kathy Boyette Advertising Sales Manager (803) 295-3654 kboyette@spursandfeathers.com Brooks Rogers Advertising Representative (803) 446-4022 brooks@spursandfeathers.com Ed Girardeau Contributing Editor/ Advertising Account Executive ed@spursandfeathers.com (803) 646-9807 Photographers Allen Sharpe and Jenny Dilworth Cover Design Brian Hand (Photo by Allen Sharpe) Postal Information: SPURS & FEATHERS (USPS 12779) (ISSN 7454368X) is published 20 times annually. The frequency is monthly in January, April and July. The publication is weekly from September-November. SPURS & FEATHERS also publishes two slick-paper magazine issues — one in August and one in December. 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

September 7, 2016

Please Read: Editor’s note Please note that we are weekly for the rest of the football season (except for the open date). In addition for your knowledge, the Sept. 14 newspaper after the Mississippi State football game will also be a roundup of the preseason meetings that we attended and much more. Thanks so much for having us out to cover your great events. Please also make sure to email bhand@spursandfeathers. com whenever you have a meeting for inclusion in our editions and on SpursandFeathers.com. Per our contract with the Gamecock Club, below are our remaining edition dates for the 2016 year. Forever to Thee! Mississippi State Parking Information General Public Parking MSU is unique in the fact that almost 100 percent of gameday parking is accommodated ON campus. However, please keep in mind that the majority of these are grass lots and the use of each lot may be affected by weather conditions on a game by game basis. These lots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis and are $20 per space The public paid lots are positioned on the outer part of the main campus. Please keep in mind that some of the roads are closed around the stadium on gameday. Please rely on attendants and intersection officers for directions both to and from these lots. • If coming from the south, travel north on Hwy. 25 to Hwy. 12 East and enter campus via Spring St., Bully Blvd., or Stone Blvd. for parking areas south of Davis Wade Stadium. • To access parking north of the stadium, continue on Hwy. 12 East to Collegeview St. or Hwy. 182 and enter via George Perry Blvd. • If arriving from the east or west on Hwy. 82, exit at Hwy. 12 West. To access parking north of stadium, exit at Hwy. 182 or Collegeview St.; for parking south of stadium, enter at Stone Blvd. (first traffic signal) or at Spring St. (second traffic signal). • Please note that the Parking Assistance Center is also available to help direct fans to their desired locations. (662)-325-9114

Spurs & Feathers schedule Sept. 14 newspaper Sept. 21 newspaper Sept. 28 newspaper Oct. 5 newspaper Oct. 12 newspaper Oct. 19 bye week (no newspaper) Oct. 26 newspaper Nov. 2 newspaper Nov. 9 newspaper Nov. 16 newspaper Nov. 23 newspaper Nov. 30 newspaper Dec. 21 magazine (end of year) Handicap Parking: ADA public paid parking is located behind Perry Cafeteria and Montgomery Hall also in the lot to the east of McCarthy Gym. Please rely on attendants and intersection officers for directions both to and from these lots. Please note that the Parking Assistance Center is also available to help direct fans to their desired locations. (662)-325-9114 Parking Maps: http://www.fanguide.msstate.edu/parking/map.php RV Parking: There are no public paid RV lots on campus, all public paid RV’s are directed to the MS Horse Park at 716 East Poorhouse Rd., Starkville, MS 39759, (662)-325-9350. If traveling north on Hwy. 25, turn right on Longview Rd. (which then becomes Poorhouse Rd.). If traveling south on Hwy. 25 or approaching Starkville on Highways 82 or 25, take Hwy. 25 Bypass, turn left on Longview Rd. Alternate route: Take South Montgomery St. 3.5 miles to Poorhouse Rd. Turn left and go .8 miles. Parking Assistance Center is also available to help direct fans to their desired locations. (662)-325-9114 Special thanks to Mike McManus and the Gamecock Cruisers, who provide us with this parking information to pass along

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4 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Muschamp era starts off the right way with road win at Vanderbilt by brian hand Executive Editor NASHVILLE - South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp always talks about attention to details. Well, that attention paid off huge for the Gamecocks in their season-opening 13-10 road win over Vanderbilt before a crowd of 30,304 at Vanderbilt Stadium. Before the game even started, Muschamp and special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler decided that if given the opportunity they needed to make sure and choose to attack a certain end zone in the second half because they thought it set up better for senior field goal kicker Elliott Fry. Things worked out in the Gamecocks’ favor in this regard, and this special attention to detail before the game even started was spot-on as it was a career-long 55-yard field goal by Elliott Fry with 35 seconds remaining in the game that led South Carolina to the win. “We felt in pregame since the wind was blowing that way, Coleman said he was good from 38 in, meaning that being a 55-56-yarder,” Muschamp said after South Carolina’s seasonopening win. “We felt good from that range because of the wind.” Fry’s kick to win the game was a no-doubter, but nevertheless he wanted to make sure it sailed through the uprights before truly celebrating. “I felt like it was definitely there, but I wanted to wait until I got the signal,” Fry conceded. Muschamp never had any doubts in his preseason All-SEC kicker. “I had total confidence that he was going to hit the thing,” Muschamp said. “The guy is really good, and he’s been a good kicker for a long time. We’re going to have to win some games like this. That’s kind of our MO right now.” Entering the second half scoreless, the Gamecocks would procure their first points of the game with 12:26 left in the third quarter when Fry’s 48-yard field goal pulled South Carolina to within seven at 10-3. The Fry field goal concluded a 10-play, 47-yard drive that lasted 4:47 for the Gamecocks. The big play on the scoring drive for South Carolina came when South Carolina senior quarterback Perry Orth connected with Deebo Samuel for a 30-yard completion on a flag route down the left sideline. Samuel would pull the Gamecocks even in the fourth quarter when his eight-yard run tied things up at 10-10 with 7:30 left in the contest.

The fantastic run on a tremendous play call was the culmination of an impressive nineplay, 84-yard drive for the Gamecocks. The drive that ended with Samuel’s first career rushing touchdown took 3:53 off the clock. On its next offensive possession, Vanderbilt (0-1) would put themselves in scoring position,

seconds remaining. The field goal finished off a seven-play, 36-yard drive that lasted 3:09 for the Gamecocks. Vanderbilt would arrive on the scoreboard first in the game when they connected on a 36-yard field goal with 6:09 left in the opening quarter. The field goal was made possible due to Samuel fumbling the football on a punt return at the 31-yard line. Vanderbilt would not be able to get much going offensively over the next just over three minutes, but nevertheless Tommy Openshaw’s 36-yard field goal completed a five-play, 13-yard drive that gave the Commodores a 3-0 advantage. The Commodores would extend their lead to 10-0 just over 30 seconds into the second quarter when Khari Blasingame rushed in from one yard out to cap off a 13-play, 67-yard drive that took 6:06 off the clock. The Gamecocks looked to pick up their first points of the game a few minutes later, but a very promising drive led by freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain ended when he fumbled the football at the 17-yard line of the Commodores. The Gamecocks had received prime field position off a bad punt by Reid Nelson that gave South Carolina the football at their 36-yard line. McIlwain would work well particularly with freshman wide receiver Bryan Edwards during the drive, but the fumble left the Gamecocks still trailing the Commodores, 10-0, with 7:59 remaining in the first half. The Commodores would take that same advantage into the halftime break, but would be held scoreless by the Gamecocks in the second half. South Carolina (1-0) limited Vanderbilt to just 242 yards of offense in the game on 65 plays, while the Gamecocks posted 308 yards of total offense on 62 plays. Vanderbilt held a 33:1526:45 advantage in terms of time of possession. Edwards ended his first regular-season game as a Gamecock with eight catches for 101 yards. Running back A.J. Turner in his first regular-season game as a Gamecock ended his efforts with 70 yards rushing on 13 carries. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry, while also catching three balls for 27 yards. photo by allen sharpe Orth passed for 152 yards in the game. He was 11-of-19 overall. McIlwain was 5-of-11 in the contest, passing for 35 yards. but Openshaw’s 45-yard field goal attempt Chaz Elder and Marquavius Lewis led South would go wide left to leave the game tied up at Carolina with seven tackles each. 10-10. South Carolina will next face off against MisThe Gamecocks from there would take advantage of the miss with Fry nailing the career- sissippi State at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. long 55-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks a 10. The game will be televised on either ESPN 13-10 lead they would never relinquish with 35 or ESPN2.


Spurs & Feathers • 5

September 7, 2016

Gamecocks on huge fan support in Nashville: ‘It was incredible’

by brian hand Executive Editor

For someone with no vested interest the evening of Sept. 1, 2016, at Vanderbilt Stadium it would have been hard for them to tell which team was the home team. Vanderbilt called for a “white out” for the season-opening game at their home stadium, but if you looked into the stands it was predominantly garnet and black. It was a strong statement from a fan base that new South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp calls “the most loyal fan base in the country.” He knows that without the thousands of Gamecock fans in Nashville for South Carolina’s season opener it might have been tougher to pull out the seasonopening 13-10 win. “It shows the passionate fan base that

photo by allen sharpe

we have and the loyal fan base that we Orth echoed Muschamp’s comments have,” Muschamp said of seeing so much after the game. garnet and black in the stands supporting “It was incredible,” Orth said. “It just their beloved Gamecocks. “That’s awespeaks to the best fan base in the counsome. Absolutely awesome.” try. We mentioned before that we strug-

gled last year and they did not have any reason to come and watch us play and they came out and supported. We bust it for them. That’s why we do all the stuff that we do is for them.”

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6 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Men’s basketball releases 201617 non-conference schedule

south carolina athletics media relations

part of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational dot the schedule next, as Holy Cross (Nov. 13), Monmouth (Nov. 15) and South Carolina head men’s basketball South Carolina State (Nov. 18) will all visit coach Frank Martin announced recently Colonial Life Arena in mid-November. his team’s non-conference schedule for The reigning Patriot League Champions, the upcoming 2016-17 campaign, MarHoly Cross returns four starters from last tin’s fifth season in Columbia. The slate season’s NCAA Tournament squad, while features 14 games, with 10 home contests, Monmouth returns 15 members of its NIT including one exhibition. Highlighting the team from a season ago. The Hawks are non-conference portion of the schedule led by longtime Vanderbilt assistant, King is the Gamecocks’ participation in the Rice, who earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational, as Conference Coach of the Year accolades well as a matchup versus Seton Hall in the last season. SC State visits Columbia under Under Armour “Reunion” doubleheader at the direction of 2015-16 Mid-Eastern AthMadison Square Garden in mid-December. letic Conference Coach of the Year MurThe Gamecocks will face eight teams that ray Garvin. The Bulldogs posted a 19-14 advanced to the postseason a year ago, with overall record last season and advanced to four of those NCAA Tournament particithe postseason with a spot in the CollegeInpants, including Syracuse, which advanced sider.com Postseason Tournament. to the Final Four. Michigan travels to Columbia on Nov. “Putting together a great non-conference 23, marking just the fifth meeting all-time schedule is a big part of our jobs every between the Wolverines and Gamecocks year,” Martin said. “Once again we have and the first since the 2005-06 campaign challenged our guys by playing difficult when Carolina posted a 76-64 victory over away games and continuing to excite our UM at Madison Square Garden to clinch its fans with some great home matchups. second-straight Postseason NIT title. The We’re fortunate that we continue to play Wolverines posted a 23-13 overall record Clemson on a year-in, year-out basis, so last season and advanced to the NCAA this year Clemson comes to us. We are Tournament First Round. Next up on the also excited about bringing the Universchedule is Final Four participant Syracuse sity of Michigan into our building along in the final matchup of the Brooklyn Hoops with some other teams that were all in the Holiday Invitational at the Barclays Center postseason this past year in La Tech, Holy in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 26. The Orange Cross, Monmouth, SC State and Vermont return two starters from last season’s 23-14 and Lander. Coupled with that, we’ve got squad, and return 12 letterwinners overall. games at Memphis and South Florida and Vermont, a College Basketball Invitawe have Seton Hall at Madison Square tional participant last season, travels to Garden and Syracuse at the Barclays Cen- Columbia on Dec. 1, before the Gamecocks ter - great opportunities to take our team host FIU on Dec. 4. Carolina travels back into other programs’ home courts along to the Big Apple to face Seton Hall in the with exposing us to the national media of “Reunion” on Dec. 12 at Madison Square New York City in playing in two of the Garden. It’s Carolina’s first contest in the great basketball venues in our country.” venue since the above mentioned NIT vicSouth Carolina opens its 109th season tory over Michigan. The Pirates posted of varsity basketball hosting Newberry in a 25-9 overall record last season and adan exhibition contest set for Nov. 6. The vanced to the NCAA Tournament. Wolves posted an 18-12 overall record last Carolina travels to USF on Dec 17, before season, and return South Atlantic Allhosting intrastate rival Clemson at Colonial Freshman Team member D.J. Copeland Life Arena on Dec. 21. The Tigers are led to the hardwood this fall. Regular-season by senior forward Jaron Blossomgame, a action begins when Louisiana Tech visits First-Team All-ACC honoree last season. Columbia on Nov. 11. The Bulldogs posted Carolina will host Lander (Dec. 27), an a 23-10 overall record last season and adNCAA Tournament team (D-II) from last vanced to their fourth-straight postseason season and the reigning Peach Belt Conferwith a bid in the Inaugural Vegas 16. ence champs, before concluding the nonThree straight home matchups that are conference portion of its schedule with a

road matchup at Memphis on Dec. 30. The Tigers are led by former Gamecock assistant and longtime Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith in his first season. Memphis posted a 19-15 overall record and advanced to the American Athletic Conference title game last spring. Season ticket prices for the upcoming season remain unchanged, with full season packages starting at $90. Like last season, fans can purchase lower level season tickets for $260 (Gamecock Club membership required for sections 104-106, 113-115), the Coke Family Sections are available for $600 (four tickets) and upper level tickets are available for $200 (no Gamecock Club membership required). End zone seating in the upper level is priced at four seats for $360. University Faculty/Staff members receive a 20% discount on lower level and upper level ticket prices. NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Nov. 6 – Newberry (exhibition) Nov. 11 – Louisiana Tech Nov. 13 – Holy Cross # Nov. 15 – Monmouth # Nov. 18 – SC State # Nov. 23 – Michigan Nov. 26 – vs. Syracuse @ Dec. 1 – Vermont Dec. 4 – FIU Dec. 12 – vs. Seton Hall ^ Dec. 17 – at USF Dec. 21 – Clemson Dec. 27 – Lander Dec. 30 – at Memphis Home games in bold # - Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational (Columbia, S.C.) @ - Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational (Barclays Center/Brooklyn, N.Y.) ^ - Under Armour “Reunion” (Madison Square Garden/New York, N.Y.) CONTINUED ON PAGE 7


Spurs & Feathers • 7

September 7, 2016

LA TECH The Bulldogs advanced to their fourthstraight postseason in 2015-16 with a spot in the Inaugural Vegas 16. The squad is led by top returning scorer, senior forward Eric McCree who paced the squad with 16.2 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game to earn Second-Team All-Conference USA honors last spring. Head coach Eric Konkol enters his second season leading La Tech. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs will be the second all-time and the first since the 196061 campaign.

HOLY CROSS Head coach Bill Carmody enters his second season leading the Crusaders, who return four starters and 12 letterwinners from last season’s NCAA Tournament squad. The team posted a 15-20 overall record last season, but was an automatic qualifier for the postseason event after winning the Patriot League Tournament. The Gamecocks have faced Holy Cross just once before, posting an 89-59 victory over the Crusaders in Columbia on Feb. 19, 1983.

MONMOUTH Led by longtime Vanderbilt assistant coach King Rice, Monmouth had one of the top records in the country last season, posting a 28-8 overall mark, which earned the squad a No. 1 seed in the Postseason NIT alongside the Gamecocks. Rice returns 15 of 16 players from last season’s team, a squad that won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season. The team returns MAAC Player of the Year Justin Robinson and conference Rookie of the Year Micah Seaborn. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Hawks will be just the second all-time.

vious meetings between the two schools. MICHIGAN South Carolina head coach Frank Martin will be reunited with Wolverine head coach John Beilein when the two teams meet in Columbia in late November. The two coaches were part of Davidson head coach Bob McKillop’s staff with USA Basketball for the 2013 World University Games in Russia. Michigan advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season with a 2313 overall record. The team returns one of its top scorers in Zak Irvin (11.8 ppg last season), who was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team, and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honoree Derrick Walton Jr., who led the team in rebounds last season (5.4 rpg). The all-time series between the Gamecocks and Wolverines is tied at 2-2. SYRACUSE Led by longtime head coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse posted a 23-14 overall record last season and advanced to the Final Four for the second time in four seasons and the sixth time in program history. The squad returns 12 letterwinners overall, including starting seniors Tyler Roberson and DaJuan Coleman. Syracuse lost its top three scorers from a year ago. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Orange marks the fifth all-time, as Syracuse leads the series 3-1. VERMONT Vermont posted a 23-14 overall record last season and participated in the College Basketball Invitational, advancing to the semifinals. Led by head coach John Becker in his sixth season, the team advanced to the America East title game. Senior guard Kurt Steidl is the team’s top returning scorer after posting 11.2 points per game. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Catamounts is the second alltime and the first since the 1979-80 campaign. FIU Head coach Anthony Evans enters his fourth season leading the Panthers this fall. His squad posted a 13-17 overall record last season. The team’s top returning scorer is senior guard Donte McGill, who posted 16.0 points per game last season. Former Alabama forward Michael Kessens is a graduate transfer with the Panthers this season. The Gamecocks own a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.

SC STATE The Bulldogs posted a 19-14 overall record last season and finished in a tie for second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference standings with a 12-4 mark. Head coach Murray Garvin was named the MEAC Coach of the Year and top returning scorer Eric Eaves earned All-MEAC Second-Team honors last season after posting 17.3 points per game. SC State advanced to the postseason last spring, participating in the CollegeInsider.com All Gamecock basketball Postseason Tournament. The coverage sponsored by Gamecocks have won all 20 preYesterdays

SETON HALL The Pirates won the 2016 Big East Tournament Title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament First Round, finishing the season with a 25-9 overall record. Head coach Kevin Willard was named the Big East Co-Coach of the Year last spring, and his team is perennially ranked as one of the top

rebounds per game last season. Blossomgame declared for the NBA Draft, but opted to return to school. The Tigers are led by head coach Brad Brownell in his seventh season. The Gamecocks have won two straight games in the series, which Carolina leads 90-76.

photo by allen sharpe

defensive teams in the country. Junior guard Khadeen Carrington is the team’s top returning scorer after posting 14.1 points per game last season. USF The Bulls are led by longtime Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua in his third season. Leading the team is last year’s top scorer, now a sophomore guard, Jahmal McMurray, who earned American Athletic Conference AllRookie Team accolades after pacing the team with 15.2 points per game. McMurray scored 11 points last season when the Bulls faced the Gamecocks in Columbia. South Carolina leads the all-time series between the two schools 3-1. CLEMSON The Tigers are led by senior forward Jaron Blossomgame, a 2016 All-ACC First-Team honoree after he averaged 18.7 points and 6.7

LANDER Lander, an NCAA Division II squad, is the reigning Peach Belt Conference champions. The squad posted a 22-10 record under head coach Steve Roberts in his first season in 201516 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Returning to the court is the team’s top scorer JR Washington, who averaged 19.6 points per game last season and earned All-Peach Belt Second-Team honors. The meeting is the second all-time between the two schools and the first since the 1988-89 campaign. MEMPHIS The Tigers are led by head coach Tubby Smith in his first season. Smith was an assistant coach for the Gamecocks from 1987-89, and then went on to spend 10 years as the head coach at Kentucky. The Tigers posted a 19-15 overall record last season under former head coach Josh Pastner. The squad played in the American Athletic Conference title game. Smith’s squad returns the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in Dedric Lawson, who averaged 15.8 points per game last season. Memphis owns an 18-6 all-time record against the Gamecocks.

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NEWBERRY Newberry finished last season with an 1812 overall record and a 12-10 mark in South Atlantic Conference Play. The Wolves return guards Gerald Evans and D.J. Copeland who were named All-SAC Honorable Mention and to the All-Freshman team, respectively. Evans led the SAC last season in steals, averaging 3.12 per game. Copeland averaged 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in his first year.


8 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Special Olympics has become a passion for Scott by John Whittle Managing Editor TheBigSpur.com

Just a freshman in high school, Reed Scott had to step out of his comfort zone. At Blessed Trinity School in Marietta, Ga., each student had to amass 15 hours of community service. With his mother’s encouragement, Scott walked out onto a Miracle Field to work with the Special Olympics. Boys who are freshmen in high school always feel awkward in any new situation, but Scott was in a comfortable place. He was on the baseball field, but he had to learn how to interact with a group of people he had never really been around before. Special Olympics consists of people of all ages with intellectual disabilities who use sports as a platform to compete, and find pleasure, success and acceptance. It’s a way to showcase their abilities, not their disabilities. Eight years later, Scott is still involved with the Special Olympics just completing a summer internship with the state office in Irmo. What was initially a requirement became a passion for Scott, who has been a consistent volunteer for the organization. Scott brought his experiences as a freshman back to his team and more and more of his friends became a part of it at Blessed Trinity. They’d spend four and five hours at a time at the Miracle Field - one just opened in Columbia, by the way - paired up with one of shy, especially the volunteers, but really the Special Olympics athletes assisting and quickly, everyone is having the time of their cheering during competition. lives. It was kind of the same way with me; I “My mom actually made me do it the first didn’t know what to expect but after seeing time and I just kept going back,” Scott told how just everyone wants to have fun, it made TheBigSpur.com. “I just kept going back, it a lot easier.” bring more and more friends and they started Scott began his internship right at the end loving it just like I did. I started it because of of the school year, so there was still baseball the community service hours my school reto be played. His bosses worked with him, quired, but it became me going just because it giving him the time away that he needed to was so much fun.” go to work on the baseball field. One of South College baseball players oftentimes spend Carolina’s top relievers, Scott performed at the summer between their junior and senior a high level working two jobs at once. He year completing an internship to fulfill class appeared in 10 games, pitching 14 innings requirements for graduation, and it would allowing two earned runs on five hits with 12 seem that’s what Scott had planned for the strikeouts. summer as well. The most memorable event from the sumHis time this summer, setting up events mer for Scott was on the baseball field as and working them, was strictly as a volunteer well, but it came at the home of the Columbia with no course credit given. Scott worked Fireflies. It was Special Olympics night at with two other South Carolina students - Brit- Spirit Communications Park on July 17 with tany Sander and Connor Nelson - on outthe athletes singing the national anthem, ings both large and small, throwing out the first pitch including one on the school’s and there was also a parade campus. His role during those before the game. events, a lot of it had to do Monies raised from the with helping volunteers past event went to help cover the those awkward first few mocosts of equipment, training ments. and travel to competitions. All Gamecock baseball “The events usually go all “It meant the world to our coverage sponsored by the same way,” Scott said. Special Olympics athletes,” DiPrato’s “Everyone is usually pretty Scott said. “You could tell

photo by allen sharpe

the Fireflies players were having a great time with those kids. That’s the thing is a lot of people don’t give it a chance but when they do, they love it. That’s something we try to spread throughout the community is just to give it a shot.” There was the competitive cheerleading event in Irmo, which featured all age groups from elementary school all the way up to 65 years old and above. “They were having the time of their lives,” Scott said. “It was so much fun to watch.” Scott also found himself just a few long tosses from his baseball stadium this summer when the Special Olympics were on campus at the Colonial Life Arena for “8K in 8 Days.” The athletes worked with current Gamecocks players and coaches on the court doing shooting activities, defensive drills and more. Each participant had their picture taken with head basketball coach Frank Martin and had a chance to get autographs from the current Gamecocks. Scott was able to get his high school team involved, and now he wants his college team to be a part of Special Olympics as well. “I feel like our team would love it. I think they’d probably be nervous at first, but as a team, we’d have so much fun. They would love coming over to Founders Park.” Head baseball coach Chad Holbrook, who is always one looking for ways to give back to

the community, is completely on board. And he admires Scott for his willingness to give his time to benefit others. “Reed is a special kid and a leader of our team. His character is one of our shining lights,” Holbrook said. “He works hard, cares for his teammates, cares for others and he understands that while baseball is important, there are a lot of more important things in this world and needs to give back. He has great character and represents our baseball program the right way.” Scott has grown up since that first time he stepped out onto Miracle Field in his home town and every time he has the opportunity to work with Special Olympics, he gains a little more perspective on life. “This summer has shown me that I have a lot to be thankful for,” Scott said. “There are people in the world who see good in everything, and that’s what the Special Olympics athletes do. They don’t care whether you’re white or black, male or female. You can’t judge a book by its cover. They are just normal athletes who want to compete.” Now eight years into volunteering with the Special Olympics, any awkwardness and shyness that Scott felt is gone. And he will continue his work with the organization for a long time. “It’s not a job,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like work. It’s something I’m passionate about.”


Spurs & Feathers • 9

September 7, 2016

South Carolina Gamecocks

2016

football Schedule

09/01/16...........at Vanderbilt# ....................... Nashville, Tenn....................W, 13-10 09/10/16...........at Mississippi State#............ Starkville, Miss..................7 p.m. EST 09/17/16........ East Carolina....................Columbia, S.C............ 4 p.m. EST 09/24/16...........at Kentucky#.......................... Lexington, Ky................................TBA 10/01/16........ Texas A&M#.....................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 10/08/16........ Georgia#..........................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 10/22/16........ Massachusetts.................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 10/29/16........ Tennessee#......................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 11/05/16........ Missouri#.........................Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 11/12/16...........at Florida#............................... Gainesville, Fla.............................TBA 11/19/16........ Western Carolina.............Columbia, S.C.......................TBA 11/26/16...........at Clemson.............................. Clemson, S.C.................................TBA Bold=Home Game #=SEC *SEC standings will be added next week since Ole Miss played after our print date.

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Quick look at the Mississippi State football team

by Kyle heck Reporter

The Bulldogs enjoyed a successful season in 2015-16, winning nine games under quarterback Dak Prescott, who was a Heisman Trophy contender for much of the season. However, Prescott graduated and Mississippi State enters this year picked last in the SEC West by the league’s media. The Bulldogs tangle with the Gamecocks in week two of the season as they try to prove they can still be relevant without Prescott. As of right now, there isn’t a clear answer as to who will take over at quarterback. At SEC Media Days, head coach Dan Mullen said he hopes one or two players separate themselves from the foursome of Damian Williams, Nick Fitzgerald, Elijah Staley

and Nick Tiano. Prescott was the leading rusher last season, but Mississippi State will return virtually all of the rushing yards after that. Whoever wins the quarterback job will have the benefit of senior Fred Ross at wide receiver after a junior year in which Ross led the SEC in receptions per game. On defense, six of the top seven tacklers return, including senior linebacker Richie Brown and senior defensive lineman A.J. Jefferson, both of whom are preseason third-team All-SEC selections. The Gamecocks have won the previous seven meetings with the Bulldogs, having not lost to Mississippi State since the 1999 season. South Carolina bested the Bulldogs, 34-16, the last time they played in the 2013 season at Williams-Brice Stadium.

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10 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Mason: Gamecocks ‘made the most of their opportunities’ by Kyle heck Reporter

NASHVILLE - At halftime of the game between South Carolina and Vanderbilt on Thursday, Sept. 1, the Gamecocks had just 88 yards of total offense and trailed, 10-0. The second half proved to be a completely different story as South Carolina racked up 220 yards and came from behind to defeat the Commodores by a score of 13-10, thanks to a 55-yard field goal by Elliott Fry with less than a minute left in the game. Vanderbilt led for the majority of the game, but the Gamecocks kept within striking distance and were able to pull it out in the end. “Have to give credit to South Carolina,” Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said. “They played hard. That’s a scrappy football team. They battled and they kept

photo by jenny Dilworth

themselves in this game and they clawed their way back. They made the most of their opportunities and we didn’t.” One of the main reasons that South Carolina was able to complete the comeback was the play of quarterback Perry Orth in the second half. After splitting time with freshman Brandon McIlwain in the

first half, Orth played the second half and completed 10-of-15 passes for 140 yards. Coming into the game, the Vanderbilt defense knew that the Gamecocks would play two quarterbacks, but they didn’t do a good job of executing. “We schemed against both of them the same,” linebacker Nigel Bowden said. “We knew the young quarterback was going to be more of a runner, and actually both of them are runners, so I think we executed that pretty well. It goes back to saying that everyone has to be in their gaps and do their job.” The star of the Vanderbilt offense is tailback Ralph Webb, but the Gamecocks were able to not let him lead the Commodores to victory. The junior finished with 97 yards on 20 carries, but found very little running room for most of the game. “They had a few guys in the box, brought the safety down sometimes, but we just have to find a way to make it hap-

pen,” Webb said. As for what changed in the second half with the South Carolina offense, Commodores safety Oren Burks, who finished with six tackles, said it was more about what the Vanderbilt defense was not doing. “I don’t think it was anything they did, I think it was us just not executing our defense,” Burks said. “We just didn’t execute at the end of the day. That’s on us.” Mason kept up the theme by noting that he believed that his defense missed two interceptions due to not taking a good route to the ball or being in the wrong place on the field. He was obviously disappointed with the tough loss, but said he believes his team can definitely make the improvements needed. “We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were there,” Mason said. “As I look at it, we just have to be better in executing on third down.”

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Spurs & Feathers • 11

September 7, 2016

Gamecock fans have blast at official pregame tailgate party by kyle heck Reporter Turning on the street where Jed’s Bar and Grill is located on Thursday, Sept. 1, before the South Carolina-Vanderbilt game, a Gamecock fan made the statement that “this must be Gamecock alley.” That statement was an example of just how many South Carolina fans crowded Jed’s in Nashville at the official Gamecock Club pregame tailgate party. A standing-room only crowd of Gamecock fans gathered to get ready for a moment they’ve all been waiting months for. “I can’t believe it’s already here,” said Jean Riso, who was coming to Nashville for the first time. “I was just like ‘wow, we’re actually go-

ing to a football game.’” Riso and Ann Marie Shepherd were sitting together at a table soaking in the gameday atmosphere. They try to go to one or two road games a year, and they jump at the opportunity to take advantage of an official tailgate spot for South Carolina fans. “There’s just such a sense of camaraderie, and when you’re at an away game, everyone’s got an immediate connection with everyone else,” Shepherd said. Former Gamecock Ryan Brewer made it out to the tailgate, and as a former player, he knows just how excited the team is for the season finally starting. As a fan now, he still gets that same sense of anticipation prior to the game. “You wake up and you know it’s gameday,” Brewer said. “You can feel it in the air. A

much more. “We arrived at 10 o’clock this morning, and when we got here there were already people lined up to go ahead and get in,” Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland said. “That just shows how excited people are about the start of the football season. This is a perfect location at Jed’s. Right by the stadium, and you see a lot of Garnet and Black everywhere in Nashville, but this is the headquarphoto by brian hand ters.” Obviously everyone in attendance was exbunch of lettermen and old players, we talk and cited to finally watch the Gamecocks play, and everyone is sending out the message that it’s they were definitely going to do all they could gameday. You get that sense of urgency and to help cheer South Carolina on. goosebumps come in.” “I’m going to cheer them on like I’m playing, The tailgate event at Jed’s was an all day and I’m going to give everything I can as a affair that featured giveaways, cornhole and fan,” Brewer concluded.

Muschamp: Buy-in by Gamecocks rewarded with win

by Brian hand Executive editor A ton has happened since Dec. 7, 2015, but really everything for Will Muschamp and Gamecock football has been pointing to Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Since that point in time, Muschamp has more than proven his worth to Gamecock fans everywhere. Still, it all came back to Sept. 1, 2016, and, really, the rest of the 2016 Gamecock football season. We now know that Sept. 1, 2016, is a day that Muschamp will always remember fondly as the first-year Gamecocks’ head coach led his team to a 13-10 road win over Vanderbilt. Ever since Dec. 7, 2015, Muschamp has always relayed how impressive the buy-in has been from his current Gamecock players. And after South Carolina’s season-opening win, that is what made him so happy for everyone involved with the Gamecock football program. “All that stuff that they did, that they bought into, we had very little resistance,” Muschamp said. “They got paid tonight. As a player you get paid when you win, and they got to experience the win and then the belief factor starts a little bit more as a coach to ‘maybe these guys do know what they’re talking about.’ So I think all of those things continue to kind of snowball moving forward.” The fact that he considers the future so bright is what Muschamp really wanted to focus on anyway after South Carolina’s impressive come-

photo by jenny dilworth

from-behind win. “Regardless of the result tonight, I’m really optimistic about where we’re headed,” Muschamp said. “I mean, over the top optimistic about where we’re headed. I’m excited about where we are, but I’m really excited about where we’re headed because it’s just going to keep getting better. Are we going to have some bumps in the road? Absolutely. 100 percent. Maybe in Starkville, I don’t know. It’s not about that. It’s about Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and the preparation that our guys put in every single day in buying into the intangible things it takes to have a good program. Not a good team. A good program. That’s what we’re going to have here. We’re going to have a good program that over a period of time can go through tough times and survive those times and move on to the next situation. I’m really excited about the guys in the locker room, but it’s about the program as well.”

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12 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Nine elected to USC Athletics Hall of Fame south carolina athletics media relations

NCAA regionals in 1993 and 1996, advancing to the NCAA championships in ’96. He also qualified for the NCAA championships as an indi- All Gamecock golf coverage sponsored by Jeffers-McGill vidual in 1994 and ’95. Seawell won the Carpet Capital Collegiate championship in 1994. Justin Smoak - Baseball (2006-2008): Smoak concluded his three-year career at South Carolina as one of the greatest offensive players in school history. A two-time All-America recipient (2007-08), He was a consensus selection in the nation at first base his junior season after he hit .383 with 23 HR and 72 RBI. In his three-year career, Smoak set school records for home runs (62), runs batted in (207), bases on balls (151) and total bases (485). He is fifth on the SEC career list for home runs and is one of only seven players in SEC history to record 60 or more round trippers. He started every game at first base for three straight years with 195 consecutive starts on the corner. He was the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers and is currently in his seventh season in the big leagues. The following individuals were elected to the Athletics Hall of Fame, based on their significant contributions to Carolina athletics, other than on the field of play: Jim Carlen, Head Football Coach and Athletics Director (1975-81): Coach Carlen won 45 games as head coach of the Gamecocks. At the end of his tenure, he was Carolina’s secondwinningest coach with a 45-36-1 record. Before his arrival, the Gamecocks had played in two bowl games. Carlen led them to three bowl games (Gator, Hall of Fame, and Tangerine). His teams pulled off some of Carolina’s most im-

pressive victories of all time. His 1980 team won at Michigan, 17-14, over a team that would go 10-2 and win the Rose Bowl. In 1981, his squad went to Chapel Hill and whipped previously undefeated and third-ranked North Carolina, 31-13. Carlen recruited George Rogers, who won the only Heisman Trophy in school history. In fact, no other schools in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, or Tennessee have produced a Heisman Trophy winner. Coach Carlen also recruited three players who would go on become first round draft choices in the NFL (Rogers, Rick Sanford and Willie Scott). Before Carlen’s arrival, no University of South Carolina player had been drafted in the first round. Billy Laval, Head Football Coach (192834), Head Baseball Coach (1928-34), Head Men’s Basketball Coach (1932-33): Coach Laval was the first football coach in Carolina history to produce seven-consecutive winning seasons, a feat only matched by Steve Spurrier.

He was asked to coach the basketball team for the 1932-33 season and won the Southern Conference championship that season. That title was Carolina’s only basketball championship until Frank McGuire won the ACC in 1971. In baseball, of the 13 head coaches at Carolina that have coached over 50 games, Laval holds the all-time top winning percentage, as his teams from 19281934 went 89-33-1 for a .728 mark. These individuals will be honored and inducted on Thursday evening, October 20, at the Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium, and recognized at the South Carolina-UMass football game on Saturday, October 22. More information regarding the induction ceremony, including ticket information, will be announced at a later date. Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, 163 members, including these nine, have been elected by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen.

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Nine new members have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame sponsored by the Association of Lettermen, it was announced recently. Ryan Bordenick - Baseball (1995-98): Bordenick garnered first-team All-America accolades as a designated hitter/catcher in 1997 and second-team honors in 1998. He also was a first-team All-SEC selection. Bordenick posting a career-best .419 batting average in 1997. He drove in 87 runs that season and scored 81, with 13 home runs. Bordenick still holds the highest career batting average for any four-year player in Gamecock history (.357) while totaling 211 career base hits. Shonda Cole - Volleyball (2003-2006): Cole became the first Gamecock volleyball player to earn All-America honors, being named honorable mention in 2006. She was also named to the All-SEC first team in 2006, as well as second team in both 2004 and 2005. Cole finished her career ranked first all-time in three major categories, points per set, kills per set, and attacks. She still holds Carolina’s career record for all three, accomplished in 2006. Bo Davies - Football (1969-71): Davies still holds the Carolina record for most interceptions in a career with 14. He was a key contributor in leading Paul Dietzel’s team to the 1969 ACC championship. Davies played for Paul “Bear” Bryant in the Coaches All-America game following his senior season. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He is the father-in-law of Gamecock Hall of Famer Landon Powell. Jimmy Mitchell - Football (1969-71): Mitchell was a first-team All-ACC receiver. He keyed many Gamecock victories with touchdown catches or punt returns. In October of 1969 Mitchell’s 72-yard punt return for a touchdown beat N.C. State and kept Carolina perfect in the ACC. He earned honorable mention AllAmerica honors in both 1970 and 71, and ended his career as the Gamecocks’ second all-time receiver in catches, yards and touchdowns. For his career, Mitchell averaged 16.4 yards per reception on 90 catches. Sidney Rice - Football (2005-06): Rice was a first-team All-SEC receiver and earned Freshman All-America honors. He caught 142 passes in just a two-year career before becoming a star in the NFL. Rice hauled in 23 touchdown passes in his career, which includes a school-record 5 in one game. His career receiving totaled 2,233 yards with an impressive 15.7 yards per catch. David Seawell - Golf (1993-96): Seawell was a three-time All American, as well as three-time All-SEC selection for the Gamecocks. He still ranks sixth all-time in stroke average (73.05) and is tied for first in school history with 14 top5 finishes. Seawell led the Gamecocks to the

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Spurs & Feathers • 13

September 7, 2016

All in a day’s work: A day in the life of Patrick McFarland by brian hand Executive Editor

taking calls from Gamecock Club members who had questions about other things. On a fairly strict Paleo Diet, McFarland after “Ready to go?” arriving in Florence around 11:15 a.m. stopped It was around 9:27 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, by a local vitamin store to pick up a special bar and Gamecock Club executive director Patrick that stayed within the framework of his diet. McFarland had already been in the office for The store employee was a huge Gamecock quite some time getting things ready so he could fan, and he was thrilled to have the Gamecock hit the road for multiple events that day in the Club executive director inside his store. Pee Dee region of the Palmetto State. “I’m so excited for the upcoming football seaNormally during the athletic year, McFarland, son,” the employee told McFarland. who over the last few years has lost 55 pounds, After the quick stop, McFarland then headed gets up around 5 a.m. to get a workout in before to the Floyd Conference Center on the grounds work along with helping to make sure his chilof the Carolinas Hospital System for the dren get to school. luncheon that was set to start at noon and feaThis regimen includes driving to the Gametured Tony Morrell of TheBigSpur.com as the cock Club offices in the Rice Athletics Center speaker. from his home in Gilbert, which means he usuThe annual event is always one of McFarland’s ally arrives to work around 7:30-7:45 a.m. favorites because the Florence Gamecocks do On Thursday, Aug. 25, he had to cram in as so much for the Gamecock Club and South much work as possible into the little under two Carolina athletics. hours he was in the office since he was going to Upon arriving, McFarland made sure to talk be on the road the rest of the day. with as many people as possible in attendance This was of particular importance on this day and set up the Gamecock Club giveaways beas Gamecock football single-game tickets went fore being asked to huddle up with the Florence on sale at 10 a.m. that morning, and he wanted Gamecocks board so that he was aware of what to make sure his staff had everything they would be taking place at that luncheon. needed before he left for the Florence County “Wow, thank you. That’s awesome,” McGamecock Club Annual Fall Luncheon at the Farland could be heard saying of the news he Floyd Conference Center on the grounds of the received from the group. Carolinas Hospital System. McFarland’s words were very apropos be“Alright, let’s go,” McFarland said before cause before Morrell took the stage, the Florquickly saying, “hold on, one more thing.” ence Gamecocks presented numerous checks to After a few minutes of double and tripleMcFarland. checking everything, McFarland was finally One of those checks went to South Carolina ready to hit the road to Florence at 9:38 a.m. cheerleading head coach Erika Goodwin, who At the Gamecock Club offices, there is a dry was in attendance for the luncheon. Goodwin erase board that has everybody’s name listed in received the first of the checks for $2,500 for her the athletics development office so that they are cheerleading program from Florence Gameall aware of where they are at any given time. cocks president Michael “Scat” Scaturro. McFarland put down Florence on the board McFarland then accepted numerous checks before on the way out telling Gamecock Club from Scaturro over the next few minutes as the assistant Tracy Murphy “he was headed to Flor- Florence Gamecocks from the proceeds from ence. We’ll be back around 2:30.” the Florence Gamecock Club William Rhea That note by McFarland about what time he Memorial Golf Tournament at the Florence would be back was important in that since it Country Club on Monday, May 16, made five was the first day of single-game ticket sales, separate donations including the cheerleading McFarland despite having multiple events in donation. In addition, the Florence Gamecocks the Pee Dee region had to drive to Florence and donated $1,000 to help with the Louisiana flood back to Columbia and then to the Dillon and relief efforts, $2,500 to volleyball and $5,000 to Marion County Gamecock Club Kickoff Celmen’s basketball. ebration so that the staff could be in the offices One of the five checks also went to Dawn and be as helpful as possible to Gamecock Club Staley’s INNERSOLE charity. The $5,000 domembers. nation concluded a three-year commitment by Florence for lunch the Florence Gamecocks where they donated a During the drive to Florence, McFarland was total of $15,000 to INNERSOLE. constantly in contact with those back at the This was all on top of the $4,000 check that Gamecock Club office, while at the same time the Florence Gamecocks presented South Caro-

photo by brian hand

lina head football coach Will Muschamp for the use of Gamecock football at the golf tournament. McFarland was obviously blown away by the efforts of the Florence Gamecocks and made sure as he was walking away to tell the capacity crowd, “thank you.” After Morrell finished his talk and after saying his goodbyes to everyone in attendance, McFarland began the drive back to Columbia around 1:20 p.m. The drive back to Columbia was much of the same as he fielded calls pretty much the whole way back. Latta for dinner McFarland arrived back in Columbia around 2:40 p.m., and after switching out his car for a van, he went back to his office for a few minutes so that he could once again do as much as he could before having to hit the road once again. Just after 3 p.m., McFarland, this time joined by Gamecock Club external operations coor dinator Hayden Lipham, began the trek to the world-renowned Shuler’s BBQ that was featured on season two of the CNBC hit television show “The Profit.” The whole way to Shuler’s BBQ in Latta, McFarland and Lipham took turns taking calls. The duo also wisely used the time to work on upcoming ideas, while basically having a meeting in the van about many different things happening with the Gamecock Club. After a short stop at a gas station, it was just after 5:30 p.m. that McFarland and Lipham arrived at Shuler’s BBQ for the first-ever Dillon and Marion County Gamecock Club event. Lipham set up the giveaway table at this event, while McFarland talked with the many Gamecock Club members in attendance. Shortly after the program started, Lipham also

made sure that Cocky had everything he needed as he took pictures with everyone in attendance. The evening also featured Wes Mitchell of GamecockCentral.com as the speaker, but before Mitchell took the stage, McFarland took the time to thank all that were there for all they do for the Gamecocks and much more. McFarland also relayed to those that may not have known how he was living his dream job as the Gamecock Club executive director. “I’ve known since the ninth grade that I wanted to be the Gamecock Club director,” McFarland mused. After Mitchell’s speech, McFarland and Lipham then both thanked the Marion and Dillon Gamecocks for their hospitality before hitting the road to head back to the Midlands at 7:53 p.m. McFarland and Lipham overall as they were leaving the Shuler’s BBQ parking lot were just ecstatic to see the two areas come together for such a tremendous evening. “It was really special to see the Marion and Dillon Gamecocks come together for this joint event with a packed house,” McFarland said. “These two groups do so much for the Gamecocks, and their enthusiasm was evident for the start of football season.” The drive back was once again filled with Gamecock Club work for the future with the duo returning to the Gamecock Club offices from a long day around 9:45 p.m. After saying their goodbyes, it was then a quick “I’ll see you again early tomorrow.” That would definitely be the case for McFarland, who after arriving back in Columbia had to make the drive back to his home in Gilbert before an early wakeup call the next morning to workout. It’s all in a day’s work.


14 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

South Carolina Gamecocks

Recruiting Round-up By Phil Kornblut

USC stayed hot on the recruiting trail last Saturday with a commitment from DB Jamyest Williams (5-9 175), a native of Athens, who attends Grayson High School in Loganville. Williams joins OL TJ Moore of Charlotte, DE MJ Webb of Madison, GA and DB Hamsah Nasirildeen as highly recruited prospects to commit to USC in August. Williams was thought of by college recruiters as one of the top cornerback prospects in the country based on his offer list that includes Power 5 Conference programs from coast to coast.  At the end of the process Williams narrowed his list to Phil Kornblut Clemson, Georgia, Ohio Contributing State, Tennessee and Writer the Gamecocks. Williams made several visits to USC during the recruiting process and the Gamecocks gained traction with him through each visit.  But he was already familiar with Will Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson because they recruited him when they were at Auburn.   That carried over to USC when the new staff arrived and overcame the lack of interest from the previous staff. “I just really believe in relationships,” Williams said.   “It was hard, it was very hard choosing between Georgia and South Carolina.  I just feel like I had a good relationship with coach Muschamp and coach T-Rob.  I grew up in Athens and that’s all I know and I just felt it was best for me to experience some new things because I’ve been in Athens all my life.” That being said, Williams isn’t ready to shut down his recruiting completely.  Yes, he’s committed to USC but he does plan to take his other official visits at this point. “I’m 95 to 100 percent committed,” Williams said.  “I’m going to take all of my officials because I just want to get out and experience the free visits.”  Williams did not say which other schools he will visit. Williams’ becomes the 22nd commitment for USC’s 2017 class and the sixth for the defensive backfield.  He’s also the fourth from Georgia and the second from Athens. Wando WR OrTre Smith will announce his college decision at 4:00 PM September 11th in Mt. Pleasant. The announcement will be streamed live on the Internet.  Smith remains undecided at this point but is focusing on just four schools now...USC, Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia.  Florida also had been on his list.   Smith ultimately is expected to make his decision between the Gamecocks and the Tigers. Smith, whose mother played volleyball

at Clemson, has long been a Clemson fan and is part of a family of strong Clemson fans. But USC coach Will Muschamp has made Smith a priority target and has recruited him relentlessly since taking over the program.  WR Chad Terrell of Dallas, GA has set an official visit to Oregon for September 3rd.  He said he will also set a visit with USC and possibly with NC State and added that he is close on his decision.   USC target WR Justin Marshall of Covington, GA committed to Louisville though he plans to take other official visits. USC is the current leader for DL Emmanuel McNeil (6-4 280) of Snellville, GA according to his coach Todd Wofford. “He likes them a lot,” Wofford said.  “They probably lead for him to be honest.  He’s got some work to do academically and they have a plan for him.  He grew up in South Carolina (Greenville) and that jumps out, and it’s the SEC.  He has to have a good year and it will come down to his test score as it does for many players.” McNeil camped at USC this summer.  Wofford said Kentucky, Georgia and Marshall also are high up on his list. USC recruiter Coleman Hutzler is also keeping an eye on RB Josh Samuel who transferred to Central Gwinnett from JL Mann after rushing for 1796 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. And he’s recruiting 2018 DB Donte Burton of Central Gwinnett who is currently committed to North Carolina. DL Javon Kinlaw of Goose Creek is preparing for his first season at Jones County JC, MS and he expects this to be his only season there. Kinlaw committed to the previous USC staff and enrolled early at Jones after realizing he would not qualify.  He said his grades are on track for him to graduate in May meaning he will only use up one season of eligibility.  He said his overall GPA currently is a 3.0. “If I just keep on doing what I’m doing I’ll be out of here,” Kinlaw said.  “I don’t have any room for error.  I have to pass every class.” Kinlaw said he remains firmly committed to the Gamecocks and as such schools are basically leaving him alone.  And he said the new coaching staff is still committed to him as long as he continues to make progress, they are checking on him. “I talked to coach Muschamp the other day and I talked to coach Thompson today,” Kinlaw said.  “They keep in touch with me and make sure I’m alright down here.” Kinlaw said he’s talked with the coaches about making an official visit sometime in December. LB TJ Minniffee of Lebanon, TN was offered by USC in June after a camp workout and he remains in touch with recruiter Bobby Bentley. Minniffee said he’s looking at USC,

photo by allen sharpe

Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Louisville and Cincinnati for his official visits. He said Cincinnati and UAB have been talking to him strongly of late. Minniffee said there is no leader but he does like Cincinnati a lot. DB Michael Nesbitt of Lauderdale Lakes, FL committed to Kentucky. USC was in his final 10.

and his father but he told me he was going up for the three days and he was looking forward to that visit. Jason is still pretty much up in the air but ever since USC came onto the scene they might have a little bit of a lead over ECU but he is still trying to go thru the process and see how things go.” Hilton said there’s a good chance Cudd will sign early but the family might also want to wait until after the Beach Ball Classic where more coaches can scout him.   Basketball News: PG Ja Morant of Crestwood has set official 7-1 Jason Cudd of Socastee has scheduled an official visit with USC for the weekend of Sep- visits to Murray State September 1st and USC September 16th.  Wofford is another school he tember 9th. Tulane, DePaul and East Carolina has said he will visit. also appear in line for official visits and West6-11 Luke Garza Washington, DC has ern Carolina has been working Cudd hard for not yet decided on his fifth official visit but a visit according to his coach Derrick Hilton.  he said he remains in touch with USC head “He’s going to USC first,” Hilton said.  “ECU coach Frank Martin and assistant Bruce Shinwill be here in early September to come and gler.  Garza has visited Alabama and Iowa and talk with the parents and try and set up.  I believe his last visit will be ECU.  They are going will visit Georgia and Notre Dame. to let him go through the process with everyBaseball News: thing and then I think they are going to bring Ashley Ridge RHP Josh Church and Cardihim up as his last visit just to try to go ahead nal Newman RHP Cam Tringali committed to and persuade him and get him to commit.” USC for the 2017 class. But the Pirates will first have to overtake the 2018 Right-handed pitcher Cameron Gamecocks who, according to Hilton, continue to lead in this case.  “I know they (USC coach- Reeves of Northwestern also committed to es) have been talking to his parents a great deal USC.


Spurs & Feathers • 15

September 7, 2016

Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day draws a huge crowd as always by brian hand Executive Editor

photo by jenny dilworth

Kenny (10) and Kole (8) Greene of Aiken, South Carolina were both in town for the Fan Appreciation Day with their father, Michael. The young South Carolina fans from Aiken also believed that this year would be a strong year for the Gamecocks. “I think they might be better this year,” Kenny said before Kole emphatically added “me too.” It was not the first time that the Greenes had made their way to Columbia for the event, and according to Michael they always have the same goal every year. “They’ve got a goal every year to get all the signatures,” Michael Greene said while also pointing out, “(Kenny) got it last year.” Stories like these are exactly why this event is held every year according to South Carolina assistant athletics director for marketing Josh Waters. “Its always special,” Waters said. “It’s a day for our fans to meet our student-athletes. The season is here, the excitement is here and you can see that coach Muschamp’s line is the longest.” That long line for Muschamp is one of the reasons that it was important to ask Rosier if she had finished her book as the event was coming to a close with so many Gamecocks wanting the chance to interact and get signatures from all of the Gamecocks. Had she finished? “Almost,” Rosier conceded.

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Naomi Broome was on a mission at Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The 4-year-old from Lexington, South Carolina wearing a South Carolina cheerleading outfit wanted to find her favorite player. Did she have a favorite player already? No, but she had a rather unique way to find her favorite player at the annual event. To this end, Broome went through the lines at the Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day asking the Gamecock football studentathletes just one simple question: “what is your favorite food?” If one of the Gamecocks answered correctly they then, of course, would become Broome’s favorite. Unfortunately that did not happen for Broome though as nobody said the exact food she wanted to hear. What was that food you ask? “Quesadillas,” Broome said. According to Broome and her family some came close, saying tacos or burritos, but once again unfortunately nobody seemed to love quesadillas as much as she did. The Gamecocks being quesadilla lovers or not, Broome still relished her time getting to talk with the 2016 Gamecocks, and she left the event smiling from ear-to-ear as she also had a poster full of Gamecock signatures. Broome was just one of many thrilled with the experience as always at the annual Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event is a unique opportunity for Gamecock fans everywhere in that they get to collect autographs from players along with head coach Will Muschamp and the rest of the coaching staff over the course of the event. Every year, Colonial Life Fan Appreciation Day is such a huge hit that it is hard for fans to get an autograph from every player and coach due to the long lines. For this reason, Camille Rosier of Graniteville, South Carolina was there with her husband to help to try and get as many autographs as possible. Rosier helped pass the time by reading a book while in line. “My husband and I are huge Gamecock fans,” Rosier said. “I’m actually the placeholder while he is getting through some shorter lines.”

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16 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

South Carolina Gamecocks # Name Pos. 1 Deebo Samuel WR 3 K.C. Crosby TE 3 Chris Lammons DB 4 Bryson Allen-Williams LB 4 Jake Bentley QB 5 Darius English DL 5 Terry Googer WR 6 Chris Moody LB 7 Korey Banks WR 7 Jamarcus King DB 8 Randrecous Davis WR 8 Marquavius Lewis DL 9 Jerad Washington WR 9 Sherrod Pittman LB 10 Skai Moore LB 10 Perry Orth QB 11 Brandon McIlwain QB 11 T.J. Holloman LB 12 Javon Charleston DB 12 Michael Scarnecchia QB 13 Sean Kelly P 13 Jalen Dread LB 14 Jamari Smith WR 15 Antoine Wilder DB 15 Matrick Belton WR 16 Bailey Hart QB 16 Rashad Fenton DB 17 Chaz Elder DB 18 Danny Gordon QB 18 Keir Thomas DL 19 Lorenzo Nunez WR 20 Joseph Charlton K/P 21 Rico Dowdle RB 22 Steven Montac DB 22 Montray Feaster WR 23 Christian Owens WR 23 Larenz Bryant LB 24 D.J. Smith DB 24 Garrett Frederick WR 25 A.J. Turner RB 26 Jasper Sasser DB 27 Toure Boyd DB 27 Ty’Son Williams RB 28 Jonathan Walton LB 29 Elliott Fry PK 30 Darius Paulk RB 30 Daniel Fennell DL 31 Chris Smith DB 32 Rod Talley RB 32 Brett Shore LB 33 David Williams RB 34 Mon Denson RB 34 Scott Grant DB 35 Shannon James DB 36 Morgan Vest DB 36 C.J. Freeman RB 39 Demetrius Smalls DB 39 Rivers Bedenbaugh TE 40 Jason Senn DB

Hgt. 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-0 6-3 6-6 6-4 6-1 5-11 6-2 5-10 6-3 5-8 6-0 6-2 6-1 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-4 5-10 5-10 5-10 5-10 6-3 6-2 5-10 6-2 6-0 6-2 6-3 6-5 5-11 5-11 6-4 6-5 6-0 5-11 5-11 5-10 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-8 6-3 5-10 5-10 5-11 6-1 5-10 5-10 5-7 6-0 5-11 5-9 6-2 5-8

Coaches/Staff

Wgt. 205 227 190 230 223 245 220 220 180 180 181 270 175 225 220 200 205 230 195 215 190 220 210 185 215 175 190 200 210 265 205 185 211 190 205 215 225 195 180 195 210 195 220 230 170 205 235 180 205 210 220 215 185 160 190 200 170 256 195

Cl. RS SO RS SO JR JR FR RS SR RS SO RS SR FR JR FR SR RS FR RS FR SR RS SR FR RS SR RS FR RS SO RS SR SO RS JR RS FR RS SR FR SO RS SR RS SO FR SO RS FR FR SO FR RS FR SR JR FR RS FR RS JR RS JR SO SR SR RS SR RS FR FR RS JR RS JR RS JR RS FR RS SO RS SR FR FR RS JR RS JR RS FR

Football Roster

Hometown/High School/Last College Inman, S.C./Chapman Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt Lauderhill, Fla./Plantation Ellenwood, Ga./Ceder Grove Opelika, Ala./Opelika Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy McDonough, Ga./Henry County Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Mobile, Ala./Blount Atlanta, Ga./Mays Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Hutchinson CC Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast Cooper City, Fla./University PonteVedra, Fla./PonteVedra/Florida State College Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North Stone Mountain, Ga./St. Pius X Gurnee, Ill./Warren Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island Oakland, Fla./West Orange/FAU/Tallahassee JC Foley, Ala./Foley Jacksonville, Fla./Fletcher Riverdale, Ga./Hapeville Charter Columbia, S.C./Keenan/Hampton Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Miami, Fla./Miami Carol City Union City, Ga./Banneker Worthington, Ohio/Worthington/Miami (Ohio) Miami, Fla./Miami Central Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison Columbia, S.C./A.C. Flora Asheville, N.C./A.C. Reynolds Covington, Ga./Newton/Coffeyville C.C. Union, S.C./Union County Griffin, Ga./Griffin Charlotte, NC./Vance Marietta, Ga./Walton Plano, Texas/Plano Clifton, Va./Centreville Jacksonville, Fla./Wolfson Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Chaffey College Sumter, S.C./Crestwood/North Carolina Daphne, Ala./Bayside Academy Frisco, Texas/Prince of Peace Christian Columbia, S.C./North Greenville Loganville, Ga./Grayson Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe Laurens, S.C./Laurens/Gardner-Webb Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork/Tyler JC Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange Laurens, S.C./Laurens Florence, S.C./South Florence Leander, Texas/Rouse Greensboro, N.C./Northern Guilford Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Leesville, S.C./Lexington/Georgia Southern Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort

Will Muschamp - Head Coach Bobby Bentley - Running Backs Shawn Elliott - Offensive Line Coleman Hutzler - Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Bryan McClendon - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Mike Peterson - Outside Linebackers Travaris Robinson - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Kurt Roper - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Lance Thompson - Asst. Head Coach - Defense/Defensive Line Pat Washington - Tight Ends Jeff Dillman - Director of Strength & Conditioning Jamie Speronis - Associate AD/Football Operations Robbie Liles - Director of Player Personnel Joey Blake - Director of Football Nutrition Andre Goodman - Director of Football Development Larry Waters - Director of Football Equipment Operations Clyde Wrenn - Director of High School Relations

# Name Pos. 40 Jacob August TE 41 Tyler Ragsdale LB 42 Jordan Diggs DB 42 Alexander Woznick PK 43 Benji Russell DB 44 Adrian McGee RB 44 T.J. Brunson LB 45 Ben Asbury LS 45 Spencer Eason-Riddle LB 46 Trey Mitchell LB 46 Harrison Freeman LS 47 Drew Williams LS 47 Avery James DB 48 Nick McGriff LS 48 Dexter Wideman DL 49 Boosie Whitlow DL 50 Griffin Gentry DL 50 Sadarius Hutcherson OL 51 Cory Helms OL 52 Jajuan Blankenship DL 55 Christian Pellage OL 57 Hassan Belton LB 59 Logan Crane LS 60 Chandler Farrell OL 61 Javion Duncan DL 61 Cameron Johnson OL 63 Blake Camper OL 65 Pika Leota OL 66 Will Putnam OL 67 Ryan Green OL 69 D.J. Park OL 70 Alan Knott OL 72 Donell Stanley OL 74 Mason Zandi OL 75 Darius Whitfield OL 77 Malik Young OL 78 Zack Bailey OL 79 Trey Derouen OL 80 Shemar Glenn WR 81 Hayden Hurst TE 82 Evan Hinson TE 83 Chavis Dawkins WR 84 Kyle Markway TE 85 Devin Dingle WR 85 Michael Almond K/P 86 Robert Tucker III TE 87 Kiel Pollard TE 89 Bryan Edwards WR 90 Wyman Baxley LS 90 Taylor Stallworth DL 91 Shameik Blackshear DL 92 D.J. Wonnum DL 93 Ulric Jones DL 94 Kelsey Griffin DL 95 Dante Sawyer DL 96 Aaron Thompson DL 97 Kobe Smith DL 98 Stephon Taylor DL 99 Abu Lamin DL

Hgt. 6-6 6-0 6-0 5-11 6-0 5-11 6-1 5-10 5-11 6-2 6-4 6-2 6-0 6-0 6-4 6-3 6-1 6-4 6-4 6-0 6-6 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-8 6-8 6-4 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-9 6-2 6-3 6-6 6-3 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-5 5-10 6-3 6-3 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-2 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-4

Wgt. 248 220 205 160 200 185 225 210 226 210 235 215 195 225 280 240 246 273 310 265 305 215 245 280 260 300 300 315 282 265 330 290 325 315 286 300 315 310 175 250 238 200 245 180 222 238 230 210 195 310 265 240 300 295 275 271 305 293 310

Cl. RS SO RS FR RS SR FR RS JR FR FR RS SO FR FR FR SR JR RS SO RS FR SO FR FR RS JR FR SO SO RS FR FR RS SO FR SO FR FR SO RS JR RS JR RS SO RS SR FR RS SO SO RS FR RS FR SO FR FR SO RS FR RS FR FR FR FR FR JR RS FR FR RS JR SR JR FR FR FR RS SR

Hometown/High School/Last College Columbia, S.C./Fork Union Military Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando Fort Myers, Fla./Island Coast Greenville, S.C./Eastside Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy Greer, S.C./Greer Columbia, S.C./Richland Northeast Atlanta, Ga./Berry College Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road Lexington, S.C./Lexington Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork Duncan, S.C./Byrnes/Liberty Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville Saluda, S.C./Saluda/Camden Military Opelika, Ala./Opelika Birmingham, Ala./Homewood Huntingdon, Tenn./Huntingdon Alpharetta, Ga./Milton/Wake Forest Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech Blythewood, S.C./Western Carolina Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth Summerville, S.C./Summerville Simpsonville, S.C./Woodmont/Citadel Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox Asheville, N.C./Asheville Harrisburg, N.C./Hickory Ridge James Island, S.C./James Island/Presbyterian Dillon, S.C./Dillon Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek Floydale, S.C./Latta Chapin, S.C./Chapin Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s Episcopal Pelzer, S.C./Woodmont Summerville, S.C./Summerville Lilburn, Ga./Parkview Union, S.C./Union County/USC-Union Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School Deltona, Fla./Deltona Duncan, S.C./Byrnes St. Louis, Mo./St. John Vianney Summerville, S.C./Cane Bay North Augusta, S.C./Westminster Atlanta, Ga./B.E.S.T. Academy Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County Conway, S.C./Conway Athens, Ga./Athens Academy Mobile, Ala./Murphy Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson Oxford, Ala.//Butler (Kan.) Community College Buford, Ga./Mill Creek Suwanee, Ga./East Mississippi C.C. Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian/Fort Scott C.C.

Jessica Jackson - Director of On-Campus Recruiting Kristin Sheetz - Director of External Communications Ellis Johnson - Analyst Kyle Krantz - Analyst Demarco McNeil - Analyst Scott Spurrier - Analyst Seth Strickland - Analyst Brian Turk - Assistant Director - Recruiting - Offense Shaq Wilson - Assistant Director - Recruiting - Defense Omar Young - Analyst David Feeley - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Corey Jenkins - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Roy Upchurch - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Cedric Williams - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Shuler Hayes - Assistant Director of Football Equipment Operations Kim Fields - Assistant to Head Football Coach Charity Grady - Coordinator of Offensive Operations Carina Hargreaves - Coordinator of Defensive Operations


Spurs & Feathers • 17

September 7, 2016

Mississippi State Bulldogs # Name Pos. 1 Brandon Bryant DB 2 Jamal Peters DB 3 Traver Jung LB 4 Gerri Green LB 5 Cedric Jiles DB 5 Gabe Myles WR 6 Donald Gray WR 7 Tolando Cleveland DB 7 Nick Fitzgerald QB 8 Fred Ross WR 9 Jamoral Graham DB 10 Brandon Holloway RB 11 Kivon Coman DB 11 Damian Williams QB 12 J.T. Gray LB 13 Cameron Dantzler DB 13 Wyatt Roberts ATH 14 Nick Tiano QB 16 Johnathan Calvin DL 16 Korey Charles DB 17 Jamal Couch WR 18 Deddrick Thomas WR 19 Zak Neary ATH 19 Travis O’Connor ATH 20 Jace Christman ATH 20 Reginald Todd WR 21 Nick Gibson RB 22 Malik Dear WR 23 Keith Mixon WR 23 Allen Perkins ATH 24 Chris Rayford DB 25 Lashard Durr DB 25 Westin Graves K 26 Alec Murphy RB 27 Kody Schexnayder ATH 27 Aeris Williams RB 28 DeAndre Ward LB 29 C.J. Morgan DB 30 Taylor Henry ATH 30 Chris Stamps DB 31 Maurice Smitherman DB 32 Ashton Shumpert RB 33 Dontavian Lee RB 34 Cory Thomas DL 34 Alan Worsham ATH 35 JohnMichaelHankerson DB 37 Bennie Braswell III ATH 37 Brad Wall ATH 38 Anders Fladda ATH 38 Hayes Walker ATH 39 Richie Brown LB 40 Erroll Thompson LB 41 Mark McLaurin DB 42 Marquiss Spencer DL 43 Fletcher Adams DL 43 Logan Cooke P/K 44 Leo Lewis LB

Ht. 6-0 6-2 6-3 6-4 5-10 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-5 6-2 5-10 5-8 6-3 6-1 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-4 5-9 6-1 6-1 6-1 6-4 5-11 5-9 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-0 5-10 6-1 6-1 6-0 5-11 6-0 5-9 6-2 6-1 6-5 5-10 6-1 5-9 5-8 6-2 5-11 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-5 6-2

Wt. 215 217 229 248 186 195 204 190 230 205 183 165 205 229 197 165 195 239 272 175 223 188 197 190 185 192 204 220 175 230 199 197 163 230 185 217 219 197 185 179 185 218 230 313 199 170 170 175 190 199 240 262 218 270 274 224 230

Yr. So. So. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. So. Jr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Sr. So. So. Fr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. So. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Jr. Fr.

Football Roster

Hometown (Previous School) Tunica, MS / Rosa Fort HS Bassfield, MS / Bassfield HS Greenville, MS / Holmes [MS] CC Greenville, MS / Greenville Weston HS Clinton, MS / Clinton HS Starkville, MS / Starkville HS Memphis, TN / Copiah-Lincoln [MS] CC Powder Springs, GA / Hillgrove HS Richmond Hill, GA / Richmond Hill HS Tyler, TX / John Tyler HS Decatur, MS / Newton County HS Tampa, FL / Alonso HS Sheffield, AL / Hargrave Military Academy Metairie, LA / Archbishop Rummel HS Clarksdale, MS / Clarksdale HS Hammond, LA / St. Thomas Aquinas HS Louisville, MS / East Mississippi CC Chattanooga, TN / Baylor School Jackson, MS / Copiah-Lincoln [MS] CC Miami, FL / North Florida Christian HS Phenix City, Ala. / Central HS Memphis, TN / Memphis Central HS Adamsville, TN / Adamsville HS Kenner, LA / John Curtis HS Houston, Texas / Memorial Mobile, AL / Blount HS Birmingham, AL / Pinson Valley HS Jackson, MS / Murrah HS Birmingham, AL / Shades Valley School Pelham, AL / Oak Mountain HS Byhalia, MS / Byhalia HS Gulfport, MS / Copiah-Lincoln [MS] CC Flowood, MS / Jackson Prep Nixa, MO / Nixa HS River Ridge, La. / John Curtis West Point, MS / West Point HS Wetumpka, AL / Wetumpka HS Bossier City, LA / Parkway HS Atlanta, GA / Stephenson HS Vicksburg, MS / Warren Central HS Adamsville, AL / Minor HS Fulton, MS / Itawamba AHS Hattiesburg, MS / Forrest County Agricutural HS Bessemer, AL / McAdory HS Martinez, GA / Augusta Christian HS South Bend, IN / Washington HS Olive Branch, MS / Olive Branch HS Ocean Springs, Miss. / Ocean Springs Cape Girardeau, MO / Lafayette HS Jackson, MS / Jackson Academy Long Beach, MS / Long Beach HS Florence, AL / Florence HS Collins, MS / Collins HS Greenwood, MS / Greenwood HS Brandon, MS / Brandon HS Darbun, MS / Columbia Academy Brookhaven, MS / Brookhaven HS

# Name Pos. 45 Tiberias Lampkin ATH 45 Josiah Phillips LB 46 Dezmond Harris LB 47 A.J. Jefferson DL 48 Chris Redmon ATH 49 Torrey Dale DL 50 Tim Washington LB 51 Kelan Chairs LB 51 Stewart Reese OL 52 Kobe Jones DL 53 Hunter Bradley SN 54 Greg Eiland OL 54 Cameron Miller ATH 55 Martinas Rankin OL 56 Brian Houston ATH 56 Dareuan Parker OL 57 Will Coleman DL 58 Justin Senior OL 59 Darren May ATH 59 Nathan Swanson SN 60 Jamaal Clayborn OL 61 Deion Calhoun OL 62 Devon Desper OL 63 Lawrence Brown ATH 64 Jocquell Johnson OL 65 Brett Armour ATH 66 Joel Baldwin SN 67 Michael Story OL 71 Ben Wilson ATH 72 Ronald Cochran OL 73 Rodney Lacy ATH 73 Darryl Williams OL 74 Elgton Jenkins OL 75 Harrison Moon OL 76 Blake Mitchell ATH 77 Jawon Johnson ATH 79 Evans Wilkerson OL 80 Christian Roberson TE 81 Justin Johnson TE 82 Farrod Green TE 82 Jefferson Teel ATH 83 Jordan Thomas TE 84 Dontea Jones TE 85 Jonnas Spivey WR 86 Jesse Jackson WR 87 Osirus Mitchell WR 87 Wyatt Powell ATH 88 Aaron Hamaker ATH 88 Nick James DL 90 Grant Harris DL 91 Anfernee Mullins DL 92 Kendell Jones DL 93 Sean Samuel ATH 94 Nelson Adams DL 95 Braxton Hoyett DL 96 Tre Brown DL 98 Jeffery Simmons DL

Ht. 5-9 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-0 6-6 6-3 6-0 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-7 6-1 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-5 6-2 6-5 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-4 6-4 6-4 5-11 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-0 6-2 6-5 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-5 6-5 6-4 6-0 6-2 6-4 5-9 6-4 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-4

Wt. 221 239 236 280 215 277 225 218 340 278 245 304 210 307 228 325 250 310 220 210 315 308 305 300 301 262 220 295 315 308 290 303 305 290 215 305 304 239 239 232 200 295 254 200 211 190 189 272 320 290 261 280 320 305 305 309 310

Yr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Fr. Sr. So. Sr. Sr. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. So. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. So. Sr. So. Fr. Fr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Fr.

Hometown (Previous School) Sturgis, MS / Northeast Mississippi CC Starkville, MS / Homeschooled Bessemer, AL / McAdory HS Summit, MS / North Pike HS Fayetteville, Ark. / Fayetteville Kenner, LA / John Curtis Christian HS Yazoo City, MS / Yazoo City HS Harvey, LA / St. Augustine HS Fort Pierce, FL / Fort Pierce Central HS Starkville, MS / Starkville HS Collierville, TN / Collierville Philadelphia, MS / Philadelphia HS Odessa, Fla. / Sickles Mendenhall, MS / Mississippi Gulf Coast CC Vicksburg, MS / Vicksburg HS Olive Branch, MS / DeSoto Central HS Tyler, TX / Tyler [TX] JC Montreal, Quebec, Canada / Hargrave Military Jackson, Miss. / Terry Norcross, GA / Norcross HS Jackson, MS / Jackson Academy Pleasant Grove, AL / Restoration Academy Madison, MS / Madison Central HS Columbus, MS / Belhaven University Jackson, MS / Copiah-Lincoln [MS] CC Brighton, TN / Brighton HS Tupelo, MS / Tupelo HS Ripley, MS / Ripley HS Columbia, S.C. / Heathwood Hall Olive Branch, MS / Olive Branch HS Birmingham, AL / Minor HS Bessemer, AL / Bessemer City HS Clarksdale, MS / Clarksdale HS Chattanooga, TN / Signal Mountain HS Brentwood, Tenn. / Ensworth Crawford, Miss. / Ridgeland, MS / Jackson Academy Atlanta, GA / McEachern HS Birmingham, AL / Hoover HS Wesson, MS / Wesson Attendance Center Bartlett, TN / Bartlett HS Sumrall, MS / East Central CC McCool, MS / Jireh (NC) Prep Louin, MS / Bay Springs HS Petal, MS / Petal HS Sarasota, FL / Booker HS Ridgeland, MS / Jackson Academy Little Rock, AR / Catholic HS Long Beach, MS / Long Beach HS Bolton, MS / Clinton HS Aliceville, AL / Aliceville HS Pinson, AL / Clay-Chalkville HS Snellville, GA / Dean [MA] College Brandon, MS / Brandon HS Pelham, AL / Pelham HS Ackerman, MS / Copiah-Lincoln [MS] CC Macon, MS / Noxubee County HS

Coaches/Staff Dan Mullen Brian Baker Terrell Buckley Billy Gonzales John Hevesy Brian Johnson Greg Knox Maurice Linguist Scott Sallach Peter Sirmon Patrick Austin Bret Beachner Chris Boniol Jon Clark Lee Davis

Head Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Assistant Coach Recruiting Specialist Offensive Quality Control Special Teams Quality Control Assistant to the Head Coach/Coordinator of Football Operations Coordinator of Football Recruiting

Rockey Felker Director of Player Development Rod Gibson Recruiting Specialist John Haneline Defensive Quality Control Brad Peterson Director of Player Personnel/High School Relations Drew Raucina Recruiting Specialist Nick Savage Head Strength Coach Niel Stopczynski Assistant Recruiting Coordinator


18 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Depth Charts for September 10, 7 p.m. South Carolina OFFENSE WR: WR: WR: -OR- LT: LG: OC: RG: RT: TE: QB: -OR- -OR- RB: -OR-

1 Deebo Samuel 83 Chavis Dawkins 14 Jamari Smith 7 Korey Banks 89 Bryan Edwards 5 Terry Googer 8 Randrecous Davis 74 Mason Zandi 77 Malik Young 78 Zack Bailey 70 Alan Knott 51 Cory Helms 70 Alan Knott 72 Donell Stanley 69 D.J. Park 69 D.J. Park 63 Blake Camper 81 Hayden Hurst 3 K.C. Crosby 10 Perry Orth 11 Brandon McIlwain 4 Jake Bentley 25 A.J. Turner 33 David Williams 32 Rod Talley

6-0, 205, So. 6-2, 200, Fr. 5-10, 210, Jr. 5-11, 180, Fr. 6-3, 210, Fr. 6-4, 220, So. 5-10, 181, Fr. 6-9, 315, Sr. 6-3, 300, So. 6-6, 315, So. 6-4, 290, Jr. 6-4, 310, Jr. 6-4, 290, Jr. 6-4, 325, So. 6-4, 330, Jr. 6-4, 330, Jr. 6-8, 300, So. 6-5, 250, So. 6-1, 227, So. 6-1, 200, Sr. 6-0, 205, Fr. 6-3, 223, Fr. 5-10, 195, RFr. 6-1, 220, Jr. 5-10, 205, Jr.

DEFENSE Inman, S.C. Duncan, S.C. Jacksonville, Fla. Tyrone, Ga. Conway, S.C. Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta, Ga. Chapin, S.C. Pelzer, S.C. Summerville, S.C. Tyrone, Ga. Alpharetta, Ga. Tyrone, Ga. Floydale, S.C. Dillon, S.C. Dillon, S.C. Virginia Beach, Va. Jacksonville, Fla. Bamberg, S.C. Ponte Verda, Fla. Newtown, Pa. Opelika, Ala. Clifton, Va. Philadelphia, Pa. Laurens, S.C.

RB: QB: -OR- -OR-

6-3, 270, Sr. 6-4, 240, Fr. 6-4, 265, RFr. 6-2, 310, Jr. 6-2, 265, Fr. 6-2, 295, Sr. 6-5, 300, Jr. 6-3, 275, Jr. 6-6, 245, Sr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 6-1, 220, Sr. 6-0, 230, Sr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 6-0, 230, Jr. 6-2, 230, Sr. 5-10, 190, So. 5-11, 195, Jr. 6-0, 205, Sr. 6-2, 200, Sr. 5-11, 190, So. 5-10, 190, Jr. 6-2, 180, Jr. 6-0, 205, Sr. 5-10, 190, So.

Greenwood, S.C. Stone Mountain, Ga. Bluffton, S.C. Mobile, Ala. Miami, Fla. Buford, Ga. Oxford, Ala. Suwanee, Ga. Powder Springs, Ga. Stone Mountain, Ga. McDonough, Ga. Daphne, Ala. Stone Mountain, Ga. Ellenwood, Ga. Stone Mountain, Ga. Miami, Fla. Marietta, Ga. Fort Myers, Fla. Union City, Ga. Covington, Ga. Lauderhill, Fla. Mobile, Ala. Fort Myers, Fla. Miami, Fla.

PK: P: LS: KOR: PR: H:

29 Elliott Fry 20 Joseph Charlton 13 Sean Kelly 20 Joseph Charlton 47 Drew Williams 48 Nick McGriff 25 A.J. Turner 16 Rashad Fenton 16 Rashad Fenton 3 Chris Lammons 13 Sean Kelly

6-0, 170, Sr. 6-5, 185, RFr. 5-10, 190, Sr. 6-5, 185, RFr. 6-2, 215, Sr. 6-0, 225, So. 5-10, 195, RFr. 5-10, 190, So. 5-10, 190, So. 5-10, 190, Jr. 5-10, 189, Jr.

Frisco, Texas Columbia, S.C. Oakland, Fla. Columbia, S.C. Irmo, S.C. Gainesville, Fla. Clifton, Va. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Lauderhill, Fla. Oakland, Fla.

OFFENSE WR(X): WR(H): WR(Z): LT: -OR- LG: C: RG: RT: TE:

DE: 8 Marquavius Lewis 92 D.J. Wonnum -OR- 91 Shameik Blackshear DT: 90 Taylor Stallworth 18 Keir Thomas DT: 94 Kelsey Griffin 93 Ulric Jones DE: 95 Dante Sawyer 5 Darius English SLB: 11 T.J. Holloman -OR- 6 Chris Moody MLB: 28 Jonathan Walton -OR- 11 T.J. Holloman WLB: 4 B. Allen-Williams -OR- 11 T.J. Holloman CB: 16 Rashad Fenton S: 24 D.J. Smith 42 Jordan Diggs S: 17 Chaz Elder 22 Steven Montac CB: 3 Chris Lammons 7 Jamarcus King N: 42 Jordan Diggs 16 Rashad Fenton

SPECIALISTS

6 Donald Gray 86 Jesse Jackson 8 Fred Ross 22 Malik Dear 23 Keith Mixon 5 Gabe Myles 18 Deddrick Thomas 74 Elgton Jenkins 55 Martinas Rankin 62 Devon Desper 67 Michael Story 60 Jamaal Clayborn 64 Jocquell Johnson 61 Deion Calhoun 73 Darryl Williams 58 Justin Senior 75 Harrison Moon 81 Justin Johnson 82 Farrod Green 10 Brandon Holloway 32 Ashton Shumpert 27 Aeris Williams 11 Damian Williams 7 Nick Fitzgerald 14 Nick Tiano

5-10, 204, Jr. Memphis, Tenn. 6-2, 211, So. Petal, Miss. 6-2, 205, Sr. Tyler, Texas 5-9, 220, So. Jackson, Miss. 5-8, 175, RFr. Birmingham, Ala. 6-0, 195, Jr. Starkville, Miss. 5-9, 188, RFr. Memphis, Tenn. 6-4, 305, So. Clarksdale, Miss. 6-5, 307, Jr. Mendenhall, Miss. 6-4, 305, Sr. Madison, Miss. 6-4, 295, RFr. Ripley, Miss. 6-4, 315, Sr. Jackson, Miss. 6-4, 301, Sr. Jackson, Miss. 6-3, 308, So. Pleasant Grove, Ala. 6-2, 303, RFr. Bessemer, Ala. 6-5, 310, Sr. Montreal, Quebec, Canada 6-4, 290, RFr. Chattanooga, Tenn. 6-3, 239, So. Birmingham, Ala. 6-3, 232, RFr. Wesson, Miss. 5-8, 165, Sr. Tampa, Fla. 6-2, 218, Sr. Fulton, Miss. 6-1, 217, So. West Point, Miss. 6-1, 229, Jr. Metairie, La. 6-5, 230, So. Richmond Hill, Ga. 6-4, 239, RFr. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mississippi State DEFENSE

STAR: DT: -OR- NT: DE: VIPER: MLB: WLB: -OR- CB: FS: -OR- SS: CB: -OR-

12 J.T. Gray 6-0, 197, Jr. 28 DeAndre Ward 6-1, 219, Sr. 3 Traver Jung 6-3, 229, Jr. 49 Torrey Dale 6-6, 277, Sr. 34 Cory Thomas 6-5, 313, So. 94 Nelson Adams 6-3, 305, Sr. 95 Braxton Hoyett 6-3, 305, So. 47 A.J. Jefferson 6-3, 280, Sr. 43 Fletcher Adams 6-2, 274, RFr. 16 Johnathan Calvin 6-3, 272, Sr. 42 Marquiss Spencer 6-3, 270, Fr. 39 Richie Brown 6-2, 240, Sr. 46 Dez Harris 6-4, 236, Jr. 4 Gerri Green 6-4, 248, So. 44 Leo Lewis 6-2, 230, RFr. 9 Jamoral Graham 5-10, 183, Jr. 30 Chris Stamps 6-0, 179, RFr. 11 Kivon Coman 6-3, 205, Sr. 2 Jamal Peters 6-2, 217, So. 31 Maurice Smitherman 5-9, 185, RFr. 1 Brandon Bryant 6-0, 215, So. 41 Mark McLaurin 6-2, 218, So. 25 Lashard Durr 5-11, 197, Jr. 24 Chris Rayford 6-0, 199, So.

Clarksdale, Miss. Wetumpka, Ala. Greenville, Miss. Kenner, La. Bessemer, Ala. Brandon, Miss. Pelham, Ala. Summit, Miss. Brandon, Miss. Jackson, Miss. Greenwood, Miss. Long Beach, Miss. Bessemer, Ala. Greenville, Miss. Brookhaven, Miss. Decatur, Miss. Vicksburg, Miss. Sheffield, Ala. Bassfield, Miss. Adamsville, Ala. Tunica, Miss. Collins, Miss. Gulfport, Miss. Byhalia, Miss.

SPECIALISTS PK: KO: P: KR: PR: LS: H:

25 Westin Graves 43 Logan Cooke 43 Logan Cooke 43 Logan Cooke 25 Westin Graves 10 Brandon Holloway 22 Malik Dear 8 Fred Ross 5 Gabe Myles 53 Hunter Bradley 43 Logan Cooke 14 Nick Tiano

6-0, 163, Jr. 6-5, 224, Jr. 6-5, 224, Jr. 6-5, 224, Jr. 6-0, 163, Jr. 5-8, 165, Sr. 5-9, 220, So. 6-2, 205, Sr. 6-0, 195, Jr. 6-3, 245, Sr. 6-5, 224, Jr. 6-4, 239, RFr.

*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.

Flowood, Miss. Darbun, Miss. Darbun, Miss. Darbun, Miss. Flowood, Miss. Tampa, Fla. Jackson, Miss. Tyler, Texas Starkville, Miss. Collierville, Tenn. Darbun, Miss. Chattanooga, Tenn.


September 7, 2016

Spurs & Feathers • 19

Gunter: This should be season all Gamecocks will enjoy

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The long nine month wait is finally over and we now have something to actually look at and analyze regarding South Carolina football. A few months ago, I wrote that this was one of the more anticipated seasons in a while because it was the start of a new era and not just the Muschamp era, but one that would take the Gamecock program forward. Last Thursday against Vanderbilt, we had the chance to see the new product on the field. Along with the shiny new helmets and the return to black jerseys, we saw a team that Gamecock fans will be proud of during the 2016 season. I have no idea what the season’s final record will be or if this team will participate in a bowl game. However, I do believe this team is going to be prepared each week, that they are going to be well coached and they are going to enter each game with a confidence that their hard work on day’s not named Saturday, will result in a victory. Against the Commodores, I saw a team that has some players that could develop into key playmakers like A.J. Turner, Bryan Edwards and even quarterback Brandon McIIwain in his limited reps. What stands out is that each one of those guys was playing his first snap of college football. By the end of the game, it was the upperclassmen like Perry Orth and Elliott Fry that had made the plays to bring home the victory. Still, those young players showed the future of the Gamecocks is very 2016 schedule but not just winning the game bright under Muschamp. against Vanderbilt, but overcoming adversity Will Muschamp does not need to be comand the 10-point deficit should do wonders pared to his predecessor, those are unfair ex- for this program. Again, guys like Orth, Fry, pectations that he does not deserve. The pro- Mason Zandi and others saw the hard work gram is in a much different place today than of the summer pay off when it mattered most. it was following the conclusion of the 2013 Now they must continue to put forth the efseason when the Gamecocks put the finishfort during the week in preparation for the ing touches on a third straight 11-win season. upcoming game. Muschamp can only work to rebuild what This week, the team travels to Starkville to once was and that is going to take time, but if take on Mississippi State. I have very little the first game is any indication, I believe the idea what will take place and what type of success will come sooner than later. improvement we will see. Maybe, that is what Let’s not mistake this season’s Vanderbilt makes this season so much fun in my opinteam to be a worldbeater. They are likely not ion. I know this team is going to work hard going to make a bowl game and honestly I and battle to put them in position to win on did not see a team that would finish in the top Saturday as I think effort will not be the prob75 nationally in total offense. lem in any game this year. Still, it was a key victory for a Welcome to the Will Muscamp program and a coach that needs era, one that I think will make a confidence boost. fans excited to see their program That is what made Thursday step on the field each Saturday night’s 13-10 victory so imporand one entirely different than tant. Young players got the opwhat Steve Spurrier built. With portunity to shine, veteran playplayers like Turner, Edwards ers regained some of their confiand McIIwain gaining valudence and it even appeared that able experience while veterans Muschamp, following the game continue to find confidence in regained some of the swagger their abilities, it should be a seathat he arrived in Gainesville, son that Gamecock fans enjoy Bill Gunter Fla. several years ago with. from last Thursday all the way Contributing There are potentially bigger through until the final snap of Writer and better wins available on the the season.


20 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

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Spurs & Feathers • 21

September 7, 2016

photo by jenny dilworth

Coates entering year with aggressive mindset and sense of urgency by kyle heck Reporter

Playing in the SC Women’s Pro-Am, Coates gets a chance to play against people she normally wouldn’t during the summer, and she’s Over the first three years of her Gamecock making the most of it. During a recent game, career, Alaina Coates has racked up all kind Coates scored 42 points while absolutely of awards, including All-SEC first-team and dominating the post. honorable mention All-American honors last Along with being more aggressive, Coates season. will enter her senior year with more of a However, as she enters her fourth and final sense of urgency. She knows time is running year, Coates wants to become even more ag- out to help lead the Gamecocks back to the gressive, and that mindset was clearly evident Final Four and beyond. in the inaugural SC Women’s “Last year it was disappointPro-Am this summer. ing, and I don’t want to go out “Just for me, I’ve been worklike that,” Coates said. “I’m ing on being aggressive with definitely going to make sure other people who were in I’m doing my part.” college, played semi-pro, proThe Gamecocks were upset fessionally, things like that,” in the Sweet Sixteen of the Coates told Spurs & Feathers. NCAA Tournament last season “So just playing with different by Syracuse, just one year after All Gamecock basketball making it to the national semilevels, and making sure that coverage sponsored by finals. Coates has been one of I don’t play down to anyone’s Yesterdays game.” the main plugs in getting South

Carolina to the elite level in women’s college basketball, and she and junior A’ja Wilson will once again anchor the post this year. South Carolina lost a lot of guard play from last year, including Tiffany Mitchell and Khadijah Sessions, both of whom have moved on to professional basketball. However, two elite transfers from ACC schools appear poised to move into their places in former Georgia Tech star Kaela Davis and North Carolina transfer Allisha Gray. “I feel like we’ve had a good amount of basketball IQ on the floor before with Asia Dozier and Tiffany Mitchell and Khadijah, but since they left, I think the new ones coming in, when I see them playing out there it’s exciting because they’re doing things that I didn’t even see myself. And I really feel like outside shooting is something that we needed that they’re definitely going to add.” Coates is one of just three seniors on this year’s team, and depending on how things work out, she could be the only senior in the

starting lineup. The Irmo native has taken on more of a leadership role since the departure of Elem Ibiam, but this year Coates is taking that to another level. “It’s kind of more vocal now,” Coates said. “I was kind of just laid back and (would) take them to the side and say ‘okay, you need to be here.’ But now it’s like outside my range and (I’m) speaking to the guards, speaking to the post because sometimes I can see things that they don’t see, and I’m just able to help everyone.” While Coates said the team’s outside shooting should be improved this season, that particular area is something that Coates also said she also wants to improve on this year. She’s already proven that she can dominate the post, but she also wants to show people that she has a shooting touch. “I’m going to hit a three senior night, that’s my goal,” Coates quipped. “A three and a step-back jumper.”


22 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Moore: The day the Gamecocks executed Operation ETD

Photo by allen sharpe

of scrimmage league and you have to be has a “W” in the win­/loss column, and that’s all ”tough” to make it in the trenches. Thursday in that matters. Salute to the team, coachMusVanderbilt the Gamecock offensive line opened champ and his staff. Commence to beating MSU! holes for AJ Turner against one of the stoutest #SpursUp defenses in the conference that had all summer to prepare for. Discipline­: “the successful man is the average man focused…. “ This team has been described as “average at best.” This staff knew it would need to be more disciplined in all facets to have a TWO WEST chance in games until an identity could be created. The Gamecocks weren’t the most disciplinedEXECUTIVE CLUB LEVEL performers in regards to penalties, turnovers and execution. But this team was discipline in a singuSection 205 lar thought­- Winning by any means…. After conquering Nash­Vegas and turning our sites to Stark­Vegas for next week’s contest, 50 yard line the players on this team have a leg up (insert your new favorite Elliott Fry reference) on everyBEST SEEATS IN N one else. Having gone on the road and done what everyone said they couldn’t with all the unknowns Williamss Briicee advanced this young team’s confidence. Achieving victory in a “not so pretty” fashion didn’t 803-9200-79669 matter, we found ways to win plain and simple. The stat sheet won’t have an ETD section, but it

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“You never know how some of these guys are going to respond when they run out of the tunnel.” The opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan” for me visually encapsulates the anxiety and uncertainty of what opening day is like for football programs. You know the scene, when the squadron is preparing to storm Omaha Beach and the anticipation and nervousness is palpable, right before the doors of the boat carrying soldiers opens. No more simulations, no more practicing, no more pep talks ... It’s real and there’s consequence if you don’t do what you’ve been trained to do. There were no beaches to storm. The pellets of rubber turf replace the grains of sand flying everywhere as the Gamecocks took the field. The sound of pads popping sounded as if there was ammunition going off in the distance. Faces in war  paint, behind enemy lines, looking to capture and conquer the foreign territory called the “West End.” More importantly, conquering a victory and SEC win for this team on the road. Something that no head coach at South Carolina has done in his first appearance as coach. What’s been brewing since last December was ready to be debuted on this day. The day when we can see the actual operation being executed in real time against a familiar conference foe favored to win. Yeah, the spring game is “cool” in April but we were still 3­-9. Signing a recruiting class that was “hashtag” “emoji worthy” seemed unlikely given the situation, but this staff hit the warpath from day one with recruiting. All of Gamecock Nation has been waiting (impatiently) to let the play on the field answer all the queries posed about the topic that is Gamecock football and its future. “We need to be comfortable being uncomfortable” -Will Muschamp With no preseason games to prime the son. The wins will be counted, the stats will “yuck” out from last season’s returning players. be recorded, but how all three phases live up to There aren’t enough dress rehearsals to prepare the ETD standard will determine what kind of the newcomers for everything when the “ bulseason this will be. How do you measure these lets are flying” during the game. Going on the three things?! How do you quantify effort? road and overcoming all the traps and land mines Or gauge toughness? Discipline?!!! These subjectogether forges  this team by fire. Helping to tive attributes are hard to gauge but have as much toughen the make up and mindset of this group to do with winning as as knowing the snap count of young men. This opening road conference or the play called. win helps to blanket some the deficiencies and Effort­:  “Lead the nation in effort…” the Gamedoubts that come with unprovcocks displayed consistent effort en talent. This first game of a twothroughout the game, especialgame road opener was paramount ly on the defensive side of the ball. for the psyche of this young team Something that was glaring last led by a new coaching staff, year when it came to tackling. Seereaffirming all the messages the ing DJ Smith run sideline to sidecoaches have been preaching all line to make an open field tackle offseason. This past Thursday bewas a good barometer of effort, decame “D Day: The day when the fensive linemen Taylor Stallworth, 2016 Gamecock football team exKelsy Griffin, Darius English ecuted Operation ETD.” and Marquavius Lewis combined Operation ETD= Effor 20 tackles, two tackles for a Langston Moore fort Toughness Discipline loss and a sack. Contributing will be the measuring Toughness­: Coach MusWriter stick for this squad this seachamp called the SEC a line


Spurs & Feathers • 23

September 7, 2016

Former Gamecock swimmer makes a splash in the NFL by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content As a seven time All-American freestyle swimmer for South Carolina, Jennifer (Van Assen) Brunelli was accustomed to having others chasing her and trying to keep up. Now Brunelli is chasing her new passion of fueling athletes properly and keeping up with what they are eating as the team dietitian for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. “Athletes are continually wanting to learn because they wouldn’t still be competing if they weren’t looking for other ways to be better,” Brunelli said. “So they are learning and listening. They may not all be implementing yet, but they hear it. “We all know what it feels like to put your feet on the floor the day after a rough workout, and you feel like you’re going to just fall over. I work to understand what the strength staff the 50 free style and world champion, and the and position coaches are doing with them and couple was training in Arizona for Olympic relate the nutrition piece to the recovery aspect trials when she decided to go back to school of what’s being asked of them.” to get a degree in nutrition. She eventually reThe 34 year old is entering her third year as tired from swimming in 2006 and chased her the team dietitian, a position the organization dreams out of the pool. didn’t have before she arrived on the scene. “I was really super passionate about what I Brunelli’s goal is to help each player maxihad been exposed to in school and finally figmize their performance and understand how ured out what I wanted to do,” Brunelli said. proper nutrition can do that, while also allowThe couple eventually moved to Charlotte so ing them to eat foods that taste good. Nicholas could continue to train for his swim“I’m with the team two days a week, every ming career, and it was the perfect market for week, all year,” Brunelli said. “They have me her as a dietitian. as a resource beyond that as well. I also have She earned her master’s degree and helped my own private practice in Charlotte where I NC State build a program within its athletics work the rest of the week, Sports RDpro, LLC department in addition to running her private . I work with the Panthers’ food service com- practice. Her success in building such propany to approve menus for the players, and I grams led her to the Panthers, and the NFL plan their pre-workout and pre-game fueling began to catch on to what more and more coltables. I also work as the supplement reviewer leges were doing. for when they have questions about safety or “Not all NFL teams have a sports dietitian dosing and keeping them safe from the drug- available to the team on such a regular basis, testing aspect of it. I want to make sure they’re but it is great to see it growing tremendously doing everything they can to be as safe as over the past three years,” Brunelli said. “One possible.” of the biggest pieces that helped catapult Brunelli graduated from South Carolina this into a more prominent role in an NCAA in 2004 after double-majoring in marketing setting is when they did the deregulation of and management with a minor in journalism. feeding. This means schools can provide While she was competing for the Gamecocks, more than just breakfast, lunch and dinner to her coaches thought she had the potential to student-athletes now. It all has to do with the swim faster and that’s when nutrition and ath- increased demands that sports put on studentletic performance began peaking her interest. athletes, and that has trickled upwards to the “I had a lot of anecdotal questions about if I higher levels because then you get rookies and did certain things with my diet, what kind of young athletes coming in who have been exeffect would that have on my posed to so much more. They daily performance,” Brunelli get to the pros and want to said. “So I started messing know where those resources with it myself.” are that they had in college. The Gamecocks now “There is also so much more have nutritionist on staff for ability to access informastudent-athletes, but that intion now. They read so much All Gamecock swimming and online. You also see athletes terest turned into a passion diving coverage after graduation. She married competing longer into their sponsored by Aquarian Nicholas Brunelli, who was lifespan now, so that creates Pools of Columbia an American record holder in a need as well. In the NFL,

we motivate them all the time by reminding them how small changes can keep them in the league as long as possible.” Brunelli noted that there is a unique challenge in trying to meet individual needs with the different positions and sizes of football players. “Constantly things are changing in this sport,” Brunelli said. “We have position-specific parameters we are looking for. It is really dependent on the individual though. I don’t have the opportunity to create an individual plan for every single athlete with my position’s time constraints, but by the time we get through preseason and a few weeks in season, easily 50 percent of them have very specific plans, and the rest have small, specific nutrition goals they are chasing.” Sports specific diets are an evolving science, and Brunelli said there is often a lot of `mythbusting’ going on, because what may be sound advice to a non-athlete doesn’t always equate to the needs of an athlete in his/her prime. “The most surprising thing is how easily influenced some of these guys are by external conversations around nutrition and how it impacts the body when that conversation really has nothing to do with the level of athlete they are, compared to a normal person,” Brunelli said. The Panthers have won three straight division championships since Brunelli has been on board, and while she is not taking credit for their success, she is thankful that the organization has made a commitment to it with “buy-in” at the management and player levels. “I am in a very unique environment with players like Luke Kuechly, Greg Olsen, and Thomas Davis,” Brunelli said. “This crowd has a lot of leaders. I’ve even said to them sometimes that they’re a little too healthy. They look at me like I’m a crazy. Sometimes I get to be the fun one who tells them to go out and have a steak with their wife, or I’ll say to enjoy a cookie or ice cream at camp on the

training table, after they have a great meal. Live it up!” Gone are the training days when food might be cooked in the morning and left on warming trays for the entire afternoon for the team to eat. “We did not have a kitchen at the stadium when I got there,” Brunelli said. “Now we have a kitchen and food service staff. The team invested a huge amount of money for a players-specific kitchen where our food service staff can cook right on the spot. If Cam Newton comes in and wants a piece of salmon, they can turn around and put it on the grill so it’s made in six minutes. My environment is definitely different than most.” That doesn’t mean the players don’t still love certain types of food that are usually frowned upon, so there are certainly times when the players “cheat” on their diets. “Of course they do,” Brunelli laughed. “If we do everything the right way for them in our environments, then when they want to go out, with the very limited time they get with their families and their spouses or friends, then they can go out and not feel super hesitant in those environments because we’ve created a good balance for them.” At the end of the day, Brunelli is there to share information and the players can decide to take it or leave it. “It’s never been my personality to force things on people because if they don’t own it, then they’re not going to do it consistently and they’re not going to feel the difference,” Brunelli said. “The bottom the line is when you get to a certain level, you start gaining that confidence where you know what you need to do for your body. Sometimes it just takes a little plugging away in sharing information or when something goes wrong in a game in terms of energy management or cramping or just feeling sluggish, and if they can tie that back to a lack of fuel in some way, then they come asking instead of me pushing.”


24 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Ray Tanner as Miracle League field breaks ground: ‘This is special’ by brian hand Executive Editor Ray Tanner Foundation co-founder Karen Tanner could not contain her excitement as she was leaving the groundbreaking. “What a great day,” Karen Tanner said. “I mean, awesome.” The huge smile on the face of Karen Tanner was also on the face of her husband and South Carolina athletics director, Ray Tanner, and really everyone in attendance at Owens Field Park on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 20. The excitement was well warranted. It was a special day that so many had been looking forward to for a long time. The groundbreaking for the Miracle League Baseball field at Owens Field Park is the culmination of a dream that Ray Tanner has had for a long time. In fact, after leading South Carolina to backto-back national championships as the then head baseball coach in 2010 and 2011, Ray Tanner helped put together the book “Carolina Baseball Pressure Makes Diamonds: The Official Authorized History of the National Cham- right and live life the right way, but never appion Gamecocks” with many of the proceeds preciated it enough until I met Fox.” from the book going to help pave the way for That appreciation for Beyer and the Miracle the Miracle League Baseball field. Baseball League led Tanner to believe that all “This is special,” Ray Tanner told Spurs & should be able to play the game he loves so Feathers. “This is of all of the things that I’ve much. been involved in over the years, it’s an excit“I’m looking forward to watching young ing day. This started many years ago when I people play,” Tanner said. “Whether you’re a was exposed to the Miracle Leagues and the young boy or a young girl and you have a disMiracle fields that exist around the country. ability, you should be able to enjoy the game of Then I had a young man that was my manager softball or the game of baseball, and this field and then coach in Fox Beyer (1998-02) and will enable that to happen.” I learned about it, and this was something I A Miracle League Baseball field is a customwanted to be a part of.” designed, rubberized turf field that allows Beyer was born with cerebral palsy, but he children with mental and physical disabilities had a huge passion for baseball and he helped the opportunity to safely play baseball and Gamecock baseball tremendously during his softball, and while the Tanners and the Ray time with the program. Tanner Foundation might have been the initial Beyer as noted by Ray Tanner changed his proponents of making the field a reality, it truly outlook on life, and unbeknownst to him at the was a group effort. time he also helped start the process of making “The City of Columbia, Richland County a Miracle League Baseball field in the Midand so many other entities have joined forces lands happen. to make this day become a “You say people make a difreality,” Ray Tanner said. “We ference in your life, Fox Beyer have a lot going on in the City has made a difference in my of Columbia with the Gamelife,” Ray Tanner told the cocks and baseball and softball Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Fireflies, and now with in May of 2001. “The day that the Miracle field, I’ve got anI met him, started working other stop on my trips around All Gamecock baseball with him, my whole outlook the city.” coverage sponsored by about life changed. You know, A member of the University DiPrato’s I always tried to do things of South Carolina Athlet-

photo by brian hand

ics Hall of Fame, Gamecock men’s tennis legend Seth Rose was also in attendance for the groundbreaking. Rose is currently the Richland County Councilman for District Five, which includes most of downtown Columbia and the Rosewood Community where the Miracle Baseball League field at Owens Field Park will be located. Like Tanner, Rose was thrilled with the way all entities involved came together to make this just over $1.3 million project that also includes a boundless playground, renovations of ball fields, walkways, vehicular round-about and stormwater improvements a reality. “One of the things that I’ve learned since being in office is that it’s difficult to get a lot of different entities on the same page, and that’s what happened here,” Rose said. “A lot of different entities - public and private - came together to do something amazing for our community. It’s awesome.” South Carolina men’s basketball great and current City of Columbia superintendent for recreation Carey Rich was also in attendance for the groundbreaking. Rich is excited to be able to add the Miracle League Baseball field to the offerings that the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation is able to provide. “When you consider who it’s going to impact in kids that normally would not be able to enjoy normal recreation, and now this gives them an opportunity to do just that it’s special,” Rich said. “That partnership and the collaborations

and how everyone came together, I think it speaks volumes of the togetherness in this city to have an opportunity to impact a segment of kids that otherwise probably would not have this opportunity.” Rich knows that opportunity would never have happened without Ray and Karen Tanner. “The one thing about Ray and Karen Tanner is that a lot of people talk about it, but they live it and it’s something that they are very, very serious about,” Rich said. “You understand why when you look at the amount of community service hours that the athletes over at South Carolina have done and been a part of, now you understand why. He doesn’t just give it as a directive. He just doesn’t give instructions. He gives instructions, but he also lives it. The leader is about leading by example. He epitomizes that. He and his wife, Karen, they epitomize that.” Rose like Rich knows that the efforts by Ray Tanner and South Carolina athletics in the Midlands and the Palmetto State are not done at institutions everywhere, and for going above and beyond he is incredibly thankful. “It’s very special,” Rose said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the University and the athletics department. Not just for what they’re doing in athletics, but what they’re doing in the community. Coach Tanner is not only a Gamecock, but he’s a member of the Columbia community, and to see our University giving back and being involved, I couldn’t be more proud.”


Spurs & Feathers • 25

September 7, 2016

Gamecocks make an impact on young students in Vietnam by brad muller South Carolina Director of Content A favorite back-to-school essay revolves around the theme of “What I did on my summer vacation.” South Carolina senior beach volleyball student-athlete Erin Neuenfeldt and recent graduate Raina Johnson from the women’s soccer team may have one of the more meaningful responses after spending nearly a month in Vietnam teaching underprivileged children as part of the Coach for College program. “I learned how much you can impact other people, even when you don’t think you’re really doing anything,” Johnson said. “I thought I was just going there to teach and to coach. I definitely didn’t think the kids would get as attached to me, or that I would get as attached to the kids as I did. It definitely had an impact on me.” “The biggest thing I learned is to appreci- a lot. The kids loved it when you tried to ate my education,” Neuenfeldt said. “These learn some Vietnamese. We tried to learn kids are riding their bikes an hour to get to as many basic phrases as we could, and that school each day. A lot of them aren’t gohelped a lot with communication. A lot of ing to be able to continue on to get a high the kids actually knew some basic English, school education, and a lot of them really too.” want to learn. A lot of them don’t have the Johnson and Neuenfeld were amazed how means or transportation to get to higher enthusiastic the Vietnamese children were education, so I really learned to appreciate to get an education what I have.” “What struck me the most was how eager Coach for College is a non-profit organiza- and excited they were to not only play the tion that offers student-athletes the chance sports every day, but also to learn in the to teach youths in rural parts of developing classroom every day,” Johnson said. “I was countries. This is part of a global initiative never that excited to go to school. These to promote higher education and life skills kids were pumped up every day.” through sports. Several Gamecocks have “Some of the kids ride their bike an hour made the same trip in recent years. This to get to school every day,” Neuenfeldt year the two Gamecocks joined other volun- said. “Then they ride an hour to go home. teers in teaching academics courses, as well They’re so excited to be there, and they as life skills and various sports just south of loved that there were Americans there. A lot Ho Chi Minh City in the Mekong Delta. of them have never seen Americans before.” “A big part of Coach for College is teachLiving comfortably in the United States, ing them life skills, setting goals and getJohnson and Neuenfeldt had adjustments to ting them to try to achieve higher educamake while in Vietnam. tion,” Neuenfeldt said. “So we tell our sto“We had to sleep under mosquito nets a ries and how we got to where we are. They lot,” Johnson said. “My guest house had know a lot about volleyball, but they really shower head, which was really lucky. At hadn’t heard much about beach volleyball, Erin’s guest house, they had to shower with so they were really interested in our univer- buckets. It was really different from anysities and how sports were such a big deal at thing I’ve had to experience before. our universities.” “At the beginning, I was really concerned “I thought it would be an awesome trip to with what I was eating. By the end it go on and also a chance to try to help some seemed really normal. My house had a lot of kids, while also having them rice and pork every day for help me learn more about at least two meals per day.” myself in the process,” Seeing how their students Johnson said. “I was teachlived was also an eye-opening math to eighth and ninth ing experience. graders, and also coaching “We got a chance to visit soccer. For the first few days some of the kids’ houses on All Gamecock it was hard communicating the last day of camp,” Johnbeach volleyball coverage son said. “It was shocking. with the kids, but we had sponsored by James W. translators. They helped They lived with so little, but Smith Real Estate Co. with that language barrier they were so happy. Living

conditions definitely varied from student to student. The school was different from any school I have seen in the United States. They had minimal supplies. It was interesting to see how they live with a lot less than we are used to living with here, but it works just as well.” “Some of them live right on the river there,” Neuenfeldt said. “Some of them are straw houses. They live very simply, but they were happy with what they had.” The Gamecocks are accustomed to putting in long hours as student-athletes, and they certainly had to put in long hours while in Vietnam. “The hardest part was adjusting to the long days,” Neuenfeldt said. “I’m an elementary education major, so I teach all day long, but this was nothing like that. You’re in hot conditions all day long, and you’re teaching 40 minutes in the classroom, then going outside and teaching 40 minutes of volleyball. Then 40 minutes of classroom and 40 minutes volleyball again, 40 minutes of life skills and 15 minutes of team bonding. That’s just your morning. Then you do it all over again in the afternoon.” In the end, the hard work was worth it. “The most fun part was getting to know the kids on a personal level,” Johnson said. “I didn’t think it was possible in three weeks to get as close to a group of kids as I did. I was shocked at how close you got. Our last competition day was probably the most fun.” After nearly a month of being out of their comfort zone, both Johnson and Neuenfeldt said it was hard to come home. “You just get really close to your ‘team’ because those are the ones you meet with a lot and talk about those life skills with,” Neuenfeldt said. “I got close with a lot of members of my little team. A couple of the girls looked me up on Google and said

‘you’re famous.’ They were awesome. They would hold my hand any chance they could. At the end, they gave me these little gifts they wrapped in little boxes. It was pencils or anything they had. It made me feel really special that they would give me the little that they had. “It was really hard to go. We were signing everyone’s shirts. You get so close to them in such a short amount of time. It’s unbelievable. We’re riding away on the bus, and it’s like a movie scene. They were chasing after us on their bikes. It was pretty heartbreaking to leave them.” “It was a different kind of culture shock when we got back home,” Johnson said. “It was really cool to see how happy they were with what little they did have. It made me more appreciative of what I have, and I realized I don’t need half the things that I have to make me happy. It’s the people that I surround myself with that are going to make me have an enjoyable life. They really put that into perspective for me.” Now that they are back home, Neuenfeldt and Johnson discovered that they not only gave their time and energy to help the kids, but they were the recipients of great gifts as well. “You develop such a relationship with each kid, it’s shocking to see how close you can get,” Johnson said. “There are definitely some kids I’ll remember for a really long time. I’m really thankful for that. We’re even friends on Facebook and things like that. It will be fun to see them grow up.” “There were two kids who both knew English very well,” Neuenfeldt recalled. “They were able to speak to me without a Vietnamese translator coach helping. At the end of the trip, I gave one of them my South Carolina shirt and took a picture with him. He was just beaming that he had an American university shirt. I’m going to miss him.”


26 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

New facility keeps Gamecock soccer among the elite in the nation

by brian hand Executive Editor

words during the South Carolina men’s and women’s soccer Fan Appreciation Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the new facilFor someone like South Carolina men’s ity. soccer senior Koty Millard it was hard to put The new 11,000-square-foot center for into words. Gamecock soccer houses both the men’s A native of Columbia, Millard had grown and women’s soccer locker rooms as well as up wanting to be a Gamecock, and now in separate team lounges and study rooms, athhis fourth year in the program having a new letic training rooms and hydrotherapy tubs, facility that houses everything for South a sparkling new 3,000-square-foot weight Carolina soccer just outside of Stone Staroom, a video room and a special “boot dium, it was hard for him to really describe room” for South Carolina’s Under Armour how much it meant to him and the program. cleats and goalkeeper gloves. “I can’t really describe it,” Millard told The best thing though about the first-class Spurs & Feathers. “I never thought somefacility is that it is located adjacent to Stone thing like this would happen within my four Stadium, and the Gamecocks can walk right years here. It seemed like a faraway project, out to the pitch from the facility. but then it got built really quickly and now A native of Sheffield, England, South here we are now.” Carolina men’s soccer senior Kurtis Tuner A junior from nearby Chapin, Savannah knows that the new facility means “everyMcCaskill of the South Carolina women’s thing to the program.” soccer team was just as proud of the fact that “It’s a real progression on everything,” they would get to be a part of programs that Turner said. “The coaches have made a real had the use of the facility that Millard called emphasis on what people want to do after “one of the best in the country.” this program, and I think this just helps that. “It’s incredible,” McCaskill said. “It just Everything is a lot more professional, and shows that the athletic department is reI think it’s going to take the program to the ally behind men’s and women’s soccer, and next level.” that’s something that is really rare to find In her 16th year in charge of the program, that they’re willing to dedicate a brand-new South Carolina women’s soccer head coach building to us. It is just kind of a reassurShelley Smith feels the new facility adds ance to us that what we’re doing is making a even more pride to two very historically-rich name for ourselves.” programs. Both Millard and McCaskill said these “It’s amazing,” Smith said. “It’s night and

grandsons, granddaughters, nieces, nephews playing soccer?’ and three-quarters of the room their hands go up. As that has grown, it’s been wonderful that the University has recognized the place of soccer in the University community, and our facilities have grown accordingly. (Former athletics director) Mike McGee put the stadium in place and (current athletics director) Ray Tanner and the (University of South Carolina) Board of Trustees, Dr. (Harris) Pastides and our photo by allen sharpe athletic administration, I can’t thank them enough for putting this final piece in place here.” day compared to what we have had, and we’ve always made the most of anything that During South Carolina soccer’s Fan Apwe’ve been given. This is just a phenomenal preciation Open House there were numerous feeling to walk in and have this kind of sup- fans in attendance, but one former Gameport for both programs. It’s now a place that cock soccer player stood out at the event. That former player was Jim Sonefeld, who we can be proud of to display to recruits, to had a strong playing career for the Gamefans and to our current players to have this kind of facility. To have this kind of support, cocks before becoming the lead drummer for music legends “Hootie and the Blowfish.” I think it’s amazing.” Sonefeld is a regular at South Carolina socMark Berson is in his 39th year in charge cer games, and seeing the new building that of South Carolina men’s soccer, and he his efforts on the pitch helped establish maknows having a building of this stature just shows the beautiful game means a great deal ny years ago was incredibly special to him. “It’s beautiful to see a tradition building,” to the Palmetto State. Sonefeld said. “That’s the great thing I see “The game of soccer in the state of South is that it’s not just a step laterally, I think Carolina has just grown dramatically through the years,” Berson said. “It’s grown it’s a step forward and up to where you have nice facilities that you’re going to be able to on every level, so if you look at the particibring in nicer players or better players, and I pation of youth soccer it’s enormous. You think you can build them stronger with nicer can speak to any group and ask the people, facilities too.” ‘how many of you have sons, daughters,

Gamecock Club leaders treated to a special thank you by brian hand Executive Editor Every year the Gamecock Club holds a kickoff event for the leaders of their judicial districts at Williams-Brice Stadium as a special thank you. This year’s event on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the 600 Level Club at Williams-Brice Stadium is one that those lucky enough to attend will never forget as all in attendance had the opportunity to eat some fantastic food, hear from South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner and catch a sneak peek of the 2016 Gamecock football team. “This is one of our opportunities that we have to bring our volunteers in to be able to thank them by giving them access to be able to view a scrimmage and to be able to have them together and have some good food,”

photo by brian hand

Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland said. “It’s just fun to have them in a relaxed environment like this.” The evening started with the Gamecock Club members catching up with one another before Tanner talked with the group about all

of the great things happening with South Carolina athletics. Tanner also answered questions from the group on a variety of topics. While the group was listening to Tanner they were also treated to a full buffet dinner provided by the national collegiate tailgating

championship-winning Ultimate Tailgaters. Just a few short minutes after hearing from Tanner, everyone in attendance was then given the really unique opportunity to watch the closed to the public second scrimmage of the year for the Gamecock football team. Tanner said the whole evening was really important to him and the rest of the South Carolina athletics department just to thank these Gamecock Club leaders for all that they do for Gamecocks everywhere. “These donors, these members of the Gamecock Club, they’re the heartbeat of what we we do,” Tanner said. “Their dedication and loyalty to our student-athletes and our coaches here they mean everything in the world to us. I never neglect an opportunity to say thank you to people that put us in a position of success, and I’m so grateful for their loyalty and support.”


September 7, 2016

Spurs & Feathers • 27

Submitted photos

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On July 30, Blythewood residents Tom English, and his son Anthony (12) attended New York Giants training camp in East Rutherford, N.J. Anthony, a Gamecock men’s basketball team ballboy who attended his first Gamecock football game at the age of 1 1/2, was in New Jersey visiting his grandparents on summer vacation. Tom was wearing a Gamecock shirt and after practice, yelled out “Go Cocks” to Gamecock football greats Jasper Brinkley (left) and Jerell Adams (right). Both eagerly came over with big smiles and chatted, signed Anthony’s ball and took pictures. Tom English noted that you could tell both Brinkley and Adams were proud of their University, and said the duo even thanked them for coming out to the practice.


28 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

South Carolina/Vanderbilt postgame notes and quotes

south carolina athletics media relations

our staff, I said, ‘I’m really worried if it doesn’t go well early. How will we respond? I have no idea.’ [The team] responded the way you [are supposed to] respond. We will build on this and there are so many things to correct. Thank goodness we have the weekend to work and we’ll work every minute of it to get prepared and get it right to go to Mississippi State next weekend. It was a great win, so proud of our guys. We got banged around a little in the run game on defense, we got displaced in some gaps, we’ll get that corrected. Just some really gutsy plays offensively and defensively as the game wore on and I’m extremely proud of this football team and I’m proud to be the head coach of South Carolina.”

GENERAL NOTES • South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 13-10 to open the 2016 season. South Carolina has now won 16 of its last 17 season openers and it is the eighth straight victory over the Commodores. The Gamecocks are now 11-3 in Thursday night contests since the 2005 season. • Captains for South Carolina were: No. 10 Perry Orth, No. 11 TJ Holloman, No. 51 Cory Helms, and No. 90 Taylor Stallworth. • Eight Gamecocks made their first career starts in a Gamecock uniform Thursday night. Players making their first starts included: DT Kelsey Griffin, CB Rashad Fenton, WR Jamari Smith, WR Bryan Edwards, C Cory Helms, RG Donell Stanley, RT D.J. Park and RB A.J. Turner. • Attendance at Vanderbilt Stadium was 30,304 • Head coach Will Muschamp improves to a perfect 5-0 record in season opening games as a head coach. Coach Muschamp is also the first coach in South Carolina history to win his coaching debut with the Gamecocks on the road.

You said you were confident in Elliott [Fry] up to 52 yards in camp, what made you confident from 55 [yards] tonight? “We felt in pregame, because the wind was blowing that way, [special teams coach] Coleman Hutzler felt he was good from 38 and in, meaning a 55-yard field goal, so we felt good from that range because of the wind. We did not feel as good going the other way. In pregame, we go through and talk in terms of where Fry feels good and kicking into the scoreboard, because there was more wind there, he felt good from the 32 or 33. Given the situation on 3rd-and-6, I thought they’d call a timeout to save some time at the end of the game, but they didn’t and we were able to milk the time down and got exactly the look we wanted knowing that we would go out there with [Vanderbilt] having one timeout remaining with about 38 to 42 seconds in the game to play. I had total confidence that he was going to hit the thing. [Fry] is really good, he has been a good kicker for a long time. We’re going to have to win some games like this. That is kind of our m.o. right now.”

OFFENSIVE NOTES • Senior quarterback Perry Orth went 11-for-19 in the air for 152 yards. Freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain also made his career debut and was 5-for-11 in the air for 35 yards and also carried 7 times for 29 yards in the contest. • Freshman wide receiver Bryan Edwards became the eighth player in school history to record 100 or more receiving yards in a season opener in school history. Edwards caught a team-high 8 passes for 101 yards. • Freshman tailback A.J. Turner rushed 13 times for 70 yards in his first game in school history. He also had three receptions for 27 yards in the contest. • Deebo Samuel’s 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was his second career touchdown with the Gamecocks and his first career rushing touchdown.

DEFENSIVE NOTES • Senior defensive end Marquavius Lewis has started all 13 games he has played in his career with the Gamecocks. Lewis finished with seven tackles in the game. That tied him with Chaz Elder for the most by a Gamecock player in the contest. • South Carolina limited Vanderbilt to 242 yards of offense in the game including 73 passing yards. That is the lowest total of yards given up by the Gamecocks since Carolina limited UCF to 230 yards in the 31-14 win last year, Sept. 26, 2015. It is also the lowest total of yards given up by the Gamecocks vs. a SEC opponent since Florida gained 183 total yards in a 44-11 South Carolina loss in Gainesville, Oct. 20, 2012. • South Carolina’s defense had six 3-and-outs in Thursday’s win. It is the most South Carolina has recorded since six last season in a 27-24 loss at Tennessee, Nov. 7, 2015. The Gamecocks recorded five 3-and-outs last year against Vanderbilt as well.

photo by allen sharpe

PAT made, it ties him for 4th all-time in SEC history with Damon Duval (Auburn, 1999-02) • Sean Kelly tallied two punts inside the 10 in Thursday night’s contest. Kelly punted seven times for 279 yards, an average of 39.9 yards with a long of 45 in the contest.

South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp Opening Statement: “I’m extremely proud of our players. Really a gutsy performance, it didn’t start pretty. We have prepped a situation to stay in the end zone on the opening kickoff. Because of ball security, we went with Deebo [Samuel] in the punt return. It’s the first time he’s done it; we’ll get it straightened out. We had a naked call early in the game, we had a lineman in one of our base calls who was eight yards down the field - it was his first start, so there was a lot of firsts for this football team, but if SPECIAL TEAM NOTES you want to talk about guts and laying your body out on the • Elliott Fry’s game-winning 55-yard field goal ties for the barbed wire, and making plays when you had to make plays, second-longest field in school history. Ryan Succop had a and making catches and doing things that good teams do. 55-yard field goal at Vanderbilt on October 21, 2006. Fry went On the road and against a very good defensive football team, 2-for-2 in field goals as he also connected on a 48-yard field I can’t tell you how proud I am of our staff and our entire in the third quarter. He now has 55 career field goals and 296 strength staff in our preparation for the first game, and how career points, both totals are second-most in school history. our guys responded in a hostile situation, and it didn’t go well Fry’s PAT in the fourth quarter was his 125th consecutive early. I’ll be as honest as I can be: it is one of the things I told

Category 1st Downs Total Yards Passing Rushing Penalties-Yards 3rd Down Conversions 4th Down Conversions Turnovers Time of Possession Passing Leaders South Carolina COM Orth 11 McIlwain 5 Vanderbilt COM Shurmur 8 Freebeck 0 Rushing Leaders South Carolina CAR Turner 13 70 McIlwain 7 Vanderbilt CAR Webb 20 Blasingam 15 Receiving Leaders South Carolina REC Edwards 8 Turner 3 Vanderbilt REC Webb 3 Duncan 2

SC VU 14 14 308 242 187 73 121 169 7-51 5-33 6-16 4-15 0-0 0-1 2 0 26:45 33:15 ATT 19 11 ATT 22 1

YDS 152 35 YDS 73 0

TD 0 0 TD 0 0

INT 0 0 INT 0 0

YDS 5.4 29 YDS 97 68

AVG 0 4.1 AVG 4.9 4.5

TD 20 0 TD 0 1

LG 8 LG 12 13

YDS 101 27 YDS 28 24

AVG 12.6 9.0 AVG 9.3 12.0

TD 0 0 TD 0 0

LG 33 18 LG 24 16


Spurs & Feathers • 29

September 7, 2016

Gamecock Radio/Television Information

The Gamecock Sports Network from IMG College counts 25 affiliate stations for the 2016 football season. For Sirius/XM subscribers, follow the Gamecock Radio 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. 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-Mississippi State television The South Carolina-Mississippi State game will be available on ESPN or ESPN2. Please check local listings. South Carolina-MSU In-Game frequency The South Carolina-Mississippi State in-game frequency for the Gamecock Radio Network for inside the stadium is 88.1 (primary ) and 94.5 (secondary).

2016-17 RADIO AFFILIATES

City

Call Letters

Frequency

Football

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 WVDZ-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 WVSC-FM 106.5 Hilton Head WVSC-FM 99.1 Lake City WHYM-AM 1260 Myrtle Beach WJXY-FM 93.9 Myrtle Beach WJXY-FM 93.7 Newberry WKDK-AM 1240 Rock Hill WRHM-FM 107.1 Seneca WSNW-AM 1150 Seneca WSNW-FM 94.1 Spartanburg WSPG-AM 1240 Sumter WIBZ-FM 95.5 Union WBCU-AM 1460

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

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30 • Spurs & Feathers

September 7, 2016

Relief efforts show ‘what it means to be a Gamecock’

send to various areas throughout Columbia during its time of need. In the first week alone, USC Flood Relief For South Carolina senior Cory Alpert the had 1,369 volunteers at 41 different sites for a efforts in the Midlands can be summed up total of 5,015 service hours. pretty easily. Alpert and USC Flood Relief also at the “It’s incredible,” Alpert told Spurs & Feath- time vowed to spend as much time as posers from just outside Williams-Brice Stasible over the coming months and years after dium on Wednesday, Aug. 17. “We’ve gone the flooding in Columbia to get things back through a flood, we’ve gone through our own as close to normal as possible. disasters, and now we’re paying it back. It’s Knowing full well what it means to unour time to help out. This is our time where dertake such a tragedy it was no surprise on we’ve seen our community go through a lot Wednesday, Aug. 17, to hear Alpert speak the of incredible struggles, and for every one per- words above and still be helping to make sure son that needed help 10 people helped, and the Baton Rouge area had all they needed. we’re seeing the exact same thing for a comTheir efforts were part of a collaborative munity that isn’t even our own. To me, that effort announced by the University of South tells you everything you need to know about Carolina on Tuesday, Aug. 16, where from what it means to be a Gamecock.” Aug. 17-18 individuals could drop off donaIt was October of 2015 that the Columbia tions to help those in need in the Baton Rouge area and Alpert’s life originally changed and LSU community. forever. It’s safe to say the herculean efforts of the At the time after the flooding in the CoLSU and Baton Rouge community to help lumbia area, Alpert created a google docuthose in need in Columbia during the floodment for people to sign up to help others on ing resounded quite heavily in the Midlands Sunday, Oct. 3, and he expected to get a few as on Wednesday, Aug. 17, the Gamecock friends to come along. football equipment truck was filled very It grew much bigger very quickly. quickly with donations by Gamecock fans Alpert and his group, USC Flood Relief, and just fans of all schools wanting to help. went on to partner with several groups, inAt the drop-off spot at the Bi-Lo on Devine cluding United Way and the City of ColumStreet in Columbia, campus outreach deputy bia, and they helped organize volunteers to Markos Hurtt was one of the individuals

up so fast that they decided to head to Baton Rouge a day early with the two 18-wheelers filled with donations leaving from National Guard Road around 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. In addition, the My Carolina Alumni Association collected items throughout the week and at their annual Fall Sports Preview Party on Thursday, Aug. 18. The morning of Friday, Aug. 19, the My Carolina Alumni photo by brian hand Association staff were busy packing a truck that was also headed to help those in need in helping to make sure everything was loaded Louisiana. on the truck. At the My Carolina Alumni Association To him, it was the least he could do to help. Fall Sports Preview Party, South Carolina “As a college student, I don’t have too many head football coach Will Muschamp started funds, so it’s not something I can give (mon- his remarks by asking people to donate to the ey), so based off our flood last year, I feel like cause because since he worked at LSU and it’s my civic responsibility as an American worked in the Baton Rouge community “it hit to help out other societies that need it,” Hurtt home” for him. said. “(University of South Carolina) student “It’s a wonderful place, it’s an outstanding government is a great way for me to get ininstitution and some of the best people I’ve volved, and Cory Alpert had this idea, and I ever worked with are there,” Muschamp said. said, ‘yeah, sign me up.’” South Carolina athletics director Ray TanHurtt’s efforts helped individuals like 2012 ner echoed Muschamp’s comments to the University of South Carolina graduate Chad crowd at the event by thanking them and Simmons get everything loaded on the truck. Gamecocks everywhere for all they have Simmons dropped off a shopping cart full done to help those in need. of items, telling Spurs & Feathers “he had a “We’ve been through this, we know what’s little extra money,” and he wanted to help out. going on down there, and we’re grateful for Originally South Carolina planned to also your support, and so are they,” Tanner said. collect items on Aug. 19, but two trucks filled It’s definitely great to be a Gamecock.

AS14-1492165-1

by brian hand Executive Editor


Spurs & Feathers • 31

September 7, 2016

Girardeau: Winning breeds confidence It’s officially football season! In reality, it’s always football season around here. Everybody wants to talk about it. Hard to believe that it has been only nine months since Will Muschamp was hired as the new head coach at Carolina. The anticipation of him being the coach and how he would do was finally made real by playing a game that counts. So the questions will stop such as, “How do you think Muschamp will do?” or, “Who is the quarterback going to be?” Of course, one game does not necessarily count as the final answer to those question, but we certainly know who played quarterback and as far as how Coach Ed Girardeau Muschamp and Contributing the new staff will Editor do, I think we will be just fine. By a show of hands, how many of you at halftime where thinking this looks familiar? In 1999, Lou Holtz had his first game in Raleigh against NC State and in a tropical storm, South Carolina lost 10-0. We didn’t have the rain, but it did have a feel like maybe the same fate was upon us trailing 10-0 at the intermission. The first half, particularly the first quarter, was just awful. From the opening kickoff with the one foot out of the end zone touch back that could have been a disaster, to the muffed punt, to the first offensive fumble lost of the year, to the four or five penalties in the first quarter on the offensive line, it was a poor start and led to the midway deficit. Coach Muschamp was upbeat in his halftime interviews noting that the team played better in the second quarter. I suppose marginally, but you were left to wonder if there was any way that the Gamecocks would score, much less win. Keep in mind. USC was a kickoff 4.5 point underdog. Yes, it was Vanderbilt, but this was a South Carolina program with a new coach and many new players. It was an SEC road game and it seemed that Vanderbilt had put their season on the line with an open letter from their head coach to the Commodore fans to show up and wear white and they would be the “best show in Tennessee” on Thursday (the Volunteers were playing the same time in Knoxville). He even called this a must-win for their program. So you had to figure that Vandy gave it their best shot. Fortunately, South Carolina had another plan for the second half. 13 unanswered

photo by allen sharpe

points capped by a 55-yard fourth quarter field goal by Elliott Fry gave Carolina the win and first place in the SEC (it’s early, but we might as well enjoy it). There were quite a few good takeaways from the game. Foremost, Bryan Edwards, a true freshman caught eight passes for 101 yards, bringing back memories of Alshon Jeffery with his size and height and clutch catches. He will have many more games as a Gamecock to prove that he belongs in that league, but for first game, this was a keeper. Redshirt freshman AJ Turner showed why he was the starter, rushing 13 times for 70 yards, not counting a 40-yard run called back on a holding penalty. He also had three receptions for 27 yards and looks to be very strong going forward. Perry Orth stepped up, particularly in the second half and led his team to a victory. Brandon McIlwain probably has never been hit as hard as he was on Thursday night and

when someone gets hit like that, it is only human nature to at the very least be distracted. McIlwain will be fine. He’s a good runner and will develop as a passer and will contribute to more wins in the future. On defense, Jamarcus King played well in the secondary where help was desperately needed. He only had three tackles, but was involved in coverage on quite a few pass break ups. The secondary in general played well, holding Vandy to 73 yards in passing and coming up and making good, sure tackles. After the last two seasons, the defense was much-improved in all areas. The running backs for the Commodores were very good, but for the first time in quite some time a back from a USC opponent did not rush for 100-plus yards. Coach Muschamp in his press conference earlier in the week said that the thing about his team is that they have practiced hard and will continue to do that throughout the season

and will get better with each passing week. We saw Thursday night a team get better than they were at the start of the game to the end. The schedule will offer much better teams as opponents as the season progresses. Certainly Mississippi State will have a much better passing game, thus, the secondary will face tougher challenges and will have to improve. Winning breeds confidence and many a game has been won through just believing you’re going to win. South Carolina will get better and I’m sure their confidence will be tested many times before the season is over. For now, USC stays on the road to Mississippi State. The win Thursday will go a long way to helping the Gamecocks play better no matter the final score next week, but I like the fact that Carolina has a chance to win another road game in the SEC. One down, might as well win another in Starkville. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!


32 • Spurs & Feathers

Forever: Ray Tanner (in his own words) Setting goals and the journey to achievement is something I enjoy. No matter the obstacles, no matter the toughness of the test, the path to success is invigorating. As the old saying goes, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward. Participating in athletics teaches this. We will practice more than we will ever play. You’ll never know when you’ll be needed. In any situation or in any game. It’s about taking advantage of the opportunity when it arises. In 2011, I remember meeting with our team in Starkville during a three-game series against Mississippi State. We had just come off of a tough 5-3 loss to the Bulldogs and our team was hurting. All three of our starting outfielders were injured and we had another game to play. In our team meeting, we talked about winning anyway. No matter how difficult the circumstances, no matter the challenges, we had to find a way to get the job done. Our team had put in the work and was prepared to win. Our three “reserve” outfielders combined for seven hits and we defeated the Bulldogs that day, 13-4. “Win Anyway” was born. That “Win Anyway” spirit carried us to two consecutive College World Series titles. The following year, we reached the National Championship series for a third straight year in Omaha. I strongly believe that those lessons learned on the playing field mirror what we, as Gamecocks, have always been about. We never say die. If we’re behind late in the game, we always have opportunities to win. It’s been done before and we can do it again. I see that resilience and relentless spirit every day with our student-athletes. That’s what

September 7, 2016

participating in sports teaches you and it’s what Gamecock Athletics is all about. It’s a spirit that reaches into our community. During the October floods, with so much devastation, our community lifted itself up, helping those in need. I heard countless stories of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers risking their lives to help people stranded by the rising waters. FOREVER RESILIENT. We’ve been through a lot together and we are stronger because of it. As Gamecocks, we know no other way. South Carolina athletics launches “Forever” campaign The campaign features a brand trailer video as well as accompanying graphic images for social media and grassroots promotion. “The Forever campaign accentuates the attributes of the Gamecock brand using one of the most iconic phrases to South Carolina alumni -- Forever To Thee,” said Senior Associate Athletics Director of Marketing and Branding Eric Nichols. “Forever To Thee” refers to the final line of the alma mater and is sung by the crowd and student-athletes at the conclusion of every home event. The athletics department also launched a new site on Medium to host its best stories of South Carolina athletics at Forever2Thee.com. The site will repurpose popular stories that deepen the Gamecock brand and will serve as a long term home for feature stories and video. Within the campaign a new graphic series titled the State Pride Series will be incorpoindividual student-athlete on a backdrop of the rated to include every sport over the course of South Carolina state flag. A collection of footthe academic year. Each image will feature an ball wallpapers are available now as part of the

brand launch. For more information on the “Forever” campaign, please visit GamecocksOnline.com.

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Spurs & Feathers 97

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