Gamecock faithful have reason to smile during Fanfest

“He's not just a great coach, he's a great man,” said Gamecocks fan Doug Welsh of USC athletic director Ray Tanner. Buy this photo

Logan Page is living the Gamecocks dream.

He had his eighth birthday at Williams-Brice Stadium during South Carolina's spring game on April 12.

“It was fun,” he said. “I won't forget it.”

Page won't forget Tuesday either, as he and his parents, Gina and Charlie, traveled from Hampton to Mount Pleasant to attend the USC Fanfest, an event where the Gamecocks athletic family travels to six cities to connect with the fan base and show their appreciation for the support.

On this day, everything was USC, from the semitrailer used to transport the football equipment to a jump castles with USC logos. Sir Big Spur the IV even made an appearance.

While basketball coaches Frank Martin and Dawn Staley were in attendance along with athletic director Ray Tanner, most Gamecocks faithful were there to see football coach Steve Spurrier.

“He's my favorite coach of my favorite team,” the younger Page said. “I love USC. I like the players, too. My favorite player is Jadaveon Clowney — because of the hit.”

It's moments like that that make the Gamecocks football team No. 1 in the fans' hearts.

Chuck Fralix was in line to get Spurrier's autograph and had nothing but praise for the coach.

“Coach, you know it's never been this good at USC,” said Fralix, who lives in West Ashley. “We need to change the name of USC. We need to change it to the University that Spurrier Changed.”

Spurrier was at ease and all smiles as he signed autographs and had his picture taken with hundreds of fans. The only time Spurrier stopped signing was when he applied bug spray.

Spurrier will attend all six Fanfests and stressed how important it for the USC sports personnel to connect with the fans.

“When you win, the crowds are big, and when you don't, the crowds are so-so,” he said. “The fans are excited and are looking forward to next season. They always enjoy beating the in-state rival, that school from the Upstate.”

Barkley Galloway of Mount Pleasant brought his 5-year-old son Dylan to see the Gamecocks' football boss.

“He had his picture taken with coach Spurrier two years ago when he was at Joe Riley Park,” Galloway said. “He has his picture hanging in his bedroom. He likes coach Spurrier and his favorite player is Clowney. He likes that word, Clowney. But he doesn't know how to pronounce his first name.”

The Mount Pleasant event is one of six that promotes USC sports. The other stops include Florence, Spartanburg, Atlanta, Greenville and the Charlotte-York area.

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