DSU women’s golf finishes 5th in PacWest championship

The Dixie State University women’s golf team finished strong in the Pacific West Conference Championship tournament in Kahuku, Hawaii.

It was a rough first day for the Trailblazers as the team shot a 66-over on a windy day in Paradise. DSU rebounded to shot 50-over on the second day and close the gap and overtake fifth place to end the tournament.

“The tournament overall was a good experience for us,” said head coach Lindsey Stucki. “Our goal was to finish in the top five and I was proud of the resiliency our girls showed after the rough first day.”

Despite the poor finish on the inception of the tournament, DSU sat just one spot back of fifth place going into the second day.

Redshirt junior Cobair Collinsworth shot 78 on the second day to help lead to DSU to within three shots of fifth place heading into the final rounds of the 2017 season.

Sophomore Katie Ford showed consistency throughout the tournament with an 80 each of the three days.

“Our second day was our best,” Stucki said. “The girls were down and out after the first day, but I was impressed with our play and our attitude toward the finish.”

Down three shots heading into the final day, DSU outshot Dominican University by 15 on the final day to secure a top-five finish.

Ford finished tied for 12th place, Collinsworth tied for 15th and Freshman Ashley Fernandez secured 25th place for the PacWest tournament, among other golfers.


Concussions pose problems for college students

Mariah Richins, a sophomore biology major from Ogden, was snowboarding in Brian Head with friends, trying to destress before finals week, when she fell and hit her head, causing her to have a concussion.

A concussion can be the effect of quick movements or hard impacts around the head which cause trauma to the brain. Professional football teams and other sports have been in the spotlight in recent years for several concussions, but many students suffer from concussions after hitting their heads during winter and spring breaks and traveling.

“I remember being really dizzy with a major headache,” Richins said. “It lasted for a few days, and some of my friends commented that I was pretty out of it.”

Richins said despite wearing a helmet the day of the incident, the damage was already done and became very apparent when she tried to study or take exams. She said she couldn’t take any time off of school because of the exams she had to take for class.

“I failed my calculus final, and I contribute that to the concussion,” Richins said.

Richins said for students off the field, there isn’t really a lot the university has to offer.

“I guess I could have gone to the Health and Wellness Center, but I’m not sure what they could have done for me,” Richins said.

Brynna Tanner, a junior psychology major from Phoenix, is using her degree to study the effects of physical trauma on brain functions.

“It’s a general trend that having more concussions or brain injuries can lead to poorer academic performance,” Tanner said. “It also has a direct correlation with [the] risk of mental disorders later on in life.”

Tanner said she remembers taking concussion tests before cheerleading seasons when she was in high school and said that’s what sparked her interest in the topic.

“When I first started looking into concussions, I read a lot about athletes and the dangers they face,” Tanner said.

Tanner also said in more recent years, colleges and professional football teams have come under fire for forcing their athletes to play through concussions. Some professional football players have reported severe mental illness later in life, Tanner said.

“I don’t think people understand how problematic concussions can be,” Tanner said. “Yeah, you might be wearing a helmet but that can’t protect you from everything.”

Tanner said while the active learning, active life motto is a great way to get an education, there should be more emphasis on where students can go and what they should do when injured.

“I think it’s important to let the active students of Dixie [State University] know that they’re not invincible and seeing a physician is important to their overall health, especially in the long run,” Tanner said.

Men’s golf leads field in birdies but fails to ‘three-peat’ as conference champions

The Dixie State University men’s golf team fired a tournament high 59 birdies but fell a few strokes short to “three-peat” as conference champions.

The Fazio Course at Turtle Bay Resort played home to the 2016-2017 Pacific West Conference Men’s Golf Championship. Teams battled for bragging rights and for some, an invitation to the NCAA West/South Central Regional Championships. Though Brigham Young University-Hawaii managed to take the title with an impressive 19-under-par (845), the Trailblazers took home the bronze by posting an 854 (-9).

“I know the [players] wanted to three-peat more than I did, and I really wanted to three-peat because that doesn’t happen very often,” head coach Brad Sutterfield said. “I think they are disappointed.” 

DSU was anchored by sophomore Nicklaus Britt, who finished tied for 2nd with an overall 202 (-14). Britt fired the low-round of the tournament by shooting a 63 (-9) on day two. Through all three days of competition, he strung together 20 birdies and an eagle. 

“Nick played flawless,” said Jayce Frampton, a freshman business major from Centerville.    

Britt managed to break several DSU scoring records along with the PacWest 18-hole scoring record when he posted his score on Tuesday. 

“I went out with the attitude to help try and bring the team back into contention,” said Britt, a business major from Fillmore. “The round felt easy and fun.”

Junior Dane Nelson, though 10 strokes behind Britt, managed to be one of only eight players to finish in red figures. Nelson finished in 7th by putting together rounds of 77-66-69. Overall, Nelson ended with a 4-under-par (212) score. 

Both Britt and Nelson were named to the PacWest all-tournament team.

Fellow Trailblazers James Avis, Frampton and Tyson Tanner each put together respectful scores to help DSU finish in 3rd place. Avis, a freshman from Brisbane, Australia, shot 73-71-75 to sneak into the top 20 with a 219 (+3) overall score. Frampton wasn’t too far behind by finishing tied for 30th by signing an overall 224 (+8). Tanner, the lone-senior, rounded out the team with an 11-over-par (227). 

“We had a stretch of 27 holes [that] was probably the best golf I’ve ever seen a college team play,” Sutterfield said. “We just didn’t quite sustain it for the whole [54]. I’m really proud of our effort and how [we] kept fighting.”

DSU now waits patiently for the field to be set and posted for Regionals. If qualified, the Trailblazers will play May 8-10 with hopes of finishing in the top 5 to make the NCAA Division II National Championships May 23-27. 

’13 Reasons Why’ creators fail to open up conversations about suicide the right way

My brother took his own life on June 27, 2005, at only the age of 16.

I’ve never publicly spoken about my brother’s suicide, but a recently released Netflix show is bringing back some memories I hoped I would never have to live through again.

No matter how tragic and painful my brother’s death was, surprisingly, I found myself eager to watch this show: “13 Reasons Why.” The show follows the main character, Clay Jensen, as he listens to 7 tapes (with 13 sides) left behind by Hannah Baker, who explains 13 reasons why she killed herself.

The popular Netflix show has superb acting and filming, but it completely misses the mark on suicide.

My brother Terry was a gentle, kind and rebellious soul. When watching the show, I received the feeling Hannah’s character was too. Hannah’s tapes, along with flashbacks in the show, describe how fellow classmates and more destroyed her life.

I won’t deny it; some pretty horrible things happen to Hannah in the show, including being raped by a fellow classmate and bullied by others.

My brother didn’t leave a note, or in this case tapes. This show has made me wonder what it would have been like if he did leave tapes. What would he say to me? What would he say to my family members or his friends?

I will never know the exact reason why my brother killed himself, but I do know he wouldn’t leave behind a tape telling me whether or not I did anything wrong to him that caused him to take his life. That’s just who my brother was.

Instead of focusing on mental health issues suicidal people tend to face, the creators of the show turned suicide into a teen soap opera with a revenge plot involving whoever did anything wrong to Hannah.

Life sucks and people are vicious, but these elements are not always what leads someone to end their own life. I can’t speak for every suicide because one is different from the next, but smiling or being nice to someone isn’t going to stop someone from taking their own life.

There’s a certain scene in the last episode showing Hannah digging blades into her arms and bleeding to death in a bathtub. The creators of the show don’t just show little parts that may be considered viewer-friendly; they show the whole act from killing herself to her parents finding her with bloody water dripping down the side of the bathtub.

Luck doesn’t seem like the right word to use, but I was lucky to not find my brother. On the other hand, my mom will be scarred for life. If she was in the room with me watching this scene from “13 Reasons Why,” I would be the parent shielding her eyes so she didn’t have to re-live a painful memory.

Nic Sheff, the writer of the show “13 Reasons Why,” defended his reason for showing the suicide act and said “it’s the perfect opportunity to show what an actual suicide really looks like… suicide is not a relief at all — it’s a screaming, agonizing, horror.”

While he may have showed was suicide really looks like, the rest of the show left me feeling like suicide, something that’s permanent, was portrayed as something more temporary. Suicide should not be glamorized.

The creators have failed to open up conversations about suicide the right way.

If you want to help someone struggling with thoughts of taking their own life, get off the couch and consider learning more about mental health issues and how to recognize the signs.  

Editor’s Note: Truth priority for Dixie Sun News

“Truth fears no questions” are the words sprawled above the hallway near the front entrance of the Jennings Communication Building. 

That motto, attributed everywhere online as an anonymous quote, was often one of the first things I saw as I arrived at Dixie State University nearly every morning during the past two semesters I served as editor-in-chief of the Dixie Sun News. While I’m proud to be a journalist and work with so many up-and-coming reporters on the Dixie Sun News staff, I’ve witnessed the questioning of journalists in the U.S. become closer to a full-fledged revolt against the truth. 

Honest journalists, like the kind the Dixie Sun News spins out, aren’t the “opposition party” or bringers of “fake news.” The truth is our No. 1 priority. 

We leave our personal biases at home, talk with all sides of every story, and do our best to verify all facts thrown at us to ensure our stories are as truthful as possible. Even when the truth is ugly or when it challenges my personal world views, the complete truth is something I have learned to always be seeking as a journalist. 

In this information-saturated world of the internet, I can understand how it can be confusing determining what sources of information and news are trustworthy. 

Journalists’ monopoly on the truth ended with the advent of the social media, smartphones and comment sections. Anyone can post, tweet or snap their version of the truth to the world with zero fact checkers — even if that person sits in the Oval Office and commands the world’s most powerful military. 

With the nationwide attack on journalists’ credibility, truth has become subjective. Those in government positions or even private citizens are often not as concerned with providing both sides of every issue before they share their version of the truth. They don’t check with an editor to make sure what they are saying is accurate. They don’t care if their “truth” is interlaced with opinions that could be confused with facts. 

While journalists aren’t always perfect, the truth described by legitimate journalists is often closer to reality than the alternatives. 

Next year’s editor-in-chief, Markee Heckenliable, is also committed to this vision of delivering the truth and keeping the Dixie Sun News “the voice of Dixie.” Work with her and other Dixie Sun News staff members next semester so they can better serve the DSU community and hold those in power accountable.

Journalism is here to stay and will continue to be the unafraid deliverer of the truth. 

Tackling finals harder under stress

With finals quickly approaching, students are asking professors for last minute help or extra credit assignments to pad their grades.

“I sense a lot of stress in my students as finals get closer and closer, and asking [for] special favors and things like that,” said Ross Decker, associate professor of mathematics.

When talking to his past teacher’s assistant about the struggle his current students are experiencing, the teacher’s assistant said he never felt stressed about Decker’s final because he kept up with the workload, Decker said.

“That’s my biggest advice,” Decker said. “There’s not nearly as much stress if you do a good job keeping up.”

Keep up

Decker said he knows too many students who try to get away with doing five weeks of work in a 16-week semester.  

“I know life gets busy, but you’ve got to make choices,” Decker said. “If you want to be a good student, you might have to sacrifice a little bit.”

Decker said on average the students who score higher on final exams are the students who go into the tests more confident. One of the ways to feel confident in a subject or exam is to keep up with the work and study, Decker said.

“[Keeping up with your work allows] your professor more opportunity to help you,” Decker said. “When you aren’t keeping up, you aren’t taking advantage of that valuable resource and class time to get the professor’s help.”

Brain power

Katherine Leigh, an assistant professor of chemistry, said her two biggest pieces of advice would be to break the course work into smaller sections and make sure to get enough sleep.

“That’s how our brains work,” Leigh said. “You need to review things a little bit every day; don’t cram, you won’t remember it.”

Leigh also said when you don’t get enough sleep, the amount of time spent studying won’t matter because your brain won’t be able to recall the information.

“A lot of times I’ve heard students talk about how they’ve stayed up so late at night and it’s kind of a badge of honor,” Leigh said.

Leigh said from an instructor’s perspective it’s counterintuitive because the students who pull all-nighters before finals won’t be able to put their best foot forward.

“Yes, you spent a lot of time [studying], but was it [time well spent]?” Leigh said.

Brandon Bodily, a junior computer science major from Goldsboro, North Carolina, said the best advice he could give for performing well on final exams is to study throughout the semester so students are prepared when finals come around.

“Just go to class beforehand [and] know your stuff,” Bodily said. “You can’t just study [all of the material]… a couple days before.”

Financial stress

Like many students, Bodily relies on a high GPA to pay for college with an academic scholarship and he said this time of year can bring about a financial stress, as well.

“I’m anxious [because] if I don’t get all A’s, I lose my scholarship and I have to pay for next year,” Bodily said. “So I’m definitely stressing out.”

Leigh said studies have shown stress can impair a student’s ability to perform well on exams.

“Everybody does better when they’re not stressed, and so I don’t love finals week for that reason,” Leigh said. “Sometimes you just can’t get around it.”

Going to the gym is one of the best ways he can cope with the added pressure, Bodily said.

“Just having my day set up and a work schedule so at the end of the day I have time to relax [helps so] I’m not just doing it all day, every day,” Bodily said.

Health matters

Decker and Leigh both agreed health habits are also important when preparing for finals.

“Get out and do something,” Decker said. “Get up and walk around; don’t sit there with your nose crammed into your studies five hours straight.”

Decker said students should be preparing for finals at the beginning of the semester to ensure they will succeed in the end of the year.

“So confidence, staying caught up [and not saving] everything until the very end [is] the recipe for success,” Decker said.


Academics prove to be big recruiting tool

Academia has proven to be a contributing factor in the recruiting process for some student-athletes at Dixie State University. 

For some college athletes, going professional in their chosen sport is a possibility, but for most, their careers come to a close upon graduation. With this understanding, DSU student-athletes enter their collegiate life knowing their destiny lies outside the perimeter markings of their individual sports. Offered degrees and future occupations then become the “X” for which they search. 

“Academics has always been the biggest factor for me,” said swimmer Kayla Greer, a freshman integrated studies major from St. George. “I know I am not going to swim forever.” 

Yet, playing a collegiate sport becomes a vessel for many to be able to make it to college and for some, it helps contribute to the overall cost of attendance. But, we can’t forget sports are played out of a love for the game. 

The recruiting process begins well-before one sets foot on any campuses. By the time any player becomes eligible for official recruitment, coaches have already gathered stats and film. Student-athletes’ cellphones then become bombarded with the persuasive verbiage of college-coaching staffs.

As athletes become more desirable, universities then host the athletes as an attempt to woo them into a commitment, said Megan Spencer, a senior exercise science major from Springville and former DSU soccer player. She said this was her experience when she visited Idaho State University, Utah Valley University and DSU. 

“They had [me] stay with the freshman,” Spencer said about her trip to ISU. “The freshman girls took [me] out, and we went disco skating and dumb fun stuff. [I] actually went to the end of the year banquet dinner. [I] went to breakfast with the coach, and that is where she told [me] the perks of coming there.” 

Yet, no matter the pitches made, the student-athletes then have to decide for themselves where they want to go and what schools meet their individual needs. 

Austin Montgomery, a sophomore double major in biology and software development from Gainesville, Georgia, said for him it came down to a few key factors. He wanted to be in a place where the weather reminded him of home. He said he wanted to join a team that had good chemistry with players and coaches. He then said he wanted to be in a university that would provide him with the academic rigors to get him into medical school. 

“The only thing I had heard about [DSU growing up] was that it was a party school,” Montgomery said. 

But after a year of playing at the University of Utah, Montgomery began looking again. With the thoughts of finding a wife, getting a good education, and wanting to stay in state, he said he considered coming to DSU. 

“The one thing I was concerned about was academics,” Montgomery said. “[DSU] doesn’t have the best academic reputation, [but] I don’t think that is actually deserved. I think it is a lot better than most people think. [The university] put me in contact with the teachers that I would have and those teachers showed me a path to medical school.” 

Montgomery, Greer and Spencer each emphasized the importance of putting oneself out there and getting to know the coaches, even prior to attending the school. Greer said she wanted no curveballs. She wanted to have coaches who were honest, supportive and upfront.  

Spencer agreed with Greer by emphasizing the importance to start young and be in constant contact with coaches. She wanted to get the most out of her time at university. 

“For me, I never wanted to go pro or anything,” Spencer said. “I just wanted to get into college and to play soccer and play as much as I could.” 

DSU softball win 3 of 4 vs CBU

Stifling pitching and defense helped the Dixie State University softball team nearly sweep the Pacific West Conference leading California Baptist University.

The Trailblazers won the first three games against the Lancers, and in those three wins the Trailblazers only gave up one total run.

“This was the best I have ever seen us play,” said senior pitcher Brooklyn Beardshear, an exercise science major from Tucson, Arizona. “Our dugout was huge for us and we really wanted to win the series.”

DSU went into the series second in the PacWest, three games behind CBU. A sweep of the Lancers would have given DSU sole possession of first place.

“Everyone knew what the stakes were [for this series],” said sophomore second baseman Bailey Gaffin, a general studies major from Glendale, Arizona. “We all wanted it so bad. We wanted to win the [PacWest].”

Beardshear continued her dominant season in the first game of the series Friday. Beardshear struck out nine and only allowed five hit, none of which translated into runs.

Up until the seventh inning, the Trailblazer offense could not get on the board. Then Gaffin stepped up to the plate to lead off the final inning. With the count 1-2, Gaffin launched the next pitch over the center field wall for the 1-0 lead. Neither team would score again and DSU held on to win 1-0.

The second game was much like the first, but instead of Beardshear, it was sophomore pitcher Alexis Barkwell on the mound who pitched a complete game shutout.

DSU tallied its only run of the game in the first inning when senior first baseman Mallory Paulson hit an RBI-single through the right side to score sophomore third baseman Dani Bartholf. DSU defense held string again, and DSU won 1-0 for the second consecutive game.

The first of the final two games on Saturday nearly followed suit of the first two games. Beardshear retired 12 of the first 15 batters and her offense gave her a 3-0 cushion in the first inning.

The scoring started off when senior outfielder Shelby Yung hit a sacrifice fly to send junior outfielder Janessa Bassett home. Two more Trailblazers got on base and sophomore catcher Jessica Gonzalez sent them home with a two-RBI single.

The Lancers never threatened to score until the bottom of the seventh. With one run already on the board, and the bases loaded, DSU ended the game with a force out at home and a groundout to short for a 3-1 victory.

“We were getting really timely hitting which was a boost for our pitchers,” said head coach Randy Simkins. “[Beardshear] and [Barkwell] were amazing for us.”

With DSU now one game away from being tied in PacWest standings with CBU and owning the critical tie-breaker, there was a lot on the line for the final game of the series.

Paulson blasted a first inning home run to take another early lead. The 1-0 held up until the fourth inning when three consecutive walks loaded the bases for a Lancer grand-slam. CBU tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning for 7-1 advantage.

The Trailblazers used four hits to score four runs in the top of the seventh, but with bases loaded and two outs, the rally fell just short and the Lancers secured the PacWest title.

“We just could not get the outs we needed in that final game,” Simkins said. “[CBU] is a great team though. Now we just want to focus on getting better this week and finishing the season strong.”

Next up for DSU is a two-game series with the Academy of Art University Saturday starting at 12 p.m. at Karl Brooks Field. It will be senior day for the 37-12 Trailblazers.

Additional reporting by Kylea Custer.