DSU search continues for new women’s soccer coach

Dixie State University’s athletic department is searching for a new women’s soccer head coach after releasing coach Kacey Bingham. Bingham led the team to  51-33 over the span of five years. The look for an equally successful coach is in the works.

“It is my hope that the soccer program will continue on its upward trajectory with the new coach and continue to get stronger each year,” said athletic director Jason Boothe. “We will hire a coach that we feel will do this for the program and its athletes.” 

Steve Johnson, associate athletic director of media relations, said typically all head coaches handle the hiring of his or her assistant coaches.

“We all lost our jobs as a result of her contract not being renewed,” said assistant coach Abigail Johnson. “I have no knowledge as to what has been going on with the team, as I have not been involved with the team or program since the season ended in November.” 

Both Johnson and Boothe said it’s always an uncertain time finding a new coach. Nevertheless he feels confident DSU will hire a great person to continue to build the team’s recent successes.

Not only will the head coach be responsible for initiating the women’s soccer team, but he or she will be in charge of fund-raising programs and directing DSU women’s soccer camps. They are also responsible for results and statistics to the Sports Information Director for press coverage.

According to women’s head coach job application provided by the athletic department, qualifications for the new coach position will also entail a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred), five minimum years head coach or assistant soccer coaching experience at NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA, and maintain an effective work relation with students, faculty, staff and the public. 

“I feel the future of this program is very bright; we have wonderful student-athletes here, not just on this team, but on all of our teams,” Boothe said. “It’s a very exciting time to be a Trailblazer.” 

Overall the annual salary of a new women’s head coach will be $42,000. Application revisions were on Jan. 4 2018 and the women soccer coaches won’t be announced till the spring of 2018. The team will open their spring practice schedule starting in late February.

Student scholarship recipients held to higher standards

There are a number of scholarship positions available to students around campus, but with the added funds comes added responsibilities.

Resident assistants, student government members, and ambassadors are all held to a higher standard in regards to their presence on social media, their behavior while on and off campus, and their academic abilities.

Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said the simple act of having a title does not mean students are held to a higher standard but rather the compensation students are given for their efforts.

“[Students with scholarship positions] are held to a higher standard because there is something for them to lose that other students don’t have,” Gubler said. “If this RA doesn’t meet certain expectations or fails to fulfill [his or her] other responsibilities, then they lose something that another student would not lose because they don’t have it.”

Gubler said there are a plethora of requirements that set students with scholarship positions apart from other students. Students desiring to be a resident assistant are required to have and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to be hired. Resident assistants are also prohibited from having jobs or other commitments that are more than 20 hours per week, not including classes.

“We’re worried about [scholarship students] being successful here,” Gubler said.

Ambassador Mitch Siniscalchi, a sophomore media studies major from Stansbury Park, said ambassadors are held to a similar academic standard as students participating in the ambassador program are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their employment.

Other than academic and extracurricular requirements, resident assistants are also held to a degree of behavioral standards that their peers may not be held to.

“If they violate rules and responsibilities, not only would they follow a similar disciplinary process that any student would, but then there’s added discipline in relation to their employment,” Gubler said.

Ambassadors also have added social media requirements on top of their academic and behavioral standards.

“[The ambassadors] represent Dixie State [University] as a school and a lifestyle, so as you can imagine we do have to be responsible and mature in what choices we make,” Siniscalchi said.

Alumna Keshara Bjorkman, former public relations social media manager for DSUSA, said for her there was a higher standard for social media because she ran The Dixie Life accounts, but overall most other members did not have social media standards and about half did not have active accounts affiliated with their involvement.

Gubler also said resident assistants are dissimilar from their peers in that their duties and standards do not end when they are off campus. Additionally, resident assistants are asked not to enter into relationships with the residents they oversee in order to avoid Title IX issues, Gubler said.

Gubler said willing students are not without compensation, however. Although other programs, such as the ambassadors, have scholarships, resident assistants are offered rent deduction as well as food plans and stipends depending on the location.

Similarly ambassadors, Siniscalchi said, are compensated with full tuition scholarships. Student government members can apply for stipend positions within the organization, Bjorkman said.

“Other than [the scholarships] you make [over] 35 new friends instantly, and those friends turn into family very quickly,” Siniscalchi said. “[There are also] a lot of opportunities to make connections and network.”

Bjorkman said she was able to learn from the added responsibilities and higher standards.

“The benefit of responsibility in most, if not every, case is to learn from the experiences you have,” Bjorkman said. “It’s a kind of pressure to meet expectations that is meant to drive you forward, not hold you back.”

Gubler said despite the added pressures, students with scholarship positions, as student leaders, play an integral part in the college experience.

“The value of student leaders is very high whether that person is a resident assistant, an ambassador [or] someone on [DSUSA] because they really help create an experience that’s not only fun for students, but also turns the attention to student success,” Gubler said.

DSU men’s basketball makes headway in its first home game

By Kyle Lindsley

Dixie State University men’s basketball cruised to a win over the Academy of Art University Dec. 2, 74-62. Saturday’s matchup was the first Pacific West Conference game for the Trailblazers in the young season, as well as their first home game.

DSU was far from perfect in its first victory at home in the regular season, committing 19 turnovers; however, with 29 points from the players on the bench and 28 points in the paint, the Trailblazers were able to maintain control throughout the game.

“[It] felt good to be back here,” said guard Trevor Hill, a senior business administration major from Sandy. “I love playing back in the Burns. We have probably one of the nicest gyms in the conference, and it’s good to be back in front of the fans and their excitement.”

Hill finished the game with 23 points and six assists, both team highs for the game, leading DSU to victory.

The referees held their share of impacting the game by calling a total of 58 fouls, which combined a total of 60 free throws in the contest. 

“We knew the refs were calling it really tight,” said guard Daylor Youngblood, a finance major from South Jordan. “We tried to play without our hands on defense.”

The Academy of Art took an early lead at the beginning of the game 2-0, but that would prove to be the only time they would lead in the game as DSU led by 15 going into halftime. 

In the second half the Trailblazer’s lead was trimmed to six with under eight minutes left until Hill scored two quick lay ups and assisted on another basket to put DSU up by double digits.

With starting forward Quincy Matthews, a junior general studies major from St. George, and starting guard Brandon Simister, a senior biology major from St. George, out for this game along with several players in foul trouble, other teammates had to rise to take on larger roles than normal.

“When somebody goes down, that’s when someone else has to step up,” head coach Jon Judkins said. “When Trevor got his fourth foul early in 

the second half, we lost our intensity, so we needed our other guys to bring it back up.”

Judkins said the Trailblazers need to take better care of the ball as they go further into conference play.

“A win [is] a win; I’m happy, but I thought we could have played better than we did,” Judkins said.

DSU is now 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in PacWest play. The Trailblazers will take on Azusa Pacific University on Dec. 9 in the Burns Arena.

‘It’s a wonderful life’ withstands test of time

“It’s A Wonderful Life” turned 70 in 2016, rereleased on DVD and Blu Ray for its 70th anniversary, and is regularly aired during the holidays.

The film has become a traditional Christmas movie much like “A Christmas Carol” has, and though that may be true, I have often wondered what has made “It’s A Wonderful Life” stand the test of time. 

It was originally released in 1946 and to my knowledge, has never been remade or updated, though it has been remastered for high definition, and there is a colorized version. 

The film is old — an example of filmmaking techniques that have long since been modified, or improved, especially in terms of cinematography and pacing. The camera doesn’t move. There is no zooming in on an actor, nor is there any panning. Most of the shots in the film are static shots with the camera in a fixed position.

In one scene where George Bailey — the main character of the film — is about to sit at the table for dinner, the lamp hanging from the ceiling is blocking his face as he begins to say something, which he finishes as he sits down.

If the film were redone today, this scene would be shot with multiple cameras set up at different positions along a 180-degree semi-circle, so that all angles of the scene could be captured, avoiding the problem of an actor’s face being blocked by a piece of the set.

Unlike today’s fast-paced editing and camera work, the pacing of the film is slow and each scene is played out in front of the camera with barely any transition to other shots, except in scenes where a close-up adds to the drama of the scene, or a change in scenery. However, both of these issues are attributed to the limits of single camera shooting, which was a practice dating back to the 1890’s when motion pictures were first invented and lasting until 1951 when an episode of “I Love Lucy” became the first multi-camera film.

While I watched the movie on my TV, I thought those things added to the nostalgia of watching a film that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents would have grown up with or seen in the movie theater. Clearly, my perception of the film being outdated was changing, and I began to get a sense of why this movie is loved by multiple generations of people.

I felt as though I were peering into a time capsule, experiencing through my vision, what life must have been like during the early part of the 20th century — from the non-rotary phones to cars that are now 100 years old. There is even a scene which takes place in 1914, and a horse carriage is seen transporting the miserly bank owner Mr. Potter to his office at the bank in the town of Bedford Falls.

Seeing life as it was in decades past is only a fraction of the films relevance. It is the story that brings all these elements together, creating the vast appeal that “It’s A Wonderful Life” has and changing my perception of the film.

The tale tells of George Bailey, the chief secretary of Bailey Brother’s Building and Loan, who spent his life thinking of others rather than himself, despite his desire since youth to leave Bedford Falls and see the world. We see him in a position we all find ourselves in at one point or another: broken down, disillusioned, at the end of our rope, and not knowing where to go next. 

We watch as he makes the decision to end his life, yet at that precise moment before he jumps to his demise, he instinctively forgets himself when another man falls in the river below. As a reward, George is given the gift of seeing how different the world would be without him in it.

Therein lies the treasure that makes this film so beloved and humbled by this would-be critic. The message that, like George, we all lose sight of the meaning in our lives, and if for a moment, we could see and know the good we do and the difference our existence makes as George does in the film, we would not want to leave it.

We would instead cherish every moment, every breath, every person we love and who loves us. Not just during Christmas, but every day we have in this wonderful life. 

What does it mean to be a team captain for DSU athletics?

Every team has captains who score goals, make passes and plays. But that’s not all that captains do; they put in a lot of hard work that doesn’t even involve playing the sport.

Team captains are selected for their positions for a specific reason whether it be because they exhibit leadership skills that helps teammates in every aspect of the game.

Dixie State University athletic teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, each contain a team captain.

“When the team is playing at time of adversity, we as captains have to remember [that] we as a team worked hard to be in these situations and that we put in the work to be here,” said women’s forward Kristin Baldwin,  a senior exercise science major from Thatcher, Arizona. 

The amount of work put into being a student athlete is a task itself, and on top of that, being a teammate who leads by example sets the bar rather high for the Trailblazers.

“Being a captain means being an example for the team and paving the way for the foundation of the program,” said women’s guard Matti Ventling, a senior criminal justice major from Las Vegas. “Its a great honor to be a captain because you are the example and the foundation.”

A captain’s actions not only reflect themselves but the team as well.  A team needs someone who is approachable on and off the court, someone who the team can trust.

“As captains we are looked upon by other players who believe in us, and even if we feel pressure, it makes us play better,” said center Ashlee Burge, a senior Business administration major from Riverton.

Although lessons can be learned while on the court, some of those lessons can be applicable to the players lives off the court and out in the world.

“Being a captain has prepared myself not only on the court but off,” said men’s guard Brandon Simister, a senior biology major from St. George. “Coordinate everyone’s efforts for a common goal has helped on the basketball court and something I can transfer to my career.”

Captains also bring energy to the team. If spirits are down during practice or game time, captains are there to bring them back up.

“As captain we have to keep our composer and keep us together as a team,” said men’s guard Kyler Nielson, a senior criminal justice major from Ceder City. “We lead by example not only in the classroom and our academics and knowing what we are doing is benefiting us in the long run.” 

Teammates may also look to captains as someone to console with when they are struggling.

“You always have to take the positive with the negatives,” said men’s guard Trevor Hill a senior business administration major from Sandy.

By the end of an athletic career, captains learn to adapt to their roles as leaders. Along with leading an active life on the court, athletic captains play an important role in learning to be responsible for their teams. 

Be sure to look out for basketball team captains as they take to the court Dec. 9 in the Burns Arena against Azusa Pacific, with the women’s game starting at 1:30p.m. then the men’s at 3:30 p.m.

NCAA fans can be loud, supportive of teams; certain noisemakers prohibited

   Dixie State University fans can be loud and proud, but they must do so respectfully. With basketball season just beginning, get to know your rights as a fan when cheering on your Trailblazers.

   The NCAA,, PacWest and Burns Arena all have rules surrounding what fans can and can’t do while supporting their teams. The rules are in place to promote good sportsmanship and to provide a fair competitive environment.

   Some of the Burns Arena’s prohibited items include noisemakers like thunder sticks, musical instruments, whistles, air horns and boom boxes, banners, helium balloons, unsliced fruit, laser pointers and poles or sticks. These items are banned for the safety of the athletes as well as fair play free of major distractions.

   Boothe said students get rowdiest during football and basketball games, and he encourages students to be present, be loud and have fun, but all while following the rules.

   “We have to follow the rules,” Athletic Director Jason Boothe said. “Cheer loudly and be supportive of your team. We don’t need to disparage the other team.”

   DSU’s X-Club is normally on the front lines of all sporting events. The club is known for getting dressed up and bringing trash cans to the football games.  X-Club President Tyler Nelson, a senior sports medicine major from St. George, said the club and crowd sometimes get in trouble for reading players’ names off the roster and then calling them out during game time, but he said no matter what X-Club is always front row when supporting DSU’s teams.

   “We make sure we are holding [blow-up head signs] at basketball games and being rowdy,” Nelson said.

   He said students should wear DSU swag and come stand in the student section to add to the energy that supports the athletes.

   “Honestly, our home crowd is such a huge boost,” said head volleyball coach Robyn Felder. “We really play well at home because we have so many great fans who we love to play well for.”

   Felder said on the volleyball team’s D-Day game, all the other sports teams were there, and they added a huge boost to the crowd.

   “I can still see all of them screaming and standing up for our game point and then when we won, they rushed the court cheering,” she said. “It was awesome.”

   DSU’s prohibited items are prohibited for specific reasons, and fans can still get just as energetic without the added distractions. As Felder said, showing up and cheering like crazy is the most effective way to help the team.

   To see the full list of what is allowed at the Burns Arena, visit http://bit.ly/2iJMYdF or see the graphic accompanying this article.