Author Archives: caseybtodd

What IS Lacrosse?

Guys running around a field throwing a ball and hitting each other. This is lacrosse looks like to many observers. To Timothy Dunton, Piedmont Colleges’ men’s lacrosse head coach, it’s more than that.

“I would describe lacrosse as a combination of a lot of different sports, all kind of intertwined.” says Dunton.

Coach Dunton has coached Piedmont Men’s Lacrosse for four years, “I took over half way through it’s life,” he says.

The men’s lacrosse team has only been around at Piedmont College for eight years, and the past two seasons have been the best yet. “Second year in a row we made playoff,” says Dunton. “Technically the third, but we weren’t in the USA South Conference (for the first time).”

Lacrosse is a sport few, besides those who play and coach it, know what exactly it is. Coach Dunton says, “it’s a combination of a lot of different sports, kind of intertwined, definitely a lot of sports mixed into one.”

Junior Brandon Murria and freshman Parker Cheatham, both on the men’s lacrosse team, describe it differently.

“I would probably compare it to hockey because of all the similarities, but without seeing a men’s game for yourself it can difficult to explain,” says Cheatham.

Murria says, “I would describe it as a vacation.”

Cheatham and Murria both started playing because of a friend, but have kept playing ever since middle school. Cheatham likes the competitiveness of the sport and even more when playing his position as goalie. Murria played football before realizing lacrosse was a bigger passion.

“I like the sports participation,” says Murria, “everyone who plays it usually is cool and just makes it seem like a family away from home.”

The men’s lacrosse team is very young themselves with only a few seniors on the team. “We have a better team than the record show, and were very young,” says Dunton, “my junior class has been the core of that, we built around them.”

North Georgia does not have much of a lacrosse prevalence, the closest area where you see this sport is Gwinnett County. “It’s been kinda fun growing the game up here and exposing lacrosse to this area,” says Dunton.

With the men’s team being so young Dunton is on the fence about this season. “There’s not a lot of history for men’s lacrosse, and we don’t have any history to rely on.”

“I feel like we’re creating the history,” says Dunton.

BREAKING NEWS: Disaster in Swanson

On Mar. 27, 2019 at 10:07 a.m. a fire broke out at Piedmont College’s Swanson Center. Smoke filled the building as victims are inside, with screams of pain and distress filling the building.

Firefighters entered at 10:13 a.m. with a hose to put out the remaining fire and check to make sure the Piedmont nurses are safe to go inside. Nurses arrive onsite with a rush into the building at 10:21 a.m.

The first group of victims were rushed out of the building and taken to the safe area. Running begins at 10:24 a.m. as the nurses realize how bad it is on the inside.

Groups of nurses are bringing in spine boards to help with those who are in critical need of care. Tarps are brought onto the field: green-minimally hurt, yellow-critical care, red-immediate care and black-deceased.

The yelling grew louder as victims were brought outside to be being treated. People were running all over the place dazed and confused, “Has anyone seen my husband,” a lady says.

“That’s all the victims who are able and in need of care,” a nurse says.

It’s been 15 minutes and all the conscious and aware victims are out. Those who need care are taken by ambulance, fire truck and helicopter. Air Life Georgia 2 Gainsville was the helicopter on sight. Dogs are let inside to make sure the nurses did not miss anyone. All that’s left inside are the unaware and uncouise.

“Chaos, lots of smoke,” says Rachel Hill, a nursing student for Piedmont College, describing the scene.

At 11:58 a.m. Kasey McEntire arrived on the scene to pronounce 28 dead.

Lin Smith with Habersham support and 911 EMA says, “The call came in this morning around 10 o’clock, it reported the fire and multiple injuries.”

Assistant fire chief of Chason Davey and Caption Jeffrey Adams say, “took a little bit to put the fire out, we had several victims, one hundred overall total victims.”

A lot injuries occurred on this morning with 28 fatalities, 29 non-critical and 28 being very critical to moderately critical.

Story Profile 1: From the Ground and on

For Timothy Menzel, a Piedmont College life science professor, everything started in Piscataway, New Jersey. With the sound of music to the wide road and his precious ants, Menzel had two passions he wanted to pursue, and music was his choice.

At the age of 7, his love for music and nature became a big interest. “I wanted to be an ornithology professor,” says Menzel, “someone who studies birds or a music professor.”

Menzel’s love for music had taken him down the road to Stockton College. He studied music for a few years and started a band with his friends. “After graduating, I basically moved to the beach to play with my band at shore bars.” he said.

Menzel and his twin brother also played in a band while he was in graduate school. Once he moved to Georgia, he played solo for six to seven years, before an injury changed his course.

“I took a year off from playing with them when I hurt my hands.” he said.

Menzel never got a full diagnosed report on why his hands hurt, but does know it’s an overuse injury, tendonitis. “It just got really tired and I couldn’t hold a pencil,” says Menzel.  “It was from over practicing.”

His choice between music or nature became clear.

After college Menzel worked as a florist delivery manager for one year and electrical supply driver for another. He was full time for four years but only drove for two. Menzel’s boss would ask him questions about what he was doing there. “I had three things going for me,” says Menzel, “music, nature, and making a living.”

This didn’t last long before he got injured causing him to be bedridden. Menzel was hiking one day when he slipped on ice and needed to be helicoptered to the hospital, “I was unable to work for three months,” says Menzel. “It was kind of a low point.”

He spent a lot of time on the couch trying to figure out how to do things with his cast.

Menzel’s best friend gave him hope with reasons why he should keep going. “He basically convinced me to get up off the couch and do something with myself.” he said.

Menzel’s friend would set up obstacle courses in the yard for him to do on his crutches and forting streams. “He basically convinced me that I could tackle the world,” says Menzel. “I don’t know if I had, would it of not been for him.”

“I think if I were to talk to my students today about what they could learn from my experience is it’s never too late to follow some kind of path, but it requires belief in yourself and dedication.”

That didn’t happen for Menzel until he was 29. Menzel will continue to teach at Piedmont College helping to teach his students to keep going. “Sometimes it takes something like that to motivate you to see something, to see potential that you might not see otherwise.”

Hi ​my name is Casey and here’s what I’m about.

My full name is Casey Brynne Todd, pronunciation is KAY-CEE BRIN TOD.

I live in Decatur, Ga with my mom, three dogs and two cats. I have moved to many places and grew up in three different places for each stage of life. First, it was Snellville, Ga from the time I can remember till right after second grade, I was around 8. Second, I moved to Lawrenceville, Ga for half of the third grade then moved to Auburn, Ga, yes there is one in Georgia as well. I lived there for six years and moved right after my freshmen year of high school leaving all my friends to start new in Decatur.

I have five older siblings who I have lived with briefly with each of them. They have a different dad but were still close and getting closer with time. I have a younger sister who has a different mom and she is honestly the best thing to happen to me because of shes just, so crazy but honestly the best to talk to.

I have three dogs who are very different but very much alike fo they are all ‘red’. Their names are Samantha, Sargent Pepper, yes from The Beatles’ song, and Dahlia. There are two cats who are very different for one is very old and the other is about an adult cat, their names are Jimmy and Dolce, and yes had a Gabbana but she wanted to be a wild cat.

I only have a few hobbies and it’s running, singing, and sometimes dancing. I have been running cross country and track since seventh grade and have stuck with it for I am one of those where my sport defines me and without it I’m nothing, but on another note I do sing, but only in the shower, car, or screaming loudly with friends. I dance in a way of just letting off steam and stress so it’s a fun dance but not actual dance.

I don’t have much planned for my future besides getting done with college to just go live and hope somthing cool happens.