Author Archives: garrettstafford

Women’s Soccer feature story

Head Coach Timmy McCormack is ushering in a culture of success for the Piedmont college women’s soccer team.

“When you look at successful programs, at any level, it has a lot to do with what the culture is like in those programs to whether or not you are successful,” said Coach Timmy McCormack. “And that’s one of those things we put a ton of time into in our program.”

Since Coach McCormack took over as head coach in 2017 after eight years of being assistant coach, the Piedmont women’s soccer team has seen nothing but success. In his first season as head coach, McCormack guided his team to an undefeated regular season, but lost a close game in the conference tournament. Then in 2018 the Lady Lions got their revenge and won the USA South conference tournament for the fifth time in school history. Like many other coaches, McCormack doesn’t take credit for the success.

“I don’t think it’s my coaching as much as we just have had really good players,” said McCormack. “I think we’ve been really lucky to have a lot of really good foundational success.”

These really good players McCormack talks about have helped lead to an impressive 33-5-5 record in the last two seasons. And the talent won’t be stopping any time soon as the soccer team has 15 incoming freshmen to help win the conference title again.

“The main reason I came here was for Timmy,” said freshman defender Madison Comer. “A lot of schools have great programs, but Timmy’s personality is what convinced me to come to Piedmont.”

Coach McCormack, or Timmy as all his players, call him is loved by the girls on his team for being one of the kindest, caring and best coaches they’ve ever played for. Comer was recruited by McCormack and got to be a part the championship team. She said that freshman will room with seniors on trips to bring the team together and make the older girls seem “not seem as scary.” This strategy brought the team together and helped unite team the for their championship run.

“We’ve all grown up with Timmy,” said sophomore midfielder Abby Cox. “We’ve been trained to always try hard in both practices and the games, you play for the team not yourself.”

Cox has played for McCormack for both of his seasons as head coach, she got to watch the changes he made after losing the conference tournament her freshman year, and what it took to win it this past season. Abby also credits the California trip the team took this season for helping bring the team together. Getting to go some place new and having these experiences is another way the team was brought together to have this culture of success.

McCormack said it’s these little things that lead to the overall success.

“Championships are not won in that season; they are won by doing the detail things day in and day out. You can have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, you take your pick.”  

Breaking News

Explainable fire leaves 100 victims, of those victims 28 were announced dead, 29 are non- critical and 28 were very critical.

At around 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 a fire started at the Swanson center on the campus of Piedmont college. Shortly after the fire started an explosion occurred. The cause of the fire and the explosion is unknown. Public information officer Rob Moore reported at a press conference of the heavy victim count. Most the victims were Piedmont college students.

“There were pretty extensive damages that took awhile to put out,” says assistant fire chief Jason Davis from Habersham Emergency Services. “We’re still putting out spots, we’re definitely going to be here for the next couple of hours.”

The extent of the devastation was reported at a press conference outside of the Swanson center at 11:10 a.m. It was announced that the reasoning behind the fire and the explosion were still unknown.

Emergency recuse and 200 Piedmont nursing students arrived on scene shortly after the explosion to rescue the many victims. Emergency services and the nurses were able to completely evacuate the building by around 10:30 a.m. The building was very smoky and hard to see what was in front of you, reported many nurses.

Nurses and people on the scene reported about a man in a green shirt pick-pocketing from many of the victims shortly after the explosion. The man was apprehended by Habersham Sheriff’s deputies when they arrived on scene. There were Reports of woman running around the scene screaming, looking for her lost dog, but nurses were able to calm the woman down, but it is still unreported if she found her dog. Showing that this tragedy was very chaotic.

Piedmont College will be a having a memorial service on April 4 at the Chapel to remember all the victims who were lost in this tragedy. All family members and people of the community are welcome to come.

Coach Jenkins Profile

A running magazine shipping mistake led head cross country and track coach Jeff Jenkins to find his lifelong passion and future career in running.

“I got a free running magazine subscription through my school when I was training for the Auburn Special Olympics torch with my Dad, and the magazine was given to me by my high school’s head track coach and he asked me me if I wanted to run,” said Coach Jenkins. “And I said no I play other sports, but the seed was planted that got me interested in running track.”

Jeff Jenkins would try out for baseball that year only to get cut, so Jenkins decided to take the track coach up on his offer. Jenkins did not take seriously at first, but his competitiveness would lead him to strive to become team captain. Jenkins found his passion in wanting to become coach while assisting his coach, leading him to go to Huntington College for a coaching education degree and to continue his running career. After a quick semiprofessional running career, Jenkins became the head cross country coach at Piedmont College, where he is passing on his passion to more runners today.

“Coach Jenkins is a great coach, not only because he’s knowledgeable about the science behind running, but also because he is very caring person,” says senior cross country and track athlete Mackenzie Devine.

Being a senior, Mackenzie is one of the few people on the team that have known Coach Jenkins all four years he has worked at Piedmont. She has had the ability to watch him grow in his coaching abilities as the cross country team grew and as he started the track team at Piedmont three years ago.

“I think this workouts are effective in making you the best athlete you can be,” said senior Nate Crews. ” But more importantly, he works to be a mentor so I can be successful in life.”

Crews sees Jenkins strive to make his athletes the best they can be on and off the track.

Jenkins recalled what was his drive and motive that kept him going in his passion for running.

“I continued to run even as the really competitive races started to be further in the rear view mirror, I realized what drove me from the beginning – that very first track race – it was all about the competitiveness.”

Garrett Stafford: I like sushi

I see everyone’s blog titles have cool interesting titles and this was the best I could come up with. Sushi is definitely my favorite food, a rainbow roll dipped in a little bit of soy sauce and you’re in a for a good time.

My name is Garrett Stafford and I was born and raised in Jacksonville Florida. My upbringing is what a influenced my life the most, for example my parents only listened to classic rock my whole life and it’s still my favorite music to this day. Growing up in Jacksonville which is only thirty minutes from Gainesville I was bound to become a massive Florida Gators fan which of course I am – Go Gators!

So, how did I end up in Georgia?

No ones childhood is perfect and my is far from it. When I was 13 both my parents lost their jobs in the same month, so off we went to a small town called Bethlehem Georgia to live with my Grandmother we went. Started high school and feel in love with running, I joined my high school’s cross country and track team and four years later I was being recruited my a little school in the middle of nowhere called Piedmont College.

I came to Piedmont undecided on what I wanted to do with my life and what major I wanted to pursue. I took public speaking with Jennifer Arbitter and she convinced my to take her Video Production class in the spring. I really got interested in making and editing videos, so here I am today a Mass Communications major.