In an effort to attract attention, the Utah Blaze invited a bunch of celebrities to tonight's Arena Football League home opener at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah hosts the San Jose SaberCats at 7 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on CW30. Among the invited guests are a bunch of defensive standouts in their respective fields:
All-Pro defensive end Haloti Ngata (Highland High, Ravens); former Pro Bowler Luther Elliss (Utah, Lions); ex-NBA defensive player of the year Mark Eaton (Jazz); shot blocker Shawn Bradley (Emery High, BYU, 76ers); defensive end Sione Pouha (Utah, Jets); and Outland Trophy winner Jason Buck (BYU, Redskins).
Others include receiver Kevin Curtis (Snow, Utah State); linebacker Davis Nixon (BYU, NFL); linebacker Brian Kehl (BYU, Rams); forward Thurl Bailey (Jazz); tight end Chad Lewis (Orem High, BYU, Eagles); guard Edwin Mulitalo (Ravens); tight end Gabe Reid (Bears), linebacker Lauvale Sape (Utah), returner Reno Mahe (BYU, Eagles), linebacker Stewart Bradley (East High, Eagles); and Brandon Doman (BYU).
JC hoops stars
Snow College's women's basketball team just ended its season at the NJCAA national championship tournament.
The Badgers roster includes four Top of Utah products in Becca Rees (Morgan), Shayli Iosefa (Bountiful), Katie Vincent (Box Elder), and Jordi Willden (Mountain Crest).
Local athletes on Snow's men's squad include Riley Crosbie (Mountain Crest), Nick Gruniger (Davis), and Connor Van Brocklin (Davis).
Other Top of Utah products include:
College of Eastern Utah--Chase Flint (Davis), Eric Hansen (Roy), McKay LaSalle (Bountiful).
Colorado Northwestern--Bryer Trussell (North Summit).
Salt Lake Community College--Davis Emery (Viewmont), Sean Carey (Bountiful), Mike Evans (Viewmont).
SLCC women--Chelsea Morgan (Morgan), Jessica Watson (Clearfield), Haley Sturdevant (Fremont).
College of Southern Idaho women--Megan Tanner (Bonneville).
La Roca honored
The La Roca Futbol Club staged a banquet on Tuesday at Rickenbacker's Restaurant, a chance to honor their seniors who are leaving for college soccer teams.
The club boasts that more than half of its 70 senior players were offered scholarships at the university level, and more than 30 will move on to play across the nation.
Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey and veteran defender Tony Beltran joined in the festivities.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will honor former Utah Ute Larry Wilson on Thursday in Wilson's hometown of Rigby, Idaho. The national hometown roots campaign is sponsored by Allstate Insurance. ...
The Weber State Spirit Squad captured the coed cheer division title at the USA All-Star & Collegiate Championships last weekend in California. ...
BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is working as a guest studio analyst this weekend for CBS Sports Network during its coverage of the NCAA tournament. ...
Field specialist Lindsey Spencer, a former Fremont High standout, has been named the Utah State student-athlete of the week. She broke school records in the hammer and discus. ...
Utah State is hosting the WAC gymnastics championships tonight at 6 p.m. at the Smith Spectrum; at the same time, Utah will host the Pac-12 gymnastics championships at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.
The Utah Grizzlies will stage their "Night With the Grizzlies" on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the Maverik Center ice. For details, visit utahgrizzlies.com.
Chris J. Miller is sports editor for the Standard-Examiner. He can be reached at 801-625-4261 or email@example.com.