Team Utah, a squad featuring 12 of the state's best seniors, begins practicing Wednesday in preparation for an upcoming exhibition tilt with Team USA - a unit comprised of college-bound cagers from throughout the country. The game is set for April 29, 8 p.m., at Salt Lake Community College.
"We really hope this becomes an annual thing - something the kids and fans in this state can look forward to," said Sky View coach Kevin Dustin, who heads the affair. "It's important we support it. The whole purpose of this is to showcase our talent in Utah."First team all-staters Brad Willden (Alta), Brent Hawkins (Alta), Brent Moore (Ogden), Jeremy Jeppesen (Viewmont), Eric Baugh (Mountain Crest), Todd Christensen (Highland), Lance Barnes (Bingham) and David Evans (Cedar City) lead the local cast which also includes standouts Nate Carling (Alta), Cory Reiser (Hunter), Kelly Brimhall (Provo) and Josh Gardner (East). Dustin will coach the squad, which hopes to practice four or five times before the encounter, with Kerry Rupp (East) and Matt Barnes (Sky View) serving as assistants.
The Utahns will do battle with the likes of Memphis State recruit Dorian Davis, Long Beach State signee Mike Baptiste and BYU-bound Sean Kelly of Grand Junction, Colo. Team USA will meet for the first time after flying in one day before the game.
WHATEVER: In a recent ruling by the national federation, high school basketball officials will no longer be required to signify made field goals or free throws with hand signals. Three-point shots, however, will still be acknowledged by uplifted arms.
HOOP HOMES: With everybody qualifying for postseason play in 5A/4A boys and girls basketball next season, UHSAA officials are busy scheduling venues for next year's state tournaments (to include the final eight in each group). Tenative plans call for the boys (5A and 4A) to inhabit the Huntsman Center in late February and/or early March, while the girls tourneys will take place one week later possibly at Salt Lake Community College.
GRIDIRON GATHERING: Tabbed the "best spring clinic ever," the Utah Football Coaches Association will roll out the red carpet May 5-6 for its annual get-together. Former Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust, who won a national prep title prior to his tenure with the Irish, headlines the affair. Boise State coach Pokey Allen, who led the Broncos to the national championship game last fall but has been hampered by illness, is also scheduled to participate - as is NFL official Doug Toole. This year's clinic is set for the Fred House Police Academy in Bluffdale. For more information contact Jim Birch at 569-0139 or Rick Bojak at 565-7576.
ACADEMIC ALL-STATE: The following student-athletes recently earned recognition from the Utah High School Activities Association.
5A DRILL TEAM (3.95 GPA): Emily Bishop (Orem),Tayna Weeks (Bonneville), Shamron Nelson (Bonneville), Jamie Young (Viewmont), Jayme Lyn Morris (Kearns), Jolene East (Fremont), Shanna Stoker (Northridge), Melissa Nakaoka (Kearns), Michelle Carr (Viewmont), Maryann Gregg (Granger).
4A DRILL TEAM (3.95 GPA): Jami John (Logan), Molly Llewellyn (Spanish Fork), Sharsti L. Sandall (Bear River), Trisha Nordquist (Ogden), Amy Groesbeck (Timpview), Jeanette Warnick (Pleasant Grove), Kristin Loveless (Box Elder), Lori Ann Reese (Spanish Fork), Nicole Christiansen (Jordan), Angela Sarah Miner (Springville).
3A DRILL TEAM (3.95 GPA): Hannah Shepherd (Lehi), TeNeale Colledge (Lehi), Rochelle Chamberlain (Richfield), Melaney Carlson (Cedar City), Emily Holmes (Wasatch), Rhonda Puett (Lehi), Brenna Hathaway (Wasatch), Angela Huntington (Emery), Shyann Hreinson (Lehi), Angie Fieldsted (Union).
2A DRILL TEAM (3.90 GPA): Alisha Fox (North Summit), Tessa Olson (North Summit), Angela Moore (Kanab), Aimee Thiriot (North Summit), Stephanie Ann Kjar (Manti), Melissa Dawn Judd (Kanab), Alysha Rees (Morgan), Nichole Pace (North Summit), Amberlee Hunter (Parowan), Elizabeth Ann Hulin (Millard).
1A DRILL TEAM (3.93 GPA): Jessica Torgerson (Panguitch), Christine Pratt (Tabiona), SuLynn Staheli (Entrprise), Rebecca Johnson (Bryce Valley), Nicole Westwood (Piute), Holly Anderson (bryce Valley), Ashley Huefner (Rich), Megan Torgersen (Piute), Michon Ott (Bryce Valley), Brandee Jean Downing (Rich).
5A GIRLS SWIMMING (3.97 GPA): Heather Brown (Weber), Melinda Moller (Taylorsville), Karen P. Woolley (Orem), Amy Leigh Bailey (Orem), Rebekah Johnson (Orem), Tiffany Lau (Orem), Jenna Lee Wilkinson (Viewmont), Kristy Zopes (Highland), Chelsey Apostol (Orem), Rebecca Millet (Highland).
4A GIRLS SWIMMING (3.96 GPA): Brooke Jones (Logan), Natalie May (Spanish Fork), Georgina C. Needham (Logan), Virginia Justis (Logan), Katy Morrison (Murray), Tirzah Anne Fisher (Sky View), Joyce L. Olson (Mountain Crest), Amy Gordon (Sky View), Wendy Walker (Sky View), AnnaLee Bell (Murray).
3A GIRLS SWIMMING (3.97 GPA): Janel Brattland (St. Joseph), Erin Goff Prestwich (Cedar City), Fawn Thompson (Cedar City), Morgan Cowan (Cedar City), Monica Porter (Cedar City), Rochelle Chamberlain (Richfield), Melaney Carlson (Cedar City), Sharlae Nelson (Lehi), Jessica Brattland (St. Joseph), Hollie Walker (South Summit).
5A BOYS BASKETBALL (3.98 GPA): Adam Arnell (Clearfield), Kory Anderson (Roy), Shawn Moore (Weber), Landon Bye (Mountain View), Jeffrey Rust (West Jordan), Scott Hardy (Bingham), Kyle Gardner (Skyline), Richard Bennion (Highland), Ryan Poll (Northridge), Nate Wayment (Weber).
3A BOYS BASKETBALL (3.92 GPA): Brian K. Belnap (Richfield), Caleb Cottam (Hurricane), Johnny Ware (Emery), Gavin Heaton (Dixie), Richard L. Luekenga (Richfield), Denten Robinson (Cedar City), Jeremy G. cardon (Richfield), Dustin S. Rowley (Delta), Mark S. Christensen (Hurricane), Jason Allan (Lehi).
2A BOYS BASKETBALL (3.95 GPA): Richard Mouritsen (Grantsville), Cody Braithwaite (North Sevier), George A. Tripp (Grantsville), Andrew H. Blonquist (North Summit), Matthew Robinson (Beaver), Nate Gedge (Manti), Kevin Lynn Brown (Beaver), Jake Aplanalp (South Summit), Neil Christensen (Grand), Seth Pitt (South Summit).
3A GIRLS BASKETBALL (3.93 GPA): Dea Madsen (Uintah), Kristi L. Kimball (Richfield), Crista Pollock (Delta), Jeanie Nielsen (Union), Naoni Jo Barker (Uintah), Melissa Rappleye (Richfield), Kris Golightly (Wasatch), Holly Todd (Wasatch), Sara Lyn Hanny (Dixie), Heidi Beck (Cedar City).
2A GIRLS BASKETBALL (3.95 GPA): Cami Stewart (South Sevier), Cynthia Olson (Millard), Brenda Coates (North Sevier), Liz Henderson (Kanab), Shelly Nixon (Millard), Kristi Jackson (Juab), Janiece Stubbs (Parowan), Michele Walker (Morgan), Theresa Burton (Parowan), Natalie Albrecht (Beaver).
1A GIRLS BASKETBALL (3.98 GPA): Robin Heaton (Valley), Katy Peterson (Wayne), Amber Ann Miller (Panguitch), Jennifer Huntsman (Enterprise), Andrea Rowley (Green River), Holly Nelson (Enterprise), Charlotte Roberts (Monument Valley), Jessica Hagen (Dugway), Katina M. Bowerman (Green River), Kelly Kennedy (Rich).