If gate receipts are any measure, it seems more people than ever want to see local high school sports.
Evan Excell, executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association, reported to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees that in most sports attendance and revenue were up over last year.
"It was a tremendous year in football," said Evan Excell. "We were fortunate with the weather. ... It was the best year we've had in football."
The biggest jump was in 3A football. The gate receipts were a record $101,549. In 4A football, the total for the playoffs at Rice- Eccles was $91,677, which was down nearly $8,000 from last year.
In 5A, the gate receipts were up significantly thanks to some great matchups, including a rematch between Alta and Bingham in the semifinals. The total taken in was $164,111, up nearly $24,000 from last season.
In volleyball, revenue was up from just over $42,000 to $47,179. In girls soccer the revenue was up from $9,390 to $11,080, which is the second highest in the past five years.
1A baseball was also up significantly from $2,794 to $5,169.
Excell said costs were higher for the UHSAA this year, but the increase in revenue indicated a bright future for prep sports.
TWO LOCALS NAMED PARADE ALL-AMERICANS: Cottonwood linebacker Lynn Katoa and Bingham kicker Justin Sorenson were named to Parade magazine's 45th Annual All-American High School Football Team. The players are among 58 athletes from 24 states on the team, which will be featured in Sunday's Parade magazine. Katoa graduated from Cottonwood in December and is enrolled in Colorado University. He will play for the Buffaloes next fall.
Sorenson has committed to play for BYU next fall.
3 NOMINATED FOR OLD SPICE AWARD: Katoa was also nominated for the Old Spice Player of the Year Award. Also nominated from Utah were Robbie Luck of American Fork and Chad Wilson of Layton High. The nominations make these athletes eligible for the national player of the year award, which will be announced in February in USA Today. It is the seventh year Old Spice has honored football players in this manner.
SOARING EAGLE PITCHER SIGNS: Juan Diego pitcher Brieann Dimond signed with the College of Southern Idaho on Jan. 15.
"In August (her accelerated softball team) played there," said the two-sport athlete. "I did pretty well, and the coach came to talk to me about coming there."
She went on a visit the following month and loved the program, the players and the coaches.
"When my mom and I got to the hotel room it was decorated with CSI stuff," she said. "I liked it because it's kind of close to home, but far enough away, too. I like the campus a lot."
Dimond also maintains a 3.87 GPA off the field and has been honored numerous times for her softball abilities.
"Brie has such a great desire to do her best," said Soaring Eagle softball coach Tom Rogers, "and is exceptionally respectful of her coaches, fellow athletes, officials and opposing team members.
SOCCER COACH NEEDED: Bingham High School in South Jordan has an opening for a girls soccer coach. Interested applicants can apply through the Jordan School District or call vice principal over athletics, Mike Anderson, at 256-5115 for more information. The job closes Friday, Feb. 1.
TENNIS COACH NEEDED: Judge Memorial Catholic High School is looking for a boys tennis coach. Anyone interested can call athletic director Dan DelPorto at 517-2172.NEW SCHOOL NEEDS COACH: Salem Hills will open next fall, and administrators are looking for a girls volleyball coach. Anyone interested should call athletic director Steve Downey at 801-735-9124.