Trailblazers fall short in basketball battle against Texans

Utah Tech University’s attempted comeback was not enough against Tarleton State University Feb. 29, impacting the men’s basketball teams’ hopes of making it to the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

Tarleton started the game on a 17-2 run in the opening five minutes of the game. Utah Tech started the game with several turnovers and missed shots.

Unisa Turay, a junior recreation and sports management major from Phoenix, said, “We came out with a little bit of low energy and bad body language.”

Turay said he didn’t know why they came out so poorly, but it was just one of those types of days. 

After the slow start, the Trailblazers were able to find some rhythm as they started making their shots and communicating, but Utah Tech was unable to get out of its own way. Tarleton had 17 points off of Utah Tech turnovers in the first half alone. 

Tarleton was able to answer every time the Trailblazers tried to make the game close. The Texans went into the half up 49-30, and adding to the Trailblazers’ struggles, head coach Jon Judkins got a technical foul going into halftime for yelling at the refs while he went into the tunnel.

Coming out of the half, Tarleton made the two foul shots they were given from Judkins’ foul and started the second half up 21 points. 

Utah Tech attempted a comeback in the second half. They were never able to take the lead from Tarleton, but they were able to get just five points away from Tarleton at two different points in the second half. However, the Trailblazers were unable to pull off the comeback. Utah Tech outscored Tarleton 44-36 in the second half, but it was not enough. 

Utah Tech ended up losing with the final score of the game being 74-85.

Judkins said: “It’s hard to get down by 20 and fight back that hard. After, you are kind of just out of gas.”

Tennessee Rainwater, a freshman management major from Davenport, Washington, said Utah Tech has been close and competed with the best teams in the conference this season. The team was close at several points in their recent game against Grand Canyon University. He said the game against the Texans was no different, but they were not able to find a way to win.  

The Trailblazers’ hopes of making the WAC tournament are not over with three games left in the regular season. Their hope is in jeopardy though.

Judkins said, “If we want to get to the [WAC] tournament, we need to win out.” 

Judkins said the season is all about the tournament. The team plays the entire season to get to the WAC tournament. The tournament would help the younger players get experience in big games.

Last year, the men’s WAC tournament had 12 teams make it into the tournament, but this year, only eight teams make the tournament. Judkins said he is not a fan of the new model. He still wishes 12 teams made the tournament.

The next game is March 2 at 7 p.m. against Abilene Christian University. 

“It is a really big game,” Judkins said. “We need to get people here. It is the biggest game of our season Saturday night.”

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OPINION | The good, the bad in the internet’s favorite health trends

We all know that you can’t always believe what you read online, but many of us also slide into the temptation of trying the health trends or fads that we see out of pure curiosity. 

A big reason we try trends that we see is because not everyone’s body is the same. We think that just because it doesn’t work for them doesn’t mean it won’t work for us. This can lead to a darker path such as eating disorders or body dysmorphia.

Some of these trends do work, but only if they are used the proper way or in a way that fits your specific body and lifestyle. I’ve seen and tried some trends that actually do work and some that don’t. Here is a look at some of the top trends and whether they are beneficial or not.

12-3-30 workout

This is a great example of a trend that does work but is being advertised in an incorrect way that is essentially lying to people online.

The videos or promotional posts we see online of this workout say that it is life-changing and has fast results. The reality of this is that it is not magic and does not generate immediate results. Just like every workout, it takes time to see change. It does not happen in a week, let alone overnight. 

I have tried this trend and often go back to doing it when I get bored of other types of cardio. It is a good workout if you want a low-impact workout but one that still makes it feel worth the work. A few years ago I tried this every day for a few weeks and I did see a difference. My endurance was up, my calves felt stronger and so did my core strength. But these were the small differences that I saw after multiple weeks.

There are many different aspects that go into workouts and some things work better than others. It depends on your journey and how you are able to be successful.

Dry scooping

Dry scooping is when you take a scoop of pre-workout and swallow it directly. You take a drink of water with the powder in your mouth, swish the mix around and then swallow it. 

This has been a trend that has been used by gymgoers for a few years now. Some prefer it because when you mix pre-workout with water and drink it like a full drink, it takes the substances longer to kick in. 

While this is true in some cases, it can also be dangerous. The most common dangers are heart palpitations that stem from the sudden intake of caffeine and choking from trying to swallow dry powder. 

For those who are taking pre with caffeine, this is a responsibility you need to take on. Knowing how much caffeine you consume at one time as well as knowing what your body can handle is a key point to dry scooping. Knowing your limits and understanding how caffeine affects you personally can change how you take it.

Know the dangers and risks of what you’re doing before you do it. That goes for pretty much anything in life though, not just dry scooping.


Slugging is the act of covering your face or skin in thick layers of occlusive ointments like Vaseline or Aquaphor. You then let it soak into your skin overnight, hoping for the result of healthy and hydrated skin.

This can cause some people to break out even more than normal. While some sources say that Vaseline and Aquaphor can’t clog your pours, others say otherwise

Those with dryer skin could really benefit from trying this trend as it has the potential to help. But those with more oily skin should be careful. We have all had breakouts on our skin and that is widely known to be uncomfortable or painful. Slugging increases the risks of that happening. Don’t participate in this trend just to be a part of the majority. Do it because you feel you could benefit from it.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been said to be able to boost your metabolism as well as help to lose weight. It can also help with boosting blood sugar and cholesterol levels. But even with those pros, there are also some pretty big cons such as skin irritation or weakening tooth enamel if it is used topically for breakouts or teeth whitening. 

The idea is to take one or two tablespoons of the vinegar every day. Studies show that in an experiment of 175 people, those who drank the vinegar every day for 3 months had roughly 2 to 4 pounds of weight loss.

No matter what kind of treatment you are doing to lose weight, you must still be relatively active. Sitting on your couch and taking a drink of vinegar daily isn’t going to do anything for you other than gross you out. You have to find the balance between being healthy with your actions as well as being healthy with what you put into your body. There are more factors in play here than just consuming vinegar. 

75 hard

This two-and-a-half-month challenge really puts participant to their limits. The challenge consists of following a diet of your choice, doing two 45-minute workouts every day, drinking a gallon of water, not drinking alcohol, reading 10 pages of a non-fiction book and taking progress pictures. This goes on for 75 days at any part of the year.

There are versions of this challenge where some of the factors are adjusted to make it a little less intense. These adaptations are per preference for each person, but participating in any way is impressive. 

This challenge is beneficial, especially for those who want to push themselves to get into fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Many people continue with some of the habits they form from those few months even after the challenge has ended. 

There have been and always will be new health trends and fads on the internet. Whether they work or not depends on you as a person. Everyone is different and that is incredibly important not only in health but in life. 

Just because it is a trend and many people are doing it doesn’t mean it works or that it is the smart thing to do. There are many trends out there that could be just as harmful as they could be helpful.

OPINION | Erasing history: Utah state flag change was unnecessary

The Utah flag change was left up to the politicians, not the people of Utah, thus taking away Utahns’ voices.

Governor Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 31 into law in March 2023. This will change the state’s flag to a new, less meaningful flag: the Beehive Flag.

Utah’s new official state flag. Courtesy of the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement

When the bill was proposed, many voters asked their representatives to vote against it. This didn’t work and the bill was passed. A group of voters sponsored a referendum to petition SB31. This would be presented to voters at our next general election for approval or rejection in November 2024. It was called the Utah State Flag Initiative.

The Utah State Flag Initiative’s petition required 134,298 signatures from registered voters. The signatures had to be collected and turned in by Feb. 15.

Volunteers were gathering signatures on the petition for all voters to have a say on the state flag. The initiative did not go through and failed as they were not able to get enough signatures. Now Utah’s flag is being changed to the Beehive Flag.

A total of 99,125 signatures were submitted, but only 81,992 signatures were valid. Others were not counted because they did not meet the signature requirements. People gathering signatures had to be residents and 18 years old. Circulators had to complete and sign the verification sheet of each packet and the circulators could not sign their own signature sheets they were circulating. As a result, we lost our historic and meaningful flag for a bland flag.

The new flag will replace the original flag March 9.

The Beehive Flag will have a blue line at the top, a white stripe in the middle and a red stripe at the bottom. There will be a gold hexagon ring on the flag, and inside the hexagon will hold the beehive.

But when you look at it, you have no idea the history and symbolism the flag contains. The Beehive Flag is less obvious in its meaning. It took away the wording and dates on the original flag, replacing them with simple colors and shapes with no wording.

The current flag has an eagle, beehive, bees and flowers. It reads “Industry Utah 1898” and is circled by a gold ring with spears coming out on either side in an X shape.

The state motto “industry” and the beehive represent hard work and progress. The American flags on the original Utah state flag show Utah’s commitment and support to the United States. The year 1847 is when the pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley, and 1896 is the year Utah became a state. The six arrows are a representation of the six Native American tribes in Utah.

There is so much symbolism in the original flag. There is symbolism in the new flag, but it is just harder to understand the meaning and symbolism of the new flag. The eagle has always been a representation of freedom, peace, protection and war. The sego lily featured on the flag is Utah’s state flower, which is a representative of peace. 

I see no benefits in changing the state flag. The old flag is a beautiful state flag full of symbolism and history, and it is great the way it is.

With so much symbolism and deeper meaning, why would we want to get rid of it? The argument starts with people saying the original flag doesn’t represent them. But there is so much more representation in the original flag. The integrated parts of the current flag are a good representation of Utah’s rich history.

The Beehive Flag loses so much symbolism. We lose the arrows that represent the Native Americans and the eagle which proudly displays patriotism on the original flag.

Aside from the new flag being simpler and easier to read, I don’t see a benefit to changing it. There is no reason for more money to go into something that we don’t need to fix or change. The flag has been the same for so long. Why do we have to change it now?

There are other problems and issues we could be focusing on and putting time, effort and money into. Issues like crime, homelessness, feeding the hungry and trying to make this a better world are more important than a flag.

If we change the flag, we change part of Utah’s history as well. That wouldn’t be fair to do. We should leave the flag as is and appreciate the history and meaning behind it.

For the representatives and politicians to make such an impactful change without it being taken to a vote by the Utah residents is a shame and should not be allowed.

Taking the meaning and symbolism out and replacing it with something bland and not well thought out is wrong. As a result, our representatives are not fully representing “We the People.”

Utah Tech presents 13th annual DOCUTAH International Film Festival

This year the 13th annual DOCUTAH Internation Film Festival brings film fanatics and directors together for a weekend of films and speeches.

The film festival takes place Feb. 29 to March 1, and features films from across the world.

Their mission is to bring together filmmakers and film lovers to celebrate art.

This year, the festival has 56 films featured and awards the best films with awards in 10 different categories, ranging from the Trailblazer Award to the Best Cinematography Award.

Tisa Zito, director of DOCUTAH, said each year, films from all over the world are entered. They come from Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Somalia and many other places.

This is the 13th year DOCUTAH and Utah Tech University have had this festival, and it goes beyond featuring films—other activities include DOCtalks.

Zito said: “We have many opportunities for students to mingle with filmmakers. DOCtalks will happen at 8 p.m. where filmmakers will sit on a panel and answer questions about the filmmaking process.”

Many film students at Utah Tech also help with DOCUTAH.

DOCUTAH intern Ada Johnson, a junior digital film major from Fredrick, Maryland, said, “Getting to scrub through and quickly review each film when it was sent in gave me a better appreciation for how broad the term ‘documentary’ really is.”

Some films featured include: “0.5 Meters,” “Almost Home: Life after Incarceration,” “April in France” and “Beautiful Faces.”

“DOCUTAH is a brilliant event that allows film lovers and filmmakers to come together and appreciate the art of documentary film,” said Sarah Cordner, a recent graduate student from Utah Tech and DOCUTAH’s professional art assistant and freelance video editor.

Cordner’s film “Caged” is featured at the festival and was her senior capstone project. Her film is about the Korean dog meat trade. The way she got into the subject was through her adopted dog.

Cordner said: “I adopted my dog from the St. George animal shelter not knowing anything about her background. Months later we decided to do a DNA test on her, to which we found out she was a Korean village dog”

Because this was her senior capstone project, she had only four months to complete her film. Cordner is nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Cordner said: ”Utah Tech really had my back with this film. All of my professors were very supportive and put in so much of their time just to help me make this film a possibility. And to that, I’ll never be able to thank them enough.”

This year, the festival will take place at the Sunset Megaplex Theater, and students can get in for free with their student ID. Tickets for non-students range from $10 to $75.

”We have so many magical films this year, my favorite being ‘Much Ado About Dying,’” Zito said. “It’s a sweet and funny journey with an extremely charismatic character about what we leave behind and our ultimate journey at the end of life.”

Grab some popcorn and drinks to watch “Much Ado About Dying,” “Caged” and other films this weekend for a weekend full of films.

”Documentary film is such an overlooked medium of film, so it’s wonderful that there are festivals like DOCUTAH,” Cordner said.

Trailblazer baseball unable to fend off CSUN

The Utah Tech University baseball team fell short in an attempted comeback in game one of a three-game series against California State University, Northridge.

The Trailblazers lost to CSUN by nine runs with the final score of 14-5.

The Trailblazers were unable to find the scoreboard until the seventh inning of the game when Hank Dodson hit an RBI single to right field to make the score 1-8.

In the following inning, Utah Tech had four pinch hitters come into the game. The pinch hitters gave the team some much-needed life as they were able to score four runs in the eighth inning to make the score 10-5. 

 “We got some guys off the bench who are hungry and want some opportunities,” head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. 

The only home run for the Trailblazers in the game came in the eighth inning from a pinch hitter. The home run was hit by Garrett Cutting, a junior recreation and sports management major from Las Vegas.

Cutting said, “I knew I had to show up for my team in the late innings when we are down runs.”

In the ninth inning, the Trailblazers gave up four runs, and they were also unable to score any runs leading to the final score for the game 14-5.

Pfatenhauer said even though the team lost by nine runs, the game was right there in their grasp at many different moments throughout the game. However, in the end, he said the team had several costly errors and other small moments that did not go their way, and it impacted the outcome of the game. 

The starting pitcher for the game, Dylan Gardner, a junior sociology major from Boise, Idaho, said he thought he pitched a good game, but he thought a few pitches got away from him that ended up costing the team runs. In the end, he was given the loss for the game.

“We are getting into great moments to win games, but we just aren’t getting it done,” Pfatenhauer said.

The Trailblazers had 16 different players take an at-bat in the game against CSUN showing the depth on the roster. The starting lineup consists of nine hitters. Utah Tech almost had two starting lineups worth of players hit in the game.

Cutting said, “We are going to be dangerous with the depth that we have.”

Pfatenhauer said it is so hard to make starting lineups because there are so many players competing, working hard and getting after it day in and day out, but he likes the depth on the roster that the team has. 

The final game of the three-game series will start at 12:05 p.m. Feb. 25.

Hoops and hustle: Searles’ hard work propels him toward success on court

From battling through junior college challenges to standing out at Utah Tech, one Trailblazer’s athletic journey to the NBA is far from over.

Jaylen Searles, a junior communication studies major from Everett, Washington, played basketball at two different junior colleges before making his way to Utah Tech University. He hopes Utah Tech can be a stepping stool to boost him to his end goal of becoming a professional basketball player. 

Searles was recently awarded the Western Athletic Conference’s TicketSmarter Player of the Week award, the Western Athletic Conference’s Newcomer of the Week award, and the Intermountain Overachieving Athlete award for the two-game stretch he had Feb. 8 and Feb.10.

Searles had a career-high of 33 points against California Baptist University Feb. 10. His 33-point performance is the second-highest scoring performance by any Utah Tech player in the program’s Division I history.

Searles’ teammate Trey Hall, a sophomore communication studies major from Willimantic, Connecticut, said he sees the work that Searles puts in, and he is excited that he is getting the recognition he deserves. 

“There are a lot of athletes out there that say they love his game, but they’re not doing the little things that he is doing to earn those accolades,” Hall said.

Searles’ journey to get him to Utah Tech has been unique. He is not the only junior college transfer on the team, but he is the only one to play at two different junior colleges. He started his college basketball career at Central Wyoming College back in 2020.

During his first season at CWC, COVID-19 started. During the beginning of his second year on the team, he was kicked off due to poor grades. 

“I was ready to quit basketball for a second,” Searles said. “But then I just got back in the gym and reached out to all the top 25 junior colleges in the country.”

Only one of the 25 schools that Searles reached out to got back to him to give him another chance, Southeastern Community College in Iowa.

He played the entire 2022-2023 basketball season there. During the season, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 33 starts. He was named First Team All-Region 11, and he was also named an All-American

After his time at SCC, he was recruited to Utah Tech before the start of this year.

Head coach Jon Judkins said Searles was the perfect athlete that the team needed, especially with his prior collegiate experience at the JUCO level. 

“Look at him, he’s athletic, he’s long,” Judkins said. “One thing that we have struggled with in years past was having a guy that was long and athletic.”

Judkins said after getting on the phone and talking to Searles, it felt like the right fit for him to come play for the Trailblazers.

Searles said he knew that Utah Tech was the right fit for him as well. His favorite part about Utah Tech is the Burns Arena.

“It’s just fun to play in,” Searles said. “It’s a really big, good environment.”

Since the start of this season, Searles has played in all 26 games and started in 24 of those games for the Trailblazers.

During Searles’ basketball journey, he has continued to work hard despite any challenges he has faced.

Hall said: “I’ve seen the work that he [Searles] puts in behind the scenes. Coming back at night, getting up shots, the way he meal preps throughout the week, little things that he does that other athletes don’t.”

“I just look at it [playing D1] as the jobs not finished,” Searles said. “My ultimate goal is the NBA.”

Sears Art celebrates 37 years of inspiration, creativity at invitational art show

For the past 37 years, the Sears Invitational Art Show and Sale has raised money toward maintaining the Sears Art Museum. The museum has inspired students and art lovers alike with its award-winning art.

The show and sale began Feb. 17 and will go until March 31.

Located in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center at Utah Tech University, the museum features over 100 artists and 200 pieces of art this year.

The museum is named in recognition of Robert N. and Peggy B. Sears for their commitment to establishing an art museum at the university.

James Peck, director and curator of the Sears Art Museum, said: “Bob Sears worked with former Dixie College President Doug Alder to create the annual invitation-only art show to help raise money to help build a museum. Bob and Peggy Sears also donated their extensive Native American art collection to the college art museum.”

Art featured in the museum ranges in many mediums from oil, acrylic, pastel and even sculptures.

One of the artists at the gallery is Alex Chamberlain, the art department chair and associate professor of animation and photography at Utah Tech. His art, “Chrysalis,” features a black and white image of a slot canyon in southern Utah.

”I think the concept of narrative and shape are the consistent elements,” Chamberlain said. “I desperately want to tell the stories and show the visions in my head.”

This year’s exhibit has a wide variety of art including landscape, portrait, western, abstract and impressionistic pieces.

”In a world so heavily driven by logic and facts, it can be difficult to remember the things that make us human, things like emotion and shared stories,” said Brooklyn Ollis, a senior fine arts major from Lyman, Wyoming. “Art connects us to each other in a way very few things can.”

The museum’s mission is to engage visitors with art that provides meaningful connections and opportunities for conversation, contemplation and a cooperative experience.

”The Sears Gallery is important because it is a professional showcase, not only for us upcoming artists to aspire to one day be a part of, but it is a showcase of bits and pieces of St. George’s culture,” Ollis said.

Past exhibits have been focused around Utah’s national parks, women’s western art and Utah Tech’s student artwork.

Ollis said, “To have such an esteemed gallery in connection to the college is an incredible opportunity for us art students to utilize, whether it is to study accomplished artists or participate in shows to gain experience.”

Artists featured in the gallery also have a chance to win awards. This year the Purchase Prize winner went to “Now It Sets Upon Me” by Brian Astle, and Best in Show went to “Water Under the Bridge” by Ron Larson.

“The Sears Art Gallery has collected more than 3,000 works of art,” Peck said. “I could write pages and pages of its accomplishments.”

The Sears Art Museum is free, and all visitors are welcome and encouraged to view or buy the art.

”Artists find the beauty in being human, our mistakes or the things we fail to notice in our day-to-day lives,” Ollis said. “This to me is why art is important.”