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‘This one is for you’: Utah State scores 129 in game dedicated to super-fan who died at 35

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 17:55:21-05

Derick Earle celebrates with Utah State basketball player Neemias Queta after a home win over New Mexico on Feb. 20. (Courtesy Eli Lucero/Herald Journal)

LOGAN, Utah — If you’ve been to a Utah State basketball game, you’ve almost surely seen Derick Earle on the front row.

Earle was a dedicated Aggie fan who showed up to nearly every game at USU’s Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. And not just for big games like basketball or football — fellow Aggies say he showed up to cheer on tennis, cross country and every event he could.

He passed away Monday from heart complications, and at the Aggies’ next home basketball game, the school, team and fans went all out for him.

“This one is for you,” a tweet from USU Men’s Hoops read Saturday, with a photo of a stadium seat with his name on it.

The Aggies proceeded to play a nearly record-breaking game, beating the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers 129-61 — the second-most point total ever recorded by the school.

And although not by name, Earle was recognized on a national level this year when a photo of him in blue facepaint hugging Utah State star Neemias Queta was chosen as one of CNN’s “year’s best sports photos.”

Upon hearing of Earle’s death, other die-hard Aggie fans shared memories of his energetic personality — from his unique style of heckling to away game road trips, Earle left a big impression on his fellow fans and community.