Arena League player dies at 26

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Johnie Kirton, a fullback with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League, has died in Northern California, the team announced Tuesday. He was 26.

SaberCats owner and coach Darren Arbet called Kirton a "great team guy and hard-nosed player."

The team says Kirton died Monday in Santa Clara, Calif. A cause of death was not released.

SaberCats players will honor Kirton's memory by wearing stickers on their helmets with his No. 37 in their game Saturday against the Milwaukee Mustangs.

Kirton also played for the Chicago Rush and the Arizona Rattlers during three seasons in the AFL.