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Interactive graphic: Meet 2016 All-Tribune football team's defense/special teams

Published December 27, 2016 9:51 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cammon Cooper

Lehi | Junior | Quarterback

As one of the top-rated pocket passers for his graduating class, Cooper, a strong-armed southpaw, led the Pioneers back to the postseason for the first time since 2004 and to their first playoff win since 2002. He topped the state in passing, finishing with 4,059 yards and 38 touchdowns (against 13 interceptions) while completing 64 percent of his pass attempts. "His physical tools are outstanding," said Lehi coach Ed Larson. "Obviously, being in our system in his third year, understanding it, was outstanding for us. Realistically, when we played well, he was the biggest factor in the situation — and when we didn't play well. When it's all on his shoulders, that's what makes him special."

Josh Davis

Alta | Senior | Running back

Davis, a two-time selection on the All-Tribune Team, established the single-season all-purpose state record with 3,836 total yards. He reached the 2,000-yard rushing plateau for the second consecutive season, and his 2,645 rushing yards this season are the second-most in state history. He added 28 touchdowns with his feet. Davis caught 30 targets for 413 yards and three touchdowns while also contributing 516 kick return yards and 262 punt return yards. "The question is what did he not do? I mean, he was like 85 percent of the offense," said Alta coach Alema Te'o. "Just a great leader on the field. He's a guy we all looked to to get us out of a pinch. He was a huge part of what we did here at Alta these past two years, and he's going to be sorely missed."

Austin Freeman

Fremont | Senior | Running back

Freeman rushed for 1,411 yards and 17 touchdowns on 155 attempts, equating to an average of 9.1 yards per carry. He added 277 yards and one touchdown on 23 receptions. "Austin has been an outstanding leader in our football program. Last winter, he was organizing team activities away from our school that undoubtedly improved our team unity and became priceless when our season started," wrote Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "He has all of the traits that quality running backs possess and has increasingly became more powerful each season. His balance and ability to make you miss are extraordinary. He is a very impressive young man in all areas of his life."

Ty Jones

Provo | Senior | Wide receiver

After being named to the All-Tribune Team as a junior, Jones' production didn't drop with added coverage focused toward him. The Washington commit hauled in 63 receptions for 1,523 yards and 20 touchdowns. In three years in the Bulldogs program, he finished with 2,760 yards and 38 touchdowns on 134 catches. "Ty Jones is an extraordinary athlete. Of the many great athletes I have coached, he is by far the best receiver I have had the pleasure to work with," wrote Provo coach Tony McGeary. "Ty's size made him the total package; he was able to do whatever we asked of him — run, catch, or block. He has an innate ability to high point the ball, and the gift of catching and running. But his hands are the real highlight. He is magical to watch."

Haze Hadley

Fremont | Senior | Wide receiver

Hadley did it all for Fremont. He led the team with 95 receptions for 1,208 yards and 21 touchdowns, while contributing 167 yards and one touchdown on 25 rushing attempts. As the primary threat on special teams, he added two more touchdowns on returns — one punt, one kick — and three interceptions on defense. "Haze has been a four-year starter at Fremont. One game this season, he scored an offensive touchdown, a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown," wrote Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "Haze is an exceptional route-runner and catches anything in the zip code. He is an excellent tackler and a fearless return specialist. Haze Hadley is the total package as a football player. It is hard to picture him not being on the field for us. He will be tremendously missed on our team."

Spencer Curtis

Jordan | Senior | Wide receiver

No receiver in state history has put up the numbers Curtis did throughout his career with the Beetdiggers. Literally. He ranks first in career receptions (253), touchdowns receptions (45) and receiving yards (4,534). He also holds the state record for average yards per game for a season, at 141.4, set in 2015, according to prep football historian George Felt. "He is a versatile receiver that can stretch the field, work over the middle, and catch the ball in small tight spaces," wrote Jordan coach Eric Kjar. "He has been a tremendous example to all of those in our program. His production has been with three different quarterbacks in our program, and he has put up huge numbers with each one."

Paul Maile

East | Junior | Offensive lineman

The unquestioned leader to arguably the best offensive front in state history. Maile helped the Leopards rewrite the history books this season, including breaking the state record for total offensive yards (7,481), rushing yards (6,797) and points scored (694). "Paul is part of one of the most dynamic, intelligent and explosive offensive lines I've ever seen," wrote East coach Brandon Matich. "He is the thinker of the crew and can recognize fronts and communicate with the other four in a split second. He's a brilliant player, with unparalleled talent, and an incredible person. We aren't the same football team without him."

Cole Clemens

Bingham | Senior | Offensive lineman

A two-time All-Tribune selection, Clemens, a three-year starter, led a powerful offense line that paved gaping holes for an assortment of running backs. It didn't matter which player was in the backfield because of the leadership of Clemens and offensive line. "He brought improvement. He made some real efforts in the offseason to really build his body and transform to an exceptional athlete," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "Beyond that, there is no replacement for a three-year starter. His ability to communicate, I thought that was terrific."

Penei Sewell

Desert Hills | Junior | Offensive lineman

A physical specimen at age 16, Sewell checks in at 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds. As a junior, he has already received offered from 25 collegiate programs, and by the time he finishes his high school career, he most likely will be the most-coveted recruit in state history. "He is a quick, powerful and very intelligent player who seems to get better every snap," wrote Desert Hills coach Carl Franke. "At only 16 years of age, he plays like a college veteran. Penei was very vital to our state championship run. He made all the line calls and protections."

Andrew Slack

Springville | Senior | Offensive lineman

Slack was a senior leader for a program that lost two games in two seasons. His performance this year helped the Devils accumulate 2,911 yards and 45 touchdowns on the ground and 2,091 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air. "He's been an anchor for us the last four years; four-year starter since he was a freshman," said Springville coach Willy Child. "We love to run the ball, and he was pivotal in that. He was solid for four years. It didn't matter who we went against. He always got the job done."

Ryan Schoen

Lone Peak | Senior | Offensive lineman

Schoen, playing center, was the headliner for an offensive line that helped pave the way for an explosive offensive attack. The Knights advanced to the Class 5A state championship for the second consecutive season after averaging 36.6 points per game while accumulating 5,471 total yards — eclipsing the 2,000-yard mark both through the air and on the ground. "Beyond his physical attributes are several intangible qualities that make Ryan a natural team leader," wrote Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. "His coachability, work ethic, and enthusiasm generate a strong and binding trust with his teammates. It is unique to witness a young man who demands excellence from himself, and, at the same time, recognizes and praises excellence in others."

Crew Wakley

Jordan | Junior | Athlete

In his first year behind center, Wakley continued the strong lineage of quarterbacks at Jordan. While leading an offense that averaged 45.7 points per game, Wakley completed 61 percent of his pass attempts for 3,507 yards with a 38-7 touchdown-interception ratio. He also led the team in rushing, with 1,420 yards on 195 carries — a 7.3 yard-per-carry average — with 22 touchdowns and seven 100-yard rushing games. "Crew did a tremendous job leading our offense this year, and the more that he mastered the offense, the better and better we became as a team," wrote Jordan coach Eric Kjar. "Crew works extremely hard in all facets of the game. He dedicated himself to improve himself physically — that turned him into a very explosive athlete that created advantages for us in the run and pass games. Crew is super-competitive, which is contagious through a team and helped improve a great deal as the season progressed."

Langi Tuifua

Bingham | Senior | Defensive lineman

Without teammate Jay Tufele (last season's Player of the Year) on the defensive front for the majority of the season, Tuifua received added attention from opposing offenses. It didn't slow him down. He finished with 40 solo tackles, 38 assisted, and 16 sacks. He caused one fumble, broke up two passes and blocked two kicks while recording 25 quarterback hurries. "Langi is simply a work-ethic, motor guy. Play in and play out, you're getting 100 percent from him," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "He's our undisputed leader. I think Langi carried a big burden on his shoulders. Not only did he produce on the field, he also produced as a leader and a teammate."

Jordan Lolohea

East | Senior | Defensive lineman

As one of the top individual recruits in the state of Utah for the Class of 2017, Lolohea terrorized opposing offensive units from his defensive end position. He finished with 98 tackles, including 60 solo, with a state-leading 23 sacks. "Jordan is an incredibly explosive defensive player," wrote East coach Brandon Matich. "His first step is next-level, which makes him exceptionally difficult to block on the edge. He is also very disciplined at reading blocks and attacking the run game. He's fun to watch, fun to coach, and a great teammate to play with."

Lorenzo Fauatea

Hunter | Senior | Defensive lineman

Fauatea, an Oregon State commit, was the heart and soul of the Wolverines' defense. He helped Hunter clinch a playoff berth with his pass rushing ability off the edge, as opposing offenses always had to account for his presence. "With Lorenzo, every coach I ever talked to, they always had to make sure where he was," said Hunter coach Scott Henderson. "They had to spend a little bit extra time planning for him because he was such a force."

Mikey Petty

Corner Canyon | Junior | Defensive lineman

Relatively unknown entering the season, Petty burst onto the scene in a big way. The junior tallied 33 solo tackles, 51 assisted and 30 tackles for a loss. His 20 sacks were the second-most in the state and he added 18 quarterback hurries and two interceptions. "He made a ton of plays," said Corner Canyon coach Don Eck. "Very tough kid. He produced every week. Those are the kind of players you need to win games and to get to where you want to go."

Riley Haderlie

Sky View | Senior | Linebacker

Haderlie was a consistent presence on the dark side of the ball for the Bobcats all season. He led the team with 124 total tackles (48 solo and 76 assisted), eight tackles for loss, eight sacks, seven quarterback hurries and one interception. "He's been the centerpiece of our program," said Sky View coach Craig Anhder. "He embodies everything that we want kids to do and to develop into. I can't say enough good about him. He's been a three-year starter and he's very precise in his execution, and because of his athletic ability and that precise focus, he just makes play after play after play."

MJ Tafisi

Alta | Junior | Linebacker

Tafisi was a tackling machine for the Hawks, finishing with 46 solo tackles and 154 assisted takedowns, equating to an average of 15.4 tackles per game. He record 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, 1.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries and one interception. "MJ was the quarterback of our defense," said Alta coach Alema Te'o. "He made the calls. He was everywhere. If we don't have him down the stretch, we're in big trouble. He was playing both offense and defense. He was our long snapper on special teams. He was on the field a lot for us. His ability to get to the football is unbelievable."

Ben Bywater

Olympus | Senior | Linebacker

Bywater, who is committed to BYU, simply did it all for the Titans, who captured their second straight Region 6 title. He finished with 95 tackles, 10 of which were behind the line of scrimmage, while leading the team in rushing, with 766 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. "Last year, Ben suffered a ruptured kidney, ending his junior campaign early in the preseason. He devoted his offseason to preparing for his senior year," wrote Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead. "He has been a great leader for his team. He performed at a high level on both sides of the ball, and off the field, Ben is a student-body officer and excels in the classroom. Ben was voted as the Region 6 Most Valuable Player, as well as his team MVP."

Daniel Loua

Bingham | Senior | Defensive back

Loua rarely came off the field for the Class 5A champions. On defense, he finished with 42 solo tackles and 35 assisted, along with four interceptions (including one pick-six), one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, three sacks and five pass breakups. He added 394 yards and seven touchdowns on 36 carries, and 66 yards and one score on four receptions offensively, while returning four punts for touchdowns. "He's another one of those guys that put in the work and his example helped our entire team," said Bingham coach John Lambourne. "His willingness to do all the things we asked him to do was exceptional, and he did it without any expectations. And also [he was] an inspirational leader. He's one of those guys whose enthusiasm gets everybody excited. He served our team in a lot of ways."

Brennon Jones

Syracuse | Senior | Defensive back

Jones corralled a state-leading and school-record eight interceptions, while also recording 31 tackles, two forced fumbles and two pass deflections. Playing both sides of the ball, he hauled in 49 receptions for 546 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with 1,100 all-purpose yards offensively. "Brennon is a great young man who put together an outstanding season. He pretty much did everything for the team," said Syracuse coach Russ Jones. "He was solid in all three phases of the game and rarely left the field. Brennon was voted a captain by his teammates. His leadership on and off the field set him apart in our program. His strong performance on the field set him apart throughout the state."

Noah Vaea

Herriman | Senior | Defensive back

Vaea, a two-time All-Tribune honoree, continued to dominate on the defensive side of the ball despite inheriting a more significant role offensively this season. He finished with 66 total tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery while adding 313 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries on offense. "Noah was the kid who had natural instincts as a football player," said Herriman coach Dustin Pearce. "His football IQ was very high. He built on that every single year. Very coachable kid. Very seldom did I have to tell Noah to do something more than one time. Great teammates, hard worker, and everything Noah has going for him right now is because Noah deserves it."

Journey BuBa

Kearns | Junior | Defensive back

BuBa, also a star on the Cougars' basketball team, was a dominating force at cornerback for Kearns. Unafraid to come up and make a stop, he finished with 76 tackles, including 11 for loss. He added three sacks and six interceptions. "Journey is a guy that simply makes plays," wrote Kearns coach Matt Rickards. "What sets him apart is his brainpower and ability to know where the ball is going. He was responsible for 1.6 turnovers on defense a game. He gets to the ball like a screaming missile and hits like a truck. I am excited to see his development as a leader and player this offseason."

Thomas Rossi

Lone Peak |Senior | Kicker

Rossi was an extremely proficient marksman this season for the Knights, finishing No. 1 in the state for kick scoring, with 115 points, after converting 61 of 62 point-after attempts and splitting the uprights on 18 of his 20 field goal tries. As of early December, Rossi ranked fourth nationally in kick scoring. "On and off the football field, Tom's quality example, sound judgment, and positive energy have made him a great example for his teammates," wrote Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. "His unassuming confidence, commitment, and dependability generate strong trust with the team. His coaches and teammates love and respect him." How the All-Tribune Football Team was chosen: Tribune and TribPreps staff used personal observations, analysis of season statistics, and input from coaches throughout the state to select an All-Tribune Player of the Year and an additional 24-member All-Tribune Team. These players were selected from throughout the state and regardless of classification.






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