It's pretty easy to guess why Detroit's Barry Sanders is Fiefia's favorite pro player. On the football field, Fiefia is a Sanders clone with his exciting pinball-like running style.

But that's not the only reason why he was selected as the Deseret News' 1998 Mr. Football (a.k.a. The Utah Heisman Award). Fiefia was also a tremendous defensive player. And, to boot (literally), he was an outstanding punter and kicker for the Wolverines, who held the No. 1 ranking for most of the season."He did everything you could possibly do for a team," said Hunter coach John Lambourne.

On the high school level, the player most people compared Fiefia to was his cousin, Reno, er, Junior Mahe, the former Brighton High star who now plays for BYU. They both have great evasive skills. And Fiefia broke loose several times this year for long touchdowns during which he looked like he was trying to be the shadow of an exploding firecracker.

"It was always an adventure to watch David run," said Hunter principal Mike Fraser, who was a longtime football coach at Granger. "He is the best running back in the state."

And that's saying something this year with a runner like Granger's Fahu Tahi in his own backyard practically.

But even calling Fiefia the best running back on his own team is saying something pretty special. His statistics would be outrageous if he didn't share the backfield with another exciting runner, first-team all-stater Joe Lomu.

Still, Fiefia was the premier back at what has consistently been Halfback High since it opened in 1990. This year he exploded for almost 1,600 yards on 204 carries (an average of 7.8 yards per carry). He also had 24 rushing touchdowns, and most were of the spectacular variety.

Fiefia is an excellent receiver as well. He hauled in 18 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns. And he returned one kick for a score, putting his grand total of TDs at 27.

If that wasn't impressive enough, he had 21 punts for a total of 821 yards. That 39.1-yard average is the highest in Hunter history.

Fiefia was also Hunter's leading point-getter on defense. He had 39 solo tackles and six interceptions, and he could put a lickin' on any offensive player that wandered in his path.

"He really is a great two-way player," said former Olympus and Kearns coach Tom Larson, who helps coach at Hunter now.

"And here's the topper," added Lambourne, "he's done all this with a knee injury all year long. He has some torn cartilege and he's pretty sore at times."

Fiefia comes from a football background. His uncles -- Kava and George Afu -- were both all-staters at Kearns High in the '80s. In fact, he wears his jersey number in honor of Kava, who was a powerful runner in his time.

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"I looked up to him a lot. Yeah, I could say he was my hero," Fiefia said. "That's the whole reason I'm No. 39."

He's obviously done his uncle proud, and he may have even surpassed him talent-wise, though he would never admit that.

"I don't ever remember Kava intercepting three passes in one game (as Fiefia did against American Fork)," smiled Larson, who coached him at Kearns. "They both had such quickness, strength and talent."

You might say it runs in the family.

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