Jordan Faifai, Syracuse (Sr.)
Syracuse senior linebacker Jordan Faifai came up clutch last weekend to lead the Titans to the 6A second-round victory last week at Mountain Ridge, 35-23.
Faifai recorded 10 tackles, two of which were for loss, and also recorded two QB hurries.
“Jordan is the heart and soul of our defense and is a great leader for our team. He has an infectious personality that draws people to him. He is one of the toughest players I have ever coached and is constantly motivating others to be better. He is always around the football and continues to work hard at getting better every single day,” said Syracuse coach Mike Knight.
For the season Faifai has recorded 115 tackles for the Titans, who next face Weber in the 6A quarterfinals.
Sae Obayashi, Ogden (Sr.)
Sae Obayashi was the anchor of a dominant defense that helped lead Ogden to the 3A state championship this year.
On the morning of the 3A championship, she had signed up to take the ACT test. The test was delayed, but she eventually made it to the game just a bit late and was instrumental in Ogden beating Morgan 1-0.
“Sae is the best kind of leader. She never complains. She helps every time there is extra work to do. Never once have I had to ask for her help in setting up, or taking down of a training session or game. The bus always gets unloaded and clean, and Sae is always a part of that. That’s the off the field stuff,” said Ogden coach Ryan Robinson.
“She celebrates others’ achievements and performances above her own. In our final, it was Sae that was in our keeper’s box encouraging her to block the PK. It was also her that celebrated the save while the ball was still in play,” said Robinson. “Her abilities speak for herself. Technically and tactically, she knows her stuff. She is the calm among the storm.”
Millie Stevens, Union (Sr.)
Had a great state tournament last week during the 3A state tournament to lead Union to a third straight state championship.
In the state title game against Morgan she finished with 11 kills, giving her 182 kills this season, an average of two kills per set. For the season, she also finished with 42 total blocks and 50 digs.
“She is a super hard worker and a great leader. She is positive to others around her and she is always willing to make adjustments to improve her performance. She had a great state tournament and she was really fun to watch and coach,” said Union coach Analaine Mailoto.
Kyra Moat, Millard (Fr.)
Injuries slowed Kyra Moat’s first season participating in high school cross-country, but it couldn’t deny her the end result she dreamed of.
One week after finishing fourth in her final region meet of the season, Moat captured the 2A individual state title at last week’s 2A state championships. She pulled away late, finishing with a time of 20:42.3, 10 seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher.
“Kyra Moat showed her true colors by fighting through an extremely rocky season plagued with injuries. After overcoming serious hip issues she knocked close to a minute off her time every week for four weeks leading up to her state championship race. She exemplifies grit and determination,” said Millard coach Cody Moat.
Moat’s daughter has trained with the high school team as a middle-schooler the last few years and she’d dreamed of a chance to finally race in a big high school meet. She made the most of her first big chance this season.
Brock Syrett, Bryce Valley (Sr.)
A runner-up at the 1A cross-country state meet last season, Bryce Valley senior Brock Syrett ran a near-perfect race at the 1A state meet last week at Regional Athletic Complex to end his high school career on top.
Syrett ran a patient race, eventually pulling away from Altamont’s Ashton Arnold to finish with a time of 17:04.2 and a 12-second cushion over second place.
“Right before that first mile you could tell he wanted to take off, told him to wait it out, wait it out, and he waited and did everything just right,” said Koda Livingston.
Syrett’s win also helped Bryce Valley capture its first cross-country state title in school history.