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Deseret News Week 2 high school star athletes of the week

Football

Mateaki Helu, Tooele (Jr.)

Last Friday, Tooele’s Mateaki Helu announced on Twitter that he is committing to play football at the University of Utah. A couple hours later he went out and showed why the Utes were recruiting him.

Helu carried the ball 15 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns and then defensively he recorded six tackles and one sack to spearhead the 41-0 win over Cyprus.

“Mateaki Helu is a great student athlete. He plays linebacker and running back. He just does what’s best for our team, and he is the ultimate team player. He just committed to University Utah. We are very proud of him,” said Tooele coach Andru Jones.

As a sophomore last year he rushed for 542 yards and five touchdowns, and he’s already well on his way at eclipsing that with 336 yards and four touchdowns just two games into the 2021 season.

Girls soccer

Kiersi Fietkau, Pleasant Grove (Jr.)

The top-ranked team in 6A sits at 7-0 this season, and Pleasant Grove center forward Kiersi Fietkau has been the focal point of that production.

“Kiersi is the engine that makes our offense run. As our center forward, Kiersi is constantly creating havoc for the opposing defenses. She is our leading goal scorer and is second on the team in assists,” said Pleasant Grove coach Matt Embley. “She is a junior captain who drives the positive attitude and relentless work ethic that has led our team to its undefeated start of the season. Kiersi’s soccer IQ is off the charts. She is great with both feet, has unbelievable touch on the ball, can play face up or with her back towards the goal, and has a knack for threading the pass to her teammates through multiple defenders.”

For the seasons Fietkau has record six goals and an assist, and is well on her way to a double-digit goal scoring season.

Volleyball

Mia Liddiard, Skyline (Sr.)

Skyline opened the season last week with an impressive win over defending 6A state champion Lone Peak, and the steady play of senior Mia Liddiard was a big reason why.

The setter finished with 26 assists, 14 digs, two blocks and 1 kill to lead the Eagles to the win despite dropping the first game.

“Mia Liddiard is one of the happiest players I have ever had the honor of coaching. Her hands are gold and her current decision-making is college-caliber,” said Skyline coach Mondo Begay. “She works hard at every practice, encourages her teammates and listens to the coaching staff. She is such a fierce competitor.”

Liddiard has committed to the University of North Colorado to continue her playing career after high school.

Girls cross-country

Hailee Phillips, Snow Canyon (Sr.)

Hailee Phillips is Snow Canyon’s top runner heading into her senior season, and she showed it last week at the Cedar All-Comers meet at Cedar City High School.

The senior finished first in a race against many of her Southern Utah peers, posting a time of 18:51.6 to finish nearly 20 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.

“Hailee has been incredibly important to Snow Canyon cross-country. She is a captain and is such an amazing individual who always looks out for others. Hailee has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and is also on the swim team here at Snow Canyon. Hailee is the athlete that every coach longs to have in their programs. She is incredibly coachable and committed to being successful on and off the course,” said Snow Canyon coach Justin Redfearn.

At last year’s 4A state meet, Phillips finished in 13th place.

Boys cross-country

Logan Peel, Cedar City (Jr.)

A top 10 finisher at state last year as a sophomore, Logan Peel has his sights set on even bigger things this season and he’s already off to a great start.

At last week’s Cedar All-Comers meet at Cedar City High School, Peel won by a very comfortable margin, finishing in first with a time of 15:32.30. The next closest runner was 37 seconds behind Peel. The runner Peel beat for first was a third-place finisher at state a year ago.

“Logan is already the most accomplished runner in Cedar High history and he just began his junior year. He is the complete package of a distance athlete. He is talented, works hard, sets goals, is a good teammate, is coachable, and is mentally tough. We look forward to seeing what he can accomplish this season,” said Cedar City coach Greg Harris

Girls tennis

Avery Pack, Bingham (Sr.)

It’s been a busy start to the season for Bingham first singles player Avery Pack, and against very tough competition the senior is enjoying a great season so far in her second year in Utah after moving from Southern California.

“Avery worked very hard in the off season improving her all-around game,” said Bingham coach Mark Smith. “She is hard to beat as she tracks down almost every ball no matter where it lands on the court. She is extremely fit and uses her strength in her court movement and ground strokes. One of Avery’s strengths is her mental game where she just doesn’t give up — ever. That makes her extremely hard to beat.”

Pack owns a 4-3 record so far, and a 1-0 record in region play after beat Riverton’s top player last week.

Pack has played the top players from teams like Olympus, Skyridge and Corner Canyon already, and win or lose coach Smith said she’s been very competitive in every match.

Boys golf

Jacob Gold, Viewmont (Sr.)

Viewmont senior Jacob Gold has enjoyed a strong start to the 2021 season this fall, and it continue last week in a Region 5 meet at Bountiful Ridge Golf Course.

Gold shot a 69 to finish four shots better than anyone else to earn medalist honors on the day. As a team Viewmont narrowly finished second to Woods Cross.

“What makes Jacob Gold such a good golfer is his work ethic. He has put in a lot of hours over the past four years and the hard work and commitment is paying off for Jacob. He has lowered his scoring average each year and has really become a more consistent golfer and is much better at playing under pressure,” said Viewmont coach Jeff Emery.

Gold tied for 20th at last year’s state meet at Soldier Hollow, shooting a two-day 2-over score. He’ll be a threat to crack the top 10 this year based on his overall improvement the past year.