Defensive player of the year -- Christian Tupou
By Bill Paterson - Bee Staff Writer
Christian Tupou, a three-year varsity starter, was the "motor" of an experienced Grant line that made opposing running backs pay for every yard.
"Christian plays with tremendous intensity and integrity," Alberghini said. "He was always willing to do a little bit more.
"As a sophomore, he didn't say much, but when we asked some players to do a little extra running, and a few of them balked, he told them, 'Do it or get out of here.' I knew from that point on we had someone who was going to emerge as a leader."
That leadership spilled over into the classroom, where Tupou is a model student and campus leader. Because of that and his growing 6-3, 275-pound frame, Tupou perhaps is the Pacers' hottest recruit. He credits his parents and five siblings for emphasizing grades.
"From first period to last period, all I'm thinking about is school," Tupou said. "Once it's time for football, my focus is completely on the field."
With his 3.8 cumulative GPA and 21 sacks over two seasons, Tupou has received scholarship offers from eight schools, including Arizona and Nebraska, both of which he has visited.
"With his size and strength, he's probably the most prepared to go out and play in college," Alberghini said.
All Section (Sac-Joaquin)
Joining Tupou on the All Sac-Joaquin Section First Team was West HS (Tracy) Defensive Lineman Amin Silatolu (6'2, 260, Sr), in addition linebackers Lincoln Togiai (6'1, 250, Sr) of Elk Grove and Lewis Tuiavi'i ( 6'1, 215, Sr) of Franklin in Stockton. Tuiavi'i, a transfer from Leone High School in American Samoa, was also Stockton Hall of Fame Player of the Year. Tuiavi'i is coached and mentored by Franklin Defensive Coordinator Jeff Seumaala.
All Metro (Sacramento Bee)
DL Christian Tupou (Grant HS, Sacramento) 6'3, 275, Sr
LB Lincoln Togiai (Elk Grove HS) 6'1, 250, Sr
In his first year with the Thundering Herd, he had a team-high 130 tackles. He led Elk Grove to the City Championship game, in which it lost to Vacaville.
LB Justin Toma (Grant HS, Sacramento) 5'11, 220, Sr
Finished the season with 103 tackles (65 solo) according to Maxpreps.com while playing the middle linebacker position for the undefeated Pacers and DII Section champions.
LB Salesi Maumau (Franklin HS, Elk Grove) 6'2, 215, Sr
Finished the season with 93 tackles (64 solo), averaging over 10 total tackles a game
OL Sisi Moala (Johnson HS, Sacramento) 6'2, 230, Sr
Had 166 tackles, including 100 solo while also playing offensive line
All League Teams
LB Lincoln Togiai (Elk Grove)
LB Salesi Maumau (Franklin HS, Elk Grove)
DL Christian Tupou (Grant)--Also Defensive MVP
LB Siaosi Heleta (Burbank, Sacramento)
LB Justin Toma (Grant)
LB Sisi Moala (Johnson)
OL Philip Putuga (Franklin HS, Stockton)
LB Lewis Tuiavi'i (Franklin HS, Stockton)
DL Tenise Uelese (Franklin HS, Stockton)
Finished the season with 177 tackles (56 solo), 16 sacks according to Maxpreps.com and also had 686 yards on 61 carries and 4 rushing TDs at fullback.
DL Amin Silatolu (West HS, Tracy)
OL Vision Hendrix (Inderkum HS, Sacramento)
In addition Moala, Togiai, and Tupou will represent the Capital Team versus the Valley Team in the Sac-Joaquin post-season all star football team. Tuiavi'i and Uelese were selected for the Valley Team but elected to not participate.