In addition Mausia's teammate Eathyn Manumaleuna (OL, 6'2, 269) was named to the Daily Herald's Elite 11 Team. Manumaleuna transfered to the Utah school from East High School in Anchorage, Alaska where he was first team all state as a junior and Lineman of the Year and verbally committed to BYU. Despite battling a foot injury, Manumaleuna finished second on the team in sacks with five and had four hurries and forced three fumbles. The 6-2, 280 pound senior also played on the offensive line that produced a 1,700 yard rusher in Jackson Owen and a 1,400 yard passer in quarterback Quinn Mecham.
Mausia named Football Player of the Year
Neil K. Warner
Timpview High School football coach Louis Wong took the fifth.
He had the right to reserve judgment.
Was the 2006 Timpview defense the greatest in school history?
Greater than the 2004 state championship team? More dominant than the championship team of 1997? More complete than the 1991 title team?
Mum's the word. Wong skirted around the issue like a politician who was asked about his stance on Middle East.
That was until Timpview beat Highland 21-12 in the state 4A title game.
Now Wong has an announcement to make.
"I didn't tell them that (before the game), but we had to hold Highland to three points (in the championship) to become the team that has allowed the fewest points in a season," Wong said. "But if you look at what they've done the whole year, I think it's the best defense Timpview has ever had. It's tough to compare teams with each other. It's like I told our players when they asked me that question. I told them I can't say. I told them if you win a state title than I will say yes."
As Timpview's former defensive coordinator and now current head coach, Wong now believes it is the best he's even had at Timpview. And if this is Timpview's best defense, what does that say about the leader of the defense, senior linebacker Devin Mausia?
Mausia led the team in unassisted tackles with 50. He was third on the team in assisted tackles with 21. He recovered three fumbles and caused one. He led the team in tackles for loss with 10 and was second on the team in interceptions with three.
What that says about Mausia is that he is the Daily Herald's Valley Player of the Year.
"His intensity and how he's been involved in a leader on defense is what has made him so important to our team," Wong said. "He always gave a hundred percent. Combined with the other talent we had at linebacker allowed him to be efficient."
Mausia stepped up his game in the playoffs and helped Timpview's defense surrender just 33 points in the four playoff games.
In the state championship game, Mausia sealed the deal with his play on defense. He led the team with 10 tackles. He hit Highland running back Liam McNally, and caused a fumble that Houston Reynolds recovered that set up a 1-yard Jackson Owen touchdown run. Mausia later recovered another Highland fumble on punt return.
Another game, another big day.
In the eight years the Daily Herald has been selecting an All-Valley team, a full-time defensive player has never been selected as the "Player of the Year," until now.
"That's pretty cool. I'm honored to be the first defensive MVP," Mausia said. "Being state champions has made it all worth it. Lifting weights all summer, getting up at 6 a.m. in the summer to run as a team, it was all worth it."
As the undisputed leader on defense, he led a team that recorded five shutouts on the year. Timpview's 5.9 points per game allowed was not only the best in 4A, it was the best by a mile. Sky View allowed the next-fewest points per game. The Bobcats gave up 14.9 points per game.
"I think our defense has been so good because we're all friends," Mausia said. "We help each other out and communicate what we're going to do in certain situations. Our coach kept is humbled. He wouldn't let us get to full of ourselves. He kept kicking our butts."
Since winning high school football's most elusive goal, Mausia has noticed a lot of things have changed and some have not. Neighbors have gone out of their way to congratulate him, but he still hasn't managed do get out of doing the dishes, something he thought he would get a reprieve from. No such luck. He teams up with his younger brother Dewey, who is a junior wide receiver, and takes turns.
Mausia doesn't know where he'll go from here. He would like to play at the next level, but knows at 6-foot, 175 pounds, he may have to try and walk on somewhere.
"I'm keeping my options open right now," he said. "I would like to play, but I don't know if any colleges have noticed me."
If his career is over, what a way to go. He's the Daily Herald's "Valley Player of the Year" and the rings are on order.