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Friday, December 26, 2008

Star Telegram Player of the Year: Siosaia Tuipulotu

Siosaia Tuipulotu, DL, Euless Trinity

The scary part about Siosaia Tuipulotu, whose postseason honors include being named the District 5-5A Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the Class 5A all-state second team, is that he is still learning the game of football.

The 6-foot-2, 275-pound senior grew up playing rugby in Tonga. Tuipulotu was a focal point for opponents even on a unit that featured four players committed to Division I schools.

"He’s the kind of guy where you have to know where he’s at," Keller coach Kevin Atkinson said. "We didn’t single-block him much, so we always had four hands on him."

Tuipulotu, who is committed to Utah, finished the season with 65 total tackles, including 10 for loss, four sacks and three caused fumbles. Tuipulotu was continually pushing offensive linemen into quarterbacks and disrupting passing games.

"That first game, I got like five penalties because I was just wrestling with a bunch of people," Tuipulotu said about his sophomore year on the junior varsity. "Rugby and football are way different. In football, I needed to learn where to line up and the plays."

Tuipulotu's teammate Elikena Fieilo was selected to the first team.

First Team

DL Siosaia Tuipulotu, Euless Trinity (Sr., 6-2, 275) Stuffed the offensive lines and run games for the area’s top 5A defense with 10 tackles for loss and four sacks.

LB Elikena Fieilo, Euless Trinity (Sr., 5-11, 200) Racked up 106 tackles with 10 for loss, plus two sacks and three forced fumbles.

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