Other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year: Federal Way had plenty of prep standouts

Selecting an Athlete of the Year is never an easy one, especially in Federal Way.

During the course of the school year, I see hundreds of athletes from a wide variety of sports. When selecting the ultimate winner, however, three-sport standouts typically have a slight advantage over those who take part in just one or two sports.

That’s how the Federal Way Mirror came to choose Federal Way High School’s Andre Barrington as the 2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year. Barrington did it all on the football field during the fall, the basketball court during the winter and on the track during the spring.

The final decision, however, always is a tough one, especially when taking into account the sheer level of talent from the four high schools that are part of the Federal Way School District.

That being the case, below is the list of those who were considered for the honor, in no particular order:

Tevyn Tillman, Decatur

The Gator senior won his second-straight 285-pound Class 4A state wrestling championship in February inside the Tacoma Dome. Tillman finished his senior season with a 41-1 record on the wrestling mat. The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder was also a standout on the football field for the Gators. Tillman was a first-team, All-SPSL South Division lineman.

Nick Tanielu, Federal Way

The Eagle sophomore has already proven to be one of the better two-way athletes in the SPSL. On the football field, Tanielu started at quarterback and led Federal Way into the state playoffs for the first time since 1976. He threw for 722 yards and six touchdowns and also had two TDs on the ground. On the baseball field, Tanielu was a first-team, All-SPSL North shortstop after a monster season for the Eagles. Tanielu finished with a .488 batting average and led the SPSL North with seven home runs. He also had an unbelievable slugging percentage of 1.070, which led the SPSL, and was second in the league with 25 RBIs. Tanielu also scored 26 runs and stole seven bases in seven attempts.

Andru Pulu, Federal Way

The University of Washington-signee was a man among boys on the football field for the Eagles. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound middle linebacker/offensive lineman was a first-team, All-SPSL North selection and was voted the league’s lineman of the year. He is projected to play defensive end for the Huskies in the fall.

“He’s a local kid and I am anxious to watch him develop,” Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He may develop into a defensive lineman, I don’t know, but right now he’s a big physical inside linebacker who can put his hat on guys. I think he can have an immediate impact on special teams.”

Pulu also qualified for the Class 4A state track and field meet in both the shot put and discus. He finished 11th in the shot and 10th in the discus.

Cam Schilling, Decatur

The Gator senior was a three-sport athlete at Decatur during his career. Schilling started at quarterback on the Gator football team and was an All-City defender in soccer as a junior. But a bulk of Schilling’s success came on the basketball court. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged nine points and seven rebounds during his senior year and played in three-straight Class 4A state tournaments for Decatur. He was also the student-body president and boasts a 3.9 grade-point average.

Duran Ward, Beamer

The Titan senior was the star of the 2009 Class 4A state track and field meet. Ward won two individual titles in the 100 and 200 and helped the Beamer 4x100 relay team to its second consecutive state championship. Ward will run next year at Boston University.

Zach Roth, Jefferson

The senior was a standout on the football field and on the wrestling mat for the Raiders. In football, Roth ran the ball 45 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns and also caught 14 passes. In wrestling, Roth finished third at the SPSL North Tournament at 189 pounds.

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