Federal Way High School senior Alphonzo Tuputala and Thomas Jefferson High School junior Hailey Still have been named the Mirror’s 2019 Athletes of the Year.
The awards were presented June 3 during Federal Way Public Schools’ second annual Athlete of the Year Celebration at Federal Way High School.
“We’re excited to have hosted the Athlete of the Year Celebration for the second year in a row,” said FWPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer. “It provides an opportunity to recognize our top scholar-athletes for their outstanding athletic achievements and positive contributions in the classroom and school community.”
Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell commended the scholar-athletes for their accomplishment of balancing a dedication to their sport(s) and demonstrating commitment to the classroom.
“The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary,” Campbell said.
Tuputala and Still were among 16 male and female finalists from all four high schools in the district.
Throughout the school year, athletic directors from each high school submitted nominees for Federal Way Mirror’s Athlete of the Week, which led to 76 total athletes earning recognition in a range of sports.
In May, athletic directors nominated 16 finalists for the Mirror’s Athlete of the Year online ballot. More than 3,200 votes poured in from the community to decide this year’s winners.
“We’re all winners,” Tuputala told the other finalists in a brief speech after accepting his award.
Earlier this year, Tuputala signed to play football for the University of Washington, ready to put his 6-foot-3 and 240-pound build to work for the Huskies.
During his football career at Federal Way, Tuputala was selected as a First Team All-League linebacker in each of his three years as a varsity player and served as a captain on this year’s team. He competed in football, basketball and track during his four years as an Eagle.
TJHS junior Hailey Still is now a two-time winner of the Female Athlete of the Year title.
Still took home the award last year, and another remarkable year competing soccer, basketball and softball brought on a two-peat.
Still was awarded the All State All-American during her soccer season — the only female soccer player picked in the state of Washington. As a team captain for the Raiders, Still was the 4A NPSL leading goal scorer and earned the titles of girls soccer First Team All-NPSL and varsity MVP among many others. She has verbally committed to play soccer for the University of Washington.
More than 75 attendees celebrated the scholar-athletes on Monday and enjoyed student performances by Thomas Jefferson’s drumline, Decatur’s cheer team, Todd Beamer’s step team and the Federal Way High School choir.
Justin Cho; Decatur; senior; soccer
Brycen Dilworth; Todd Beamer; junior; football, basketball, track and field
Jaden McDaniels; Federal Way; senior; basketball
Brandon Niksich; Todd Beamer; senior; football, basketball
Jeremiah Palaita; Decatur; senior; football, track and field
Roman Shuck; Thomas Jefferson; senior; wrestling, track and field
Geno L. White II; Thomas Jefferson; senior; basketball, track and field
Esther Brutus; Federal Way; senior; soccer, basketball, track and field
Madison Heck; Todd Beamer; junior; soccer, gymnastics, track and field
London Houston; Federal Way; sophomore; wrestling
Jewel Springer; Decatur; senior; swim and dive
Renee Tiumalu; Todd Beamer; senior; volleyball, track and field
Gjianni White; Thomas Jefferson; junior; volleyball, basketball, tennis
Claire Xu; Decatur; sophomore; golf