The Federal Way Mirror invites you to vote for the male and female 2023 Athletes of the Year!
The online contest runs May 16 to May 29. Winners are announced at a ceremony Monday, June 5, at Federal Way High School. Results are printed in the June 9 edition.
Read about each finalist below, then cast your vote here.
Sina Fuiava, Decatur High School junior, fastpitch
Sina is the leading hitter on the Decatur Gators fastpitch team. Her contributions on defense have also been significant with her flexibility to play first and third base. Sina will be among the NPSL leaders in several offensive categories. She currently has a batting average of .733 with 33 hits including 13 home runs. Sina will earn her third varsity letter award in fastpitch this season. Sina has been selected for the NPSL All-League First Team the last two seasons. Both on and off the field Sina has been an exemplary scholar-athlete. She holds leadership positions as a class officer and president for the Decatur High School National Honor Society. She has excelled in the classroom earning a 3.650 cumulative GPA in a rigorous college prep schedule including five Advanced Placement courses.
Jewel Young, Decatur High School senior, girls basketball
Jewel has been a leader of the Decatur Gators girls basketball team this season in both statistics and motivation. During her career, the Gator girls basketball team has advanced to the playoffs every year including two trips to the WIAA 4A Opening Round of the state tournament. During the toughest times, Jewel consistently provided the spark her team needed. She earned her fourth varsity letter award in girls basketball. In 2023, Jewel was selected to the NPSL All-League and All-Defensive teams. She has also been outstanding in the classroom earning a 3.44 cumulative GPA, ranked 90th in her class of 269. Jewel has committed to continue her academics and athletics at Yakima Community College.
Cassandra Atkins, Federal Way High School junior, track and field
Cassandra Atkins has had a great track and field season. She currently ranks No. 1 in the state for the triple jump, second in the state for 200M, and second in the state as a member of the 4x100M relay team. Cassandra is the reigning state champion for the triple jump and a two-time Oregon Relay champion. She holds the school record for long jump with 20’.075” set at the NPSL meet, and a meet record at the Nike Union Athletics Club South Sound Classic with a long jump of 19’5.5”. She is a leader on her track team and sets a good example for other jumpers. She currently has a 3.65 cumulative GPA.
Meeghan Meagher, Federal Way High School sophomore, soccer, basketball and fastpitch
Meeghan is the epitome of a “student-athlete.” Academics take a back seat to nothing, as she stays on top of her schoolwork first. She has an academic schedule that offers the most rigorous classes at Federal Way High School. Equally impressive, Meeghan is a multi-sport athlete. Although just a sophomore, she is a starter and team caption for the girls soccer, girls basketball, and fastpitch teams. Normally, being a captain is reserved for seniors, but Meeghan stepped forward and earned the title and respect forward and earned the title and respect of her teammates, leading by example on and off the field. She currently has a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Lyla Yesiltepe, Thomas Jefferson High School senior, golf
Lyla is a four-year golfer at Thomas Jefferson. She was the top-scoring golfer for 3A girls in the NPSL this year. She led the Raiders to an 8-2 regular season record. She won the NPSL Individual Tournament by one shot and helped the Raiders to a third-place finish in the NPSL tournament. Lyla will graduate with over a 3.7 cumulative GPA, and will be attending Binghamton University in New York in the fall.
Mia Morgan, Thomas Jefferson High School senior, tennis
Mia is a four-year tennis player at Thomas Jefferson. This year, she is currently 20-0 in doubles. She won the league in doubles play, and was named NPSL doubles team of the year and All-League First Team. She won the academic all-tournament team title with a 4.0 GPA and she is a district qualifier in doubles. Mia will graduate from Thomas Jefferson with over a 3.8 cumulative GPA, and is attending either University of Washington Tacoma or Seattle University in the fall.
Aissata Bangoura, Todd Beamer High School sophomore, volleyball, wrestling and track and field
Aissata may become one of the most decorated athletes ever at Todd Beamer High School. She is a three-sport letter earner in just her sophomore year but has already earned five varsity letters. She lettered in just her first year ever playing volleyball, improving throughout the year to becoming a rotational player on the varsity by the end of the season. Aissata has lettered twice in wrestling, making it to the state tournament as a freshman and as a sophomore. This year she finished runner-up in the Regional Wrestling tournament and fifth at State. In track and field, she is currently seeded first in the shot put, and has qualified for the district meet in all three throwing events: shot, discus and javelin. She currently has a put of 37’4” in the shot put which will break the school record. She also has run hurdles and competed on the team’s 4x400M relay. Aissata excels in the classroom as well. She carries a 3.9 GPA. She wants to learn and get better each and every day. Aissata Bangoura is what you are looking for as the model of a scholar-athlete.
Candace Nhye, Todd Beamer High School senior, soccer, basketball and track and field.
Candace is a three-sport letter earner at Todd Beamer this year and has accumulated a total of six varsity letters over her career at Todd Beamer High School. She brought her talents to the “Pitch” and tried out for soccer for the first time as a senior where she excelled on defense using her incredible speed for the Titans. She then returned to the basketball court where she had lettered the previous year. Once again, she excelled on the defensive side of the ball receiving recognition on the all-defensive team for the North Puget Sound League. Then, it was on to track and field where Candace truly excels. This will be her third-year lettering in track and field. Candace competes in many different events for the Titans and currently ranks third in the 300M hurdles, seventh in the 100M hurdles, and 10th in the high jump in 3A. She also competes in the 4x100M and 4x400M relays. Candace also is extremely talented in the music world. She participates in band, jazz Band and orchestra. She plays three different instruments; bass, keyboards and tuba. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is a leader in her Youth Group. Candace currently has a cumulative GPA of 3.80.
Jack Bergstrom, Decatur High School senior, baseball
Jack was selected captain of the 2023 Decatur Gator baseball team, an honor he earned with four seasons in the program and three varsity letter awards. Jack was a leader of the baseball team both on offense and defense. As the catcher, Jack was a vocal leader directing the defensive strategy. On offense, he was a consistent hitter that also demonstrated power to all fields. Jack earned North Puget Sound League (NPSL) All-League honors for the second consecutive year. Off the field, Jack has also excelled in the classroom earning a 3.964 cumulative GPA. Jack has committed to continuing his academics and baseball career at Tacoma Community College.
Nehemiah Washington, Decatur High School sophomore, football, wrestling and track and field
Nehemiah has been an integral part of the Decatur Gator football team for the last two seasons. In 2022, he led the Gators’ offense in rush yards and touchdowns. He earned NPSL All-League Football Team recognition for Running Backs in both 2021 and 2022 (2nd Team). Nehemiah placed fifth at the 2023 WIAA 4A MatClassic Wrestling Championships. Nehemiah has earned six varsity letters including two in football, two in wrestling and two in track and field. Nehemiah has also excelled in the classroom earning a 3.731 cumulative GPA.
Andre Jordan Jr., Federal Way High School senior, football and track and field
Andre Jordan Jr. is an athlete that has varsity lettered in four sports during his time at Federal Way High School: football, basketball, baseball, and track and field. In football, Andre dominates on both sides of the ball and was named the NPSL All-Purpose Player of the Year and helped get Federal Way HS to the second round of the state playoffs. For track, Andre is ranked top in the state for both the 100M and 200M races. Next year, he will attend Oregon State University on a full-ride scholarship to play collegiate football. He currently has a 3.31 cumulative GPA.
Isaiah Afework, Federal Way High School senior, basketball and baseball
Isaiah is a two-sport athlete who has lettered in both baseball and basketball since his freshman year. He is a leader on and off the field as a mentor to underclass scholars. He competes at a high level and loves playing for Federal Way High School. As a Tacoma Community College commit for baseball, he is a two-time first-team NPSL in baseball and basketball and a three-year team captain in both. He currently has a 3.93 cumulative GPA.
Cameron Carreras, Thomas Jefferson High School senior, football, wrestling and track and field
Cameron was a three-sport athlete at Thomas Jefferson, participating in football, wrestling and track and field. In the fall, Cameron was the Raiders football team captain. He finished the year with 83 carries, 370 yards, 1 touchdown and one passing touchdown. On defense, he had 43 tackles and two sacs. He was named NPSL 3A 2nd team linebacker. In the fall, Cameron plans to attend a local trade school.
Nicolas Nava Roman, Thomas Jefferson High School senior, cross country and track and field
Nicolas, or Nico as most people call him, participated in both cross country and track and field at Thomas Jefferson. He was ranked No. 1 in the NPSL with the fastest 5K time heading into the Cross-Country League Championship meet. Nico was the All-City meet champion and won three out of the four league meets. He led the boys cross country team to an undefeated league record of 7-0 and contributed to the 2022 NPSL League Championship awarded to the Thomas Jefferson boys cross-country team. Nico is attending Green River College in the fall, competing in both cross country and track and field.
Muhanad (Mumu) Basmeh, Todd Beamer High School senior, basketball
Mumu was a two-year team captain for the Todd Beamer basketball team. He earned second-team All-League honors and was a three-time participant at West Central Districts. Mumu averaged 13 points and four assists as a senior. Mumu embodies the characteristics of a successful student-athlete. Mumu has worked hard to successfully meet the challenges of a rigorous academic experience choosing to attend the Running Start program at a local community college, a demanding academic path. Mumu is respected by both teachers and peers and is a role model for student success. Mumu’s drive, determination, and perseverance has helped him interact with diverse and varied groups of peers and adults. He takes on challenges with a purpose in mind and works diligently to achieve his goals. We will be sad to see him leave our school at the end of the year but wish him well in his new endeavors. We know he will leave a legacy at Todd Beamer and move forward to make us proud in his new leadership roles.
Sekou Bangoura, Todd Beamer High School junior, football, wrestling and track and field
Sekou has earned seven varsity letters as a Todd Beamer athlete. He competes in football, wrestling and track and field. In football, he has lettered in both his sophomore and junior seasons. He has played many different positions on both sides of the ball from linebacker and defensive line and offensively he has played quarterback and running back. He is most recognized for his hard north-south running style which earned him 2nd team All-NPSL honors this past year. In wrestling he has qualified for the state tournament in both his sophomore and junior seasons, placing seventh in state this year. In track and field, he competes in the 100M, 200M, 400M, 4x100M relay and 4x400M relay and javelin. Sekou also works very hard in the classroom. His cumulative GPA is currently a 3.3.