The Gatorade State Football Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Simi Fehoko
School: Brighton (Cottonwood Heights, Utah)
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He hauled in 59 receptions for 1,495 yards and 16 touchdowns this past season, leading the Bengals (7-4) to a Class 5A state playoff appearance. A returning Class 5A First Team All-State selection as named by the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, Fehoko also collected 50 tackles and three interceptions as a defensive back and returned a punt for a touchdown on special teams. The 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection concluded his prep career as the state record-holder in career receiving yards (3,571), career receiving touchdowns (41) and single-season receiving TDs (24).
Academic excellence: Also a basketball standout, Fehoko has maintained a 3.53 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball and football instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of his church as well as community cleanup efforts, Boy Scouts of America and The Road Home shelter. Fehoko has also collected cleats to send to Tongan youth football and rugby athletes in need.
“He was no doubt the best player on the field in every game that he played,” said Mike Meifu, head coach at rival West Jordan. “He played every game on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and free safety. He was able to set many records this season while at times his team was on its third-string quarterback. Every team knew that the ball was going to him and still couldn’t stop him.”
THE FUTURE: Fehoko has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at Stanford University in the fall of 2016.