KEARNS — Sese Felila Jr. isn’t at ease in the spotlight.
Unfortunately for him, he occurs to be probably the most state’s maximum proficient prep running backs, and with luck in sports activities, consideration is inevitable.
We can debate — endlessly — whether or not our society must revere the ones with awesome bodily abilities the best way we do, however the fact is, we come lovely with reference to worshipping them.
That consideration manner athletes wield really extensive affect.
All of this makes any person like Felila excruciatingly uncomfortable. The senior is of course shy, reserved and self-effacing to the purpose that it borders on lack of confidence.
“He’s a great player,” mentioned his highschool trainer Matt Rickards. “He’s a really hard worker and very talented. He really, truly doesn’t believe he’s that talented.”
Felila is THAT proficient.
The Kearns running back has a protracted listing of awards, honors and information. He holds Kearns High’s all-time information for speeding yards and touchdowns, and he ranks 7th in the state for occupation speeding touchdowns with 59. “He’s done such a good job in his career for us,” Rickards mentioned. “But he gets uncomfortable with the attention. You can see him visibly get uncomfortable when people talk about what he does.”
Pay him a praise or indicate an accomplishment, and he’s fast to deflect any accolades to his teammates.
“People will say, ‘Hey, man you scored five touchdowns in that game’, and he’ll say, ‘Yeah, but my line,’” Rickards mentioned. “I’ll say, you’re one of the best running backs in the state, and he’ll say, ‘No, I don’t think I am.’”
His father, Sese Felila Sr., mentioned he comes by way of his humility naturally.
The 6th of 10 youngsters, younger Sese is the final one to attract consideration to his accomplishments.
“He’s always been quiet,” mentioned his father, who immigrated from Tonga 25 years in the past. “He’s just a humble little kid.”
Football is best for a man like Junior. It is so essential that avid gamers post to the pursuits of the staff, it lets in him to be at ease seeing himself as a supporting member of the forged, despite the fact that the display would collapse with out him. His dedication to his staff is surpassed most effective by way of his dedication to the study room and his neighborhood. He’s been at the prime honor roll his complete highschool occupation, and his listing of neighborhood carrier is longer than his listing of athletic accomplishments.
His father credit their tight-knit circle of relatives, LDS values, his involvement in Scouting and his interest for football for his son’s accomplishments, that have been spectacular sufficient to earn him a difference no different football participant from Kearns High has ever won.
On Tuesday, Sese Felila Jr. will likely be certainly one of 12 younger males to be identified by way of the Utah bankruptcy of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. As a member of the Utah bankruptcy’s board, I understand how extremely completed those younger males are, and the way they’ve used the platform their skill presents them in profoundly shifting techniques in their colleges and neighborhoods.
His father used to be so proud he sought after to inform the sector.
“I almost wanted to get on Facebook and let the whole world know,” he mentioned guffawing. But that humility his son possesses comes from his dad and his spouse, Matavai, so there used to be no social media announcement. Just quiet gratitude from a father who has observed how sports activities can give construction and alternative for a tender guy.
“Football has kept him busy,” he mentioned. “Football kept him away from trouble. Since you have to have good grades, he works hard, stays late and does study hall.”
The complete circle of relatives feels a need to serve their neighborhood, and that’s most likely why it feels find it irresistible isn’t simply Junior this is being commemorated at Tuesday’s ceremonial dinner at UVU.
“I think it’s huge,” Rickards mentioned of what it manner to the Kearns football program for Felila, who will play football for Southern Utah after serving an LDS project, to be commemorated. “It shows our program puts academics and community service just as high, if not higher, than football. It tells the community what our kids are capable of doing. A lot of people are really proud of this.”
Rickards mentioned this system targets to assist the lads to find greater than nice football abilities. “Our No. 1 objective is to make these boys into men that are responsible, have integrity and serve their communities for good,” Rickards mentioned, noting that the staff continuously seems for carrier alternatives — small and big.
“It’s important that they realize there are things bigger than themselves and bigger than playing the game of football,” he mentioned. “Football players are put in the spotlight, everything that they do, their actions are seen. Players can’t escape that. So if you’re going to be a part of that, we need to lead the right way, give service and by doing the right things on the field, in school and out in the community.”
When a participant like Felila Jr. buys into that philosophy, it makes it a horny simple promote.
“As the younger kids go through the program, they see his name on the state sheet, and see that this kid is getting great grades,” Rickards mentioned. “And not only is he doing that, but he’s out there serving in the community. It burns a pathway for them to follow. He speaks with his actions.”
The different scholar-athletes being commemorated at Tuesday’s tournament are: Zachary Hoffman, Juan Diego; Dillon Petty, Morgan; Preston Covey Pitt, Viewmont; Chase Fowles, Delta; Dallin Holker, Lehi; Mike Petty, Alex White, Juab; Bronson Barron, American Fork; Jarom Miller, Union; Austin Kirkby, Orem; and Parker Collins, Kanab.
Barron, a quarterback, will talk on behalf of the scholar-athletes on the ceremonial dinner.