A Family Affair, Part Two

When current BYU tight end Vic So'oto played at Carlsbad High School, he faced his cousin and current BYU teammate defensive tackle Russell Tialavea, who played for rival Oceanside High School. Two years later, the family competition continues with as the younger brothers of the two Cougars line up across from each other.

BYU fans who followed recruiting when Vic So'oto and Russell Tialavea were both high school seniors, will remember the friendly teasing back and forth between the two cousins while the two faced each other during a Carlsbad-Oceanside game.

Last Friday, the family rivalry continued with the next wave of So'otos and Tialaveas. Wally So'oto from Carlsbad and Roy Tialavea from Oceanside found themselves on opposite sides of the field during a game in which both excelled at but neither came out on top.

"Well this past Friday night we played the Pirates for our first league game," said first team California all-underclassman So'oto. "It wasn't a victory or a loss. We tied Oceanside 10-10 with our record now 4-0-1. It was an alright game for me."

"Wally had one sack on the QB," said his father Vic So'oto. "The happened when Wally busted through the middle and grabbed the QB by the pads and threw him back for a 5 yards loss. Funny thing was Wally was standing up during the whole play."

"I had a few mistakes, but I know that I'm getting better every day," said Wally. "I have 17 tackles in four games as a nose guard. I don't know how many tackles for a loss I have. I'm not sure how many sacks I have right now, either. I did have four tackles, one sack, and one tackle for a loss against Oceanside.

"I feel my body getting stronger as I practice the nose guard position. If it wasn't for my dad helping me and coaching me everyday, I know that I wouldn't be playing like I am today."

On the other side of the field, So'oto is quick to complement his cousin Roy Tialavea's accomplishments for the Oceanside Pirates.

"My cousin Roy on the other side of the ball was doing excellent," said Wally. "He had a couple tackles and an INT, so he basically played well. It was fun. I tackled him once when he was on offense, but he played mostly on defense. He plays outside linebacker and he did really well."

Thanks to a BYU bye week Cougar tight end Vic So'oto and defensive tackle Russell Tialavea were on the sidelines supporting their younger brothers.

"Vic and Russell were in attendance and on their own respective sidelines," said the elder Vic So'oto. "It was fun and I'm glad it ended up being a tie game."

"He was on the side lines and he was cheering me on and telling me to stay low," said Wally of his brother. "I saw Russell on the other side of the field in the stands."

Wally is attracting attention from college recruiters already. He had coaches watching him last weekend and he is also receiving mail from interested programs.

"I saw the UNLV coach," Wally said. "He came to watch a game and then after the game he said good job and I shook his hand. BYU just sent me another letter today as a matter of fact. It was a little card that had their schedules on it.""

To help develop his game, Wally is taking tips from his big brother.

"He helps me with the swim move and to be more aware on the field," said Wally. "He basically helps coach me. He told me to go 110% every play during practices and in the games."

The youngest So'oto also understands the fact that success on the field means nothing if he cannot also succeed in the classroom.

"My main goal this year is keeping my grades up and to get stronger as a football player," Wally said. "That's mainly what I'm focusing on right now."

Click on the following link to hear BYU tight end Vic So'oto talks about the performances of his brother and his cousin during the recent Carlsbad vs. Oceanside football game:


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