BYU Commits Advance to Next Round

BYU-bound Houston Reynolds and Eathyn Manumaleuna of Provo, Utah's Timpview High School helped lead their team over Salt Lake City's West High School in the first round of state 4A playoffs. Next week, the two Cougar commits and their Timpview Thunderbird team will face the Colts of Cottonwood High School in the quarterfinals.

The Panthers of West High School made their first appearance in post-season play in seven years, but moment was short-lived after Timpview High School racked up 300 yards and six touchdowns in the first half to defeat West High School 48-0.

"They're a very good team and have a very good program," said West High School Head Coach Randy Schrieter. "They have two awesome coaches. Wong is unbelievable, and I've known Chad [Van Orden], their offensive coordinator, forever. He built this thing here at Timpview, and it's great that he stayed with them. That's pretty awesome. They've got great kids here."

Playing in the rotation on both the offensive and defensive lines are two future BYU Cougars Houston Reynolds and Eathyn Manumaleuna. Both were instrumental in the Thunderbird offensive output and defensive shutout.

"I felt I played really good," said the 6-foot-2, 280-pound Manumaleuna. "I think I could have done better, but I played to the best of my abilities today. I think there is always room for improvement."

"I feel the same way," said Reynolds. "I feel if the team comes together, then there is nobody that can stop us. We just have to keep our head's focused. I know that sounds a bit cocky and it may sound a bit big headed, but I think we're a good team."

Timpview's offense struggled early in the season and even lost a game to Lone Peak High School 10-0. Since then the Thunderbirds have won seven straight games including this latest 48-0 shutout in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.

"I feel like during the beginning of the season we struggled with a few things," Reynolds said. "As an offensive lineman, there was a lot of confusion. As the season has gone on, I feel like the communication has gotten a hundred times better. Everybody remembers the snap count for the most part. I feel like things have really come together for us, and we're playing well."

As far as scouting out where the two future Cougars will most likely end up at BYU, Manumaleuna is quick and strong off the defensive line and is often double-teamed by opposing offenses. Even though he does not know where which unit he will be playing for as a Cougar, Manumaleuna appears best suited for the defensive line given his abilities.

"I'll play where ever they put me," laughed Manumaleuna. "I don't really know but I play where ever. I like playing defense because I just like to hit people right away and tackle people. I also like offense because I get to pancake people, and coming from Alaska I really like playing for this team.'

In watching the Cougars up close, Manumaleuna is excited to see how well the Cougars have been performing. He is eager to be apart of the Cougar program in the near future.

"I'm really excited," said Manumaleuna about joining the team. "They've really improved and been doing a good job. It's good to see them playing the way they are, and I'm excited."

Reynolds already has polished technique, relentless blocking approach and good footwork, which makes him a prime candidate for the offensive line. However, Coach Kaufusi would love to have Reynolds start on the D-line for one year prior to serving an LDS mission.

"I'll probably play offense," said Reynolds. "I don't really know. Coach Kaufusi, the D-line coach, told me that if I went and played a year before I left on my mission that I would start at D-line next year, but there is the mission factor in there. I think I'm a better at offense and I think that's where I'm going to go because my family has all played offense. It's a family tradition."

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