Salt River High School senior Isaiah Manuel participated in the 2014 Canyon Athletics Association (CAA) Senior Bowl on Saturday, December 5, at Phoenix Christian High School. Manuel was selected from over 250 players participating in CAA Division I football and was one of only five Division I players selected for the North vs. South CAA All-Star Game.
“The game was really cool,” said Manuel. “I was the only Native American to be on the team.”
Manuel was chosen by the Division I coaches to compete as a defensive lineman. Manuel also played offensive tackle in the game. After the contest, Manuel was awarded his 2014 All-State plaque as his name was announced over the loudspeaker. Manuel led all CAA defensive linemen in tackles playing for the Eagles; he recorded seven tackles, three quarterback pressures and two quarterback sacks in the CAA Senior Bowl. Manuel also received the defensive lineman award for the game.
“It was intense,” said Manuel. “Emotions were flying—everyone was going 100 percent.”
Manuel played for the CAA North team, which was defeated 12-8 in a contest that went down to the final two minutes. The game was decided on a failed fourth-down conversion on a quarterback sneak by the North.
“It was fun,” said Manuel. “I wish I could do it again.” Manuel plans to continue playing football at college after graduating from Salt River High School.
“I think throughout the season I did my best on the SRHS football team. There were a lot of new players and underclassmen on the team, but I had fun,” said Manuel about his experience with high school football.
“It was great to see Isaiah out there and to see him with his family—seeing his hard work being recognized at the end of a great high school football career was special,” said Brandon Tauscher, SRHS athletic director and head football coach. “Isaiah is one of the kids I will always remember coaching, because he played with a lot of heart and had a big impact on so many games.”
In addition to playing football for the Eagles, Manuel is also the leading scorer on the SRHS basketball team and is a starting pitcher and clean-up hitter for the Eagles in baseball.
Manuel’s parents are Dylan and Ramona Manuel, and his grandmother is Janice Manuel.
“I would like to thank my coach Tauscher and my mom for never missing a game,” said Manuel.