ST. GEORGE — Pine View High School senior Peter Falaniko will go from being a Panther to a Cougar.
The talented tackle, listed on the roster at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, announced that he will take his football skills to Brigham Young University next year in front of friends, family and teammates at Pine View on Monday morning.
“It’s been crazy,” Falaniko told St. George News, referring to a recruiting process that saw 18 different schools offer scholarships.
“It felt like home, and it’s close to family,” Falaniko said when asked why he picked the school in Provo over the likes of UCLA, Oklahoma State, USC, Texas and TCU. “I just love it. I love the coaching staff, I love the coach. I know they’re going to push me to be the best that I can be.”
Falaniko joked that he learned to hate airports after a recruiting season that had him flying all over the country and often had him sleeping in airports. He said he’s relieved that he’s made his decision and he can get back to what matters.
“It takes more stress off of me,” Falaniko said. “Now I can just focus on school and football.”
Pine View came up just short of its ultimate goal last season, falling in the 4A state championship game 39-33 to undefeated Sky View. Falaniko said the Panthers are working hard to get back to the big game this year.
“We’re coming back, and we’re going to take that ring,” he said.
Panthers head coach Ray Hosner praised Falaniko as a leader, an incredibly talented athlete who loves his teammates and a hard worker that never misses a day of weight training.
“What I love about Peter more than his talent is his humility and how humble he is as a person,” Hosner said. “That’s what impresses me the most.”
Pine View kicks off the football season in a nonregion contest at Salem Hills on Aug. 13.
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