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Doing it all: Versatile Timpview senior Quezon Villa named Daily Herald’s 2023 Utah Valley Football Player of the Year

By Jared Lloyd - | Dec 2, 2023
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Timpview senior Quezon Villa runs the ball during the 5A state championship game against Bountiful at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.
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Timpview senior Quezon Villa celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the 5A semifinal game against Olympus at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023.
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Timpview running back Quezon Villa spins out of a tackle during the non-region game at Provo on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.
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Provo defenders tackle Timpview running back Quezon Villa during the non-region game at Provo on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.
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Timpview junior recevier Quezon Villa gets tackled by Lehi defenders during the 5A state championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.
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Timpview's Quezon Villa returns a kickoff against Orem in a 5A state semifinal game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, November 11, 2022.
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Timpview quarterback Quezon Villa runs the ball up the field during the Region 8 game at Lehi on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
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Timpview junior Quezon Villa runs the ball up the field during the Region 8 game at Orem on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

Finding Timpview senior Quezon Villa during a football game in 2023 was often pretty easy.

Just look on the field.

During his time with the Thunderbirds, Villa player quarterback, running back and wide receiver on offense, defensive back on defense, and returned kicks and held for placekickers on special teams.

Rumors that he also sold concessions and played the drums for the marching band are unconfirmed — but if anyone could’ve done it, it was probably Villa.

Add on the mental and emotional strength he brought and it is clear why Villa was so enormously valuable to the Thunderbirds this season.

“He played multiple spots and what stood out to me was that he was very poised,” Timpview head coach Donny Atuaia said. “He doesn’t get rattled. That’s what our team needed, particularly playing in a lot of close games. He was the one that a lot of people leaned on, including coaches. When we looked for someone to be calm, Quezon was there for all of us.”

Villa didn’t see his efforts as being all that unique, saying he was honored to do his part for Timpview.

“I’m super grateful to physically, mentally and emotionally be able to play defense, special teams and offense,” Villa said. “I’m also very grateful my coaches trusted me to be able to be out there. It’s my way of giving back to the team because the team needed certain things. I’m just grateful to be able to fill those holes and help the team however I can.”

For his physical performance, mental toughness and emotional leadership for the 5A state champion Thunderbirds, the Daily Herald is pleased to name Villa the 2023 Utah Valley Football Player of the Year.

While honored by the recognition, Villa’s first thought was for how others could use it as inspiration.

“I’m very grateful to be able to go out and just show the community and younger kids that play football that they can give it their all and still get recognized even if they aren’t catching the ball every play or are on a star-studded team,” Villa said. “You can be recognized for all your hard work even when you’re being selfless.”

Villa’s impact on Timpview is even more impressive when you consider where he was just three years ago.

“My freshman year in high school I played basketball in Hawaii,” Villa said. “They told me I was too physical because I would drive to the basket and run kids over. My sophomore year my dad changed jobs and we moved to Utah, so I decided to play football at Wasatch High School.”

Villa did well for the Wasps but — as often has been the case during his life — another move brought him to Provo for his junior season.

“That’s when I really saw my chance to develop my game and really experience life as a football player,” Villa said. “I credit Coach Atuaia and Coach Andy Stokes. Those two were the ones who brought me in and taught me what it means to be a football player.”

But with a father who works for the government and moved frequently, Villa learned how to adapt to different circumstances.

“Adapting to change is a good thing,” Villa said. “It’s also going to help me in the next level because when you when you go to college, you have to adapt. You have to make new friends and learn the system. I feel like this was put in my path to better me and I’m grateful that my Heavenly Father put me through this.”

His familiarity with tough situations translated into being a rock on the football field for the Thunderbirds. Atuaia pointed to the 5A second-round game against Orem as one of the best examples of Villa’s steadiness when facing a challenge.

“Things were tense and you could feel the momentum going the other way,” Atuaia said. “Quezon was the man when it came to calming the team down and focusing on what we needed to do to win. I’ll always remember that as a moment where he showed he is a true leader.”

Villa believes that leadership is about doing what is best for the team, not about making big speeches or standing in the spotlight.

“Anyone can be a leader on the team,” Villa said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or even a manager, you can be a leader. I feel like you lead by example and actions, not by words.”

After losses to 6A runner-up Skyridge and a California team early in the year, Villa and Timpview rattled off nine straight wins including beating Bountiful, 23-15, in the 5A championship.

“In that moment when we won state, it was so surreal,” Villa said. “Right after we won, I just had to sit on the sidelines because it was it felt so unreal that we were able to get back there and win it my senior year. For all the other seniors who were previously on the team who lost to Lehi in 2022, we’re just so very grateful.”

With his high school football career having come to an end, Villa is now turning toward the next big things in his life.

He’s still considering where he will go to college with the added considerations of having a fiancée and a daughter who will turn one in January.

“It was hard to adapt to having a daughter but I wouldn’t change anything that happened,” Villa said. “I wouldn’t change the results. I’m just grateful she’s in my life and she’s in my fiancée’s life,” Villa said. “Being a kid in high school with a kid definitely changes your whole perspective. It’s going to be a really neat opportunity to move forward and see what we can do in the college that I choose.”

Atuaia is confident that wherever Villa ends up, he’ll be a great asset both on the football field and as a student.

“I think he is very underrated,” Atuaia said. “His biggest strength is finding ways to win. He’s a fighter. I want him to keep seeing the best in everyone. I think that is the greatest gift he has.”

Villa said his advice to a player who is facing some of the challenges he faced adapting to high school football is to focus first on learning and putting in the effort.

“Effort is always going to be there,” Villa said. “You can’t control everything, but you can control your effort. And when someone says no, that just means next opportunity. It’s all about your mindset.”


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