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David Fuiava of North Medford heads to Les Schwab Bowl fresh off emotional state title in track and field

“I made a promise to my coach (Pieter Voskes) that I’d come back, work twice as hard, and win a state championship.”
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By Dan Brood 

David Fuiava knows something about coming through in the clutch.

The 2023 North Medford graduate also knows about keeping promises.

And he also knows about winning — winning big.

He’s hoping to pick up a big win Saturday when he plays for Team Columbia at the Les Schwab Bowl, a high school football all-star game featuring many of the top players from around the state, to be played Saturday at Linfield University in McMinnville.

“Honestly, we’re looking for a ‘dub.’ That’s really important,” Fuiava said Wednesday. “They (Team Columbia) won last year, so we’re trying to keep that going.”

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Fuiava is coming off a big senior year at North Medford. In the fall, he helped the Black Tornado football team go 6-4 while qualifying for the Class 6A state playoffs. He was an all-conference selection on the offensive line.

During the winter season, Fuiava qualified for the Class 6A wrestling state tournament in the 285-pound weight class.

But his biggest success of the past school year came during the spring track and field season, when he triumphed in the discus event at the Class 6A state championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Winning that title came with some suspense, however.

“It was rough at the beginning. I scratched my first two throws,” Fuiava said.

That put some pressure on him in his third, and final, attempt in the preliminaries. He responded with a toss of 146 feet, putting him in second place at the time.

“I popped my third throw, and that got me up to second,” Fuiava said. “A little pressure. I knew in the finals, I just had to build up, and it went the way I wanted.”

He did keep building in the finals. His best throw of the day, the one that wrapped up the championship, came on his final attempt, when he had a mark of 155-8.

“I’ve been chasing this since junior year,” Fuiava said. “In my junior year, I didn’t make it to finals, so I made a promise to my coach (Pieter Voskes) that I’d come back, work twice as hard, and win a state championship.”

Promise kept.

How does excelling in the discus event translate to football?

“Kind of just having fast feet — that’s what I relate it to,” Fuiava said. “Being a lineman is very technical.”

David Fuiava North Medford Dan Brood

Fuiava will put his lineman technical skills to use in Saturday’s game, where he expects to get time on both the offensive and defensive line.

While getting ready for the contest, Fuiava, who will play football and throw the discus for Western Oregon University, is enjoying his time during the week with his fellow Les Schwab Bowl competitors.

“It’s been fun, creating new friendships with people that I’ve known, but not really known them that much,” he said.

Proceeds from this year’s Les Schwab Bowl, presented by Express Employment Professionals, will benefit the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association general scholarship fund, the Brayden Bafaro Scholarship Fund, and various youth charities.

This is the 75th game in the series, but just the second that won’t be North vs. South. Instead, players were drafted by the Team Columbia coaching staff, with head coach Steve Pyne from Central Catholic, and by the Team Willamette coaching staff, with head coach Josh Line from Sheldon. In last year’s game, the first under this format, Team Columbia posted a 28-9 win over Team Willamette.

Gates will open at 3 p.m. Saturday, with food carts on site. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.

Tickets for the game can be purchased at The game can also be streamed online, at a cost of $10, at