‘Let us play’

Issac Benoit

(Sierra Vista, AZ)  Staying away from the football field is something Buena High School players haven’t done since they started playing the sport that is now a part of them.

This is the first August senior Dominic Avant and junior Jadon Stewart haven’t been on a Sierra Vista football field since they were 7 years old.

Dominic Avant

“It hurts knowing that I might not play my senior season,” Avant said. “I understand (their concern) but as an athlete they’re tearing us apart. Let us play.”

Stewart added because they have been playing so long and usually play year round, the passion and dedication they have for the sport exceeds what people think.

“We love football,” he said. “We’re a family.”

After making the postseason for the first time in more than five years, the Buena’s football team was on track and hungrier than ever to make it back to the postseason and further than last year’s first round exit.

“We’re hungry. We’re motivated,” senior cornerback Ramses Rodriguez said. “The first round is just a little taste of what we’re going to get this year.”

However, their optimism that they will have an opportunity to represent Sierra Vista in those Friday night showdowns is diminishing as they haven’t been able to step on the field since March, and it’s uncertain if they will be able to in time to qualify for the AIA postseason. It’s been up to the players to stay in shape and sharp for when and if they are given the opportunity to return to the gridiron.

Jaden Stewart

“Everyone on the team is trying to stay focused,” senior running back and linebacker Isaac Benoit said. “Everyone is gradually losing faith on having a season.”

Buena athletics was given the greenlight to start twice this summer, once in July and another in August, but the start was delayed indefinitely earlier this month as students are not yet on campus. The plan is for sports to resume if and when in-person instruction returns.

“It gives us false hope,” Rodriguez said

So far, the delay to the start of fall sports will cause the golf, cross country and swim and dive teams to miss roughly a month of their season. Teams have to practice two weeks before their first competitions. The AIA requires football teams to have three weeks of mandatory practice before their first game.

Article and Photos courtesy of My Herald Review – Alex Ramanjulu

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