Buena Celebrates Senior Night With Small Gathering of Players, Parents

Buena High School was affected by COVID-19 with a school-wide closure over the disease that delayed the Colts’ season before their first scheduled home game with Cienega on Nov. 13.

Buena coach Joe Thomas could not schedule a game until after the team served a mandatory two-week quarantine as directed by the Sierra Vista School District.

Thomas managed to schedule four games previously, but all of the games were on the road — at San Tan Valley Combs, Paradise Valley, Salpointe and Casa Grande.

After the game against the Bobcats was canceled, Buena was hopeful for a Senior Night against Mountain View on Friday after Mountain Lions coach Matt Johnson agreed to play in Sierra Vista.

But the game did not occur as the Marana School District canceled Mountain View’s remainder of the season last week following the request of Pima County administrator Charles Huckelberry because of rising COVID-19 cases. All Pima County superintendents canceled the remainder of the season, leaving Buena without a potential opponent and no takers materialized from the Phoenix area.

That left Buena with the last option of staging a Senior Night involving only the players, coaches and immediate family members. They gathered at Buena’s field under the Friday Night Lights there for the last time.

Buena High School seniors photographed here by Clea McCaa Jr. — No. 11 Clea McCaa III, No. 78 Jayden Gazard, No. 9 Amauri Blake, No. 3 Kailey Peters, No. 77 Dominic Avanta, No. 12 Nick O’Donnell, No. 74 Anthony Hodges, No. 24 Isaac Benoit and No. 5 Tory Walters.

“Good group of players here,” Thomas posted on social media about his seniors. “They fought through a tough season and I am proud we were able to show them some love and honor them tonight. We started together and ended together. BUENA COLT FOOTBALL. FAMILY FOCUS COLTS!!!”

Some more photos by Clea McCaa Jr.:

Isaac Benoit
Dominic Avant
Kailey Peters with coach Joe Thomas


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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