SIERRA VISTA — Awards and accolades continue to come for the Buena football team, following a 2019 season that was the best the school and their fans have seen in over five years.
The Colts were led all season by senior Jovoni Borbon, so it’s no surprise he led the team in postseason recognitions. Borbon was selected as the first team quarterback and a secondary player. But the highlight for the senior was being selected as the 5A Southern Region Offensive Player of the Year and Region Player of the Year.
“I don’t know if I expected it but I worked for it,” Borbon said. “It means something special since it’s my senior year.”
This the second consecutive the region’s offensive player of the year has been from Buena High School, after last year’s recognition went to Kaleb Bryant. In his final season Borbon had 32 offensive touchdowns, 694 yards rushing and 1547 passing yards.
Six of his teammates joined him on the all-region first team, including his two favorite targets Keyon Taylor (wide receiver) and Jesse Avina (tight end).
Taylor, a sophomore, led the Colts in receiving yards with 626 on 29 receptions. Avina was second on the list with 369 yards on 18 catches. Avina was also selected as defensive end for the first team and Taylor was also named first team punter.
“It means a lot because I was hoping for first team in both last year,” Avina said. “Now I have a good mindset heading into (trying) to play at the next level.”
Running back Tory Walters, offensive lineman Dominic Avant, lineback William Stemler and interior lineman Satantoniano Smith were also named to the all-region first team for their respective positions. Walters, a junior, led the team with 760 yards rushing on 104 carries and Stemler, a sophomore, had 86 total tackles, with seven for a loss.
“It feels cool, but we didn’t win as a team,” Stemler said. “I wish we did better as a team, but I’m happy for myself.”
Offensive lineman Jadon Steward, Jesse Marquez and Damian Brown were named to the all-region second team.
“I’m proud of the work these boys put in. They worked hard and they were successful on both sides of the ball,” Buena head coach Joe Thomas said. “We definitely have things headed in the right direction and the future for Buena football is going to be bright.”
Nine Buena players received an honorable mention: Cole Muller, Marquez (running back), Isaac Benoit (running back and linebacker), Kemish Riley (wide receiver), Elijah Locklear, Oscar Villalobos, Clea McCaa and Rhubin Harris.
“To get as much recognition as we did for Buena High School means a lot to us,” Thomas said. “We are proud to represent Buena football, Buena High School and the City of Sierra Vista.”
The Colts’ representatives range in grade levels which shows the talent the team has for years to come, a point Avina wants people to remember.
“This shows how good of a program we have and shows how good of a coach Coach Thomas is,” he said. “Just because people like me and Geo (Borbon) are leaving doesn’t meant this program is going to stop. The fuel is ignited and it’s not going to stop.”