SIERRA VISTA — The Buena Colts are well-represented on the 5A Southern Region awards list.
Five Colts football players earned spots on the 5A Southern first team while six received second team recognition.
“It was an honor to see a number of our kids on the list,” Buena coach Joe Thomas said. “It was nice to let the kids know that they might not win them all but you will get the credit you deserve if you keep fighting.
Senior William Stemler received Region Defensive Player of the Year after recording 120 total tackles, five tackles for losses, two interceptions and one sack.
“He should 100% be regional defensive player of the year after the season he had for us,” Thomas said.
Offensive lineman Jadon Steward received a spot on the first team as the Colts ran the ball 373 times for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“When it came down to it, he was the guy we wanted to run the ball in key situations,” Thomas said. “I liked him so much as a freshman that he has been on the varsity team for the last three years.”
Steward served as one of Buena’s captains this season.
“He is very dedicated to football and wrestling and he kept everyone accountable on our offensive line,” Thomas said. “Jadon is a great kid, he is strong, physical and aggressive and you could tell when Jadon was not in the game whether it was run blocking or pass-protection.”
Defensive tackle To’afiaoalii Fruean earned first team honors after anchoring the Colts’ front four.
“He is almost like the silent assassin, he does not speak much on the field but he works hard and makes his presence known,” the coach said.
Fruean registered 46 tackles, six quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.
“He is deceivingly fast for his size and he is built for those one-on-ones on the line,” Thomas said.
Rounding out the first teamers for Buena was Austin Cox at punt returner and Rashaud Armstrong at kick returner.
On the second team were offensive lineman Andre Stewart; receiver Keyon Taylor, who had 17 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns; running back Jelani Brown, who ran for 260 yards and five touchdowns; linebacker Reuben Harris, who had 80 tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble and one interception; defensive back Brett Santa-Maria, who had 66 tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions; and placekicker Benjamin Marturello, who converted 21-of-25 extra points and was 2-for 4-on field goals.