Basha High School didn’t need Deshaun Buchanan for their football opener last week, a 42-17 romp over Sandra Day O’Connor HS.
But now that the junior running back has been cleared to play, the Bears will have the transfer from Hamilton High School on the field for the rest of the schedule. That means that the Chandler school is getting that much closer to being competitive with the two other Chandler powers, Hamilton and Chandler High.
Buchanan will be wearing the green and gold colors of Basha football tonight when the Bears take on East Valley rival, Gilbert’s Perry High School. He will definitely be needed in this game. Perry, a perennial power which has been to the 6A title game twice in the last four years, is also undefeated after an opening victory over Desert Vista HS.
Buchanan is one of three transfers into the Basha program this season that included Hamilton teammate Cole Martin and Jeremiah Vessel, who transferred in from Louisiana.
All three players had been granted hardship exemptions so they could play right away, but Buchanan got tangled up in a separate issue and was forced to sit out the O’Connor game after the AIA announced it would need to investigate reports of a prior-contact violation. The allegation, in an anonymous email, stemmed from an Under Armour skills camp that Buchanan had attended in March.
The AIA didn’t make a ruling on the case until earlier this week when it was determined that Buchanan was not in violation of AIA bylaw 126.96.36.199.
Buchanan also plays cornerback on defense, as do Martin and Vessel. With the trio on the field in the Basha defensive backfield, the Bears become a very difficult team to throw against.
But Buchanan will be a major contributor on offense following a season in which he was the Huskies’ top tailback. He’s ranked No. 2 on the Arizona Republic‘s Top 100 in the Class of 2023.
Martin was named to the All-Arizona team while at Hamilton and is the Republic‘s top prospect in the Class of 2023. Vessel is considered one of the nation’s best cornerbacks in his recruiting class and played last year at University Lab in Baton Rouge.
This year’s team is led by sophomore quarterback Demond Williams Jr., who is ranked No. 1 in the Republic‘s Fab 50. He is joined by four teammates who also made that list.
The Bears are loaded for bear.
And we’ll soon find out if Perry has come up with a game plan to deal with that beast.