Athlete of the Week: Buono leading way for Warriors this season
STEPHENS CITY — Sean Buono began to play soccer because his older brother played, but now the Sherando senior is blazing his own path to success.
Buono has become a big part of Sherando’s success and is one of the top scorers in the area.
“He’s always been a hard worker all four years here,” Sherando coach Pat Anderson said. “You know you never compare from previous siblings, but I think just the fact that those two battled each other, probably as young kids, just makes him such a competitive player. But he’s also a team player, because he also looks for his teammates during the game which is a quality that you like to have from a scorer.”
Buono, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of April 24-30, had four goals and one assist in two victories last week over Handley and Sherando.
While he’s one of the area’s top scorers with 16 goals, he’s also one of the tops in assists with four. Buono said he enjoys giving assists as much as scoring goals.
“I just try to do what’s best for my team,” Buono said. “If I see someone whose open and I think they have a better opportunity than I do then of course I’m going to give them the ball. I don’t see it about me. I see it about the team winning and not my personal statistics.”
He said he started playing soccer when he was 5, because his brother, Tommy, played. He said he played on various travel leagues in both Winchester and Annandale.
This past year Buono said he came back to play on the Winchester United because he decided he didn’t want to play in college.
“It just wasn’t worth it, doing all the extra tournaments and showcases,” Buono said. “I just didn’t need it.”
He said he enjoyed playing with many of his high school teammates again on the Winchester United this past season.
One of those teammates is Sherando senior Seth Wade. The pair have a lot in common, Seth’s older brother, Andrew, was a teammate and good friend of Tommy Buono.
Sean Buono said that he and Seth have a good connection on the field and have been good friends since they were much younger just like their older brothers.
“Seth and I have been friends since elementary school,” Buono said. “We went to the same elementary school. I just remember playing soccer with him at recess every day. We’d bring a soccer ball and play soccer. He doesn’t live too far away from me and we’re always hanging out on the weekends. So we have a pretty close relationship on and off the field.”
Anderson said Buono’s physicality and his speed are two of his biggest assets on the pitch as well as his ability to score.
“He just has a nose for the ball,” Anderson said. “He’s always just got a nose for where it is, whether he’s trying to head it in, or to strike it or finesse it in whatever the case may be.”
The Warriors are 12-1, on a 12-game winning streak, and in first place in both the Northwestern District and Conference 21 West.
Sherando has 11 seniors, and Buono said the leadership of the seniors has played a role in the team’s success this season.
“We’ve all been playing with each other for many years now,” Buono said. “Not just at Sherando but on our Winchester United team, just friendly pick-up’s. So there’s a lot of team chemistry built into the team that we have.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org