DONNA — Tears trickled down the faces of several Donna North players as the final buzzer sounded from their non-district game against La Joya Juarez-Lincoln on Friday.
The tears weren’t due to sadness. Donna North was overcome by emotion after snapping a 30-game losing streak, tied for the fifth-longest active streak in Texas, with a 38-14 victory over the Huskies at Bennie La Prade Stadium. The victory was also the first of second-year head coach Juan Cuevas’ career.
“It’s the culmination of the hard work and dedication that not only our coaching staff has, but the past coaching staff that established the foundation there. We’ve been through a lot of adversity with the pandemic and coming in with all the challenges we’ve been through as a program, as a staff and as a community, it feels amazing to be part of this,” he said. “It’s my first win as a head coach, we broke a streak and I’m just so happy for our players, the Donna North community, the administration that believed in me and my staff, that we could come in and establish a good program, and this is just the start.”
Earlier in the day, running back Louie Cavazos visited the cemetery where his younger sister, Liza Cavazos, was buried. Liza, who was a basketball player at Donna North, was hit by a car while walking along the side of the road and died last September.
Cavazos told Cuevas he invited his sister to Friday’s game in spirit, because he had a great feeling about the matchup.
It turned out to be true.
Cavazos ran with determination from start to finish, as the 5-foot-4-inch running back broke off multiple long gains and kept the chains moving for the Donna North offense.
“That’s for my little sister up in the sky. I thank her for everything and I miss her,” he said.
“(Cavazos) ran special and he’s a special young man. He’s not the biggest, but he’s all heart and he’s going to give you everything he’s got,” Cuevas said.
Senior quarterback Robert Gomez ran for three touchdowns and tossed two more to senior receiver Deandray Quesada.
“This win is everything. You work your butt off extremely hard,” Gomez said. “I’ve been watching this team for eight years, and I’ve personally never watched a varsity win, so for me to be a part of one, it means the world to me.”
Donna North’s special teams unit lived up to its name by forcing three turnovers, two on kickoffs and one on a punt to give the ball back to its offense. The Chiefs defense also pitched a second-half shutout.
“It’s a blessing to have won with this group of seniors because we put in all that hard work,” Quesada said after his two touchdown night.
Next for Donna North is a non-district contest against La Feria scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday in La Feria.
The Huskies are set to start District 31-6A competition with a road game against Edinburg High at 7 p.m. Thursday at Richard R. Flores Stadium in Edinburg.