Buford Wolves

Loaded Pack

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Buford has the best football program in Georgia.

The Wolves have won three consecutive state championship, bringing their total to 14. Out of those 14 championships only one came before the year 2001. They have won in every classification and 2022 will be their first season in the state’s highest, 7A.

As you would expect from an elite program, they are loaded with talent.

Running back Justice Haynes is a four-star recruit and the No. 9 player in the state for the class of 2023. He’s 5’10 and 200 pounds so he has a good combination of size and speed.  He’s the son of former Georgia Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler Verron Haynes.

Haynes has rushed for 5,873 yards and 72 scores. He is also an elite left-handed pitcher with a 90-mph fastball. He has committed to Georgia.

Offensive tackle Paul Mubenga is a three-star recruit and a Michigan commit. He’s 6’4 and 280 pounds, so he’s huge for a high school player. He needs to develop more power to be an elite player in college.

KJ Bolden is the top player in Georgia for the class of 2024 and a four-star recruit. He’s listed as an athlete, but he plays wide receiver and defensive back. He projects to be a safety in college. He ran 10.76 seconds 100-meter dash.

Junior defensive end KingJoseph Edwards is also a four-star recruit and No. 4 recruit in the class of 2024. He’s 6’5, 235 lbs. and very powerful. He had a great performance at the 2022 Atlanta Under Armour camp.

Fellow junior defensive end Eddrick Houston is the No. 13 recruit in Georgia for his class and also a four-star recruit. Houston is 255-pounds, so he’s bigger than Edwards. He has a great combination of size and strength.

Sophomore linebacker Jadon Perlotte already has about 20 offers. He will be the next great linebacker from Buford.

The season starts August 26th at home against Mallard Creek (Charlotte, NC). The Mavericks were 6-5 last season, so they are an average team. This is an easy win for Buford.

The Next week is also home against North Cobb. The Warriors are a very good team, led by four-star senior QB Malachi Singleton. They played last year in the season opener and Buford won 35-27. This will be another close game that could go either way.

Roman Catholic travels from Philadelphia Week 3 to play the Wolves. They were 3-7 in 2021 so I’m surprised at this matchup. Buford will win big.

The first away game is at Marietta. The Blue Devils have Wisconsin commit, corner back Jace Arnold. This will still be a double-digit win for the Wolves.

Region play begins with the defending 7A state champs, Collins Hill. The Eagles lost a lot of talent from last year’s team, but they will still be good.

Tight end Ethan Davis is the No. 11 player in the state for the class of 2024. I give them the edge in this game.

The last four games of the season are against Mill Creek, Dacula, Mountain View and Central Gwinnett.

The only game I think they are in danger of losing is against Mill Creek. The Hawks are coming off an 11-2 season and they have the top player in the state for the class of 2024, safety Caleb Downs.

Worst case scenario for Buford is they finish the regular season 8-2. I don’t think they will win a state championship this season but they are loaded with talent.

Wolf Pack

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Buford Wolves are a powerhouse program in the state of Georgia since the new millennium started. The Wolves have won 13 state championships with only one coming before the year 2000 (1978).

After a drought of not winning a state championship since 2014, they won the 5A state title in 2019, finishing 14-1.

In 2020, Buford moved up to 6A and beat Lee County in the state title game. The Wolves (13-1) only lost the season opener to North Cobb, a 7A team.

Buford became the first team in GHSA history to win a state football championship in six different classifications. Buford has won titles at Class A, AA, AAA, AAAA, AAAAA and AAAAAA.

2019 was the first season for head coach Bryant Appling and he clearly knows how to win. They have the most talented team in the state, at any level. Buford has the most players ranked in the Georgia top 120 Class of 2022 recruits.

Isaiah ‘007’ Bond (5’10, 175 lbs.) is the highest ranked on the team as the No. 23 recruit in the state. He is a four-star wide receiver/corner back. He’s also an All-American in football and track. Bond is currently committed to Florida.

Safety Jake Pope (6’1, 190) is also a four-star recruit for the class of 2022 and ranked right behind Bond, No. 24. Some of the schools recruiting him are Alabama, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State and Arizona State.

Corner back Rylan Gandy (6’0, 170) is a three-star recruit and he’s committed to Pitt. This is a very talented secondary opposing teams have to deal with.

Linebacker VJ Payne (6’2, 180) is committed to South Carolina. There are more three-star recruits on the roster.

Safety Malik Spencer (6’2, 193) has committed to Michigan State.

Running back Victor Venn (5’9, 175) is committed to Colorado.

CJ Clinkscales is listed as an athlete but he plays running back and corner. He’s committed to Boston College.

Quarterback Ashton Daniels (6’3, 200) is a Stanford commit.

The season kicks off August 20th at North Cobb. The 7A Warriors won the game last year 28-14. I think this will be a close game but I give the advantage to North Cobb since they are from a higher classification.

Week 2 is against former region foe, Clarke Central (Athens) on the road. The Gladiators were 8-3 last season but lost the Buford matchup 47-0. Expect a similar result in 2021.

After an early bye week, Buford plays their first home game against Myers Park (Charlotte, NC). They advanced to the 4A state semifinals in 2020 but I don’t believe they can compete with Buford.

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, FL) comes to town Week 4. They are a 3A team and were 8-2 last season. This might be a close game because Florida has very talented players. The rest of the season is region games after this.

The remaining region 8-AAAAAA opponents are Central Gwinnett, Habersham Central, Shiloh, Lanier, Winder-Barrow and Dacula.

In 2020, they beat their region opponents by a combined score of 257-24. They are far superior to the other teams in the region and they will easily repeat as region champs.

I expect Buford to go into the playoffs with a 9-1 record and repeat as state champions.