By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The Buford Wolves are a traditional football powerhouse in Georgia.
Last season they won the 5A state championship 17 – 14 against Warner Robins, another great program. The win gave No. 5 Buford (14-1) their 12th state championship and first since 2014.
Buford became the first team in GHSA history to win a state football championship in five different classifications. Buford has won titles at Class A, AA, AAA, AAAA and AAAAA. The Wolves move up to AAAAAA next season.
2019 was the first season for head coach Bryant Appling. He gained a lot of experience and he should be a better coach going into his second season.
This 2020 team is not as talented as teams of the past, but they have some good players. I expect them to be a good team and play well together.
Their best player is senior running back Gabe Ervin. The 6-foot, 205-pound Erwin is ranked as a three-star recruit and the No. 66 rising senior in Georgia.
He had offers from close to 20 Power Five programs. He committed to Nebraska. Last season he rushed for 1,210 and 13 touchdowns, while splitting time in the backfield.
Senior safety Amari Wansley is the second-best player on the team. He’s also a three-star recruit with offers from Arizona State, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland and Georgia State.
Linebacker Tommy Beuglas has committed to Furman. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker was a second-team, all-county selection by the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett. He made 102 tackles in 2019.
Defensive back Ace Sanders committed to Georgia Southern and guard Malone VanGorder committed to Bowling Green. VanGorder started 28 straight games on the Wolves’ offensive line the past two seasons. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder’s father is longtime college coach Brian VanGorder, now Bowling Green’s defensive coordinator.
Quarterbacks Ashton Daniels and Jarvis Evans also return for the 2020 season. They both played last season and helped lead the team to the championship.
The season opens at home against Wren (South Carolina). The Hurricanes won the AAAA state championship in South Carolina in 2019, so they are pretty good.
Week 2 is against Clarke Central. The Gladiators were the only team that beat Buford last year. They were 9-4 so they are a pretty good team. The Wolves want to avenge that loss and I believe they will.
Lithonia comes to town after that. The Bulldogs won 6 games last season and got in the playoffs. They still won’t be a match for Buford.
The Wolves face another team from South Carolina, Ridge View. The Blazers lost the AAAA state championship game to Wren in 2019.
Central Gwinnett made the playoffs last season, but they only won 3 games. The Black Knights are the Week 5 opponent and they will get disposed of quickly.
Buford finally has their first road game to start October against Habersham Central. The Raiders are coming off of a 3-7 season and they are outmatched in every way.
After a much-needed bye week the Wolves are on the road against another Gwinnett county opponent, Shiloh. The Generals won 7 games and made the playoffs in 2019. Buford will still win easily.
The Wolves have their third consecutive road game at Lanier. The Longhorns are coming off of a 10-2 season and they are a tough opponent.
The day before Halloween Buford returns home to face Winder-Barrow. This is a blowout victory.
The season finale is against Dacula. The Falcons were 13-1 last year. This will be hard fought game.
I think Buford will do well in their first 6A season and make the playoffs.