Brandon Sudge is a 2016 graduate of Buford High School. He is the eldest child of Steve and Melanie Sudge. He and his sister, Kristen are Buford “lifetimers” or students who went to Buford City Schools their entire K-12 career. Brandon has cerebral palsy which has left him in a wheelchair but he has never let that stop him from pursuing his dreams. “His family is such an amazing support system for Brandon,” says Joy Davis, former Buford City Schools Interim Superintendent and Brandon’s former Principal.
The staff at Buford City Schools have also been very supportive of him. Brandon reflects that the teacher who had the most influence on him was his second-grade teacher, Mrs. Lacrecia Smith. Brandon states, “It’s crazy for your most influential to be at such a young age, but Mrs. Smith continues to look out for me and support me so many years later.”
Brandon made up his mind that he wanted to be able to walk across the stage at his fifth-grade Promotion Ceremony. It took a lot of hard work and determination on his part. He had to endure countless hours of physical therapy. “I will never forget the day he walked across the stage at 5th-grade Promotion Ceremony,” reflects Mrs. Davis. “He had been working so hard to achieve such a major accomplishment and he did it with that perpetual smile on his face.”
Sports is perhaps Brandon’s biggest love and he spent his high school years as a football manager for Buford. “I’ll never forget assisting in four runs to the state title game, winning three in my high school career,” claims Brandon. He wanted to find a way for sports to be a mainstay in his life and he turned to being a “sports storyteller.”
Even though Brandon has yet to earn his journalism degree (which he will graduate in May 2020 from the University of Georgia), he already has quite a lot of experience as a sports journalist. He currently works for The Telegraph newspaper out of Macon, Ga. He’s covered some pretty high profile games like a national championship, two SEC championships, and a Super Bowl. It’s not those high profile games that drive Brandon though. For him, it’s about the “stories away from sports” that he cherishes so much.
When asked where he sees himself in five years or so, Brandon says that he sees himself continuing to cover sports and tell the stories behind the sports. He hopes to work his way up to a position at a larger, more prominent news outlet. Brandon is always striving to perfect his craft and says he also hopes to “become more refined in (his) storytelling and continue to find unique angles with a full-time job.”
“Brandon is an amazing young man with the tenacity and desire to be successful in every endeavor he attempts,” Mrs. Davis states proudly. “I smile every time I see an article he has written and I could not be more proud of the young man he has become. I am so thankful to have been impacted by such a magnificent young man. He truly exemplifies the best of Buford City Schools.” Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!
— By Alicia Couch Payne