Walking into Buford High School, cabinets line the walls displaying Buford’s rich winning history. Trophy after trophy sits shining in the lights for all to see. Generations have added to those cases and this year’s group of students have lived up to the high standards of those who came before them.
Schools earn points all year based on the performances of their teams for a chance to win the prestigious Georgia Athletic Directors Association’s Director’s Cup. Buford will be awarded the 2020-2021 Class AAAAAA GADA Director’s Cup after its teams amassed 1,209 points. Cambridge placed second overall with 1,184 points and Carrollton rounded out the top three with 1,163 points.
“I am proud of everyone who worked so hard to win this award, it is great for our community and a wonderful award for the coaches and athletes who earned it,” Buford Athletic Director Tony Wolfe said.
In a ceremony on June 5, Buford Assistant Athletic Director Dexter Wood will officially accept the GADA Director’s Cup for Buford.
Buford previously won the Director’s Cup for the 2016-2017 school year and was runner-up to Starr’s Mill in 2017-2018, as well as 2018-2019.
To see how Buford was able to win the Director’s Cup, here is a recap of this past year.
Buford earned 13 area/region championships during the 2020-2021 school year. State championships were won in volleyball, football, traditional wrestling and wrestling duals. All of these coming in a new, tougher classification, Class AAAAAA.
During the fall, the varsity softball team captured the regional championship and went on to the state playoffs, where they made the Final Four. They finished with an overall record of 32-8. Head coach Tony Wolfe would reach the 400th career win milestone. He would later retire from this position and Trent Adams was promoted to be his successor.
Also capturing a region title was the varsity volleyball team. Region Coach of the Year Hadli Daniels would lead her team on to win the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Championship and end their season with an overall record of 33-2. They earned the first state championship for Buford in their new classification.
In his second season as the varsity football head coach, Bryant Appling would get his second state title after another nail-biter, this time against Lee County at Georgia State University. The varsity football team was also the Region 8-AAAAAA Champions. They ended their season with an overall record of 13-1 with their lone loss coming at the start of the season against North Cobb. Appling was named the GACA Class AAAAAA Coach of the Year.
Wrestling had a phenomenal year in Class AAAAAA, capturing the region championship in both the traditional and duals competitions. They would go on to win the state championship in both traditional and duals, as well. Head coach Tom Beuglas was honored with the Gwinnett Takedown Club’s Coach of the Year Award.
In basketball, the girls went undefeated in their regular season but were knocked out of the playoffs in Elite Eight. Their overall season record was 29-1. For the boys, their overall season record was 19-8 and they made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the playoffs. Head boys coach Eddie Martin retired, and Buford graduate Benjie Wood was hired to take his place next year.
Spring sports were very busy and competitive. Buford baseball held the top spot in the national rankings for weeks as they were undefeated in regular season play. They were knocked out of the playoffs in the Sweet Sixteen round. Their overall season record was 32-2.
The gymnastics team was the state runner-up and were hosts of the state meet at the Buford Arena.
Boys golf placed sixth at state, while the riflery team placed seventh at state.
Both the boys and girls tennis teams were region champions and made it to the state Sweet Sixteen. They each had an overall season record of 14-5.
The boys lacrosse team had a great season, with their team earning a spot in the state Elite Eight playoffs round. Their overall record was 13-7. The girls ended their season with an overall record of 13-3 and made it to the first round of the state playoffs.
The girls soccer team was ranked in the top three throughout the season as they had a phenomenal year with an overall record of 20-1-1. They ended their season with a Final Four appearance at the state playoffs.
The boys and girls track teams were highly competitive all season as they broke numerous school records and had several athletes hold the fastest times in the state for the season through all classifications. Their athletes earned five state titles in individual and relay events, which earned the girls a second place finish. The boys placed fifth at the state championship.
The 2020-2021 school year was a challenging time, and it was even more so for the coaches at Buford High School. The athletes and coaches adapted and overcame to have one of the best years on record for Buford. Their success is a testament to the Buford community as a whole.