Buford Green Wolf Head Logo in Oval FrameBUFORD — Buford’s fastpitch softball program records it’s 500th career win Tuesday night with their win over Brookwood.  Following their third-place finish at the GHSA state tournament for slow pitch softball in 2001, Buford made the decision to cease their slow-pitch program.  So in 2002, Buford’s fastpitch softball program was born with Brandon Manders serving as the program’s first head coach.

Buford started off ambitious with a full region schedule in the fall of 2002.  During that first season, they had an overall record of 9-11 and a Region 8AA record of 4-5.  2003 saw a vast improvement over their inaugural season going 27-13. In only their second year, they made a trip to the GHSA Elite Eight and finish fourth in Class AA.  The team for 2005 made history with their first-ever Region title. They also advanced to the GHSA Elite Eight and finished third overall in Class AA.

After the 2005 season, Manders stepped down as the head coach to assume other duties within the school system.  He left the program with an overall record of 91-48. Jacob Travis who was Mander’s assistant coach was selected to take over as the program’s head coach. Travis only coached one season before he left Buford for a job at Adairsville High School.  During the 2006 season, the team went 26-11, made it to the Elite Eight tournament, and finished third overall in the state.

2007 marked the start of a new era for the Buford fastpitch softball program when Tony Wolfe was selected to take on the head coaching position.  Wolfe was the baseball coach and an assistant football coach at the time he took on the softball head coaching position. He got to be the head coach as his daughter Whitney was entering the fastpitch program as a freshman.  Whitney continues to be actively involved in the program serving as the Director of Softball Operations.

The 2007 team broke a record for the program that stood until 2013 when the 2013 team won 37 games that season (2014 also won 37 games).  They had an impressive 33 wins that season and was able to qualify to go to the Elite Eight tournament.  The team was hungry and was able to bring home the program’s first-ever state championship title which also happened to be Buford High School’s first-ever state championship title for any female sport at the school.  2007 kicked off a run of ten consecutive state title wins which is a record that still stands within the GHSA fastpitch program to this day.

“Since the fastpitch program’s inception back in 2002, the Wolves have won 10 Region championships, finished in the “Final Four” at the state tournament 5 times,  and have won 10 state championships (2007-2016),” says Brad Brown, the program’s statistician. He goes on to add, “The state championships have been won at every classification that Buford High School has competed in, from Class AA up to their present classification of Class AAAAA.”

A breakdown of the Buford fastpitch softball program’s records by coach is listed below.

Brandon Manders (2002-2005) 91-48

Jacob Travis (2006)  29-11

Tony Wolfe (2007-present)  380-61-2

Buford’s fastpitch program since its inception in 2002 has an overall record of 500-120-2.  This is an impressive winning percentage of .805.

Congratulations to Buford High School, the Buford softball community (from little league all the way to varsity), the coaches and staff (past and present), the players (past and present), and the entire Buford community.  No doubt there will be many more impressive milestones to come. Go Wolves!

— Staff Reports

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