By Alicia Couch Payne
On Wednesday, January 26, 2019, Buford High School held a “Meet and Greet” for the new head football coach, Bryant Appling.
Invitations to the Meet and Greet were extended to Buford Football Parents, Buford Athletic Club Members, Buford Corporate Sponsors, and Friends of Buford Football.
Both Buford High School Principal Ed Shaddix and BHS Athletic Director Tony Wolfe spoke briefly before introducing the man of the evening, the new coach.
Appling has been an assistant football coach for 15 years under coaches Wood, Simpson, and Ford. Coach Appling and his family have been heavily involved in the Buford community.
Coach Appling spoke about his vision for Buford football and what he expected of his players. He emphasized that his players would be expected to be role models and leaders in the community. To be held to a higher standard on and off the field.
Appling went over his football coaching staff’s mission statement, “Our mission in Buford Football is to be a program that is centered on taking young men and developing them into effective citizens that will be committed to achieving success on and off the field.”
He stated that his program would focus on the player as being first a student, second on being a man, and then on being an athlete. Appling said that academics were a priority and players would be taught and expected to handle their responsibilities like true men. He said that his players had to “work the process of becoming great.” This means his players are expected to put in the work in order to achieve greatness.
Appling went over his core program values which are accountability, commitment, integrity, make it personal, discipline, teamwork, and effort. He reemphasized making academics a priority and discussed ways to make this a focus. Putting in the work in the weight room will be essential. He encourages his players to participate in more than one sport and to seek outside training if desired. Statistics show that top-notch collegiate teams prefer two-sport players.
A tentative calendar of upcoming events was introduced.
- Spring Parent Meeting – April 18th
- Spring Practice Starts – May 1st or 2nd
- Buford Open – May 4th
- Blitz Day – May 11th
- Summer Practice Schedule – May 29th – July 26th (30 total work days)
- Dead Week (no practice) – June 29th – July 7th
Following Coach Appling’s speech, members of the audience were encouraged to stay to ask questions, to become more familiar with the new coach. Appling was seen interacting with players’ parents where he listened intently and answered their questions. His family patiently waited in the wings for everyone who wanted to speak with him to be done. Coach Appling has a wonderful supportive family. His mother and father, his brother Ellis and his wife and children, and his lovely wife LaSauna and his three children were all there to show him support.
Attendees left in high spirits confident that the man hired to steer Buford Football is the right man for the job. Best wishes to Coach Appling, his staff, and players. Go Wolves!