The Buford High School wrestling team presented the family of Allen Willard a specially designed singlet to honor the memory of Allen who was a former high school wrestler during the Buford Invitational tournament held at the Buford Arena.  Photo – Cathy Moore

BUFORD — This past Saturday, the Buford wrestling team hosted their first tournament of the year, The Buford Invitational at the Buford Arena.  The tournament had 17 varsity and 14 JV teams from around Georgia that competed.  

The top three varsity teams were Woodward Academy, Buford, and Lassiter.  Buford finished fourth in the JV competition with the top two teams being Archer and Mt. Pisgah.   “I thought the kids that wrestled did very well, we took 2nd place and were still missing 5 – 6 potential varsity starters,” said Tom Beuglas, Buford wrestling’s head coach. “Once we get all of our kids in the lineup, at the right weights, we should be a very good team.”

Buford Wrestling - Willard Singlet
At the Buford Invitational, Buford wrestlers wore this specially designed singlet in honor of Allen Willard.  This one was presented to the family of Allen.  Photo – Cathy Moore

The tournament had a special significance as the team honored a local hero taken too early.  They would honor Allen Willard who was an Army veteran and was a wrestler in high school at Collins Hill.  The Willard family who owns Willard Wrecker Service created a scholarship in Allen’s memory and the Buford wrestling team is a beneficiary of the scholarship fund. Members of his family were on hand at the tournament as they were presented with a special singlet made specifically to honor Allen Willard.  Each Buford varsity wrestler wore the special singlet in Allen’s memory.

“I have known the Willard family for a long time and they are great supporters of Buford HS.” Coach Beuglas recalled how the tribute to Allen Willard came about, “Tom Mitchell called me about wanting to make us a special singlet to honor Allen Willard and that sparked the idea of the presentation to honor the family.”

A tournament like the Buford Invitational takes a lot of work to make it happen successfully.  Beuglas contributes that success to the kids and parents of Buford wrestling. Buford will host another tournament in December. 

— By Alicia Couch Payne


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