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Coming off a 48-21 win in a scrimmage game against Jones County last Friday, Buford High School’s football team will officially open its 2023 season tonight with a matchup against a fellow nationally top-10 ranked team, St. Frances Academy from Baltimore, Maryland.

Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the nation by MaxPreps, with Buford taking the No. 10 spot and St. Francis Academy coming in at No. 6.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Tom Riden Stadium in Buford. Fans who are unable to watch the game in person can tune in to a livestream here.

As Buford High School’s football team prepares for a new season, the North Gwinnett Voice spoke with head coach Bryant Appling on his strategy and key playmakers to watch. 

• NGV: What do you expect from the upcoming season? 

• Bryant Appling: We have a large, talented senior class returning that has had a solid offseason. We have a challenging non-region schedule with a nationally ranked team in game #1, a tough out-of-state game as well as the reigning state champion (and region opponent) on the road. We have rising young players at a couple of spots who are learning our system and will be relied upon to execute at a high level quickly for us to be successful. On defense, we have a strong nucleus returning and will hang our hat on them being solid and disciplined.  

• NGV: What’s your strategy going into this season?

• BA: Play a physical brand of football and cut back on mental mistakes. Be solid on defense, limiting the big play, winning on first and third down and getting our offense on the field as much as possible. On offense, being sound and fundamental, while using our strengths and talents that will allow us to hopefully be balanced between the run and pass.  

• NGV: Are there any players who have stood out in practices as potential key playmakers? 

• BA: It’s hard to say just a few. We have had several step up and will be difference-makers this season. Our seniors KJ Bolden and Eddrick Houston have been their normal, talented selves. Bryson Banks has emerged as a solid leader, as has Ty White. Quarterbacks Christian Langford and Dylan Raiola have worked very well side by side in this competition. Jordan Allen, Kyle Carpenter and Jeremiah Colbert at receiver, Chris Garland and Osiris Gilbert at DB, Bryce Perry-Wright (DL) and Maverick Schippman (LB/RB) have also done great things. 


  • 7 p.m. Aug. 25 vs. Mallard Creek (Charlotte, NC), away, non-region
  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 vs. North Cobb, away, non-region
  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 vs. Carver, home, non-region
  • 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 vs. Marietta, home, non-region
  • 7:30 p.m. Sept, 29 vs. Collins Hill, away, region
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 vs. Mill Creek, away, region
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 vs. Dacula, away, region
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 vs. Mountain View, home. region
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 vs. Central Gwinnett, home, region


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