OAKWOOD -- Just a year ago, few would have predicted this.
Buford football says it is in for a fight on Friday at West Hall.
"I feel like West Hall is easily the most improved team in our region, the most improved team in AAA, maybe around the state. Look at them a year ago, and they had some great parts and pieces and you look at what coach Lotti's doing in just year two, and they're off to a great start," Wolves coach Jess Simpson said. "We're going to have a challenge Friday night."
Perhaps more than anything -- more than a 4-1 record, more than an offense averaging 39 points per game -- that speaks volumes for the improvements the Spartans have made in year two under coach Tony Lotti.
(NOTE: To watch a video preview of tonight's game with members of both programs, simply click "play" in the box to the right.)
West Hall went 3-7 in 2012, one of those games being a forfeit win over Buford -- which was a 61-0 final on the field (the Wolves self-reported that they had briefly fielded an ineligible player late in the contest). And though it was 12 months ago, it seems like light years for the Spartans.
"It's amazing. I came here last year and the difference in the team is huge," West Hall linebacker Chase Seymour said. "Everyone's happy to be at practice; it's a great feeling."
It's amazing what a few victories will do. But it's not just the wins -- it's the way the Spartans are attaining them that has Buford's attention.
"They're talented in every position. They're big up front and they can move," Simpson said. "The skill guys are big and can run, and they've got a couple of home run hitters. I think they have 18 starters back, and a senior quarterback. It's a good group."
Those home run hitters have torn up four opposing defenses so far this season, especially sophomore Kwon Williams, who has rushed 25 times for 469 yards -- an astounding 18.76 yards per carry -- and eight touchdowns. He is joined by Tyquan Statham (210 yards, 3 TDs) and Antonio Pittman (200 yards, 4 TDs). Meanwhile, senior quarterback Zach English has completed 65 percent of his passes for 465 yards and 8 TDs with no interceptions. Tight end Hunter Atkinson has been his biggest target