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Sunday September 25th, 2022 4:11AM

Two-a-Days: Linebacking group is top priority for young, talented Wolves

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 32 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2022 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago. And teams throughout northeast Georgia already are in full countdown mode.

With that in mind, we spent the last couple of weeks catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how spring practice went, how the summer is going, and what coaches believe the fall will look like. Our "Two-a-Days" series honors those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs. 

Over the next two weeks, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...

BUFORD

The Wolves are coming off a third consecutive state title but will be moving up to Class 7A in 2022. The more immediate concerns, however, are a large senior class that graduated, leaving the door open for a plethora of young but talented players to have to fill several key spots on both sides of the ball.

The biggest area of need will be at the linebacking spot, where the Wolves graduated six of their top eight players from a year ago. We caught up with coach Bryant Appling to see where they stand as summer practices have started to heat up on Buford Highway.

QUESTION: Coach, this year's group is young in several spots but also has a lot of talent. How are the freshmen and sophomores adjusting to knowing they will be manning some key positions as y'all also jump up in classification?

ANSWER: We do have some big shoes to fill after losing such a talented, large senior class. Part of what our program believes in is playing and rotating a lot of people. Because of that, we have several players who may not have started but saw significant time last year. Our younger players are talented and have been preparing to step up over these last couple of seasons. 

Q: Coach, y'all lost six linebackers to graduation that played a lot of minutes. Who are some guys that have shown they are ready to take over at those key positions?

A: We have had several that are filling in those spots. It's a good mix of older players and young. Jack Damron and Ryan Mckinnis are seniors who had significant game experience last year and will be depended on for their leadership. Bryson Banks is a junior who has had two years of varsity experience. Trelain Maddox lost last season to a knee injury but has had a real strong offseason and is back to full strength. Three sophomores should contribute as well. Jadon Perlotte, Mantrez Walker and Justin Baker look to fill spots as well.
 
(Click PLAY.above to see the video:)

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Buford football, Two a days
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