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Buford High School
Buford

With 16 Starters Back Coach Watts Looking Forward To 5th Season At Buford Coach

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Buford—With 16 starters back, and starting his 5th season as the head football coach at Buford High, Tripp Watts is looking forward to the 2018 season set to begin in a few weeks.

“We will have the most team speed we have had since I been coaching here,” said Coach Watts. “We have 8 starters back on offense and 8 starters back on defense so we have a chance to be a pretty good football team.”

Buford was a respectful 7-4, 3-3 last season and they are in a very competitive region playing terms like Lee Central, Lewisville, Central of Pageland, and Chesterfield.

The Yellow Jackets are served by a hard working and dedicated group of assistant football coaches. The offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach is Barry Shuford with Steve Sellers directing the running backs. Wes James works with the offensive line and Jason Sanders tutors the receivers.

The defensive coordinator is Jimmy Clyburn who also works with the inside linebackers. Zach Newton coaches the outside linebackers and Jarith Bailey works with the defensive backs. Jamaal Brown will work with the defensive linemen. Working with various position groups include volunteer coaches Daryl Taylor, Matt Broughton, Kipp Phillips and Griggs Griffin.

The strength of the team could be in the offensive line where four of five starters return led by center Tanner Funderburk, guard Zac Parker, senior guard Timmy Varnadore, tackle Isaiah Chambers, and three players will compete for time at the other tackle in Alex Williams, Will Langley and sophomore Tucker Sellers.

The new quarterback will be junior Brady Phillips. “Brady is a transfer from Andrew Jackson and he ahs a strong arm and he makes good decisions and he looked very good in spring drills,” said Coach Watts. The running backs will be shared by Tyseim Miller, Tyler Griffin, and Toot Curry.

Three of the four starting receivers are back in the Yellow Jackets spread offensive attack. They include Dwayne Bufford, Justin Hayden and Webber Moore.

On defense the front people include senior Javon Nicholson (5-11, 230), Tanner Funderburk, Justin Hayden and newcomer freshman Zion Horne. The linebackers should be led by Tyler Griffin, Wendell Moore, and Nick Carnes. The secondary will be patrolled by Tanner Vasper, Wayne Bufford and Glenn Collins. Jessie Black will handle all kicking/punting duties.

“Our main goal is to compete for a region title and improve as a team by winning at least 8 games,” said Coach Watts. “With our improved team speed we should be very improved this season.”

Buford will start the season on the road at Blacksburg on August, 17th.

In coaching news for the upcoming season Eric Funderburk returns as the athletic director. As of July, 17th the school was still seeking a new varsity head baseball coach.

The boy’s basketball program will once again be headed up by Jamaal Brown with Susan Scott in charge of the girl’s team. Julie Thompson will coach competitive cheer while Patrick Marshall directs the boy’s and girls cross country programs. Marshall will also coach boy’s golf.

John Bundy is the boy’s soccer coach while Bob Bowen directs the girl’s program. Veteran an award winning softball coach Lael Allen returns to head coach the softball team. The boy’s track team is led by Jareth Bailey while the girl’s are tutored by Susan Jenkins. Taylor Roberts heads up the volleyball program while Garrett Plyer is back to coach the wrestling team.

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