Football: Buford ranked No. 1 nationally among small schools

Buford’s football team is No. 1 in a national poll released Tuesday that ranks the best small-school teams in the country.

Calhoun, a program that Buford has the past two seasons in the Class AA final, is the only other Georgia team in the top 25 of MaxPreps’ small-school preseason top 25. Buford has won four straight championships in AA, Georgia’s second-lowest of five classifications. Buford’s enrollment last spring was 870. Class AA groups schools with enrollment of about 600 to 1,000 students.

Stephen Spiewak, who compiled the rankings, said Buford was an easy choice. Buford has several Division I recruits, including linebacker Dillon Lee (committed to Alabama), defensive backs C.J. Moore (Virginia) and Paris Head (Vanderbilt) and All-American lineman Vadal Alexander.

”In what was seemingly supposed to be a down year [in 2010], they rolled to AA state title,” Spiewak said. “They return an amazing amount of talent for a school their size. Key players returning, continuity in a coaching staff that has an amazing track record of consistency, riding a 12-game winning streak in which they’ve outscored opponents by an average of 30-plus points.”

Here are the rankings

154 comments Add your comment

From Where I Sit

July 26th, 2011
11:16 am

Big Deal!

Have them step up to AAA and their goes their ranking!

Enough Said!

From Where I Sit

July 26th, 2011
11:18 am

Sorry, 1st there not their.

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
11:29 am

What about the Griffin Bears? Griffin football on Friday nights is what I live my life for.

1bighammer

July 26th, 2011
12:01 pm

What about Griffin? Win something first….

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
12:16 pm

Win something first? All we do is win. I’ve been on this earth for 32 years and trust me, we’ve done a lot more winning than anybody else. Don’t act like you know anything about bleeding green and gold.

Coweta County

July 26th, 2011
12:45 pm

Griffin has won two state championships in football. In 1942 and 1978. They win a lot of games and have a great program. Lose 1-2 games a year and go deep into the playoffs, every year.

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
12:49 pm

Exactly, there is no better feeling than supporting the Griffin Bears with my 1988 Chevy truck(Green and Gold – had it since high school) The G-bears will whip Boooford.

whack hyder

July 26th, 2011
12:52 pm

Buford recruits better than USC and Ohio State. Luckily they are not bound by NCAA rules.

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
12:55 pm

Whack Hyder has it right….BOOFORD is the best team that Money can buy, that is it. Griffin Bears will beat em all the way down to the county line. GO G-BEARS.

Scholarships and Championships

July 26th, 2011
1:16 pm

Since Buford was voted #1 for “Small Schools”, that settles this. Griffin is not a small school. Was at Griffin when we shared the ‘78 title with Valdosta. Buford has an impressive streak of title runs. There is one small school that I would put ahead of Calhoun though, that’s the Charlton County Indians. 4 state titles to Calhouns 1. Charlton and Dublin were the last teams to win state titles in AA. Just saying.

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
1:22 pm

Scholarships and Championships: How dare you…and you went to Griffin! The Griffin Bears have never got the accolades they deserve. I was also at Griffin, granted I used to just pump iron and did not play for the Bears, but I will always support them. The only School worse than Booford are those NORTH GWINNETT PUNKS!!

Chris York

July 26th, 2011
1:30 pm

Oh I am mad now!!! There is nothing better than my Griffin Bears! granted the Gummi Bears came close, but they were no match for my G-Bears. I will go to every home game this year, yes I am 32 years old, however, I am a Grffin Bear for life…I would rather be Grffin Bear than a Booford wolf!

Let the kids play

July 26th, 2011
1:32 pm

Buford has a great program and they play good ball.

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
1:43 pm

To Chrissy Yorkie: you sound like a small dog ….all bark and no bite…must be a moved in Gwinnettain that do not know Jack Squak about football or any othetr sport other than tiddle-winks…we will find out about Buford when they play Yulee H S out of the Jacksonville area with one of the best running backs in the nation…as far as NGHS goes, they are trying but still will not play Buford(22-4-1)…probable a good reason so they will not get their bubble busted….Calhoun, Dublin, and Charlton County are all quality programs….< six weeks tiul reality comes back……….

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
1:50 pm

from where I sit….you need to get closer to the playing field or quit watching T-ball……..they are only one or two AAA teams(maybe just one) that could hang with any three or four AA teams in Ga…Class AA ROCKS

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
1:54 pm

And another thing, I was the first male cheerleader ever at Buford High School so I know what I’m talking about. I had close views of the players and what Buford stands for. Go Team!

Donny Football

July 26th, 2011
2:01 pm

This wolfbait guy is a real winner. “Class AA ROCKS”. You admitting being a male cheerleader explained a lot…

SayItAintSo

July 26th, 2011
2:13 pm

@Let the kids play

Pleeeeeaaaaaaaaase on the word GREAT

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
2:18 pm

Donny Football…the AJC has let a hacker into my name………must be from a loser…I have been a cheerleader for BHS since the gold rush of’49

Butch

July 26th, 2011
2:24 pm

Wait, wolfbait-you say you have a hacker who is a ‘loser’ yet you have been a cheerleader since 49?

I would say you, wolfbait are the biggest loser on here. You clearly know nothing about football and have some sort of sick obsession with the players.

Butch

July 26th, 2011
2:44 pm

Just messin w/ ya wolfbait. Buford is a darn good team.

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
3:00 pm

Butch: thanks for letting me know that….I use to do that to the Fitzgerald fans(yellow jacket) but someone is now using my name….not good for the AJC to let it thru….anyway, like most of y’all, can’t wait for the 2011 edition of football………let the games begin.selah

NGHS 09

July 26th, 2011
4:10 pm

I tried to stay out of this but i found it impossible now that NG has been thrown around in this conversation. Idk where this Griffin guy crawled out from, but i don’t think including NG with Buford is remotely relevant other than the fact they are less than five miles from each other. If you want to talk about recruiting go cry to Norcross. I never hear anyone complain about them or ask about their 6 D1 players a year ago. They bus players in i mean come on people. It truly bewilders me when i hear fans say we recruit or have ever recruited. In 2005 NG had 6 or 7 D1 players and lost in the first round of the playoffs. That is the last time NG had more than 2 D1 players in a single season. The coaches are the reason they are always good.

Now back to the national ranking. Well deserved and a testament to coach Simpson’s plan. The man is smart and resilient. You can’t deny what they have done, no matter the path they took to get there. I know they play in a weak classification for the talent they have and that they rub it in everyone’s face, but it can’t last forever. Regardless NG never needs to be talked about with Buford and recruiting. Go knock Camden and their one high school in the WHOLE county, not to mention all of north Fl. they have to recruit from.

I’ll leave it at this though….NG and Buford have two things in common that is factual…Both have incredible coaching staffs and that ALWAYS yields a consistent winning tradition. Give Buford their credit and let your high schools do the talking under the lights. It’s almost here!

needums

July 26th, 2011
6:54 pm

Buford is great I’ll say that, what they have done not only in the past four years but the past decade is truly remarkable…….. but I do have reservations about this in knowing what everybody in this state knows and that is not everyone on that team was born and bred in that nice little Gwinnett County town. I know that doesn’t mean a whole lot given the way it is with kids coming to the school to be part of something and to help them showcase their skills and I’m definatly not taking anything away from the way that the people in Gwinnett County coach these boys up from the time they are able to walk but I feel it’s hard to call something truly your own when the boys that are on the field were not there this time last year and the boys that will be on the field next year will not be playing this year, they come from all around and theres nothing wrong with that but can you sit back and truly say that these are OUR boys and I remember seeing ALL of these kids play when they were 5 years old in rec.? Folks don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Buford or any other school that has kids coming in mainly to play football but I feel it’s kinda taking the passion away from the game when you play against a team that has all-stars from the whole state or possibly the whole southeast region up against you

Sugar Hill Dawg

July 26th, 2011
7:20 pm

Well, knocking North Gwinnett forced me into this conversation. I taught at Berkmar from 1975 – 2007, then retired and transfered to North (a block from my house). I watched North the entire time I was at Berkmar. They tried to build, but that part of Gwinnett County didn’t start to grow until the early 1990s. (We had three kids come to our house for Halloween in 1985 – NOBODY lived in Suwanee or Sugar Hill back in the day! The hiring of John Green as principal caused an epic shift at North (academically, athletically, arts, etc.). I worked with John at Berkmar – I knew he would transform North! To my knowledge, North hasn’t recruited. Once Suwanee (and later Sugar Hill) began to grow, so did North’s success. (Reminded me a lot of Parkview and Brookwood’s emergence.) Buford, on the other hand, might as well have been called “Gwinnett County All – Stars.” What’s his name – the kid that played RB at Notre Dame, lived in the Collins Hill district. Buford’s starting QB in the early 2000s lived a few houses from me – in the North district. I currently teach at a private school, so I understand a parent’s desire to put their child in what they perceive to be the best situation. As a city school, Buford acts in many ways like a cheaper option to many parents (than say GACS or Wesleyan, for example). I personally don’t hold any grudges regarding Buford. (That could be, in part, to my 32 years of working with kids trying to end futility at Berkmar – I vicariously enjoyed other schools’ success!) Good for Buford – would be better if they only played kids who actually live in the city limits of Buford!

The real story

July 26th, 2011
9:27 pm

Buford is a good school, but when they ran up against Cook County in the quarters last year, Cook beat them hands down. buford had some help from the refs and all the refs in that game got fired. Hmmmmm, sounds to me 1AA handed them a good whipping. the score should have been 35-14 Cook instead of 21-14 Buford and the refs he;ped them.

speeedy

July 26th, 2011
9:56 pm

crowell and carver beat the dog out of them

wolfbait67

July 26th, 2011
10:01 pm

Sugar Hill Dawg: absolutely(not Vodka) correct on your assessment of the growth in the North Gwinnett area……what use to be just North Gwinnett, now consist of NGHS, Collins Hill, Mill Creek, the new Lanier High School,(5 minutes from NGHS), and Peachtree Ridge all quality schools led by quality adminstrators and supported Booster Clubs….now the NG area is the place to be although my colors are Kelly Green and Gold yesterday, today, and tomorrow….we also lived outside the city limits

oldgflcoach

July 26th, 2011
11:11 pm

after reading the short article I find it interesting that I coached all 3 kids at collins hill park! hhmmm….

warner robins

July 27th, 2011
1:04 am

wolfbait ,buford is going to kill yullee fl, bad very very bad…..

you can have your Buford team

July 27th, 2011
10:00 am

So Buford is going to be great as usual….what’s new? It might just be me, but all the recruiting that Buford does takes some of the glory out of it all. Carrollton High works the same way…it is a city school and you can pay to attend. It gets all the athletes in the county concentrated in one school. When you compare these schools to other schools it is like comparing apples and oranges. Other schools systems don’t work the same way and students have to go to schools in districts where they live. I feel the same way about Camden County. I live in a county where there are 3 large high schools. If all the talent in our county was concentrated at one super-sized high school, we would be unbeatable too. However, this comes as a price to the athlete who is not the superstar. My son was an above average player who was able to play in every game at his high school and he had a great high school experience. I’ll have to add that his team made it to the final four his junior and senior years. Chances are that he would not have had that experience at Camden County with their 500 football players or at Buford with all their recruiting. There’s something to be said for a community fielding a team that is truly a community team.

NoNameDefense

July 27th, 2011
12:31 pm

hey you can have your Buford team………
Buford doesn’t have to recruit. The school and the program recruits itself. And stop with the pity party. Your son had a great high school experience and made it to some final 4’s. Good for him. Be happy for him and stop the hating. Chances are, those at Buford and Camden County are having a good experience too!

Jefferson

July 27th, 2011
1:43 pm

Buford is a great team, Carver not so great – the Calhoun Jackets handed it to them in their best game of the year last year. The championship game was a thriller. Go Jackets.

atlsportsave

July 27th, 2011
1:43 pm

Buford? Wow! Let’s talk about at http://www.atlantasportsavenue.com Select Forum to talk about Metro Atlanta sports.

Jefferson

July 27th, 2011
2:20 pm

Also for the writer, Buford has won over Calhoun in the last 3 championship games, not 2.

Peachtree Ridge

July 27th, 2011
3:31 pm

They will win it forever as long as they are not playing any talent themselves. They play nobody on a consistent basis thus results in many wins on a consistent basis. WTF does one have to say to get it through to so many that dont realize their consistently is a set up by their own people to never have to play any decent opponents. Every now and then they may play a good team but wtf? evryother 15 games or so. They play schools no one has heard of……or would consider playing. Come play in Gwinnett week after week and see what happens to that streak……

LakeDawg

July 27th, 2011
6:24 pm

Buford has its pick of anyone in Gwinnett County with a population of around 800,000. They should be playing in AAAAA. Having said that though, they’re probably the team of the decade in Georgia, no matter the classification.

JIMB

July 27th, 2011
7:29 pm

Buford, is one of the best football teams in ga. in any classification. Yes, they have choices other school can’t get( only city school in gwinnett county) PAY AND YOU CAN PLAY. first you have to qualify to get in. Good kids go in any sport. Buford has a winning tradition, that why kids pay to play.
Griffin a top ga football program in a joke. Its a good program.

hind tit

July 27th, 2011
9:47 pm

Best team money can buy.

BLACKGOLD

July 28th, 2011
12:45 am

Fizgerald Purple Hurricanes will be back and ready to gi teams all they can handle…………………..Go CANES

yo

July 28th, 2011
12:47 am

Congrats Buford

topper

July 28th, 2011
9:59 am

Congrats Buford. Now lets get this season started !!!!

Recruiter

July 28th, 2011
10:09 am

Well, they have the best recruiting program in Georgia…….they should win.

From Where I Sit

July 28th, 2011
10:28 am

OH BS!

Let’s have Buford play Valdosta, Lowndes, or even Lambert and see what would happen. I would expect 3 L’s after that! This is why they will not move up from AA to AAAA where they belong as they have kids coming from Forsyth Co. and the like going there so truely not a typical home-grown program!

Enough Said!

Peachtree Ridge

July 28th, 2011
10:55 am

What a jacked up claim to fame. They play no one and have not played anyone. Look at the scores over 8 years. This is like USC playing Lagrange College or UNC of Charlotte. Did you see Alabama play GA State? Well this is what you have week after week with Bufords schedule, year after year. They will continue to be the HS Football team of the world if we dont measure toughness of schedule. Maxpreps is getting stroked by the Buford folks just like the GHSA is being stroked too. Cmon and play in Gwinnett every Friday night and then we will talk team of the decade. When you drive out of town go play Lassiter, Roswell, Stephenson, and Tucker. So which of these teams even has a remote chance? Friday, August 12, 2011 @ Clarke Central (Scrimmage)7:00
Friday, August 19, 2011 @ Blessed Trinity7:30
Friday, August 26, 2011 Gainesville7:30
Friday, September 2, 2011 Carver Columbus7:30
Saturday, September 10, 2011 vs. Yulee, Florida (@ Westminster)3:00
Friday, September 16, 2011 Therrell* – Youth Night7:30
Friday, September 23, 2011 Lovett* 7:30
Friday, September 30, 2011 Decatur** – Homecoming7:30
Friday, October 7, 2011 @ Clarkston**7:30
Friday, October 14, 2011 OPEN 7:30
Friday, October 21, 2011 GAC** – Sr Night7:30

AVikingFan

July 28th, 2011
11:35 am

Congrats to Buford AND Calhoun.

Jefferson

July 28th, 2011
11:44 am

Peachtree Ridge – You must not have seen the last 2 state finals. Those were as close of games for Buford as any. Sounds like you wish you had their program’s success, I know I do.

Peachtree Ridge

July 28th, 2011
12:07 pm

Whatever Jeffthro, you must have not look at theoir scores for 10 years either or you would see they maybe in 10 years have played 5-6 tough games, and thats in the state finals too. If they had to overcome the grind of playing a gwinnett opponenet week in and week out, than they would not be beating everyone. To me they play a season ful of practice games and dont playa areal game until the final, then it becoimes blowout……WTF?

Peachtree Ridge

July 28th, 2011
12:11 pm

Play Grayson, and then rather than play Toccoa or Avondale, come back and play North. then play Collins Hill. Then mosey on over to the Ridge and see what we put on you. Then go play Dacula, then Brookwood. Take a week off and play Meadowcreek, then go play South, Then Norcross. then go into the playoffs and tell me that Maxpreps is correct here.

NoNameDefense

July 28th, 2011
12:44 pm

two things Peachtree Ridge.

#1 – The Max Prep ranking are comparing small schools across the country. It’s not comparing schools with a population of 800 against schools with a population of 5000!

#2 – I saw Buford and Peachtree Ridge match up against each other last summer in 7 on 7’s and lineman drills. The talent level at Buford was far superior than Peachtree Ridge. If the 2 teams had played, Buford would have put a beating on the Ridge unlike any they’ve had. Be glad Buford is in AA, start worrying how your team will catch Collins Hill and North, and stop the hating.