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5 reasons why the Buford Wolves will win the Georgia Class 7A state championship

The Wolves ended up losing Walton in the second round in 2022, but Buford is loaded heading into 2023 and we tell you why they can win it all
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BUFORD, GEORGIA- There’s a lot of things to like about the Buford Wolves this 2023 season, but maybe even more when it comes to them winning the Class 7A state championship. 

Yes we know there’s teams like Carrollton, Colquitt County, Mill Creek, Milton and others that are in the hunt for a state title as well. This Buford team is different, though, when it comes to its overall dynamics and new additions via transfers. 

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The Wolves have as much of a chance as anyone to come away with a championship come December at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and we’d like to provide you some reasons why. Below we list five reasons why we think Buford is going to win the Class 7A state championship down below and comment via social media on what your thoughts are. 

5. Winning state championships is nothing new for the Wolves 

When you talk about a team that just piles up the state championships like Buford does, it’s not a matter of if but when for the Wolves until they win another one. The 14-time GHSA state champions and no strangers to bringing home the gold, but haven’t done it in Class 7A. Heading into their second season in the classification, the Wolves no doubt have the talent to bring it home, but also the history. Buford is aiming for No. 15 and it would be its first in 7A, so this one would mean a lot. 

4. Early season test versus St. Frances Academy (MD) will tell a lot 

Right out of the gates will tell us a lot about how good the Buford Wolves will be when it comes to a national level, but also will be a good barometer of how much they’ve come together. This team will have some new pieces on offense that will be stepping into important positions. The graduation of running back Justice Haynes will be felt, but with the plethora of athletes that the Wolves will have, we feel like they will be able to offset the loss of Haynes just fine. 

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3. Avenging last season’s second round exit weighs heavy 

Motivation is a heck of a thing heading into a season in which you may feel like your team has some unfinished business going on. Buford assuredly is a team that fits that description as they entered the Class 7A playoffs undefeated at 10-0 and then completely breezed by Peachtree Ridge 63-6 in the opening round. It would be in the second round when the shock of the postseason occurred when Walton upended Buford 42-35. The Wolves feel like it was a missed opportunity and will play with a chip on their should all season long. 

2. This Buford defense is special top to bottom 

From the defensive line to the linebackers to the secondary, this Buford defense could be something very special this fall. Last season, the Wolves averaged allowing 9.5 points per game through the regular season and recorded seven games that they only allowed seven points or less. The defensive line is a stout unit behind Eddrick Houston, a 4-star rated defensive lineman, and Vanderbilt commit Matreece Dillard. On the back end is safeties KJ Bolden and Tyshun White (North Carolina commit) returning to the lineup. When you take a look at this defensive unit, it’s a scary bunch and you know the saying, defense wins championships. This one can really do that. 

1. Dylan Raiola makes all the difference

Having the No. 1 ranked player in the entire country when it comes to the 2024 class is a pretty nice luxury to have. As a junior for the Wolves, Raiola completed 178 of 278 passes for 2,435 yards and 22 touchdowns and just five interceptions for Chandler (Arizona). Raiola played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Burleson (Texas). He arrives at Buford with high expectations to lead the Wolves to a Class 7A state championship. With a slew of talented skill players at his disposal and an experienced offensive line, Raiola is in line to be the difference maker for Buford in 2023. 

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.