Not two, not three, not four, not five… Try seven. Seven-consecutive state titles won by the Buford Lady Wolves softball program.
The Lady Wolves have undoubtedly become the most dominant softball program in the state of Georgia. Nothing has seemed to phase Buford since head coach Tony Wolfe (Yes, Wolfe coaches the Wolves) took over the program in 2006.
It took Wolfe just two seasons to get his team to championship caliber, and over seven seasons, he compiled a 227-32-2 record and 23 different Coach of the Year awards.
"We've been very fortunate to have the girls that are very good athletes, and the girls are tremendously committed to improving their game," he said.
Committed may be an understatement. Wolfe said many of his players take private lessons throughout the offseason, and this past Friday, he had 13 players miss practice because they had not yet returned from national tournaments.
"They're doing everything they can to develop their skills and to become better players within the school and outside of the school," he said.
The Lady Wolves have much of last year's championship team returning as Buford moves up the classification system for the second time in three years.
Starting pitcher Bria Bush returns for her senior season before joining the University of Tennessee's program. Bush won the AAA Pitcher of the Year award the past two seasons.
The Lady Wolves have five other returning seniors who have already committed to college softball teams. Second baseman Jordan Deep and Drew Puckett have committed to Georgia Tech, and Remington Hasty and Bailey Simpson have committed to Georgia State University. First baseman Tessa Daniels has committed to Florida State.
"We've got some big holes to fill, and I feel like we've got some younger girls who have been waiting their time and working and waiting for an opportunity to step in," Wolfe said.
While the jump from AA to AAA did not seem to phase the Lady Wolves, Wolfe was not as confident that the team would win the championship right away in AAAA, but does think they will be in the conversation for it.
"I think AAAA is going to be much more difficult," he said.
"I think we have a chance. If we can stay healthy and we make plays and if our intangibles are good, then we'll be around towards the end and have a chance. But, you just never know.
Ball bounces funny ways sometimes."
Here is the first five games on the Lady Wolves' schedule:
Milton (@South Forsyth)