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Wells deserves coaching honor

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By The Staff

Beach trips, no matter the time of year, most often result in fun.

Buford High School head football coach Mike Wells has a beach business trip planned for next December and he's elated with what's in store.

Wells, the seven-year head football coach at Buford High School, has been selected as a coach for the annual North-South All-Star football game at Coastal Carolina University.

Wells will serve as a North assistant for the 61st annual clash.

His selection comes on the heels of a 6-5 finish for the 2007 BHS football season. After going 1-9 and missing the playoffs the previous season, Wells helped the Jackets right the ship last fall. Buford's season was highlighted by a third-place finish in Conference VIII-AA play, which earned the maroon and gold a postseason bid.

The Jackets' season included an impressive 19-7 home win over Chesterfield High School.

Still, with three weeks to go in its football season, BHS was 3-4, but responded with three straight wins – two on the road.

The Yellow Jackets' late-season run earned Wells the 2007 Lancaster County high school football coach of the year.

Wells' all-star game selection puts him in elite company to coach some of the top senior high school football players in the state.

"I'm looking forward to working with a group of outstanding coaches and top players," Wells said. "In your career, the chance to coach in an all-star game is what you work to achieve. I'm honored."

Wells' selection continues a solid Lancaster County link to the game. A year ago, five coaches with ties to Lancaster County were N-S All-Star game participants at Coastal.

Indian Land High School veteran assistant Bob LeRoy was a North aide on a staff led by North Central High School's Ron Blackmon, a Heath Springs native.

The South staff featured a trio of county natives – Al Berry, Art Craig and Keith Crolley.

Crolley, who coaches at Crestwood High School in Sumter County, will give the county a link to the 2008 Shrine Bowl, the all-star charity game which features the Carolinas' top senior football players.

Crolley will serve as an assistant on the 2008 S.C. coaching staff in the game at Spartanburg. A year ago, Lewisville High School football coach Floyd Drum, a Lancaster resident, was a S.C. Shrine Bowl assistant coach.

On a similar note, Buford has a link to the 2008 North-South All-Star wrestling tournament.

Jackets' wrestling coach John Mahaffey, a 10-year veteran of BHS matches, is a North coach for the elite field.

"I'm thrilled to see John earn this accolade because it's long overdue," Indian Land High coach Mike Kersey said.

We salute the all-star coaches who have been selected as well as those who have served as coaches in the elite games. Each is most deserving.