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Jackets' Bufford to play at Newberry

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By Robert Howey

The Buford High School conference room was crowded with a positive buzz for a Yellow Jackets football ace Friday afternoon.
There was good reason as BHS star receiver-defensive back Dwayne Bufford, also a stellar student, set his future as family, friends, coaches and school administrators watched with interest.
Most donned red Newberry College T-shirts in support of Bufford’s choice of the Wolves.
Bufford, who played football and basketball for the Jackets, is headed to NC where he will go with BHS teammate Justin Hayden, who signed with the Wolves last month.
“Dwayne was one of our most dynamic players,” Buford High School football coach Tripp Watts said. “He was our go-to guy on both sides of the football. His hard work has made all this possible.”
Bufford, a four-year letterman and three-year starter, was an all-region pick the last two seasons as well as an all-county selection by The Lancaster News.
Bufford, over his Jackets career, had 5,100 receiving yards to go with 26 receiving touchdowns.
“I was lucky,” Watts said. “I saw it all happen on Friday nights between 7:30 p.m. and 10 in the fall, and then saw it again a few hours later on film. That never got old.”
Bufford, in his senior season, had 24 catches for 615 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“It’s been fun watching Dwayne on Friday nights,” Watts said. “He’s been a big-time player for us. We will miss him, but we wish him the best.
“I know he was recruited as a receiver, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing in the Newberry secondary,” Watts said.
Last season, Bufford won the Jackets’ Best Receiver Award for the 2018 Region IV-AA football champion. In his junior year, he was named the team’s Best Defensive Back.
Over his career, Bufford had six pick sixes, including a 109-plus-yard pick six in a home win over playoff-bound Lewisville High School in his junior season.
“I think I will fit in well at Newberry because their program is similar to ours,” Bufford said. “I like the football program, school and small-town atmosphere there.”
Bufford, as a two-sport athlete who also played basketball for two years, was also productive in class with a 4.6 GPA and ranked 21st in the BHS class of 2019.
Bufford averaged 6.5 points a game for the Jackets who earned a Class AA playoff bid this season, and in his junior season.
“This is great,” Watts said. “Dwayne has worked hard in class, on the field, in the gym, and weight room to make this day a reality. I told him he had the chance, but he had to put in the hard work and he did.
“Dwayne’s going to continue his education and do something he really loves,” Watts said. “Newberry is getting a good one and I feel he’s going to fit in well there.”