It's not unusual to find a representative from Buford among the superlatives in Class AA in Georgia Sports Writers Association's All-State high school football teams each season.
However, this year's Wolves superlatives -- Class AA Defensive Player of the Year Jessel Curry and Class AA Coach of the Year Jess Simpson -- may be among the more satisfying to the program.
Those two joined two other Buford players and 19 other players from eight different schools in three different classifications to be honored by the state's sports writers with the release of its All-State teams today.
This particular honor came with Buford winning its third straight Class AA state championship -- and sixth of the decade -- with a 13-10 win over previously top-ranked Calhoun on Dec. 11 at the Georgia Dome.
And it came with a team that, while not devoid of stars, did not have the same dominating presence as past Buford title teams.
The Wolves (14-1) overcame the loss of its 32-game overall winning streak and 49-game region winning streak in an early-season setback to Lovett, plus a strong group of contenders like Jefferson, Fitzgerald and Calhoun to take home the school's seventh overall state title.
"This was one of our better coaching jobs," Simpson said. "My staff and our seniors did as good a job of piecing together (a team) as we've ever done."
Curry, one of the Wolves' 16 seniors, was perhaps the important piece in keeping the team together throughout the season.
The 6-foot-2, 217-pounder, who recently graduated from Buford and will enroll at Auburn for the winter semester, filled a variety of roles.
On offense, he led the team with 709 yards and 17 touchdowns on 112 carries, and finished third on the team with 18 pass receptions for 284 yards and a team-high 7 TDs, including a 5-yard scoring catch in the title game against Calhoun.
He also averaged a solid 35.3 yards on 36 punts, including pinning opponents inside their own 20-yard line 13 times.
But it is defensively where Curry stood out the most, finishing second on the team with 118 tackles, including six for losses and a sack, and added a team-high five interceptions, two forced fumbles -- including one in the title game -- and two fumble recoveries.
Curry was out of town this week and could not be reached for comment, but Simpson couldn't think of a better choice for the classification's Defensive Player of the Year.
"Jessel -- the way he played for us this year and all the things he did -- was amazing," Simpson said. "He just played great the whole season, and he did it a lot of different ways."
Joining Curry on the AA first-team were a pair of Buford teammates also headed to SEC programs next fall in offensive linemen Kolton Houston (committed to Georgia) and Du'Von Millsap (South Carolina).
A total of 12 players from Gwinnett were included on either the first-team or honorable mention in Class AAAAA.
Grayson, which was ranked No. 1 much of the year in the classification and eventually finished at No. 5, had the largest contingent with four players, all on the first team -- running back Ean Pemberton, defensive lineman Shawn Green, linebacker Terry Williams and defensive back Kori Gaines.
Other county representatives on the Class AAAAA first team included North Gwinnett offensive lineman Ja'Wuan James and Peachtree Ridge receiver/defensive back Brad Roby.
Norcross punter Connor Hawk, Chris Caspari and Charles Perkins of Collins Hill, Geremy Davis of Norcross, Jonathan Krause of South Gwinnett, Austin Shepherd and C.J. Uzomah of North Gwinnett and Andre Sims of Brookwood were honorable mention selections.
In Class A, Wesleyan had four honorees, led by the classification's Defensive Player of the Year Bobby Fulton.
The 6-1, 205-pound senior linebacker recorded 130 tackles, including four for losses, with an interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries as the Wolves (12-1) advanced to the Class A state quarterfinals.
Other Wolves honored by the AP were running back Kyle Karempelis on the first team and quarterback Conor Welton and linebacker Merritt Hall as honorable mention selections.
Apalachee had three members of its historic 12-1 team honored in Class AAAA, including first-team offensive lineman Shaun Hill and honorable mention running back Jon Lee and linebacker Jeff Haney, while Winder-Barrow receiver Trent Demeritte was also an honorable mention selection.
The Georgia Sports Writers Association all-state football team, with players listed by name, school, height, weight and class:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
QB Hutson Mason, Lassiter, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Rajaan Bennett, McEachern
Defensive Player of the Year: Alec Ogletree, Newnan
Coach of the year: Jeff Herron, Camden County
QB: Hutson Mason, Lassiter, Sr., 6-3, 190
RB: Rajaan Bennett, McEachern, Sr., 5-11, 210
RB: Ean Pemberton, Grayson, Sr., 5-4, 145
WR: Griffin Roelle, Lassiter, Sr., 5-9, 190
WR: Quin Roberson, Colquitt County, Sr., 6-0, 180
TE: Jay Rome, Valdosta, Jr., 6-6, 240
OL: Ed Christian, Lowndes, Sr., 6-5, 310
OL: JaWuan James, North Gwinnett, Sr., 6-6, 305
OL: Jeremiah Booth, Camden County, 6-0, 305
OL: Thomas O'Reilly, Pope, Jr., 6-4, 313
OL: Donnie Werden, Northside-Warner Robins, Sr., 6-0, 225
K: Matt Ehasz, Camden County, Jr., 5-11, 150
ATH: Bradley Roby, Peachtree Ridge, Sr., 6-0, 185
DL: Tavontae Drake, McEachern, Sr., 6-1, 285
DL: Shawn Green, Grayson, Sr., 6-0, 280
DL: Michael Thornton, Stephenson, Sr., 6-1, 273
DL: Cameron Erving, Colquitt County, Sr., 6-5, 280
LB: Rip Rowan, Lassiter, Sr., 6-1, 230
LB: Telvin Smith, Lowndes, Sr., 6-3, 200
LB: Adam Strakose, Newnan, Sr., 5-11, 225
LB: Terry Williams, Grayson, Sr., 6-0, 280
DB: Alec Ogletree, Newnan, Sr., 6-3, 210
DB: Brian Randolph, Kell, Jr., 6-0, 170
DB: Brison Williams, Northside-Warner Robins, Sr., 6-0, 180
DB: Kori Gaines, Grayson, Sr., 5-10, 174
P: Connor Hawk, Norcross, Sr., 5-9, 165
RET: Ean Days, Camden County, Sr., 5-11, 190
Honorable mentions: DL Jonathan Bermudez, Woodstock; DB Detrick Bonner, Luella; WR Chris Boyd, Roswell; RB Mack Brown, M.L. King; LB Corey Carmichael, Woodstock; ATH Chris Caspari, Collins Hill; WR Patrick Cosgrove, Walton; WR Geremy Davis, Norcross; RB Greg Franklin, Marietta; LB Jamie Grable, Milton; WR Jonathan Krause, South Gwinnett; OL Thomas Martin, Camden County; RB Charles Perkins, Collins Hill; K Devon Pike, Northside-Warner Robins; OL Grant Ramsey, Pope; RB Raymond Sanders, Stephenson; DL Derrick Saulsberry, Camden County; OL Austin Shepherd, North Gwinnett; WR Andre Sims, Brookwood; LB Michael Taylor, Westlake; QB C.J. Uzomah, North Gwinnett; OL Reid Webster, Etowah; DL Jeffrey Whitaker, Warner Robins; DL Anthony Williams, Union Grove; RB Tay Willis, East Coweta.
Offensive Player of the Year: Rajion Neal, Sandy Creek
Defensive Player of the Year: Isaiah Johnson, Sandy Creek
Coach of the year: Chip Walker, Sandy Creek
QB: Ronnie Bell, Sandy Creek, Jr., 6-0, 180
RB: Rajion Neal, Sandy Creek, Sr., 5-11, 205
RB: Storm Johnson, Loganville, Sr., 6-0, 215
WR: Dmitri Holmes, Clarke Central, Sr., 6-1, 180
WR: Chris Conley, North Paulding, Jr., 6-3, 180
TE: Logan Winkles, Upson-Lee, Sr., 6-0, 240
OL: Morgan Bailey, Loganville, Sr., 6-5, 290
OL: Watts Dantzler, Dalton, Jr., 6-8, 320
OL: Shaun Hill, Apalachee, Jr., 6-3, 240
OL: Alan Posey, Clarke Central, Jr., 6-6, 310
OL: Tim Wynn, Mays, Sr., 6-3, 270
K: Justin Moore, Marist, Sr., 5-11, 160
ATH: Jerrick McKinnon, Sprayberry, Sr., 5-11, 185
DL: Xzavier Dickson, Griffin, Jr., 6-3, 240
DL: Allen Stripling, Southwest DeKalb, Sr., 6-6, 215
DL: Grady Jarrett, Rockdale County, Jr., 6-1, 275
DL: Owen Williams, Westside-Macon, Jr., 6-3, 250
LB: Cartavious Woods, Griffin, Sr., 5-10, 208
LB: Clinard Stokes, Sandy Creek, Sr., 5-11, 195
LB: Blake Young, Sprayberry, Sr., 6-0, 167
LB: Bobby Liggins, Hephzibah, Sr., 5-11, 210
DB: Isaiah Johnson, Sandy Creek, Sr., 6-2, 185
DB: Sharrod Golightly, Southwest DeKalb, Sr., 5-10, 180
DB: Ryan Ayers, South Paulding, Sr., 5-10, 175
DB: Demetruce McNeal, Banneker, Sr., 6-0, 176
P: Keenan Adams, Bainbridge, Jr., 5-8, 162
RET: Marques Dixon, Southwest DeKalb, Sr., 5-10, 182
Honorable mentions: RB Jerrel Anderson, Richmond Academy; DB D Alvarez Antwine, Sprayberry; RB Robert Brown, Westside-Macon; DL Jabari Carney, Southwest DeKalb; WR Ronnie Carswell, Westside-Macon; WR Jarrett Davis, Sandy Creek; DL Nermin Delic, Northwest Whitfield; WR Trent Demeritte, Winder-Barrow; DL Ray Drew, Thomas County Central; DL Jalen Fields, Dalton; LB Leighton Gasque, Hiram; RB Terrance Gore, Jones County; DL Seth Grummer, Sequoyah; LB Jeff Haney, Apalachee; DB Tres Houston, Banneker; RB Clarence Jackson, North Clayton; RB John Lee, Apalachee; OL Dylan Leonard, Ola; RB Ken Malcome, Southwest DeKalb; QB Martay Mattox, Clarke Central; ATH DeMarco McNeal, Banneker; DB Jonathan Mincey, Southwest DeKalb; LB Kendal Parker, Lakeside-Evans; QB Marcus Waller, Griffin; OL Charlie Zemko, Sandy Creek.
Offensive Player of the Year: Blake Sims, Gainesville
Defensive Player of the Year: Thomas Sprague, Gainesville
Coach of the year: Chad Campbell, Peach County
QB: Connor Shaw, Flowery Branch, Sr., 6-2, 200
RB: Git Aiken, Eastside, Sr., 5-9, 170
RB: Isaiah Crowell, Carver-Columbus, Jr., 5-11, 190
WR: Tai-ler Jones, Gainesville, Sr., 6-0, 185
WR: Lamar Zanders, Peach County, Sr., 6-3, 185
TE: Jrametries Kirksay, Washington County, Jr., 6-0, 250
OL: David Beasley, Carver-Columbus, Sr., 6-4, 287
OL: Renard Williams, Peach County, Jr., 6-2, 210
OL: Jadarius Dean, Baldwin, Sr., 6-3, 255
OL: Daniel Blitch, North Hall, Sr., 6-6, 320
OL: Chartavious Danzy, Washington County, Jr., 6-2, 260
K: Joe Mansour, LaGrange, Sr., 6-2, 180
ATH: Blake Sims, Gainesville, Sr., 6-1, 180
DL: Corey Crawford, Carver-Columbus, Sr., 6-5, 235
DL: Kelcey Lewis, Peach County, Sr., 6-2, 200
DL: Sterling Bailey, East Hall, Jr., 6-6, 250
DL: Denarrious King, Baldwin, Sr., 6-0, 230
LB: Thomas Sprague, Gainesville, Sr., 6-0, 215
LB: A.J. Johnson, Gainesville, Jr., 6-3, 220
LB: Luke Crowell, Peach County, Sr., 5-8, 185
LB: Ryan Holmes, Creekview, Sr., 5-10, 200
DB: Nathan Jones, North Hall, Sr., 5-11, 185
DB: Jontavious Davis, Peach County, Jr., 5-11, 150
DB: Damian Swann, Grady, Jr., 6-0, 175
DB: Deion Bonner, Carver-Columbus, Soph., 5-11, 185
P: Chisel Flores, East Hall, Sr., 5-10, 245
RET: Caddarius Warthen, Washington County, Sr., 5-9, 180
Honorable mentions: DL Charlie Aly, Jackson; DL Henry Anderson, Woodward Academy; DL Neiron Ball, Jackson; QB Terrell Brigham, Burke County; QB Devin Burns, Carver-Columbus; WR Vincent Dallas, Cedar Grove; LB Tevin Davis, Mary Persons; RB Martez Eastland, Ringgold; RB Ben Emert, West Forsyth; DL Wesley Evans, Washington County; LB Clarence France, Carver-Columbus; RB Montravious Gladdin, Washington County; QB Miles Gooch, Towers; DB Byron Isaac, Dunwoody; DL Derrick Laney, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe; ; RB Quint McKibben, Jackson; OL Quincy McKinney, Carver-Columbus; P Will Monday, Flowery Branch; FB Cole Moon, St. Pius X; LB Tommy Sanders, Crisp County; QB Shunquez Stephens, West Hall; QB Patrick Taylor, Peach County; RB Juwan Thompson, Woodward Academy; RB Shadrach Thornton, Liberty County; WR Rodney Young, Flowery Branch.
Offensive Player of the Year: Da'Rick Rogers, Calhoun
Defensive Player of the Year: Jessel Curry, Buford
Coach of the year: Jess Simpson, Buford
QB: Nash Nance, Calhoun, Sr., 6-3, 200
RB: Marquis Terrell, Callaway, Jr., 5-8, 160
RB: Ralph David Abernathy IV, Westminster, Jr., 5-7, 165
WR: Da'Rick Rogers, Calhoun, Sr., 6-3, 205
WR: Markeith Ambles, Henry County, Sr., 6-2, 215
WR: Blake Gowder, Union County, Sr., 6-2, 200
OL: Kolton Houston, Buford, Sr., 6-5, 285
OL: Caitlin Alford, Adairsville, Sr., 6-4, 280
OL: Andrew Bridges, Westminster, Sr., 6-4, 255
OL: Du'Von Millsap, Buford, Sr., 6-5, 333
OL: Kyle Harris, Pepperell, Sr., 6-4, 255
K: Adam Griffith, Calhoun, Soph., 5-10, 180
ATH: Barry Bostic, Jefferson County, Sr., 5-11, 170
DL: Jeremy Phillips, Blessed Trinity, Sr., 6-0, 200
DL: Dale Howard, Appling County, Sr., 6-1, 280
DL: Matthew Hardeman, Avondale, Sr., 6-0, 215
DL: Jesse Webb, North Oconee, Sr., 6-3, 200
LB: Jessel Curry, Buford, Sr., 6-2, 217
LB: Victor Beasley, Adairsville, Sr., 6-5, 225
LB: Lucas Redd, Jefferson, Sr., 6-1, 195
LB: Lanoris Christopher, Thomasville, Sr., 5-9, 190
DB: Kedron Aker, Calhoun, Sr., 6-0, 200
DB: Deon Smalls, Fitzgerald, Sr., 5-9, 160
DB: Andre Jefferson, Southwest-Macon, Sr., 5-10, 175
DB: Fred Holton, Thomasville, Sr., 6-1, 200
P: Dylan Shaddix, Henry County, Sr., 6-2, 210
RET: Senorise Perry, Chattooga, Sr., 6-1, 190
Honorable mentions: QB Devon Blankenship, Brantley County; ATH Mike Bloodser, Lamar County; RB Zach Boden, Lovett; ATH Quan Bray, Callaway; QB Jonathan Carkhuff, Lovett; RB Dustin Christian, Calhoun; RB Keith Christopher, Brooks County; OL William Dunn, Jefferson County; QB Malcolm Eady, Swainsboro; RB Greg Gates, Manchester; WR Quantavious Leslie, Callaway; ATH Taylor Mack, Lovett; LB Taylor Maxey, North Oconee; DB Donovan McCloud, Dublin; QB Chris Milton, Charlton County; QB Darius Minor, Jefferson; QB Kaleb Nobles, Fitzgerald; QB Kolt Owenby, Union County; ATH Mike Palmer, Northeast-Macon; ATH Trenton Pruitt, Fitzgerald; DB Jake Skole, Blessed Trinity; WR Shavarez Smith, Henry County; RB Max Thompson, Avondale; DL Dalvin Tomlinson, Henry County; WR Max Williams, Lovett.
Offensive Player of the Year: Nick Marshall, Wilcox County
Defensive Player of the Year: Bobby Fulton, Wesleyan
Coach of the year: Mark Ledford, Wilcox County
QB: Nick Marshall, Wilcox County, Sr., 6-2, 190
RB: Kyle Karempelis, Wesleyan, Jr., 5-10, 170
RB: Chris Barnwell, Savannah Christian, Sr., 5-11, 190
WR: Kevin Blackburne, Savannah Country Day, Jr., 6-0, 160
WR: Zack Walker, Johnson County, Jr., 6-1, 175
TE: Kennard Backman, Whitefield Academy, Jr., 6-3, 225
OL: Kenarious Gates, Greenville, Sr., 6-5, 300
OL: Morgan Clemm, Savannah Country Day, Sr., 6-3, 310
OL: Colby Nelson, Taylor County, Sr., 6-0, 255
OL: Dylan Turner, ECI, Jr., 6-2, 240
OL: Chris Ross, Twiggs County, Sr., 6-1, 250
K: Ryan Thames, Landmark Christian, Jr., 5-10, 150
ATH: Niko Jones, Chattahoochee County, Sr., 5-10, 170
DL: Octavious Gordon, ECI, Jr., 6-2, 225
DL: Thad Mathis, Darlington, Sr., 5-11, 255
DL: Keith Paisley, Clinch County, Sr., 6-1, 245
DL: Juwan Jones, Miller County, Jr., 6-2, 220
LB: Bobby Fulton, Wesleyan, Sr., 6-1, 205
LB: Austin Goodlet, Gordon Lee, Sr., 5-11, 180
LB: Robert Cooper, Chattahoochee County, Sr., 5-11, 185
LB: Tavious McGahee, Lincoln County, Sr., 5-11, 190
DB: Fred Marshall, Irwin County, Sr., 5-11, 190
DB: Jeremy Stanley, Twiggs County, Sr., 5-10, 175
DB: Nate Moorhouse, Wilcox County, Sr., 5-8, 175
DB: Tev'n Hamilton, Darlington, Jr., 5-11, 175
P: Joseph McAllister, GMC, Jr., 6-3, 180
RET: Kevious Robinson, Irwin County, 5-10, 170
Honorable mentions: QB Mario Alford, Greenville; ATH Willis Aitkens, Holy Innocents'; DB Peter Allen, Holy Innocents'; RB Maricio Askew, Bowdon; LB Dennis Benning, Greenville; RB Deon Brock, Commerce; RB Earnest Butts, Twiggs County; QB Vintavious Cooper, Clinch County; DB Darqueze Dennard, Twiggs County; DL Josh Gebhardt, Landmark Christian; WR Teddy Gibson, Chattahoochee County; RB Keyante Green, Eagle's Landing Christian; LB Merritt Hall, Wesleyan; WR Bernardis Hughes, Wilkinson County; DB Evan Kasian, Walker; ATH Cameron Lemons, Whitefield Academy; RB Nolan Moran, Mount Paran Christian; WR Lonnie Outlaw, Wilcox County; OL Tyler Pitt, Telfair County; WR Tay Porter, Wilcox County; QB D.J. Rozier, Johnson County; ATH Cosby Salter, Miller County; TE Rusty Scott, Lincoln County; LB Quayshon Simmons, Wilkinson County; QB Conor Welton, Wesleyan.