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Swope, Wolves charging toward a title

Transfer making impact

POSTED: December 6, 2010 10:49 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS | The Times/

Wolves running back Dominique Swope has made an impact in the run game and on special teams this year for Buford.

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BUFORD -- After spending his first three years playing for the Chiefs of Sequoyah High, Dominique Swope came to Buford with the hopes of contributing to the three-time defending Class AA champions.

Despite Buford’s rich tradition — the Wolves have six state titles since 2001 — Swope said when he first began practicing with the team, he wasn’t intimidated.

“My brother (Andrew Swope, a four-year linebacker who started last season) played here, so I had a feel for how it was going to be,” said Swope, a senior. “I knew some players, so I thought it would be as good as it has been.

“I had to get used to the offense though.”

At Sequoyah, Swope was a running back in the wing-T, and had to get acclimated to the I-formation.

“It wasn’t hard,” Swope said, “but it took a couple of games to get used to it. But after a few games, I was ready to go.”

As Swope became more comfortable in the offense, his numbers improved. He finished the regular season second on the team in rushing yards (459) and rushing touchdowns (six) while averaging 7.9 yards per carry.

He’s come on even stronger during the playoffs. In the four wins that led to the Wolves’ fourth-straight title game appearance against Calhoun — the game will be played at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta —

Swope duplicated his regular season touchdown total of six and added 246 more yards.

“Dominique is a special talent,” Wolves coach Jess Simpson said. “What’s most impressive is how he’s adapted to our program and the way we do things. And he’s unselfish. After three or four games, we thought it would be best for him to play at fullback rather than tailback, and he was excited about that.

“He turned into a great blocker aside from being able to make plays running the football.”

The Wolves also put Swope on special teams, where he is now the punt returner. During the regular season, he had a 21.1-yard return average on 10 attempts.

“He’s fearless in returning punts and he has a knack for it,” Simpson said.

Swope hasn’t minded the challenges presented by the Wolves coaching staff.

“One thing I’ll say is it hasn’t been easy,” he said. “Buford is one of the hardest high schools to play for, and you can tell by all the championships. It’s a different work ethic here. (Simulated crowd noise) at practices — they do all the little things.

“It’s been a good experience.”

Swope said he’s received recruiting interest from Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Eastern Michigan. Simpson said a Tennessee recruiter recently said he was high on Swope.

So far, Swope has visited Georgia, Georgia Tech and Alabama and said he’s undecided on where he wants to play, though his choices have narrowed.

“I want to play in-state,” he said.

But for now, Swope said his main focus is on the final game of his prep career.

“I’m just glad to have this opportunity to play,” he said. “And I’m just happy to be here.”



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