Buddy Bufford Field
High school teams in Lincoln County have essentially played football on the same piece of dirt since their first home game in 1922. Given visiting teams' collective record at the field, it's no wonder many don't like playing here! Since the name Buddy Bufford Field was added prior to the 1961 season, our Red Devils have won over 85% of their games at home.
The original field ran perpendicular to Buddy Bufford Field's current alignment. There were no bleachers and no lights.
The field was called "May Field". We believe this was because the land was owned by Dr. E. R. May, a mayor of Lincolnton at one time. Dr. May's office was at the top of hill on Peachtree Street. His office building has been relocated to the Lincoln County Historical Park. One newspaper note in 1930 referred to "May Field" as the "level corner of Dr. May's cow pasture".
As documented in this article from the July 24, 1947, edition of The Lincoln Journal, local organizations and individuals contributed to have a "new field" graded and built that would run longways along the street to the high school. This work also included the first lights. The first night game was played on September 12 with Connie Maxwell High of Greenwood providing the competition.
This ad appeared in the September 11 Journal for the first game under the lights in Lincolnton:
In 1961, the stadium was named "Buddy Bufford Field" after Coach Bufford succumbed to cancer that spring. The 1961 graduating class donated their senior trip funds to build an archway at the main entrance in front of the gym.
Around 1970 new wooden stands were built and the white, two-story, concrete block pressbox was erected.
In 1976 the arch and main entrance were moved to the Lillian Sims Avenue entrance, to allow better access from the new parking lots constructed between the field and the creek. The gym also received a major renovation at this time, with new concession, ticketing, offices, and dressing areas.
In 1982 concrete stands were constructed on what was the visitor side, and the two sides were swapped. The gridiron itself was shifted about a foot crossways to allow for the new construction.
The current primary pressbox was built in 1985 thanks to a donation by Red Devil player Kenneth Goolsby.
In 2000, the wooden stands on the visitor side were replaced by aluminum stands with a pressbox. The original plan was for these to become the new home stands, but the Lincoln County faithful indicated they wanted to stay on the concrete stands, and the plans to switch were dropped.
For the 2009 season, new goalposts were installed. The old goldposts were moved to the practice field at the new high school facility. [Buddy Bufford Field page at FootballFridayNight.com]