SPRINGFIELD — Greg Manior has returned to Effingham County where he will serve as the head coach of the track and field team.
Manior coached the Rebels from 1994-1999 and had stints at Savannah, South Effingham and other high schools.
Although he’s coached football and golf, Manior said he’s ready to get back on the track, which is his first passion.
“It’s been 15 years since I’ve been a track coach,” Manior said. “It was one of my first loves when I first started. When I left Effingham, I got more into coaching golf and football because that’s what head football coaches did. They coached football and then they coached golf, something a little less strenuous. I’m looking forward to seeing us compete.”
Manior, who is from Effingham County, couldn’t pass up an opportunity to return home.
“My kids are all grown up now and off to college and doing other things,” he said. “It was time for my wife and I to get back to where we were comfortable. We’ve traveled all over Georgia taking different jobs and I was a head football coach at a lot of different places. But now we are ready to come back to our roots and be around family and be back home again.”
For the Lady Rebels, the top returners include Olivia Brown (100-meters hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, high jump), Takara Wallace (100 and 200 meters) and Abby McDonald (pole vault and 100 meters).
For the boys, state runner-up Liam McDonald (pole vault), Anthony Ashe (100 meters), Randy Stanley (discus) and Zabian Wimberly (shotput) are leading returners.
“The track team was very good last year,” Manior said. “Olivia Brown has gone to the state competition for a couple years. She’s going to be really good this year. Megan Hilton is a young tenth-grade distance runner — she’s going to be good — and I have a ninth grader named Candace Kieffer that is going to be really good, too. They all work hard.
“Miguel Kirkland, Dashaun Thompson are going to do a good job in the sprints. Rafael Osella is a senior distance runner and he ran a really good time in practice.”
Manior has been impressed with the diligence of the Rebels as they were already hard at work before he arrived.
“We’ve got a great attitude,” he said. “I haven’t had one complaint yet. They are used to working.”
With a small and less grueling regular season schedule, it’s hard to say when the Rebels will be tested the most. When that time comes, Manior wants them to be ready to respond.
“It’s going to be a journey because we have all these smaller track meets,” she said. “I want to see how the kids react when it’s time to go to region (2-AAAAAA) and then sectionals and, hopefully, I’ll have a couple kids qualify for state.”