They've started to raise us back to the bar that Coach (Bob) Griff(ith) and his staff set when they were runners-up back in 1987, and that is our goal.Rebels coach Buddy Holder
LEESBURG — The Lee County Trojans rudely slammed the playoff door in Effingham County's face Friday night. Even so, that doesn't mean the Rebels won't be knocking on it again soon.
Effingham County coach Buddy Holder was thinking about the Rebels' future just minutes after they absorbed a 54-0 second-round defeat at the hands of Class AAAAAA's top-ranked team. The loss didn't diminish their 16-10 decision over Lakeside-Evans a week earlier that gave Effingham County just its second state playoff win in the 58-year history of the school.
"All these kids did something very, very special by being part of a team that got (a playoff victory) 31 years later after it first happened," Holder said. "They have a lot to be proud of and they have accomplished a lot. They've started to raise us back to the bar that Coach (Bob) Griff(ith) and his staff set when they were runners-up back in 1987, and that is our goal."
The Rebels (7-5), Region 2-AAAAAA's second seed, realize that they are quite a distance from being where they need to be. Lee County's first-team offense scored touchdowns on each of its eight possessions.
The Trojans (12-0) rolled up 483 total yards, including 303 in the first two quarters. Effingham County had 33 total yards at halftime.
Shaundarious Kimbrough and Kyle Toole did most of the damage. Kimbrough tallied three rushing touchdowns and Toole passed for three more scores.
Holder was effusive with praise for Lee County, the defending state champion
"They are very well coached, they are very, very fast, they are very, very good and they are very, very good at what they do," Holder said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes and the head coach at Thomson (Michael Youngblood) told me (Lee County) has the best defense he has ever seen in high school football — and he was a defensive coordinator at Ware County at one time. He wasn't joking."
Holder challenged the Rebels after the game.
He said, "I asked them just a minute ago if they had aspirations of being like what they just saw on the field from Lee County tonight. If so, we have work to do and let's get in there and get it done. They weren't hanging their heads.
"I'm proud of them."
The Rebels won't take much of a break before they begin preparing for 2019.
"We'll start right back in the weightroom after the Thanksgiving break," Holder said. "They will go play basketball and baseball, and things like that, which we want them to do. It's good for their development to play as many sports as they can."
Spring practice is set in May.