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Rebels head coach receives GACA award
John Ford
Effingham County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford (from left), Rebels head coach John Ford and George Spencer, past president of the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD --  Effingham County head football coach John Ford took a perfect handoff Thursday afternoon.

Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Past President George Spencer presented Ford a plaque for his Rebels topping the 2021 Class AAAAAA Improvement Tracker Standings, which are based on the computer Maxwell Ratings. Effingham County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford and Assistant Superintendent Tim Hood were on hand for the occasion.

"This is the first year we've done this and we are really excited about it," Spencer said. "We give one award in each classification and it's been received very positively. We look forward to doing it every year."

Effingham County jumped 20.7 points over their 2020 Maxwell Ratings total to easily push Ford past Robert Edwards (Riverwood), Craig Bennett (Cambridge), Caleb Carmean (Kennesaw Mountain) and Matt Helmerich (Johns Creek).

 Ford, in his first season in Springfield, led the Rebels to the playoffs, ending the season with a 6-4 mark. Their win total was three more than in 2020 and they averaged nine points more per game while surrendering nine points less.

"It's a credit to the kids and the coaches," Ford said. "They worked real hard. The kids let the coaches push them. 

"We love them and want to build (on the 2020 success)."

The award was announced Dec. 15, 2021.