Football Fridays In Georgia: Effingham County's John Ford On His New Job And New Life Lessons
On this month's edition of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, Jon Nelson and Hannah Goodin discuss the summer schedule and timeline for the return of the high school football regular season in September.
They also catch up with John Ford, the new head coach at Effingham County High School. The former Roswell and Buford head coach, and most recent Bleckley County Defensive Coordinator, talks about all of the new things that he's learned about himself, the school and the new job. He also shares what the COVID pandemic taught him about not taking one-on-one interactions with your players for granted.
We also hear about the newest four-legged addition to the Ford family as well.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Thanks for accessing us however you are doing so, large devices our small, stationary or mobile, whether you're sitting in front of your computer, you're hanging out with us on your phone, whatever device you're using. Thanks for hanging out with us. It's another round of stuff during the spring. Next one will be stuff during the summer, but this one is still stuff during the spring. She's Hannah. I'm Jon. What's on your mind?
Hannah Goodin: It's June and Jon and we are halfway through 2021. What happened?
Jon Nelson: Well, wha' ha' happened was.
Hannah Goodin: Where did the time go?
Jon Nelson Well, now that we're, you know, getting ready. But I've told you, this football season is 12 months out of the year. It doesn't just stop. But you know what that means.
Hannah Goodin: What does it mean?
Jon Nelson: We're that much closer to having, you know, summer practice and games meaning something like I said, the schedule never stops. Yeah, the schedule never stops. That's why we're here. Schedule never stops. There's always stuff to talk about.
Hannah Goodin: We're going to talk about the schedule in just a minute. But what's happened since the last time I saw you? Memorial Day weekend. Yeah. How was your Memorial Day weekend?
Jon Nelson: Let's see. The boss was in charge of everything in the kitchen because that's the last place you really want me touching anything because you don't want the house to burn down. So we we did the full cookout and we did the the hot dogs and the rather large, uh large hamburgers and things like that. What she does. And she picked this up from In and Out Burger out west.
Hannah Goodin: I'm intrigued.
Jon Nelson: There's something that you can do. It's a part of the secret menu at In and Out burger. And what you can do is you can ask for it to be mustard grilled, but you have to know to ask for that. And what they'll do is with the patty that they put on the grill, they'll put mustard on it immediately, like the second that they put the patty on the grill, they'll add mustard and the mustard is grilled into the beef patty.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Jon Nelson: For the burger as a part of the deal. Never heard of that. And this is also, I think, similar to the Buddy burger that is in Toombs County that you can get at Toombs County games, too, and folks will line up and get this burger that's a part of the deal. But yeah, she mustard grills the beef patties. And so we had we had dogs, we had patties, we had tater tots because, you know, you know, what's what's life without tater tots? It's not a full life if you don't have tater tots as a part of your meal.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, of course not.
Jon Nelson: And then there's something else that she does. It's dump cake.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, I have heard of that.
Jon Nelson: And so it's where you take like like a mixed berry. You can take multiple berry mixes and you can put them in and you just basically throw them all into a pile and you make a cake out of it.
Hannah Goodin: And you can do it with like a pie crust.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And she so she did that and she put the pie crust on top. And so she did dump cake, tater tots, burgers and hot dogs and she also did fruit salad. But because of everything else we didn't quite make it to the fruit salad. So,.
Hannah Goodin: Of course not.
Jon Nelson: And so, the healthiest, the healthiest thing on the menu was like, no, that's going to stay in the fridge. So we ate everything else. What about you?
Hannah Goodin: We were back at the haunted Lake.
Jon Nelson: Did you go in?
Hannah Goodin: No.
Jon Nelson: Good.
Hannah Goodin: I did not go in.
Jon Nelson: Just checking.
Hannah Goodin: Too scared of the lady of the lake
Jon Nelson: This is what I'm saying. As long as she doesn't come out with the long broadsword, I think you're OK. Just don't go in.
Hannah Goodin: It's only my, it was my only my second time at Lake Lanier. And I know everyone's like, oh, it's so packed. You don't realize how busy it is until you are on that lake.
Jon Nelson: Mm hmm.
Hannah Goodin: A Memorial Day weekend.
Jon Nelson: Because you're having to drive for yourself and everybody else.
Hannah Goodin: And drive for your life.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Wild. Well, we also want to say thank you to all the men and women in our military who gave their lives for our freedoms. I know we put that out there on social media, but got to it on the podcast. And thank you to everyone currently serving our country as well. That is so important. And and thank you so much.
Hannah Goodin: No doubt about it. What else is on your mind?
Hannah Goodin: Well we send we are going to talk about the schedules. Spring practice is over guys.
Jon Nelson: Over.
Hannah Goodin: Spring practices is O-V-E-R.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: You've got the schedule up on your computer.
Jon Nelson: Right.
Hannah Goodin: What's it looking like? What's next?
Jon Nelson: Well, right now, I mean, it's over in the state of Georgia. And I think it wrapped up in the state of Alabama last week. I think Tennessee is either this week or next week and they'll wrap up because I was looking at some of the coaches who are still preparing for their play there right now. Earliest date for conditioning practice, July 27th. And it's literally it's like the last week of July, which blends itself into that Friday, which is August 1st. And that's the earliest date that you can practice in pads. Earliest date for a football game is actually September the 4th. So, I mean, honestly, you can really push your schedule early if you want to. So a lot of folks are going to be like the 11th and the 18th and things like that. But you can schedule a game football-wise for the 4th, whether scrimmage or otherwise. So some folks will do two scrimmages, some folks will only do one. So that first scrimmage can be the 4th. Second scrimmage can be the 11th and then you go 18, 25 and so on.
Hannah Goodin: But in June, during this dead period, players are at camps. They're getting looks.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. And coaches encourage this kind of stuff. We get into this with John Ford from Effingham County, who's our guest this week. And we caught up with him during dead week. And that's a part of the deal. You know, he only, he's got a very, very small senior class and he's encouraging all of his players to go out there and be seen by college coaches. And I mean, you honestly can't go on social media without clicking on to another school or another school or another school. And they're saying, 'OK, camp here, camp here, camp here.' So everybody's having camps. Biggest thing is to get noticed in these camps and really show what your game is developing into and what you might need to work on heading into this either last season or however many seasons you have left to go.
Hannah Goodin: Before we move onto Coach Ford.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: I want to talk about one other South Georgia school.
Jon Nelson: Sure.
Hannah Goodin: Irwin County
Jon Nelson: I've heard of them.
Hannah Goodin: And my buddy Jon Nelson, your book on Buddy Nobles is coming out very, very soon. I have to give you a quick plug. Tell the folks where where they can read his memoir,
Jon Nelson: It's Nobles Strong: Lessons in Destiny. You can pick it up on Amazon. That's probably the easiest way to do it. And it comes out June the 12th. And if anybody has noticed that ahead of time, you can still pick it up on presale just before June 12. But June 12 is when it hits Amazon and everybody and I think it's going to be available in bookstores as well. So if it's not your favorite bookstore, ask for it. But biggest thing right now is to go on Amazon or your favorite online supplier and then you can pick it up there. But tremendous project to to finally have completed. When, when an inch thick book shows up on your doorstep, I mean, that's that's pretty wild. But, yeah, it ended up being 356 pages and about an inch thick. So I can't thank the family enough and everybody that contributed down there in Irwin County, in Wasilla and Fitzgerald and uh Coffee County. And, you know, Dabo Sweeney helped out with a little bit with his relationship with the Noble's family too. A piece of trivia for you. On the Clemson coaching staff this year, it's Buddy's son Caleb, it is Andrew Zhao, and C.J. Spiller. C.J. and Andrew were students and players when Buddy was coaching in Florida, and obviously Caleb was a, you know, here in the state of Georgia. And so you have and Dabo Swinney. So basically you have four folks who really know each other very, very well, tied to one family on one coaching staff up there at Clemson.
Jon Nelson: Now, I remember when Dabo was calling you. And you were like, 'oh, it's Darbo, I got to step out.' Oh, OK, John. [laughter]
Jon Nelson: But I'll be back in a sec. it's Dabo Sweeney, you know, but no, he was was fantastic when he when he was there to help out. But yeah, Noble Strong comes out on the 12th and so it was amazing to put together and you know, so I guess on the book seven, but it was great to put book six together.
Hannah Goodin: Awesome. I will be your first customer on Amazon the moment it comes out.
Jon Nelson: That'd be great. I can't wait. I can't wait for you to to see what you think when it comes to the book. And you know what I what I might actually do is ship you the manuscript. So, you can get an in advanced read before you sit there and actually look at the book.
Hannah Goodin: I'm down for that.
Jon Nelson: She's down for that. So what she's going to do, she's going to flip through a couple of pages of the manuscript that I'm going to e-mail her here in just a sec. But here's our interview with John Ford, the new head coach at Effingham County High School, about all of the new things that he's learned about himself and the new gig in and of itself and the newest addition to his family.
Jon Nelson: And now joining us via cellular technology, I believe, is the head coach of Effingham County High School, John Ford. Coach, thanks for hanging out with us on the show.
Effingham County Coach John Ford: Hey, Jon, thanks for having me on.
Hannah Goodin: All right. So, Hannah, you know, Hannah has a question, and it is literally been burning a hole in her notes ever since we talked about it. So I'm going to defer the first question to her this week.
Hannah Goodin: I mean, we cannot start off this interview without talking about the newest member of your family and that adorable little pup. I saw a picture of. Coach Ford, who is that?
Coach John Ford: So my oldest daughter, Anna Kate, has has wanted a pug forever. And so she made straight A's and she she made a list of, you know, conditions we put out there. And so so we, Frank the Pug is the newest member of our family. And I was I was a little dubious on a small dog. I've had big dogs most of my life. But but we think Frank is a keeper. He's sweet and smart and figuring out his place. And so he's, he's been fun to have around the house. And, you know, as a dad, how can you tell your daughter, no, I'm not. [Jon laughs] I'm not, I'm not I'm not gonna say no to her. So, you know, we came up with some conditions, but that dog was kind of a certainty down the road.
Hannah Goodin: Especially with straight A's. How can you say no? We have small dogs. I have two Boston terriers. So a pug is similar in size and lots of snores and snorts. What do they call that?
Jon Nelson: That is, that is not a quiet dog.
Hannah Goodin: No, no, not at all. Well, congratulations. Just had to ask because I saw the picture and it was adorable.
Coach John Ford: Thank you so much. I appreciate you.
Jon Nelson: you see what...
Coach John Ford: I didn't think that was going to be the first question you caught me off guard.
Jon Nelson: See where the priorities are on this show. Dogs are out of the blocks the first priority on this show.
Coach John Ford: Well, as they should be, if it was a cat question, I would have been concerned and then maybe had to hang up and collect myself.
Jon Nelson: All right, so it's a two hour commute from Bleckley County, from Cochran to Springfield, from one school to the other. Let's go, let's go back to the discussion on how Effingham County came to be, because you were the part of a stellar staff there in Cochran under Von Lassiter.
Coach John Ford: Yeah, and wasn't looking to move, and ironically enough, the superintendent whose whose name is Dr. Ford, his, our last name has being the same and no relation kind of stuck out to him. And he took his boys, he's got two sons that are that are great kids, he's got two sons that he took to the state championship game at the old Georgia Dome one weekend that we happened to be playing in. And he just kind of, my name, you know, stuck stuck in the back of his mind. And so when Coach Holder had indicated to him that, you know, he was going to step down at the end of the season, he called me. And I'll be honest, I wasn't super interested at first. And we had a game on a Friday night canceled due to the other school having some COVID issues and so that was a Saturday morning and my family was out of town and I didn't have anything to do. So I said, well, I'll just drive down there and look around. And, you know, it never didn't have a whole lot of foundational knowledge of Effingham and Springfield and Rincón and, you know, the surrounding areas. But, you know, kind of rode down there, like you said. It's it's 130 miles. It's a pretty easy drive, to be honest with you. Just basically get on 16 for, you know, 100 miles and then get off the Springfield exit and follow the signs and kind of drive around and really liked the community and the area and how close it was to Savannah and how close it was to the coast and things like that. So, you know, my wife and I, after football season, we took a trip down to Savannah, you know, as kind of a Christmas present to each other and went down there and looked around and she kind of gave it a thumbs up. So as we went to the process, just trying to, you know, trust God and see that it was what he had for our family and our move and, you know, good, good place for the girls. And there were certain things, hey, if this is going to work out, this needs to be in place and needs to be a good place for the girls. And obviously, my wife needed a job and all those things kind of fit, you know, almost seamlessly. So we just kind of felt like it was where the good Lord was leading us. And it was it was really tough to leave Bleckley because Coach Lassiter put together an awesome staff and a bunch of guys that are either future head coaches or former head coaches on that staff and really enjoyed working with them and getting them to the quarterfinals was being a part of that stuff was a lot of fun and, you know, but felt like this is what God had for us and excited for it and, you know, feel like, you know, six months in or four months in or whatever. We all feel like it's been the right call.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, Savannah is a great place. But before Bleckley, you were making stops around the metro Atlanta area, Buford, Roswell. I mean, that was right before the move. I'm tired for you, Coach Ford. I mean, how hard of a transition has it been to to move the family around? And now finally, you're at Effingham County, but what is it all been like? Has it been a whirlwind?
Coach John Ford: Yeah, it's it's the last four years. You know, we've spent ten years at Roswell and so we kind of had some stability there. And then Buford to Bleckley, and now Bleckley to here and God willing this is the last one. I told my girls we've got to make this work one way or another because I don't want to move again. So, my oldest daughter, Anna Kate, she's going to be in middle school and its sixth grade, fifth grade to sixth grade, you know, kind of felt like if there was going to be a time to move her, that felt like kind of the best time. And so it's a great school system. We're leaving a grade school system with great people, but I feel like we're going to a great school system. We're great people. So, you know, my little ones, they'll be fine. You know on them is going to be in first grade one of them is going to start kindergarten. So so we get this thing right. That's all they'll know. But I wanted to make sure it was good with Anna Kate and she was able to try out virtually for the cheerleading squad, made the cheerleading squad for the middle school and so feel good about all those things that are in place for my family. And hopefully we make this last one the best one and the best one the last one.
Jon Nelson: Well, and you're going into an area in the state that I think is is really under the radar when it comes to the talent pool, the schools that are there and really the growth of what we're seeing out of the Savannah area. I know that a lot of folks kind of gravitate toward Danny Britton, Benedictine and and with the successes that he's had there the last handful of years, you know, that's a that's a natural. When you see schools make their way into first and second rounds in the playoffs consistently and then you see a Kyle Hockman, who goes from McEachern and he goes to New Hampstead to try to turn that program around down there. Now, you're a part of the discussion there in Effingham. I think that the Savannah area really is one of the most... I'm not going to say unknown, but underreported and under the radar, places where you can go when it comes to football here in the state of Georgia these days.
Coach John Ford: Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. And you look at some of the the success that the coach Holder had and you look at, you know, Nate Clark going from Lee County to South Effingham and like you said, Kyle Hockman going to New Hampstead and Rocky, you know, being a little bit farther down the coast. And Glynn Academy and Coach LeZotte at Richmond Hill is building the program. And so there's there's a lot of growth in that area with Gulfstream being in Savannah and the port community has been exploding and they're expanding the Port of Savannah. And that goes right through, you know, right, basically a straight line from Rincón, which is in Effingham County to to Savannah. And so there's a ton of growth that almost feels like, you know, kind of what Gwinnett felt like, obviously on a much smaller scale as Atlanta started growing up in the 80s. It feels like that kind of growth is coming out of Savannah, into Bryan and Effingham Counties. And, you know, there's there's a lot of really good players. And I know our region is going to be a handful. I mean, there's not going to be an easy night at any point in time in our region. So we've got to have a good offseason. But there's a lot of good football coaches, a lot of good football players, and they they care about football down there and the kids, the hard nosed, and they play it the right way. And so I'm excited to kind of immerse myself in it.
Hannah Goodin: You were named head coach in January. So you've had about six months to get to know the team. What have you learned and how is spring practice going?
Coach John Ford: I've learned that I really, really like these kids and left a group of kids on defense at Bleckley that I really cared about and had some really good relationships with, you know, a lot of really good players and kids I enjoyed investing in. And so I was a little apprehensive, you know, Effingham, how would they take to me? I'm a little bit different from a personality and I kind of own it because, you know, it's just me and that's just how I am. And I've learned through the years that I'm better off just being the best version of me and not trying to be a copy of somebody else. And sometimes we learned that the hard way. And so they have they have really taken that kind of coaching and the types of coaches we've brought in. And the spring went great. I mean, you always want to get a little more and you always you always wish you had maybe one or two more practices or but the kids played hard. The numbers, the numbers are up. We got some kids out. We started, you know, in January with about 60 in ten through twelve. Were a little at 88 ten through 12. And so just trying to generate enthusiasm and passion and things like that and get our core values established and just feel great about, you know, what we're able to get in and really just can't wait till next Monday when the GHSA says we can practice again and and jump back in with both feet and, you know, keep keep working on these kids and trying to get them better and trying to develop relationships with them and trying to build trust and, you know, get them what we got to get them before the season.
Jon Nelson: How much have you learned about yourself, not just as a coach, but as a person over the last 15 months, knowing that you had one of the biggest challenges that any coach, regardless of head coach, assistant coach, what have you what have you learned about yourself with everything that we've had to deal with, you know, with Covid-19 and stuff? What have you got? What have you had to learn? And what have you got to add to your dossier as John Ford, the coach, and John Ford, the man
Coach John Ford: Uhmm, you know, just glory to God that he's he's brought me through what he's brought me through on the field and off the field and that, you know, I've learned as a coach how to be a better teacher on the front end of things. Because when you're not able to to be around your kids, to be able to clearly articulate everything that needs to be done, everything that needs to be installed, when you need to be able to articulate a scheme without without being able to do it in person, that that or the intangible quality that is hard to do. The pandemic gave gave us a lot of time to think on things and learn on things. And some of the intangible, I guess, teaching methods that that we brought up or that we were, you know, able to install and things like that and how we're able to communicate things like core values and how we do things like culture, things like competitiveness or things like family. How to teach that when you're not able to be around your kids, when you're not able to model it, when you're not able to police it in a team setting, when when they're all looking at you through a phone screen or when they're all looking at you through a Zoom or things like that, just just how how to get all that in and how to be as intentional and as clear and articulate on the front end as possible. And then, you know, one of the things that that. Probably halfway through when we're able to start having practices and bring them to school, but we're having a temperature check them, you know, when you take that silly little thermometer and put it in the kid's head, it gives you an opportunity to check in with each and every kid in your program and you say, hey, how are you? How are you feeling? You know, you ask the stupid Covid questions that we all had to ask. Well, my thought is can I ask that as a relational question, you know, how's your family? You know, how's your mom doing? How's your brother doing? How how did you sleep last night? What did you eat this morning? You know what? What can I do for you? How can I serve you? I can help you be better at your position. How can I help you be better on the field? How can I help you be better off the field? So I want to keep asking those questions. And, you know, just as I've walked around the weight room and I can have a walk around the practice field at Effingham, I've, you know, hey, how's your family? How are things off the field? You know, if I'm aware of a situation with somebody, hey, how's your mom feeling? You know, I know she was sick last week and try to create those connections and not take for granted the fact that we're able to do that in person now.
Jon Nelson: We've asked a lot of coaches that question, and I love your answer about it, helping with communication overall now that you're in this down period, I guess, are you using some of those communication skills? What are you guys doing now and how are you staying connected with the kids until you can start practice again?
Coach John Ford: Well, right now, you know, because we've got we've got a small senior class. I think there's about 12 or 13 of them in the senior class right now. But I do think we've got some players that can go to the next level. So with June 1st being the first time that NCAA coaches were allowed to be in contact with players, you know, I've kind of encouraged my kids this week to go to as many of those camps as you can, get out, see a campus. You know, these these these kids haven't been able to to visit a campus, to visit unofficially, to be evaluated in person by a coach. So so I know there's a Mercer camp today. I know Kennesaw State Coach Bohannon is having an awesome camp. There's some good camps at LaGrange that, you know, Coach Tinker is putting on. Georgia right now is the center of the recruiting universe that feels like it feels like every five star in America is in Athens right now.
Jon Nelson Never heard of it.
Coach John Ford: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. You know, Florida State's having their deal. Just everybody every college coach in America wants to get touches on these kids. And my thought is it's a dead week anyway. Go, go, go to as many camps as you can, go to as many campuses as you can possibly swing and is available for your family. And, you know, let's try to get some of these kids from Effingham on the radare of these college coaches. And then, you know, come June 7th, we'll get plenty of time with them. And but just want to make sure they're able to get as much exposure as they can this week. So just texting them and tweeting them and the DM'ing them and keeping up with them and seeing what they're doing and where they're going and, you know, trying to publicize, publicize what we can for them. Because, you know, it's been a tough run for for the 2021 previously and now 2022. They they haven't had guys at their spring ball. They haven't had college coaches been able to come to their games. They haven't been able to take on unofficial visits to campuses. So so let's let's let's get them evaluated and see what happens.
Jon Nelson: John Ford, head coach of Effingham County, hanging out with us here for another couple of minutes on the Football Friday's in Georgia podcast. And I know that coaches have their to do list and I know you have yours. I don't know where it is and I don't know how large the board is. I mean, it could be one of those things that you have on a couple of magnets on your fridge at home that has, you know, some some artwork that's attached to it as well. It could be a big whiteboard that you have there in the office on campus. It could be in your truck that you just kind of sit there and you keep making notes on with dry erase markers and things like that. Where is your dry erase board and what are some of the things that you're looking to knock off the to-do list in the next little while getting toward June 1st, getting toward August 1st? What are some of the things as the new head coach there at Effingham that are on your to do list?
Coach John Ford: Well, you know, well, I'm a list person and, you know, I've got a legal pad in my office. And, you know, I kind of think it's on my phone as I drive back and forth between home and here. From a football standpoint, now that we've gotten through spring ball, now that we've gotten through the fall semester, it's you know, there's a bunch of off the field stuff I need to do. There's not a booster club. There's not a touchdown club at Effingham. They want one. But there just wasn't one that existed,.
Jon Nelson: Huh!
Coach John Ford: And so kind of having to build that by scratch has been a lot of work, but it's also been a lot of fun. And now making sure that the coaches that are that are a holdover from the previous staff and the coaches that we're bringing in, they can show we're on the same page of how we're going to operate in June. So so communicating and articulating. And like we talked about, trying to make sure everybody's on the same page there. You know, we've got two middle schools that feed us and both middle schools have been very, very fortunate to have a say in who they're you know, coaching staff are, not necessarily their entire coaching staff because that goes to teaching slots, but they've both got new head coaches. And so trying to bring them under the wing and make them feel like they are as vertically aligned with us as possible and to make sure that they feel welcome. And I told my coaches that the only answer that you can give them middle school coach is yes. If they if they want something, the answer is yes, period. And if you need my help in making it work, just let me know and we'll get it done so, you know, making sure we're vertically aligned there. And then as we get into our summer calendar, you know, we've got the summer stuff like everybody else. We're going to go to a couple of OTA's and, you know, a couple of 7-On-7 tournaments at some college campuses hoping to get some of our kids seen. And, you know, then we're going to go, you know, into August. And, you know, we've got a scrimmage August 13th and a game August 27. So you just start counting backwards of everything you need in by then, and you just kind of work with the end in mind. And just, you know, we're looking for our special teams. And how we're going to organize each day, you know, we probably got 35 percent of our offense in in the spring and, you know, how much more do we want to add before we do it. Making sure we master what we have without getting too much in. I'm big on making sure that we're not a jack of all trades and master of none. That we can be really good at what we do before we add anything else. And if we add too much, then we have to aggressively reduce and simplify. You know, I don't want to I don't ever want to... I've been in before I've learned the hard way of doing too much and thinking you've got to have all the elaborate stuff and let's just get really good at what we can do and do that a lot. And then if we want to build something, let's make sure to answer the question when to take something out, to put it in. Let's make sure we're being as efficient as possible.
Jon Nelson: What's it like to do stuff from scratch like this?
Coach John Ford: Oh, God, I've just I've been around a lot of good coaches and I've, you know, played for Coach Hunter and worked for Bruce Cobleigh and Leo Barker. And, you know, I've been around some great leaders and, you know, and failed a lot and learned a lot of lessons. And, you know, I don't mind calling people are texting people and saying, 'hey, what do you do here?' Because I'm not that smart. So I need to talk to people smarter than me. And fortunately, I've got a lot of people smarter than me around me.
Hannah Goodin: Well, my last question for you coaches, you guys went 3-7 last year, 2-4 in region play under Coach Buddy Holder. All three wins at home, so no win's on the road. What are your expectations for the season? And talk about your schedule and just give me a preview of what's to come for Effingham.
Coach John Ford: So, you know, last year, they did struggle on the road that outside of the states, they didn't score, they were shut out on the road several times. You know, in terms of schedule, it's it's we've kind of inherited the schedule. Out of region, we play a school out of South Carolina, Buford, out of South Carolina. We play Lakeside out of Augusta. We play Howard out of Macon. We play Liberty County out of Hinesville. And then we jump in the regio play with our rival South Effingham, which is going to be with, you know, as spirited and rocking anywhere and in South Georgia. And a lot of people don't know about the rivalry, but this county takes it seriously. And so, you know, we've got to play very, very well in that game. And then, you know, right after that, the reward is defending two-time region Champ Richmond Hill.
Jon Nelson: And so it's like you get the rival, you get a week off to get ready for Matt LeZotte, then you get Glynn Academy, then you go to Bradwell, but at least you finish with two at home.
Coach John Ford: Yeah, yeah. But the two at home, I think are Brunswick and Glynn. So so...
Jon Nelson: Statesboro and Brunswick yeah.
Coach John Ford: Yeah, yeah. Pender and Rocky, two outstanding football coaches. You know, Rocky is a defensive maestro and you know, Pender's got an awesome staff and then I know his defensive coordinator Thomas Tedder is great and his offensive coordinator, Garrett Grady is great. So there are no easy, no easy weekends for us this year. And so, you know, I hate to give you coach speak, but it would be foolish for me to even give anything on record right now or just, you know, what we would expect. I expect we're going to play well, you know, the principal and the superintendent when I ask them what are their expectations for year one, they say they want to win and so do I. Nobody wants to win more than me. So we're going we're going to go for it. We're going to go hard and fast as we can and compete and be a family and strain and execute and demonstrate mental toughness. And so far, our kids have been all in on that and they've taken to it well. And so progress, as you know, and success isn't linear. There's going to be ups and there's going be downs. And we'll learn more about ourself in the downs if we take it for what it is. And, you know, I think we'll put together a good team this year. You know how good? Who knows. How how hard are we going to work on the summer? How healthy can we stay, you know, and how how how well can we take to the lessons that we're going to learn as we go through the process?
Hannah Goodin: And you staying put for just a few years at least.
Jon Nelson: You're not doing any two hour commutes.
Coach John Ford: I'm not looking to load this trailer up anytime soon. Y'all can come visit me and we're going, have roots settled down here.
Jon Nelson: Well, Coach, great to catch up with you. John Ford, the head coach at Effingham County, the navy, red and white. They've got a tall schedule in one of the tougher regions here in the state. Great to catch up with you and congratulations on the pug. Congratulations on the new job there in Springfield. Thanks for being a part of the Football Friday's in Georgia podcast will obviously be keeping an eye on and we'll catch up with you soon.
Coach John Ford: Hey, sounds good. Y'all come down and I've got hats and gear for both of y'all.
Hannah Goodin: Yes!
Jon Nelson: Oh, sweet.
Hannah Goodin: That's the first offer for gear. I'm there. I'm there.
Coach John Ford: I mean, it's got, you know, we've kind of got an Ole Miss look to our hats, so I know you like it.
Hannah Goodin: I love it.
Jon Nelson: See, priorities. It's all about how Hannah looks. That's the priority. [Coach laughing]
Hannah Goodin: Hoity toity baby.
Coach John Ford: That's right.
Jon Nelson: So, honestly, when you saw the photo of the pug, what did you think?
Hannah Goodin: So cute, I had no idea his name was Frank, which makes it even better. A dog named Frank. I love human names for dogs. My dog's name is Jack. So we have Jack and we've got Frank. It just goes made my day here.
Jon Nelson: Steve, what's the most uncommon normal name that you've ever had with a dog or that you knew some. Oh, man. Because you know, Jack, Frank, you know Doug maybe from up Doug, yeah, was there.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, probably my mom's.
Jon Nelson: Oh, see, we got her started. OK, Sandy Malcolm behind the glass. She's anticipating this one.
Hannah Goodin: OK, so when I was little, my mom had Bichons. You know, the little white fluffy ones began Bichon Frise.
Jon Nelson: Uh Huh.
Hannah Goodin: So my older sister was probably like 12 and I was like eight and my older sister, Jessica, is like, let's name her Fluffy. My mom named the dog Bichette. Bichette was my very first dog's name.
Jon Nelson: Bichette?
Hannah Goodin: I believe.
Jon Nelson: Spell that.
Hannah Goodin: it is a famous artist.
Jon Nelson: OK, I know you're asking me about artists. I have no idea.
Hannah Goodin: OK, so that's the craziest name dog. That is that is somebody's name I believe. Sure, him or her is an artist.
Jon Nelson: Sure, OK, if anybody can do us out with that. Yeah, do a quick Google search while we talk about the next little bit. Obviously, everybody, we want you to be safe here in the summer months, in the spring months. Enjoy your vacations. We'll be back, obviously, in July with another Football Friday's in Georgia podcast and really ramping things up, getting ready for the 2021 football season. And now it's great to catch up with all these coaches in their new jobs. And we know that we have a laundry list of folks that we want to catch up with. Have you found the name yet of the artist?
Hannah Goodin: The only thing coming up is Bo Bichette. He's the baseball player.
Jon Nelson: That's Bichette. It's not Bouchet. It is Bichette. His dad was Dante Bichette of the Colorado Rockies. And you have Bob Bichette, the son who's hitting home runs for Toronto.
Hannah Goodin: That's all I got. That's all I got. It's nothing. I'm going to have to ask my mom and circle back on the next bond.
Jon Nelson: You want to pick up the phone real quick and call your mom now?
Hannah Goodin: She won't answer.
Jon Nelson: OK, so much for that idea.
Hannah Goodin: I'll have a report on him on the next podcast.
Jon Nelson: If anybody knows where Bouchette comes from when it comes to naming a dog that might be an artist, please reach out to a yeah. Yeah, to HGoodin@gpb.org.
Hannah Goodin: HGoodin@gpb.org.
Hannah Goodin: My mom is one of those people who is awful with her phone. She loses it every second of the day. Always has to call back.
Jon Nelson: So how do you call?
Hannah Goodin: She'll call back. She'll be like...
Jon Nelson: Does she call herself from a different phone to try find her phone?
Hannah Goodin: 100 percent. She just is always losing her phone. And so I guarantee if I call her, she won't answer.
Jon Nelson: I always end up dropping mine anyway. So that's that's just where things are with me. OK, that's going to be it for this month's version of the Football Friday's in Georgia podcast. Thanks to John Ford and everybody at Effingham County for letting us get the glimpse inside their program. And obviously we'll be back next month. I already teased that. What else is on your mind before we go?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, shows shows are starting back in August are Recruiting 2021 and Countdown To Kickoff. And we're just a couple of months away now. It just it's going so fast. Going to be a great season. Follow us on social media.
Jon Nelson: Yes.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, wait. You're about to say that I'm jumping.
Jon Nelson: Oh yeah. You are on a roll. Go ahead.
Hannah Goodin: Follow us on social media @GPB Sports. This is what Jon says, 'we are on Twitter, the Instagram, YouTube, Facebook. All the things.
Jon Nelson: CompuServe, MySpace, all those places.
Hannah Goodin: Follow us.
Jon Nelson: Yes. Like, friend, be a part of the conversation on all the social media platforms. And don't forget to download the GPB sports app as well on iOS and Android. I think that's a show.
Hannah Goodin: I think that's it
Jon Nelson: For Hannah, for Sandy, for Jessie. I'm just Jon. Play it safe, everybody. We'll see you soon.