SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – Outside of the postseason, the next few weeks will be Effingham County High School’s most important stretch of football this year.
The Rebels are in the midst of region play, where a single game can be the difference between a championship or a runner-up finish to a rival.
“It’s whatever you’ve got in the chamber,” head coach John Ford said. “Make sure you empty that clip on Friday night.”
If Effingham County hopes to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018, they’ll need senior two-way star Khiry Wallace firing on all cylinders.
“He’s dangerous on the short and intermediate stuff and he’s dangerous on the downfield stuff,” Ford explained. “That gives us a bunch of different toys to work with.”
Wallace and his brother Keion, a junior pass-catcher with offers from a handful of Power Five schools, were supposed to form a nearly unstoppable duo on offense this year. Unfortunately, Keion suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. The moment it happened, Khiry’s role became that much more important.
“Everyday I come in saying ‘OK, Keion can’t do this, I’ve got to pick up for him,” Khiry said. “I have to keep going, don’t worry that he can play because maybe he’ll be back in the playoffs.”
In the meantime, unless he has a doctor’s appointment, you’ll find Keion at practicing coaching the guys up.
“I like football,” Keion said with a smile. “I can’t go home knowing that I could be watching football. I’m getting better mentally, I know what’s going on and I can learn the plays.”
Keion, who has received offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech, isn’t focused solely on helping the younger guys. He’s keeping his big brother in check, too.
“If he sees me jogging he’ll say ‘You can’t jog. If you want to go to college, you’ve got to go full speed,'” Khiry added. “I’m like ‘OK, he’s got a few offers, lemme run full-speed.'”
“It’s his time to get his breakout season,” Keion said of his older brother. “I’m telling him ‘This is your chance, I’ve got connections, I’ll retweet your highlights and all of that. If this was NBA2K, we would be at 100% team chemistry.”
Even though life isn’t a video game and this isn’t the perfect ending to the Wallace’s time on the field together, Coach Ford said he’s found his dream team with these two young men.
“Mom and family did a great job with them. They are awesome young men,” Ford said. “If you can have a bad day around Keion and Khiry, then there’s something wrong with you because those kids are awesome. You get in the business to work with kids like that and coach kids like that.”