Georgeanna Ford was a pioneer for female sports, building programs at Covington High School and turning the Trojans’ volleyball team into one of the best small school squads in the state.
The Covington graduate started a volleyball team at her alma mater in 1951, 21 years before volleyball became recognized by the state. The Indiana High School Athletic Association recognizes three sectional championships won by Ford’s Trojans, including her final team in 1986 that was led by Angela Wallerich, who played at Purdue.
On Thursday, Franklin College will induct Ford into its Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1999, Ford was selected for the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Hall of Fame.
“It’s quite an honor,” said Ford, a 1947 Franklin College graduate. “From the standpoint that I have been out of teaching such a long time, it’s quite a shock and quite a surprise.”
Ford also will be recognized at Covington’s home match against North Vermillion on Sept. 25. Covington coach Jill Coffing is a former player of Ford’s.
“She got every ounce of ability out of her players,” said Coffing, a setter on Ford’s 1986 sectional championship team. “When I started coaching, I looked to her as a mentor. She saw things as a veteran coach that I may not have or I may not have thought to look at.”
Before girls sports were recognized by the IHSAA, Ford coached multiple athletic teams through the Girls Athletic Association. When she made a request for more money, Covington cut girls sports except volleyball.
Volleyball created numerous memories for Ford, including the 1971 season where the Trojans won a sectional in the GAA, then went to Harrison and won a regional title.
At Franklin, Ford played intramural basketball with the college not providing female athletic programs at the time. Franklin did play two games against Taylor University — the only two games she played against non-Franklin students.
Bronchos fight cancer
Lafayette Jeff’s boys soccer team will hold a Kicks For a Cure benefit during Wednesday’s senior night game against Kokomo at Scheumann Stadium.
The Broncho players will wear pink jerseys and socks. Donations will be accepted, with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.