On Friday, September 27, months of planning and years of dedication paid off.
The Hephzibah High School football stadium was renamed to honor John McLeod for his decades of service to the school and the community.
“Big John” as he’s known, spent decades in various roles at the school and with the Rebels athletic department. A graduate of Hephzibah himself, he served as head football coach from 1984-1987.
Earlier in the summer several of McLeod’s players began a petition, and put into movement the necessary steps, to approach the school board about renaming the stadium in McLeod’s honor. At a gathering in August to celebrate the release of a book chronicling the history of Hephzibah football, they informed McLeod that starting this season, the stadium would be renamed Big John McLeod Stadium.
“It’s one of the best moments in my life, it really is,” said McLeod.
“It’s hard to say how I feel because it’s a shock,because so many coaches go through life and this never happens to them,” he added. “All these people, I love to see all these old players, coaches. It means a lot, it really does,” said McLeod.
Willliam Harrell, Hephzibah’s current coach, led the Rebels to a win in the first game played at Big John McLeod Stadium, 48-13 over Glenn Hills. The Rebels are undefeated at 4-0.