Countdown is on for Tigers
LAGRANGE – They’re playing catch-up.
The Troup Tigers, who are less than a month away from a new season, wrapped up their second day of preseason practice on Tuesday, and new head coach Tanner Glisson knows there’s a lot of work to do.
Glisson wasn’t hired until late in the spring, and he didn’t begin working with the players until the summer conditioning program began in June.
“We are so far behind as far as scheme, and this and that,” Glisson said. “The number of plays right now that we have in the playbook is very limited. We haven’t had time. The number of defensive looks is very limited because we haven’t had time.”
The Tigers held their first official practice under Glisson on Monday, and they’ll be on the field during the morning the rest of the week.
The Tigers wrapped up their summer schedule last week, and Glisson said it’s now much more about the team.
“Most of the time during the summer, you’re working on individual stuff, individual strength, individual training,” Glisson said. “Now you start gearing it toward team concepts, and team work. That’s the big thing.”
No contact is allowed in the first week of practice according to the Georgia High School Association, and players can put the pads on and start hitting each other next week.
That’s something Glisson is looking forward to since he has yet to see his players in the full gear.
By the time Glisson was hired as head coach, the time for spring practice had already passed.
“I still have not physically seen a kid with full gear on play football,” Glisson said. “And we are about to go into August. That is absolutely unheard of. I haven’t seen them except on film. So you’re talking about being behind the game. That’ll put it in perspective.”
While the players aren’t wearing pads this week, there’s plenty of work to be done.
Teams are allotted two hours each day to practice this week, and the Tigers are taking full advantage of each one of those hours.
The Tigers are, after all, just two weeks away from facing another team for the first time.
Troup hosts Spencer in a preseason game on Sept. 13, and it will be at home for another preseason game on Sept. 20 against Upson-Lee.
Then on Sept. 28, things will kick off for real, with Troup looking to beat the rival LaGrange Grangers for a third straight season.
While Glisson obviously wants his team to have as much success as possible this season, he said he’s taking a long-term view of things.
“It’s going to take some time. It just is,” Glisson said. “What I told them in my interview is, it’s got to be a marriage. That’s how it’s going to go. You have to let me come in and do it my way.”
Troup has an extremely challenging schedule, and Glisson knows each game is going to be grind.
“I don’t know that there’s any game where we’re going to walk out there on a Friday night and we’re going to be favored,” Glisson said. “But it’s OK. We’re not scared of it. We’re going to fight.”
Glisson added that “I hope we’re going to be one of those teams where even if our record doesn’t show it, you put the film in and think we really don’t want to play those guys. They don’t have anything to lose. They’re throwing their bodies around. They’re throwing the ball down the field. That’s what I’m hoping.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports