lagrangenews.com

Troup turning the page

By Kevin Eckleberry keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

May 20, 2014

With school coming to a close, and with spring practice in the rearview mirror, it’s time for the Troup Tigers to turn the page.


After taking a little time off after the school year ends, the Tigers will get their summer conditioning program started at the start of June, kicking off a busy couple of months.


In addition to the four days each week of conditioning at the school, many of the players will participate in a number of other activities throughout the summer, including camps and seven-on-seven competitions.


“We’ll take next week off, let some guys heal up, get a little rest,” Troup coach Lynn Kendall said. “There’s a point where they need a break. And then on June 2, we’ll be right back at it.”


Workouts will be held at the school every Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon, up until the start of preseason practice.


The second week of June will be particularly busy for the Tigers, who will have either a camp or a seven-on-seven competition for four straight days.


“We’ve got a lot right off the bat the first two weeks, working out, and then our conditioning program, and those camps and tournaments,” Kendall said.


Kendall said that a lot of the camps the team would consider doing fall around the same time.


“Unfortunately, a lot of the things that happen, they stack up on top of each other, early June,” Kendall said. “We have to make our choices.”


LOOK AHEAD: The Tigers will be halfway through their regular season before they play their first region game.


Region 5-AAAA originally had eight teams in it after the realignment by the Georgia High School Association, but by the time the region was finalized, only six teams remained.


That meant the teams were faced with finding five non-region games to fill out the schedule.


That process was made a bit more challenging since it took so long for the regions to be finalized during this reclassification process.


“With the re-alignment, and a lot of teams moving around between classifications, and then people being allowed to leave regions, it took awhile,” Kendall said.


The end result for the Tigers is a challenging non-region schedule that includes a pair of county rivals.


Troup opens the regular season against its biggest rival, the LaGrange Grangers.


Troup will also play Callaway for the seventh straight year.


“It’s very competitive,” Kendall said of the non-region schedule. “I think our schedule is just as tough or tougher than last year.”


First up for Troup will be a preseason game at Upson-Lee on Aug. 22.


Troup opens its season for real on Aug. 29 against LaGrange, and this will be the first time in several years the teams have played as non-region opponents.


The Tigers will head to Coweta County on Sept. 5 to face Northgate, and they’ll be back home on Sept. 12 to play Harris County.


Troup will visit Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Sept. 19 to play Carver, and it finishes its non-region schedule on Sept. 26 against Callaway.


After a week off, Troup will play its first region game on Oct. 10 at Woodward Academy.


The next three games will be against teams that were in Region 5-AAAA the past two years with Troup.


On Oct. 16, the Tigers will host an always tough Sandy Creek team, and they’ll visit a Carrollton team that played for a state championship last season on Oct. 24.


Troup finishes its regular season with home games against Fayette County on Oct. 31 and Whitewater on Nov. 7.


LOOK BACK: After missing out on the playoffs in 2012, the Tigers used a late-season hot streak to make it back to state last year.


After starting their Region 5-AAAA schedule with a 1-2 record, Troup put together a four-game winning streak in the region to earn a third-place finish.


Troup was hoping to make a run in the playoffs, but it lost to Gilmer County 26-22 in the first round.


Troup went 1-2 in non-region play, with a win over Redan and losses to Callaway and Newnan.


After beginning their region schedule with a 37-10 win over Alexander, Troup faced a daunting two-game stretch and lost to Sandy Creek and Carrollton.


Beginning with a 49-6 win over Columbus, though, Troup was off and rolling.


After beating Fayette County 33-6, Troup got a huge 27-8 win over rival LaGrange.


The Tigers sewed up a playoff spot with a 47-20 win over the Shaw Raiders in their regular-season finale.