It’s a new era for the Troup High boys’ basketball program.
For 12 seasons, Thermond Billingslea was the Troup head coach, and he enjoyed tremendous success, including the 2004-2005 season where he led the team to the state-championship game.
Billingslea has retired after more than 30 years as a head coach, though, and Paul Brewer has taken his place.
Brewer is a veteran of the local coaching scene.
He was the head coach at Heard County for five seasons, and he was an assistant at Manchester for three seasons before he was hired by Troup.
During the fall, Brewer was an assistant coach on the football team that went 6-5 and made it to the state playoffs.
Now, Brewer is ready to lead Troup on to the court for its season debut today.
Troup will host Harris County, with the girls’ game tipping off at 6 p.m., and the boys’ game to follow at 7:30 p.m.
When he was hired earlier this year, Brewer said he wants his team to be “relentless.”
“We’d like to have as many possessions as we can and take advantage of the fatigue we’ve caused the other team with great team defense,” Brewer said. “I’m excited about our team.”
Brewer is hoping to help turn a team around that went 11-16 a year ago and missed the state tournament.
Troup’s girls’ team, meanwhile, is also hoping to bounce back from a disappointing season.
One year after making it to the state quarterfinals, Troup went 3-18 last season.
Troup was an inexperienced team to begin with, and some its top players suffered key injuries, including senior Jessica Gilbert, who went down with a knee injury.
Also today, the LaGrange High teams will continue their seasons with a home double-header against Opelika.
LaGrange opened last week against East Coweta, with the Grangers winning, and the Lady Grangers falling short.
The Grangers, who are having to replace 10 seniors from last season’s region-championship team, thumped East Coweta 70-49 after leading 7-6 through the first quarter.
The Lady Grangers, meanwhile, lost to East Coweta 61-36 after trailing by just three points through three periods.
Callaway’s teams were supposed to open the season Friday night against Troup, but those games will be postponed because Callaway’s football team is playing in the state semifinals that same night against Buford.
In private-school basketball today, LaGrange Academy will be at home tonight against Calvary Christian, Lafayette Christian will host Harvester, and Dawson Street Christian will host Westside Christian.