With spring practice in the books, the LaGrange Grangers will now turn the page and get ready for the all-important summer months.
Preseason practice will officially kick off on Aug. 1, but the work that goes into getting ready for a season never ends.
Part of the preparation process involves the summer conditioning program, where players come to the school to work out.
Some of the players will participate in camps, and teams also take part in seven-on-seven passing competitions.
LaGrange’s summer program will begin next week, with the players getting some time off from the sport this week as school wraps up.
“We’ll take a week off, and let them get away from it,” LaGrange coach Dialleo Burks said. “And we’ll come back, and we’ll get after it.”
The Grangers will head into the summer months with nearly 90 players on the roster, with most of the players making it through the two weeks of spring practice.
“We started out with 93 guys, and we finished with 86, so that’s good,” Burks said.
LOOK AHEAD: When the Grangers begin preseason practice, they’ll have about two weeks to get ready for their preseason game, which will be against Newnan this season.
LaGrange and Newnan are long-time rivals who usually play in the regular season, but they’ll meet in a preseason game this year.
Newnan will host LaGrange on Aug. 15 in a game that won’t count toward the win-loss record.
LaGrange will kick things off for real against a team it hasn’t played since 2003, the Callaway Cavaliers.
LaGrange and Callaway played in 2002 and 2003, but they haven’t faced off since.
That will change when the two teams meet at Callaway Stadium on Aug. 22.
That will be the first of back-to-back games against county rivals for LaGrange.
On Aug. 29, LaGrange and Troup will renew their long-standing rivalry, although unlike past years, they won’t face off as region foes.
For the first time since 2003, LaGrange and Troup will be in different regions.
LaGrange is looking to reverse its recent misfortunes against Troup, which has won three of the past four games in the rivalry.
LaGrange will continue its non-region schedule on Sept. 5 when it visits Spalding County.
In its final non-region game, LaGrange will be on the road against Mary Persons on Sept. 19.
LaGrange’s final six regular-season games will be against Region 1-AAAAA opponents.
On Sept. 26, LaGrange will play Hardaway at Kinnett Stadium in Columbus.
LaGrange will be back home on Oct. 3 to face Columbus before returning to Kinnett Stadium on Oct. 10 to play Carver.
The Grangers host Shaw on Oct. 24, they’ll visit Harris County on Oct. 31, and they’ll finish the regular season at home against Northside-Columbus on Nov. 6.
LOOK BACK: Beginning in 2000, the Grangers were in the state playoffs for 13 straight years, and three of those playoff runs ended with state championships.
LaGrange’s run of playoff appearances came to a close last season, though, when it failed to earn one of the four playoff spots in Region 5-AAAA.
LaGrange began its season with consecutive losses to Newnan, Harris County and Thomson, but it opened region play with wins over Shaw and Columbus.
LaGrange only won one region game the rest of the way, though, and that was a 36-20 victory over Fayette County.
LaGrange’s playoff hopes were effectively dashed with a 27-8 loss to Troup on Nov. 1.
LaGrange finished with a 3-7 record, its lowest win total since the 1999 team went 2-8.