The LaGrange Grangers (6-5) and Troup Tigers (5-4) have played a combined 20 games against some exceptional competition.
Their records are in essence 0-0 heading into today’s games, though.
The first month of the season was little more than a tune up for the two teams, who will open their Region 2-AAA schedules today.
LaGrange hosts Shaw at 5:30 p.m., and Troup visits Northside for a 5:30 p.m. start.
Both teams are hoping to take the first step toward what they hope will be a berth in the state playoffs.
To achieve that goal, they’ll have to finish among the top four teams in the seven-team region.
Both teams head into region play feeling good about themselves.
The Grangers dropped their first four games, but they’ve been cruising since, winning six of their past seven games to improve to 6-5.
The Grangers’ season began to turn when they rallied from a huge deficit to beat Niceville (Fla.) in their final game of the Toyota-Granger Invitational.
After that game, LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch told the players, “when you put on a LaGrange uniform and you fight your guts out and play together, magic will happen.”
The Grangers haven’t looked back since, with their only loss coming at Carrollton.
Since falling to Carrollton, LaGrange has won three straight, including a 12-4 victory over Griffin last week.
Griffin was the state runnerup in Class AAAAA last season.
LaGrange’s first region road game is Wednesday at Kendrick.
The Grangers host Pacelli on Thursday and Brookwood on Saturday in non-region games.
Troup, like LaGrange, heads into region play on a roll.
The Tigers were 2-4 at one point and they’d dropped four of five games, but a three-game winning streak has them at 5-4.
The streak reached three with a 6-5 win over Auburn (Ala.) on March 23, which was the Tigers’ last game.
Troup head coach Craig Garner said earlier this season that the difficult schedule was designed to test his team’s mettle, and he’s not surprised at the way the players bounced back from the tough start.
The program, Garner said, is built on “character” and “being able to handle any adversity that’s thrown at you, and we’ve had a lot of it.”
The Tigers will have a home showdown with region favorite Columbus on Wednesday before visiting Carver Friday.