LaGrange Academy teams kicks off new season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2015

By Kevin Eckleberry

Whit Moreman and the LaGrange Academy Warriors will begin a new season today. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News Moreman and the LaGrange Academy Warriors will begin a new season today. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – It’s tip time.

A new basketball season will get under way today, with LaGrange Academy’s boys’ and girls’ varsity teams in action.

The teams from Callaway High, LaGrange High, Troup High and Lafayette Christian School will open their seasons in the coming weeks.

LaGrange Academy’s teams will get to work today against visiting Trinity School.

The Lady Warriors are coming off a banner 2014-2015 season that included a GISA Region 1-AA championship and a trip to the second round of the state tournament.

After beating Piedmont Academy 39-35 in the first round of the state tournament, LaGrange Academy fell to Grace Christian in the second round.

As the Lady Warriors head into a new season, there will be a lot of players to replace.

Last season’s team had five seniors, Caitlynn Croft, Sydney Allen, Marybeth Cottle, Jana Maddox and Brandi Smalls, and they were all key contributors.

Among the top returning players is Leah Major, who led the team in scoring with eight points in last season’s state-tournament victory over Piedmont.

LaGrange Academy’s boys’ team, meanwhile, heads into the season with plenty of optimism with some talented players returning, including 6-foot-9 senior Whit Moreman, who had a big junior campaign.

Moreman, who averaged 17 points and 14 rebounds per game last season, is being recruited by a number of colleges.

Also returning is Will Trotter, who averaged seven points per game last season, along with Zach Callaghan and Colby Heath.

Those players, along with the other returnees and some talented newcomers, will try to help the Warriors make it to the state tournament after missing out last season.

Troup’s teams will begin their seasons on Nov. 21 at Newnan.

The Lady Tigers return all but one starter as they look to reach the state tournament for the first time since the 2011-2012 season when they reached the state quarterfinals.

The Tigers, meanwhile, embark on a new season without some familiar faces.

Eight players from last season’s team graduated, including leading scorer Jamal Wilkerson.

LaGrange High’s basketball teams will make their season debuts on Nov. 23 at Newnan.

The Grangers, for the first time in more than two decades, will be under the direction of someone other than Mike Pauley.

Mark Veal, an assistant coach under Pauley for the past 10 years, has taken over the program.

LaGrange is looking to build on a successful 2014-2015 season that included a region championship and a trip to the Class AAAAA elite eight.

While LaGrange lost some key players to graduation, standout guards LaPerion Perry and Derieko Smith are returning.

Smith was the Region 1-AAAAA player of the year last season.

LaGrange’s girls’ reached the region-championship game last season to earn a home game in the state tournament.

Callaway’s teams won’t play their first games until Dec. 4 when they visit Greenville.

The Cavaliers head into a new season having won three consecutive region championships, and they’ve made back-to-back appearances in the state quarterfinals.

This team, with a number of returning players including last season’s region player of the year in Dre Martin, appears poised to enjoy another big season.

The Lady Cavaliers return nearly every player from last season’s team that made a third consecutive trip to the state tournament.

The Lafayette Christian School teams will kick off their seasons on Dec. 1 at home against Central Christian.

Both Lafayette Christian teams made the state tournament in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association last season.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports