LaGrange’s teams of the 2000s to be honored tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2016

LAGRANGE – They were the team of the decade.

During the decade of the 2000s, no football program in Class AAA won more games than LaGrange, and the team also captured a trio of state championships.

The man who was at the helm during that remarkable stretch was Steve Pardue, who was LaGrange’s head coach from 1994 to 2010.

Pardue accumulated a 161-45 record during his time at LaGrange, and he led the team to state championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

Tonight, Pardue will be back at a place where he enjoyed so much success when East Coweta takes on LaGrange in a non-region game.

As part of the ongoing celebration of 100 years of sports at LaGrange High, different eras of the football program are being recognized at home games throughout the year.

Before tonight’s game, the teams of the 2000s will be recognized, and players and coaches from those teams will be recognized, including Pardue.

From 2000 to 2009, the Grangers enjoyed an extraordinary run of success that was highlighted by the three state titles in four years.

During those 10 years, LaGrange had an overall record of 151-17, and it made it as far as the state semifinals five different times, and it also reached the quarterfinals in 2002.

From 2000 to 2004, LaGrange was 51-2, and it was 13-2 in the playoffs.

Pardue left LaGrange following the 2010 season to become an assistant coach at Kentucky, and he returned to the high-school game in 2014 to take over the East Coweta program.

As for tonight’s game, it’ll be a tough challenge for LaGrange (1-2), which is looking to bounce back from last week’s 51-0 loss to Griffin.

East Coweta is 2-0 after beating Lovejoy 34-6 and Jackson 49-7.

The game is part of a challenging early-season schedule for LaGrange.

The Grangers have taken their lumps, but head coach Dialleo Burks said “it’s just all building toward playing in November and December.”

Also tonight, the Troup Tigers (2-1) will look to win their third straight game when they visit Lamar County (2-0).

After opening with a loss to Hardaway, Troup has beaten Kendrick and Bowdon.

After enduring a 1-9 season in 2015, Troup’s program is on the upswing.

“It’s a totally different feel around here now,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “People are starting to expect it, and feel good about themselves.”

Lafayette Christian School (1-2), which beat Central Christian last week for its first win of the season, is off this week.

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

By Kevin Eckleberry