Troup, Callaway ready to mix it up

Published 11:10 am Friday, May 19, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – It’s game day.

The Callaway Cavaliers and Troup Tigers won’t open a new football season for another three months, but they’ll be sharing the field today as they clash in their spring game.

The Georgia High School Association has given teams the opportunity to play spring games this season, and Callaway and Troup will be taking advantage of that, and they’ll be on the Callaway Stadium turf at 7:30 p.m. today before what should be a large crowd.

For Callaway and Troup, today will be the culmination of their two weeks of spring practice, and it will serve as a springboard into the busy summer schedule.

The game features two teams that will have high expectations coming off strong seasons, and they both have a lot of talented players returning.

Callaway had the best season in school history.

The Cavaliers went 13-1, won the Region 5-AA championship and reached the final four of the Class AA state playoffs before losing on the road to eventual state champion Benedictine.

Troup, after enduring a 1-9 season in 2015, went 8-3 last year and lost in the Region 5-AAAA-championship game to Cartersville.

For the head coaches for both schools, having a game at the end of spring practice is something new.

“It’s a weird spring. I’ve never been a part of it in 17 years of coaching getting ready for a spring game,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “You don’t really have time to game plan. So I think what you’ll see Friday night is a very vanilla (game plan) on both teams. I think there’s no question, regardless of the outcome, both of these teams have great potential. So we’re excited about that.”

Glisson said he is enormously impressed with what he’s seen from the Cavaliers, who have thrived under head coach Pete Wiggins.

“From what I’ve seen on film from those guys, they’ve got an opportunity to go win AA,” Glisson said.

Wiggins said Troup “has a great football team.”

“They’ve got a lot of players back, and I know they’re working hard, and there’ll be a big crowd,” Wiggins said. “We’ve just got to go do what we do, and that’s work hard every day, and work on our offense and defense, and work on fundamental football, and try to get better each day.”

What occurs today will obviously have no bearing on what happens during the fall, but while it’s not a “real” game, Glisson feels it’ll be a valuable experience.

“It gets everybody excited. The kids are excited,” Glisson said. “I think what I’m most excited about is, it gives us an opportunity as a staff to run game situations, to work with each other. There’s a lot that goes into game preparation. It gives us an opportunity to work all that, which will be fun. And it gives the fans a little sneak peek at the fall. It’ll be a good crowd there.”