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Troup’s summer schedule heats up

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – For the first time since their spring game last month, the Troup Tigers are set to share a football field with another team.

Troup, which began its summer program on June 5, will host an 11-on-11 camp on Tuesday, with three other teams expected to participate.

For the past two weeks, the Troup football players have met at the school for four days a week for workouts.

“It’s primarily weight-lifting, and we’re doing a lot of yoga, stretching, and that type of stuff as well,” said Tanner Glisson, who is heading into his third season as Troup’s head coach.

Troup wrapped up spring practice on May 19 with a game against Callaway, and Glisson said the past month has given some injured players a chance to recover.

“We didn’t want to make any excuses in the spring game, but we were actually really beat up, and held some guys out,” Glisson said. “Macenta Stafford didn’t play. Nick Ligon didn’t play. We had Joko Willis with an injury about three or four weeks ago. We had two linemen that had a messed up ankle situation. We were going to take the month of June, or at least the first couple of weeks, and work on ourselves, and get everybody healthy.”

Now, the Tigers are ready to turn things up a bit, and they’ll be on the field on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

Northside-Columbus and South Atlanta are coming, and Glisson expects another team to participate as well.

On Thursday, Troup did shake things up, with the players getting a break from the normal routine.

Members of the United States Marine Corps came in and led the players through the Combat Readiness Test.

“They did some military-type drills with us, and did some team building type stuff,” Glisson said. “That was neat. We were just trying to give them a different flavor. We put them all into teams, let them compete.”

A number of Troup players have also participated in camps across the Southeast.

The players get some valuable training at those camps, and it also serves as a key recruiting tool.

“Right now, I like to call it camp season,” Glisson said. “Kids are wanting to go to camps, at Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, wherever they choose to go. So I allow them to do that as much as they can in June, especially early in the month.”

This is Glisson’s third summer as Troup’s head coach, and he said the players are much further along than they were the previous two years.

“We’ve gotten to the point now where, I want them hungry late in September, October, and November,” Glisson said. “I’m not saying it’s not urgent now, because it’s always urgent. But we’ve kind of got everything installed to the point where you don’t want to burn them out. So we’re pretty pleased with where we are at the moment.”

After going 1-9 in Glisson’s first season, the Tigers enjoyed one of the biggest turnarounds in the state a year ago when they went 8-3 and finished second in Region 5-AAAA.

After a season-opening loss to Hardaway, Troup won eight straight games before falling to Cartersville in the region-championship game.

Troup’s season ended with a loss to West Hall in the first round of the state playoffs.

While expectations will be high for the Tigers because of all of the talented players returning, Glisson said there are no guarantees.

“We can’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said. “This is a whole different team from last year. Every year you lose leadership, and you lose people that played a lot of football for you. We’ve got to make sure we’re hungry, and we’re taking it one game at a time, and just focusing on the here and now.”

Troup will continue its summer program until the final week of July when official preseason practice gets under way.

Troup will open its season on Aug. 17 with a home game against Hardaway.