Troup at Callaway Stadium for scrimmage

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Daily News

The Troup Tigers and Northside Patriots, who both enjoyed successful 2017 seasons, will share the turf at Callaway Stadium for a preseason game today, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Troup is coming off a 9-3 season that ended with a 43-35 loss to St. Pius X in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

Northside went 8-3 a year ago, and it lost to West Laurens 14-7 in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

This will be the first day of school for Troup’s students, so that presents an extra challenge for the players.

“Practices typically aren’t good on the first day of school,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “Hopefully we can get that fog out and go play.”

Northside is under the direction of new head coach Dave Nurnberg, who takes over for Morgan Ingram.

“They have a new coach, so we don’t have any film,” Glisson said. “So we’ll go out there and line up and do a lot of basic stuff, and get in the routine of game day.”

After the preseason game, Troup will have two weeks to prepare for a challenging season opener against Ridgeland.

Ridgeland, which went 11-1 last season, plays its regular-season opener next week.

“Ridgeland will play Calhoun in the first game,” Glisson said. “So they’ll play, and we won’t. So we’ll get to watch them, but what I’ve found out you make your biggest improvements as a football team from the first to second game. So, I don’t know who’ll have the advantage, us because we get to watch them, or them because they get to play a real game.”

Troup heads into the season with high expectations.

While Troup has to replace all-state quarterback Montez Crowe, nearly every other player returns on both sides of the ball.

Kobe Hudson, a standout wide receiver last season, and Nick Schweizer have been working at quarterback during the spring and summer.

The quarterback will be surrounded by a bunch of gifted skill players, including receivers Jamari Thrash, Mark-Anthony Dixon and Ja’Rell Smith, as well as running backs Trey Williams and Tyree Carlisle.

“Whoever plays quarterback is going to have a good season,” Glisson said. “You’ve got weapons all around you. You’ve got a good offensive line. Will it be 4,000 yards passing? Probably not. But what it looks like is still to be determined.”

Most of Troup’s top defensive players return as well, and Glisson is looking for more from that unit.

Among the top defensive players returning are Kevin Martin, who was the team’s leading tackler the past two years.

Defensive linemen King Mwikuta, Joko Willis, Andy Boykin and Kaliff Thornton also return.

“Last year, we were sound, but I wanted to see us be a little bit more aggressive,” Glisson said. “I want to see us impose our will on people. Hopefully you’ll see a little bit more of that this year.”