Troup’s Williams finishes in style

Published 11:38 am Thursday, June 6, 2019

By kevin eckleberry

Daily News

Following another outstanding season, Troup High’s Colby Williams has earned a spot on the Georgia Dugout Preview Magazine all-state team.

Williams was a four-year starter for Troup, and he was a lock-down starting pitcher since his sophomore season.

Williams is one of a handful of players from Troup, LaGrange and Callaway who were selected to the all-state team.

Williams was a second-team selection on the Class AAAA all-state team.

As has been the case since he first put on a Troup uniform, Williams had his way with opposing hitters.

One of Williams’ most impressive performances came against IMG Academy in the Perfect Game High School Showdown in Hoover, Ala.

Facing an IMG Academy team that at the time was ranked first in the country according to USA Today, Williams was dominant in a 2-0 loss.

In four innings, Williams held IMG Academy to one hit and one unearned run, and he had eight strikeouts.

Against another elite team, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes, Williams came through with another dazzling outing.

In a 2-1 extra-inning loss, Williams threw seven innings, and he limited Cartersville to seven hits and an unearned run, and he had nine strikeouts and a walk.

Williams threw complete-game shutouts in region wins over Cedartown and Sandy Creek, and he went the distance in a 2-1 victory over LaGrange that sewed up the number two spot in the region.

“I tell people all the time, he’s the most competitive player I’ve ever coached,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said of Williams. “Without a doubt. It’s not even close, and I’ve coached a lot of good ballplayers.”

Williams has signed with Kennesaw State, and he’ll be a member of the team when the season begins in February.

Williams, who was also an infielder for the Tigers, believes his will to succeed helped him appeal to college teams.

“That’s one thing all of the college coaches have told me is that when I’m out there, it’s not just my ability, it’s my competitiveness,” Williams said. “I just know that my stuff is better than their bat 90 percent of the time.”

Looking ahead to college, Williams wants to be the number one guy in the rotation, just as he was at Troup.

“My goal is to be the Friday night guy when I get there,” Williams said. “That’s what I want to do.”

Two other Troup players were honorable-mention selections on the all-state team, including catcher Cooper Doughman, who was behind the plate for nearly every one of Williams’ pitches the past three years.

Doughman was a force at the plate while leading the Tigers in home runs, and he was an outstanding defensive catcher and team leader.

Garner called Doughman the “backbone” of the team.

“He kind of holds it together, and he’s the voice of reason,” Garner said. “He is truly one of those guys where the highs are not that high, and the lows are not that low. That’s what you want out of your catcher. You want your catcher to be the general on the field.”

Also earning an honorable-mention not was pitcher Jackson Knox, who had an outstanding senior season.

Knox’s most memorable moment came in a 4-1 win over Cartersville when he threw a complete-game five-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks.

Doughman and Knox will both be on college rosters next spring.

Doughman is headed to Chattahoochee Valley Community College, and Knox has signed with Marion Military Institute.

LaGrange’s representative on the all-state team is catcher Trent Bailey, who capped his high-school career with a big senior season.

Bailey was an honorable-mention selection.

Bailey was not only one of LaGrange’s best hitters, but he anchored the defense from his catcher position.

Bailey has signed with Georgia College & State University.

Callaway, after making it to the semifinals of the Class AA state playoffs, had three players selected to the all-state team.

Drake Wade, who had a sensational senior season as Callaway’s shortstop and leadoff hitter, was a first-team all-state player.

That Wade played at all his senior season was a minor miracle.

Wade was involved in a serious ATV accident in August, and about six months later he was in the opening-day lineup for the Cavaliers.

When Wade had his accident, he was still recovering from shoulder surgery he had at the close of the 2018 season.

“Just what he went through, for him to be able to come back and play, it’s just amazing,” Hubbard said. “Not many people realize, at the end of last year, he had surgery on his left shoulder. So he was rehabbing that when he got hurt. So he was rehabbing two injuries at the same time.”

Two other Callaway players who had big senior seasons also made the all-state team.

First baseman Braelin Mitchell and outfielder Trent Sheppard, anchors of the lineup the past two seasons, were honorable-mention picks.

Mitchell and Sheppard will be teammates once again next season on the LaGrange College baseball team.

Freshman Justin Moore, an anchor of the pitching rotation, also earned an ho