Tigers look to keep it rolling
Published 12:39 pm Saturday, June 8, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’ll be a new-look Troup team on the field, and on the sidelines.
On the field, Troup is having to replace more than 20 seniors who helped the team go 12-2 and reach the Class AAAA semifinals last season.
On the sidelines, head coach Tanner Glisson will be surrounded by some new assistants, and he’ll be working with different offensive and defensive coordinators.
On both counts, Glisson is confident the Tigers are in fine shape to keep the good times going this season.
While the seniors will be missed, the Tigers aren’t lacking for talent and experience, with all-state quarterback Kobe Hudson leading the way among the returnees.
As far as the coaching staff goes, Glisson believes he has assembled a staff that will put the players in the best possible position to succeed.
“It’s a really good bunch,” Glisson
said. “It very could be the best staff we’ve put together.”
Offensive coordinator Kelby Holt left to go to Valdosta, and coach Tripp Busby departed to become the defensive coordinator at Upson-Lee.
Troup also lost coach Phillip Manning, who is the offensive-line coach at LaGrange College.
Mike Healy has taken over as defensive coordinator after coming from North Gwinnett, and Paul Brewer has been promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.
Glisson has brought in a handful of other new coaches, including former Troup standout Tay Irvin.
Also joining the staff are Pat Marshall, Carson Grier and Connor McNamee, who is the new the offensive-line coach.
The Tigers have won 29 games over the past three seasons, and with the soon-to-be finished indoor practice facility, Glisson believes the program is an appealing place for coaches to come work.
The Tigers went 1-9 in Glisson’s first season as head coach in 2015, but they’ve been rolling since.
“It’s an attractive place to be with the facility, and the winning,” Glisson said. “We couldn’t have said that during the 1-9 year.”
Troup jumped into its summer program last week, and it shared the field with Heritage on Thursday for an 11-on-11 padded camp.
The Tigers’ summer program consists of daily workouts at the school, and they’ll also have a handful of seven-on-seven competitions as well as some 11-on-11 camps.
Also, many of Troup’s players will participate in individual camps.
While there are some question marks surrounding the team, the Tigers looked impressive in their spring game against the Newnan Cougars.
The Tigers dominated the game when the starters were on the field in taking a 21-7 lead, and they won 42-21.
That performance was especially impressive considering some key guys weren’t playing, or weren’t in their usual positions.
Hudson didn’t play quarterback, although he did make an impact as a wide receiver and defensive back.
“I like where our team is. I like where we are,” Glisson said. “I think a lot of people were wondering how we were going to respond losing 24, 25 seniors, and several Division I players. I think we answered some of those questions against Newnan. It was good, so we’ll see.”
That’s not to say the seniors from the 2018 season won’t be missed.
While some of those players will be on college rosters this season, others have played their final competitive football game.
Just because someone won’t be playing on Saturdays this fall doesn’t mean they weren’t valuable to the team, though.
“It’s not always what you see on the field,” Glisson said. “I think of Mickey Jarrell, who barely touched the field at all, but he was a senior leader, a very mature player. He led the scout-team offensive line, and he led the whole scout team. And you have to replace a lot of those leadership things that people don’t really think about. So you have to see who these new leaders are, and we have a good feel for that.”
One of the players who didn’t play in the Newnan game was wide receiver Mark-Anthony Dixon, a key play-maker on the offense.
Since the first game is more than two months away, Glisson doesn’t see any reason to rush Dixon, or any players returning from injuries.
“(Dixon’s) probably ready to go now, but I’m pushing it back to sometime in July,” Glisson said. “We need him to be fresh. We need him not to get hit. So people like him, we’re taking it easy with.”
Aug. 16 – at Northside-Columbus (preseason game)
Aug. 30 – vs. Ridgeland
Sept. 5 – at Columbus
Sept. 12 – vs. Harris County
Sept. 20 – at Callaway
Sept. 27 – at Chapel Hill
Oct. 4 – vs. Sandy Creek
Oct. 18 – at LaGrange
Oct. 25 – at Cedartown
Nov. 1 – vs. Central-Carroll
Nov. 8 – vs. Cartersville