Tigers are flying high
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Coming off the best season in the history of the program, the Troup Tigers are back for more.
Troup, which went 12-2 last season and lost to Blessed Trinity in the state semifinals, appears poised to do some special things again this fall.
The Tigers will be on the field this morning for the first official day of practice according to the Georgia High School Association calendar, although head coach Tanner Glisson said it’ll just be another day.
“I think until Aug. 1 when you put the pads on, it’s not really different than what we’ve been doing all summer,” Glisson said. “There’s a weight-training portion, you’re on the field, you’re installing and conditioning. I think it’ll run like this until Aug. 1 when we put the gear on.”
This is the first day of mandatory practice, since everything up until this point has been voluntary.
“It’s exciting because it’s official,” Glisson said. “You can start holding people a little more accountable for not being here. But other than that, nothing really changes for us.”
Expectations are high for the Tigers, who have had the best three-year stretch in program history.
After going 1-9 in 2015, the Tigers are 29-8 the past three years.
In 2018, Troup made it to the semifinals for the second time ever while setting a program record for wins in a season.
Troup has to replace some key players from that special team, but it helps to have one of the state’s best players returning.
After making the transition to quarterback, Kobe Hudson enjoyed a remarkable 2018 season with nearly 5,000 combined yards running and passing.
Hudson threw for 32 touchdown passes, and he had 18 scoring runs.
“We’ve got a good football team,” Glisson said. “With the rankings, I’ve seen us anywhere from two to five. I don’t know if we’re that good right now. I think the biggest thing with this team right now is creating depth. Last year, we were blessed with good depth. We’ve got really good players, and we’ve got to work on the depth this year.”
Troup’s program has no doubt come a long way since that challenging 2015 season, which was Glisson’s first at the helm.
Troup dropped its first nine games that season before beating Whitewater in the season finale.
As tough as that season was, Glisson believed it helped set the table for the success the Tigers are enjoying now.
“I think one of the best things that ever happened to us was that 1-9 season,” Glisson said. “It was very humbling. It was a lot of hard work, and we didn’t cut the corners. We did what we thought was the right way. And so now to be in the conversation year in and year out, that’s a fun thing.”
Glisson is grateful that everyone on the team is 100 percent invested in helping the program continue to thrive.
“That’s a great thing about Troup now, the culture,” Glisson said. “Everybody’s here. Nobody’s missing. Everybody’s here, and everybody’s ready to go. They work hard, they love the game.”