Troup a week away from opener
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
While most teams in the state are jumping into a new season with games this week, the Troup Tigers will be spectators.
Troup, which overwhelmed Northside-Columbus 53-6 in a preseason game last week, doesn’t open its regular season until Aug. 30 when it hosts the Ridgeland Panthers.
The bulk of the teams in the state, including Ridgeland, are playing their first regular-season games this week.
Ridgeland faces Calhoun on Thursday in its regular-season opener.
Troup is looking to build on the best season in the history of the program.
Troup went 12-2, setting a program for wins in a season, while reaching the state semifinals for the second time ever.
“We’re excited,” said Tanner Glisson, Troup’s fifth-year head coach. “This team has worked really hard to put themselves in a good position. They’ve had a great summer, so we’re tickled to death just to get going.”
The Tigers have won 29 games over the past three seasons, and they’ve improved their win total in each of those years.
“I think they’re very confident in the execution, and that’s what you want,” Glisson said of the players. “We work real hard on making sure everybody knows exactly what to do, and that we limit the mistakes. When you prepare like that, it breeds confidence.”
Troup delivered a complete performance against Northside-Columbus last week.
The offense, with all-state quarterback Kobe Hudson leading the way, had its way with Northside.
Hudson threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to help Troup build a 34-0 halftime lead.
Mark-Anthony Dixon had two touchdown catches, and Marquavious Kelley and Zy Varner each had a scoring reception.
Troup’s defense gave up almost nothing, with Northside’s lone points coming in the second half, long after the starters had left the field.
“You look at execution, and our execution on Friday night was at a high level for a scrimmage, a very high level,” Glisson said.
Glisson was particularly pleased with the effort of the offensive line, which controlled the line of scrimmage.
It’s a unit that Glisson expects to be a strength of the team.
“I’ve never had an offensive line as good as this one,” Glisson said. “They’re gritty, they’re smart, they’re athletic. They just get it.
“They love playing football. Royce White, (Will) Cooley and those guys, they’re like kids in a candy story when it comes to playing football, and that’s good. They bring a lot of energy. It’s the best (offensive line) I’ve had in 20 years. They’re legit.”
Glisson is also high on a defense that locked down Northside-Columbus last week, and Newnan in the spring game in May.
“If you go back from the first half in the spring game through three quarters of the scrimmage, we’d given up nine total yards rushing,” Glisson said. “So we’ll see what that means. I know in the box, we’re extremely athletic, and extremely quick.”
Without a game to get ready for this week, Glisson has adjusted the schedule a bit.
The Tigers are practicing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Monday and Friday are off days.
“Those days are long practices, they’re fundamental-based,” Glisson said. “We’re not worried about scheming for Ridgeland or anybody else. We spent a lot of time on special teams. That’s what this week’s about.”