Tigers get ready for rival Grangers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re back, and ready for the home stretch.
The Troup Tigers were off last week, and they’ll return to the field on Friday night for their annual county showdown with the LaGrange Grangers.
Troup (4-2 overall) brings a 1-1 Region 5-AAAA record into the game, and it hasn’t played since losing to Sandy Creek 44-7 on Oct. 4.
Troup is looking for its fourth consecutive win over LaGrange.
“It’s probably the best week we’ve had in a long time. (The off week) came at a good time,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “The kids were beat up, but not really injured, so we were able to have some physical practices, and we were able to be smart with it. We were able to make some position changes and you’ll see a lot of that Friday night. So really it was good for us.”
Without a game last week, Glisson and the other coaches used the time to try players in different positions, primarily with the hope of bolstering a defense that has struggled a bit.
In losses to Callaway and Sandy Creek, Troup gave up a combined 99 points.
“There’s a linebacker we’re going to move to the secondary. There’s two offensive players that we’re moving to the secondary. There’s an offensive player that’s going to be playing linebacker. There are some offensive linemen that are going to play defensive line,” Glisson said. “I’m not saying they’re going to take every rep, but there’s going to be about six or seven new faces that will be playing a lot of reps Friday night.”
Glisson had a plan coming into the season of where everyone would play, and as is so often the case, that plan has to be re-adjusted on the fly.
“More times than not, you’ve got to be able to adjust,” Glisson said. “You’ve got to be able to evaluate every day. I always say to our coaches, sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. You’re stuck in it. You’ve got this guy penciled in as a starter, and you don’t change.”
Friday should also mark the return of quarterback and wide receiver Kobe Hudson, who sat out the Sandy Creek game.
Glisson’s belief is that, with the changes that have been made and some players returning from injuries, the best is yet to come.
“We feel like our best football is still ahead of us,” Glisson said. “There’s a lot of things we’ve got to keep getting better at, but we feel like we’ve done some things to help us, so we’ll see.”
After the LaGrange game, Troup visits Cedartown before closing the regular season with home games against Central-Carroll and Cartersville.
First up is a LaGrange team that has lost all three of its region games and has been hit hard by injuries.
Glisson respects the effort the Grangers have given in each of their games, though, and he’s expecting more of the same this week.
“You figure as hard as you’ve seen them play, in this rivalry they’re going to play even harder,” Glisson said.