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Cofield ready to be a Panther

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Troup High’s Gabe Cofield is staying at home.

Cofield, who enjoyed a standout senior season for the Troup Tigers, announced on Monday that he’ll join the men’s basketball program at LaGrange College.

Cofield will play for head coach Kendal Wallace, who has built a powerhouse program at LaGrange College.

“From the beginning, (Troup coach Blake Craft) put me in touch with other colleges, but LaGrange College was pushing for me real hard,” Cofield said. “Throughout my visits, they made me feel at home. It was a family.”

Cofield not only got to visit the campus and get to know the coaches, but he was able to spend time with the LaGrange College players.

“I got to talk to the players, talk to coach Wallace,” Cofield said. “I actually got to run with the players. I feel like it’ll be a smooth transition from high school to college.”

The 6-foot-2 Cofield is a versatile offensive player with the ability to score from anywhere on the court, something that was on display in a region road game against Cartersville.

In the 76-70 loss, Cofield scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to keep Troup in the game.

“One of his best games in my opinion was at Cartersville, when he scored 16 in the fourth quarter,” Craft said. “He just said, give me the ball, and I told him it’s about time.”

Cofield was a part of a talented senior class that helped the Tigers finish third in Region 5-AAAA and advance to the state tournament where it lost to Blessed Trinity in the first round.

For Cofield, seeing the way he and his fellow seniors grew and developed over the years was extremely satisfying.

“It was good, growing with the team from when we were freshmen and sophomores to becoming the leaders of the team,” Cofield said. “It was the last ride, and in my opinion is the best of our four years playing.”

Now, Cofield is ready for the next challenge, and he’s appreciative of the opportunity to play college basketball, no matter the level.

“A lot of kids have dreams of playing Division I basketball,” Cofield said. “Even if you don’t, it’s a blessing and an honor to be acknowledged by any college in the country, no matter if it’s Division I, Division II, or Division III.”

Craft’s belief is that as capable a player as Cofield is now, the best is yet to come.

“When he was (being recruited), I said he’s going to be a steal, because he’s nowhere near his potential,” Craft said.