Tigers stay productive during break
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Like every other football team in the state, the Troup Tigers are in a holding pattern.
Usually this time of the year the Tigers would be gearing up for the start of spring practice before heading into the busy summer schedule.
Life is drastically different in 2020, though, as the world tries to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic.
School has been canceled for the remainder of the school year, which means there can be no extracurricular activities.
There can be no workouts at the school and no spring practice, and when football teams will be able to start getting together during the summer remains to be seen.
There are plenty of unknowns, but Troup head coach Tanner Glisson believes his team is in a position to handle things as well as possible.
“Obviously we don’t want it to happen, but I feel we’re well-equipped to handle this now,” Glisson said. “Number one, we have coaching continuity. Every one of our coaches are returning, except for coach (Dwartney) Wortham. So our staff, our coordinators and everybody, are intact, so I think number one that’s a big plus. The second thing is, with this group, we have a tremendous amount of trust with them, them with us, and us with them. That’s really good. We had two really good months in January and February before this happened.”
Just because the players and coaches can’t get together doesn’t mean they have to be disconnected.
“We’re able to hold coaches meeting through Google Hangout, and through Zoom, and all that kind of stuff,” Glisson said. “We’re also able to have player meetings using technology to get things installed, and workouts as well, and holding them accountable for the workouts.”
Glisson added that “we’re not cutting-edge like (the University of) Alabama with the Apple watches, but we are really diving into the technology to help us through this, and I feel like we’re pretty well prepared for it. We’re trying to making sure we’re checking all those boxes.”
As far as the individual workouts for the players, Glisson said “we believe that strength starts to deteriorate after about a month, but strength is quickly regained. Explosiveness can start to deteriorate after one week. So I think you’ve really got to harp on the explosive-type movements.”
While the players and coaches are doing what they can to be as prepared as possible for when football can return, Glisson’s primary concern is making sure everyone stays in good health..
“All our kids are healthy, and that’s the main thing,” Glisson said. “Nobody has been put down by this thing, and everybody and their families seem OK, so that’s the number one priority. We are not doing anything with the guys, and we do not one them doing anything in groups. We want them staying at home, and we’re trying to get through this as fast as we can.”
As for when football can start up again, Glisson said there are a handful of scenarios being explored.
“I think the Georgia High School Association is working on three different plans,” Glisson said. “They’re working on a plan for June, a plan for coming back in July, and the worst-case scenario is trying to come back in August. So we have to set up plans just like that, and start with June, July, and August, and if we start here this is what we’ll do, and if we start here this is what we’ll do.”
Troup is coming off a successful season. Troup, which played a challenging schedule last season, went 6-5 and lost in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs to eventual state-champion Blessed Trinity.
The Tigers are 35-13 over the past four seasons under Glisson, and they went 12-2 and reached the state semifinals in 2018.
Troup is scheduled to open the 2020 regular season on Aug. 21 at Harris County, and it has a preseason game against Heard County on Aug. 14.