Troup ready for Twitter showdown
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’ll be a Friday showdown for the Troup Tigers.
While the Tigers won’t play their first football game until August, they’ll get a chance to take on another opponent in the digital arena this week.
Troup and Richmond Hill will square off in in the “Friday Night Likes” competition this week, and the team that receives the most points from likes and retweets on Twitter will advance to the next round.
The competition, which will take place on Friday from noon until 1 p.m., will be between @TigerTempo (Troup) and @RHHSFootball (Richmond Hill).
Each team will post a graphic, and two points will be awarded for each retweet, and one point will be given for a like.
For Troup head coach Tanner Glisson, it’s a way to advance the program’s social-media presence.
“It’s just about increasing our footprint in a social-media world, and really to brand our program and help our kids with recruiting,” said Glisson, who is heading into his sixth season as Troup’s head coach.
The overall competition began last week, with Richmond Hill taking down Houston County 464-219 to advance.
Glisson is looking forward to having folks in the southeastern part of the state where Richmond Hill is located finding out more about Troup football.
“Richmond Hill, they’re a AAAAAA team that beat Valdosta last year and went to the semifinals,” Glisson said. “If there is a part of the state that doesn’t know much about Troup High School and the Troup Tigers, that might be it. That was real intriguing for us to do it.”
Already, Glisson has noticed an impact on Twitter.
“A lot of their fans have followed us, and vice versa,” Glisson said. “We’ve had some Troup fans that hadn’t followed our Twitter page yet that have, so we’ve increased our volume of likes and follows on there, so that’s really good.”
Win or lose, Glisson figures the competition will be beneficial for the program.
“We’re excited about it, and we’ll see how it goes,” Glisson said. “They’ve already had a trial run, so they’re a leg-up. More than winning the thing, it’s about expanding your footprint.”
The contest is one of the many ways Troup has been active on social media during this down time caused by the coronavirus.
Last week, Troup gave out personalized digital jerseys on Twitter emblazoned with an individual’s name and a number they requested.
“I think the total was, we were just under 300,” Glisson said. “We’ve got another one coming out (Wednesday), and that’ll be the white jersey. I think we’re going to try to do it every Wednesday. We have a gold jersey, and then we have an alternate grey jersey we’ll throw out there the following week. It’s number one to kill the time, but number two to increase that footprint, no matter where.”
Also, former Tigers who are playing college football have been putting together messages that have been or will be played on Twitter.
Among the players who have recorded messages are King Mwikuta (Alabama), Jamari Thrash (Georgia State) and Kobe Hudson (Auburn).
Glisson is never shy about extolling the virtues of a program that has been thriving in recent years.
Since the start of the 2016 season, the Tigers are 35-13, and that includes the 2019 season where they went 12-2 and reached the state semifinals.
“The thing missing, the feather in our cap, is a championship,” Glisson said. But, everything else, from the amount of kids we’re putting into college football, to our graduation rate, to our facilities, to winning games, we’re getting on up there in the upper echelon if you compare our program to other programs. We’re there with the best of the best.”
Troup is scheduled to open a new season in August, and when the players and coaches will be able to get together again remains to be seen.
At the moment, Troup’s coaches are taking advantage of technology to keep in touch with the players, who aren’t able to use the school’s facilities.
“We’re reaching out every day in some form or fashion,” Glisson said. “We want them to be touched by us every day somehow. Our position coaches have gotten now to where once a week they’ll do a Zoom meeting. All the wide receivers and the wide receivers’ coaches will do a Zoom.”