Teams will play two preseason games
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With the loss of spring practice, high-school football teams in Georgia have been given the go-ahead to add a second preseason game to the schedule.
The Callaway Cavaliers, LaGrange Grangers and Troup Tigers are taking advantage of that, and they’ll each play two preseason games before opening the regular season on Aug. 21.
Assuming the season goes on as scheduled, the first preseason games will be played on Aug. 7, with LaGrange at home and Callaway and Troup on the road.
LaGrange will host Brookstone-Columbus on Aug. 7, and that will be the debut for new head coach Matt Napier.
On that same night, Callaway will visit Harris County, while Troup will be on the road against Newnan.
All three teams will play a second preseason game on Aug. 14.
Troup will host Heard County, Callaway travels to Rome to play Darlington, and LaGrange visits Harris County.
Things begin for real on Aug. 21 as the regular season kicks off.
Callaway will host Opelika as those two teams meet on opening night for the third consecutive season.
LaGrange play its regular-season opener at Upson-Lee, and Troup begins its season at Harris County.
As for when the teams will be able to start getting together to prepare for the upcoming season, that remains to be seen.
Georgia High School executive director Robin Hines speculated that teams might be able to have face-to-face activities starting in June, but there are no guarantees.
Pete Wiggins, Callaway’s head coach since 2005, has shied away from giving the players any possible dates for when they can return to the school.
“I try not to talk about it too much with our kids as far as when,” Wiggins said. “Just be ready when it does happen is the message.”
Callaway is coming off another ultra-successful season with Wiggins at the helm.
Callaway went 12-2 and won a region championship before losing to Brooks County in the semifinals of the state playoffs.
The Cavaliers have made back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals, and they reached that stage of the playoffs five times since 2013.
The Cavaliers are 138-47 under Wiggins, and they’ve won seven region championships and have made 14 straight appearances in the state playoffs.
Callaway has nine regular-season games scheduled, including four games against Region 5-AA opponents.
Troup will be led by Tanner Glisson, who returns for his sixth season as head coach.
The Tigers went 6-5 last season and made it to the state playoffs for the fourth straight year, and they’ve won 35 games since the start of the 2016 season.
Napier has taken over the LaGrange program after spending the previous 15 seasons as the offensive coordinator at Callaway.
The Grangers are looking to get things turned around after winning a combined six games the past four seasons.
LaGrange and Troup will each play two games before jumping into the eight-game Region 5-AAAA schedule.
Aug. 7 – Callaway at Harris County (preseason game)
Aug. 14 – Callaway at Darlington (preseason game)
Aug. 21 – Opelika at Callaway
Aug. 28 – Callaway at Troup
Sept. 4 – Hardaway at Callaway
Sept. 11 – Callaway at Douglass (Lakewood Stadium)
Sept. 25 – Callaway at Dothan
Oct. 9 – Callaway at Haralson County
Oct. 16 – Bremen at Callaway
Oct. 30 – Callaway at Temple
Nov. 6 – Heard County at Callaway
Aug. 7 – Brookstone at LaGrange (preseason game)
Aug. 14 – LaGrange at Harris County (preseason game)
Aug. 21 – LaGrange at Upson-Lee
Aug. 27 – Northside-Columbus at LaGrange
Sept. 11 – LaGrange at Columbus
Sept. 18 – LaGrange at Kendrick
Sept. 25 – Shaw at LaGrange
Oct. 2 – Carver at LaGrange
Oct. 15 – Jordan at LaGrange
Oct. 22 – LaGrange at Spencer
Oct. 30 – LaGrange at Troup
Nov. 5 – Hardaway at LaGrange
Aug. 7 – Troup at Newnan (preseason game)
Aug. 14 – Heard County at Troup (preseason game)
Aug. 21 – Troup at Harris County
Aug. 28 – Callaway at Troup
Sept. 4 – Bye week
Sept. 11 – Hardaway at Troup
Sept. 18 – Spencer at Troup
Sept. 24 – Troup at Columbus (Kinnett Stadium)
Oct. 1 – Troup at Kendrick (Memorial Stadium)
Oct. 9 – Shaw at Troup
Oct. 16 – Troup at Carver (Memorial Stadium)