• 73°

High-school sports returns Monday

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It’s go time.

With a new football season set to begin in a little more than two months, local teams will hit the practice field and the weight room on Monday for the start of summer conditioning.

The Georgia High School Association has given high-school sports teams in the state the go-ahead to begin summer workouts next week, and it’s up to each school system to decide when to get started.

In Troup County, clearance has been given for workouts to start on Monday, and the local football teams are taking advantage of that.

There will be a strict set of guidelines teams will have to follow.

Most notably, teams will be unable to use footballs, groups can’t include more than 20 people including coaches and players, and social distancing will have to be maintained.

While it won’t be traditional practice, the local coaches are just glad to know that they’ll be able to see their players again following an absence of more than two months.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to get back to working as a team,” said Pete Wiggins, who is heading into his 16th season as Callaway’s head coach. “We’ve been working hard, putting our plan together.

We’re looking forward to the opportunity next week.”

The Cavaliers were in the midst of their offseason strength and conditioning program and preparing for spring practice when everything was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s exciting to see the guys again,” Wiggins said. “It’s been three months since we got to see them, and I’m looking forward to being around the football players.”

At LaGrange, new head coach Matt Napier was hired in January, and he was able to spend a few months getting to know his players before the lockdown.

“It is a relief,” Napier said of the chance to start summer conditioning. “Obviously the stipulations can hinder your excitement, but there’s none of that. It’s just man, we finally get to get the kids back, and see them and get them conditioned. There’s no football and all those stipulations. Well, maybe that can deter some schools that have been doing the same thing for a long time, but us, we’re just excited to get the kids there and see them, and get to work, and build those relationships.”

At Troup High, the coaches held a walk-through last week to prepare for the arrival of the players.

“It’s great just to see the guys, and get back to a little bit of normalcy,” said Tanner Glisson, Troup’s sixth-year head coach. “And we’ve got to be careful that we’re doing it right. We want to hug them when they walk in the door, and that’s probably not going to be allowed. So all those things come into play. But we’re excited about it, and the kids seem extremely excited.”