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Preseason football practice underway

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

They’re one step closer.

The Callaway Cavaliers, LaGrange Grangers and Troup Tigers made the transition to official preseason practice on Monday as a new season draws closer.

The regular season, which has been delayed two weeks by the Georgia High School Association, will begin on Sept. 4 instead of Aug. 21 as originally scheduled.

With the start of practice on Monday, all of the players on a team were permitted to get together at the same time.

Previously, group sizes were limited to 50 people including players and coaches, but that restriction has been lifted this week.

At Callaway High, more than 100 players were on the field for the two-hour practice that began at 5 p.m.

“Today was the first time we had all of our team together in one place,” said Pete Wiggins, who is heading into his 16th season as Callaway’s head coach. “There was a lot of energy, and it sure felt good to be on the field with those guys. I thought the kids and the coaches enjoyed it today.”

The practice field at Granger Park was also filled with players on Monday morning, with first-year head coach Matt Napier and his assistants leading the players through the first official practice.

“It was great to get the team all out there together,” Napier said. “With (the Georgia High School Association) allowing the full team together, it really felt like practice. We’ve been split up for several weeks, and to get every kid out there, it was great to see and we had really good numbers today. Kids were flying around, so it was a good feeling for sure, and our coaches and our players were excited about it.”

At Troup, head coach Tanner Glisson has opted to keep things mostly the same this week.

For the past few weeks, the players have been divided into two groups, and considering how much progress the team has made, Glisson opted to stick with the status quo.

“We’re really far along,” said Glisson, who is in his sixth season at Troup. “All we’re doing is adding a little bit each day.”

Next week, assuming the GHSA practice schedule remains the same, teams can put on pads for the first time and begin holding full-contact practices.

Callaway, LaGrange and Troup  have preseason games scheduled for Aug. 21 and Aug. 28 before kicking things off for real on Sept. 4.