Tigers ready for Friday
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’ve done everything they can in practice, and now it’s time to go play football.
The Troup Tigers, who began summer workouts nearly three months ago, will open a new season with a game at Harris County on Friday.
“Last week, we were kind of hitting the wall,” said Tanner Glisson, who is in his sixth season as Troup’s head coach. “Everybody was kind of tired of hitting each other. (On Monday), I felt like we flew around pretty good to the point where I told some of the coaches we were going to cut back, to get them to Friday. I think they’re getting excited. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Glisson is grateful that his team is getting an opportunity to play, something that was far from a sure thing throughout the summer.
There was, because of Covid-19, a real chance the season would be canceled, but it’s looking like the games will go on, with the season opener taking place two weeks later than originally scheduled.
“We all fought really hard to get this season played,” Glisson said. “It was something we thought (the players) deserved, and they needed, so to finally see them get to go out there and enjoy it and be excited is worth it. Who knows what next week looks like, so we’ll enjoy this Friday and have fun.”
Glisson, like all coaches, is ultra-competitive, and while he’s still focused on doing everything possible to win games on Friday night, he’s also going to value the game experience more knowing it could have been taken away.
“For me, the worst time of being a head coach, is game night, because your livelihood depends on winning and losing with 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-olds,” Glisson said. “But, I think this has given me a deeper appreciation and allowed me to relax a little bit and realize we’re just lucky to be playing instead of the demand to win, win, win. I’m sure those things will still be there, but just to be able to relax and enjoy the moment, and not take anything for granted, that’s exciting.”
Glisson believes this team has an opportunity to do some special things with a lot of veterans returning on both sides of the ball, although there will be a freshman manning one of the most important positions on the field.
Taeo Todd won the quarterback competition, and he’ll be under center for the Harris County game, with Tyson Duncan serving as his backup.
“He’ll go in as our number one guy,” Glisson said of Todd. “Tyson is there and ready if needed. He knows the system, and knows what we’re trying to do. Both of those guys are very capable. The thing with Taeo, you have to see how a 14-year-old is going to get in there and react, and see how he plays. He’s got a big upside.”
Troup has a veteran offense with veterans at running back, wide receiver and the offensive line, so Todd will be surrounded by players who know what it’s like to play under the lights.
“There aren’t too many new faces around him, so that’s really good, and a positive thing, and we’ve got to stay healthy,” Glisson said. “That’s exciting.”
OF NOTE: For a preview of the Harris County game, see Friday’s sports section.