Going, going, blonde: In show of team support, Grangers chase title with bleached hair

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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Some say blondes do it better, and if the LaGrange High baseball team is any indication, that statement feels like it has more than a hint of truth to it. The Grangers have rattled off 14 straight wins and booked a spot in the AAAA state championship game, and they have looked good while doing so as every single player on the team (and a few coaches) have dyed their hair bleach blonde.

“If we were going to be second round exits, I wouldn’t have done it,” said senior baseball player Trey Cook, who was one of the only players not to dye their hair on the 2022 LaGrange baseball team that made a run to the state championship series. 

The players were all on board, and frankly most of them were a season ago as well. Some of the parents needed a little bit more convincing.

“When Preston (Pressley) came home last season and informed me that he wanted to dye his hair blonde along with some other players from his team, I instantly said no, even offered to pay him $100 not to do it,” Kristi Aldridge said. “Much to my hesitation, I caved and let him join in on the fun! This year, I was actually looking forward to it. Even the community, coaches, and boys that see them as role models have joined in on this newly created tradition. This team has a bond like I’ve never seen before, it goes much deeper than just teammates, they are family.”

One of those boys who looks up to this Granger team is Cam Garner, whose older brother,  Cole, is the starting catcher for the team. With the Grangers making the championship games, he could not resist and got his hair dyed blonde like his big brother earlier this week.

“I was 100% on board. Even with Cam’s RES kindergarten graduation coming up this Thursday, I knew it would just create another positive memory for Cam and our family,” Stephanie Garner said. “(Former Troup coach and Cole’s father) Craig, on the other hand, has always been against anything “flashy.” He was more in favor of a “flat-top” hair cut. But, Craig also knows when it comes to having a successful team, you have to have buy-in, commitment, and dedication from everyone.”

The team, community and especially the parents have bought in, even the ones who were a bit hesitant at first. Senior outfield Seth Stargell’s mother, Sabrina, was a bit hesitant at first, but the results of Seth having blonde hair was truly unexpected to her.

“I was in a state of shock when he told me he wanted to do it,” Sabrina said. “Now everybody says ‘he looks just like his mother’ because I actually used to wear my hair blonde.”

Sabrina took matters into her own hands and dyed Seth’s and the hair of his teammate Kayden Sutton. 

The blonde hair so no fad or flashy gimmick. It is a way to show the special bond these players have. When Joe Hunt at Salon Bella was asked to dye Garner, Cook and Trevor Booton’s hair blonde, he jumped at the chance to be a part of the Grangers’ special run. 

“My son Slade is a freshman at Callaway, and even though he is not at LaGrange, we have known most of these boys over the years,” Hunt said. “I think it is a great way to show the team and community’s camaraderie.” 

Hunt also dyed coach Drew Eady’s hair. Coming into this year, he had dyed maybe 1 or 2 men/boys hair bleach blonde during his 25+ years as a barber. That all changed this year. Bleaching is never one size fits all and is catered to each person’s tone and hair texture. 

Those luscious blonde locks on all the Grangers baseball players have been present in some big moments, baseball photos, prom photos and soon to be graduation photos. Instead of looking back rolling their eyes at the potential bad fashion statement, the parents will be able to look back fondly when their children were a part of something bigger than themselves and all the precious memories that came along with being a member of the LaGrange baseball family.