What it means to be a Granger: Cole Garner makes is own legacy at LaGrange, signs to play at the next level

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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The Garner family name has been synonymous with Troup High over the years, but young Cole Garner carved out his own legacy as a Granger. The LaGrange High senior is ready to take the next step, and announced that he would be continuing his athletic and academic career at Chipola College in the fall.

“When I went down to Florida and talked with the coaches and toured the campus, it just felt like a place I could call home,” Garner said. “I visited a college before Chipola, but once I visited Chipola, it just stood out to me.”

Even though he carved out his own legacy on the baseball diamond, he had to credit his father, Craig, for being his baseball coach every year of his life up to his senior season during his emotional speech during his singing day.

Garner’s stint at LaGrange High was short but memorable. He spent just one season in Granger blue and white but etched his name into LaGrange lore forever. His walk-off in game two of the AAAA state championship series is easily the most iconic moment in LaGrange baseball history outside of their championship run in 2004. Despite the highs of that game, the pain of the game three defeat still lingers. But as Garner looks back on his run with the Grangers, he realizes just how special it was.

“It sucks that we came up short, but when I transferred schools I dreamed of moments like that,” Garner said. “When I look back on that now, it is one of the best memories that I ever made in high school.”

Garner’s future after his junior year was a big question mark. His immediate high school baseball career was in doubt. It went right down to the wire, but he was able to find a home at LaGrange High.

Garner was not just a body for the team. He was a key contributor and one of the chief reasons the Grangers made it back to the AAAA state championship series in 2023. He entrenched himself as the team’s starting catcher, where he provided reliable defense.

Garner was one of the team’s most productive players from the plate this past season, hitting .360 with two home runs and 35 RBIs. He also showed off his blazing speed by swiping 25 bases as well. Despite filling in so well behind the plate, he is still unsure of what his most natural position on the diamond is.

“I don’t know my natural position yet, but I believe I will figure that out when I go to Chipola,” Garner said. “I feel like the fact that I can play multiple positions will help me as well.”

Regardless of where he lines up, Garner has eyes on carving out a starting role immediately upon his arrival and believes he can do it. Chipola is just a two-year college, so this will not be the final stop in Garner’s baseball journey.

“I want to go in there and earn a starting job before transferring to a four-year school, hopefully in the SEC,” Garner said.