Troup baseball getting ready to roll
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
There’s a new head Tiger ready to lead the Troup High baseball team this spring.
Tanner Glisson, Troup’s head football coach since 2015, accepted the head-coaching position on the baseball team last summer following the departure of Craig Garner.
On Monday, Troup began the first official week of practice, and it has a preseason game against Woodward Academy on Feb. 11 before opening the regular season at Northgate on Feb. 15.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but the guys’ attitudes are real good,” Glisson said on Thursday afternoon as the players participated in an indoor workout because of the rain. “We’re tickled to death about it. We’ve got a lot of kids, 51 kids. We’ve got to make some cuts. That’s a real good problem to have.”
Like every other team, Troup had to deal with the disappointment of having the 2020 season end prematurely because of Covid-19.
Troup had just played a road game against Northside when word came down that all athletic activities in Troup County were suspended.
Later, the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the spring seasons, and that was a major blow to all of the local student-athletes, including the baseball players at Troup.
Now, 10 months later, the Tigers are gearing up for another season, and this time they’re hoping to reach the finish line.
“We’re looking forward to it a lot,” said senior Ethan Morton, an infielder and pitcher for the Tiger. “It’s good to be back out here considering it got cut so short last year.”
Garner led the Troup program since 2002, and he left with a career record of 346-201, making him the winningest baseball coach in program history, and he guided the team to back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals in 2012 and 2013.
While Glisson is new to the baseball program at Troup, he has been at the school since the fall of 2015, and he already knew most of the players on the team.
Glisson is being aided by a veteran group of coaches, including Jamie Schmitt, who was an assistant coach at Troup for about half of Garner’s tenure.
Glisson has coached baseball before, and he played the sport at Gordon College after a standout prep career at Manchester High.
“It’s been a while since I was on a baseball field, 10 years, but it seemed to fit like a glove,” Glisson said. “And we’ve surrounded ourselves by good baseball people.”
Glisson began working with the players last fall, and they continued with offseason workouts during the winter, leading up to the official start of preseason practice.
“We had a good little fall and winter workout,” Glisson said. “They got stronger in the weight room, so that’s good. It’s been fun, and this has been a good week.”
While Troup’s program has thrived over the years, Glisson sees room for improvement.
“We had losing records the last two years, so we want to try to get back to our winning ways,” Glisson said. “It’ll be a challenge. We lost some seniors, and coach Garner’s boys are gone, but we’ve got guys eager to step up.”
One of the veterans Glisson will be relying on is Morton, who is looking forward to sharing the field with his teammates in the coming weeks and months.
“I believe we have the talent to do it, and I think everybody really likes each other,” Morton said. “There’s good chemistry. So I think we can go really far with it, but we’ve got a long way to go until we get there.”