LAGRANGE – Two years ago, the Troup Tigers participated in a summer baseball camp at Auburn University, and before they left, soon-to-be senior Jonathan Foster received a scholarship offer.
Last year, Troup was in Athens for a camp at the University of Georgia, and shortstop Ryan Bliss received a scholarship offer from head coach Scott Stricklin, even though he had just completed his freshman season at Troup.
This week, Troup will be taking another summer trip for a baseball camp, this time to the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
“The last two summers, we’ve had kids offered at each came we’ve gone to,” Troup head coach Craig Garner. “Last year, Stricklin offered Bliss after the first day.”
Foster ended up going to Auburn, and he is coming off a successful freshman season.
Bliss, meanwhile, appreciated the offer from Georgia, but he later verbally committed to Auburn, although he still has two more seasons of high-school baseball remaining.
Is there another scholarship offer in the cards this summer?
While that’s always a possibility, Garner said that’s not the reason he takes the players to a summer camp, although it never hurts to get seen by college coaches.
Garner feels it’s beneficial for his players to get away during the summer and spend some time together while getting instruction from someone other than their high-school coaches.
“We just try to go to different camps and get different perspectives, and different views on way to do things,” Garner said.
Garner said close to 20 of the players will be attending the camp.
“We won’t have everybody, but it’ll be most of them,” Garner said. “It’ll be a good experience for the younger guys.”
The camp will wrap up what has been a busy summer for the Troup baseball team.
Since the first week of June, Troup has been playing doubleheaders twice a week, both at home and on the road.
It has been a way for Garner to get a feel for what his team will look like in the 2017 season.
Garner will have a lot of holes to fill next season with the departure of a number of talented seniors, four of whom signed letters of intent to play college baseball, so the summer gave some potential new starters an opportunity to make an impression.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports