This year’s Troup-LaGrange soccer match has even more spice to it.
The boys’ and girls’ teams will resume the rivalry Friday night at Callaway Stadium, and all four teams have plenty on the line.
While the Grangers lost to Northside 2-1 on Tuesday, they are still tied for the the Region 2-AAA lead with the Patriots and Columbus.
The Tigers, meanwhile, are 3-2 in region play with losses to Columbus and Northside, and they team would like nothing more than to knock the Grangers out of region title contention.
Troup defeated LaGrange for the first time ever last season.
“The game brings out the best in everybody,” said LaGrange head coach Keida Placide. “These guys play club ball with them, so they know each other. We just have to go back to work in practice and get ready.”
While Troup managed to defeat LaGrange last season, Tigers head coach Glenn Quiggle isn’t looking to the past.
“That was last year, this is this year,” Quiggle said. “Both teams are much different than last year.”
With an enitre week to focus solely on beating the Grangers, the Tigers have stressed improving their field game and getting ready for LaGrange’s “hard-working” play, according to Quiggle.
Quiggle watched the Grangers’ loss to Northside, and he knows how capable they are.
“LaGrange has the whole field covered,” Quiggle said. “(In the Northside game) they played hard, and their offense has some speed. Their midfield is skilled and their goalkeeper is excellent. They’re a formidable opponent.”
The Lady Grangers only have one region setback to champion Columbus, and needs a win over Troup to secure a No. 2 seed in the region tournament.
The Lady Tigers (5-5-1) could secure a spot in the state playoffs with a win over LaGrange.
At 3-2 in region play, Troup is still in the hunt for a playoff spot in region play, but it needs to find a way to beat LaGrange.
“It’s a big game because it’s LaGrange but it also means cementing our first playoff berth in school history,” said Troup head coach John Bernard. “The team knows i”s a big game, and they’ve responded well. I think we’re ready to play.”
LaGrange head coach Suzie Cook knows what it’s like to play in the annual rivalry game, as she played in it as a student with the Grangers.
“We look forward to it every year,” Cook said. “We won it last year, and we controlled it pretty well. Hopefully, we’ll do the same.”
The girls will kick off at 5 p.m., with the boys beginning at 7 p.m.