The Grangers are playing in a difficult region, and Herrington likes the opportunity to play some high-quality teams before Region 5-AAAA play begins.
The Grangers will get a chance to do just that this week as the LaGrange Toyota Invitational, which was first held in 2000, returns for its 14th year.
The Grangers open their tournament stay on Thursday with a 6 p.m. game against Russell County.
LaGrange then plays Crisp County at 8 p.m. on Friday before closing pool play on Saturday at 10 a.m. against Lambert.
LaGrange will appear in a place game later on Saturday.
“You can always use the teams that play in this tournament as a measuring stick,” Herrington said. “We have teams in our region like Columbus, Troup and Carrollton, and Shaw and those guys. That’s how good we have to be.”
The Grangers are 0-2 after dropping a pair of one-run games last week against Hardaway and Northside.
“Hardaway and Northside, we’re right there toe to toe with two really good teams,” Herrington said. “We just have to finish the deal.”
The key to the season, Herrington said, is to have everything operating at peak efficiency by the time region play starts in March.
“I’ve been stressing to our guys, we’ve got to get better every day. We have to be good come March 22 when we play Shaw,” Herrington said. “That’s what we’re getting ready for.”
As for this week’s games, Herrington said “of course we want to go out and win every game. But we’re going to make everything a learning experience, too.”
LaGrange brings a veteran team into the tournament.
Leading the way on the pitcher’s mound is senior Drew Moody, who was 6-2 with a 2.25 ERA last season, and that included a no-hitter.
Among the position players, Price Peters (catcher), Bryce Todd (shortstop), Jake Norton (third base) and Drew Eady (outfield) all hit better than .300 last season.
The Grangers are looking to build on their 2012 season when they made it to the state quarterfinals.