Trojans begin preparations for 2017 season

Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Troy Trojans football team is ready to kick off their spring practice this afternoon at 3:45.

The Trojans capped off the biggest turnaround in school history last year. After finishing the 2015 season with a 4-8 record, the Trojans improved by six wins and finished 2016 with a 10-3 record en route to a victory in the Dollar General Bowl over Ohio 28-23.

The Trojans will scrimmage twice during the spring program that will culminate with the annual T-Day game at Veterans Memorial Stadium on April 15.

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The way we approach spring ball is that these are the first 15 practices of our 2017 season,” head coach Neal Brown told “We’ve had a solid winter program, but the challenge for us as a football program is to continue to grow. We went 10-3, but we are not celebrating a championship.”

After finishing with 10 wins a year ago and being the first and only team from the Sun Belt Conference to be ranked the Associated Press’s Top 25 Poll, the Trojans enter this season with a target on their back.

“We know our kids better, but we’ve got to challenge them more this spring than we have in the previous two, because now we go from doing the hunting to being the hunted. When you carry that target on your back, you’re going to get everyone’s ‘A’ game.”

All of the practices are open to the public, and when the fans attend practice they may notice that several of the Troy players will have new homes this spring, most noticeably will be former defensive end Same Lebbie will move back to inside linebacker and Seth Calloway will move to defensive end.

One player who the fans will not see participate in practice this spring will be quarterback Brandon Silvers, who suffered a hand injury over the winter.

The Trojans will have their first scrimmage on March 31 at 4 p.m. followed by their second scrimmage on April 8.