Trojans to honor 17 seniors on Friday

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, November 28, 2019

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The Troy Trojans will honor their seniors on Saturday when they host Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

In all, 17 seniors will hear their names called on Saturday afternoon before what will be the final home game of their careers.

“It’s kind of surreal for me,” senior quarterback Kaleb Barker. “I felt like four years ago I was just getting here. You kind of blink your eyes and here you are, your last game, last home game. I’m excited. I think all the seniors would say the same thing.”

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The Trojan seniors hope it won’t be their final game wearing the Trojan uniform. A win would make Troy bowl eligible. The Trojan seniors hope to erase the feeling from last Saturday’s loss to Louisiana.

“I’m glad we get one last game here at the Vet which should be a special day, as we’ll honor our seniors,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “We’ve got 17 seniors that have really had a great career here at Troy, and it should be very exciting to see those guys play their final game here. We expect a great effort out of all those guys, but our entire team as well.”

The Troy offensive line is perhaps the most veteran-laden group. Three starters in J.L. Gaston, Tristan Crowder and Kirk Kelley will be honored. Senior Bobby Klemm, who has logged quality time at guard, will also be honored.

“Those three starters, and really you can include Bobby in that group as well because he has started some games as of late, but those four individuals have a lot of experience and they have put a lot into this program and they deserve to go out the right way,” offensive coordinator Ryan Pugh said.

“It’s been really cool,” Gaston said. “I never thought when I got here that I would create a relationship like I did with all four of them. I’ve been living with Bobby for over a year now. I’ve been playing next to Tristan for now the third consecutive year. It’s just something special to have.”

The relationships and the success will be something that the offensive line can look fondly back at well after their time at Troy has come to an end.

“I feel like as the group we’ve had together, we’ve had a lot of success,” Gaston said. “We can’t complain. It’s been truly a blessing to get to play here. It’s been a blessing to win the games we did. It’s just been something that, with all the things we’ve been through, will keep us together.”

For some seniors, like Jarvis Hayes, Saturday will end what has been a whirlwind of an experience at Troy University.

“It really flew by,” Hayes said. “Me, only being here two seasons and coming from junior college, it really flew by. I wish I would have been here for all four years and experience the tradition that Troy has. For me to experience what I have is a great feeling. It’s kind of sad that it’s going by so fast.”