Several Trojans used to bringing home state, national titlesPublished 10:34pm Thursday, May 23, 2013
Paul “Bear” Bryant wasn’t a baseball man, but had a saying that describes the 2013 Charles Henderson Trojan baseball team. Bryant, the longtime football coach at Alabama, once told his team “I aint’ never been nothing but a winner.”
The members of the 2013 4A State Champion Trojans can lay claim to that saying as well. Members of the Charles Henderson team captured recreation league state titles and World Series wins at various age levels while honing their skills and learning the game.
David Dickey, the director of youth sports at the Troy Recreation Department, guided a group of 9 and 10 year olds to a World Series title in 2005. Not only did members of that World Series winning team play for Charles Henderson this season, several won a state title at Pike Liberal Arts last season.
Dickey said that he is proud that his team was able to achieve great things.
“They have all moved on and represented their schools well,” said Dickey. “They have continued the success they had early, and have grown in to great ball players.”
Charles Henderson members of the 2005 World Series champs include Brantley LeCroy, Hunter Baggett, Joey Denison, Houston Mabray, Morgan Shaver and Chase Smartt.
Dickey said that even at the young age, he could see potential in the players on his team.
“You have to have a lot of luck to win a World Series, and the same for a state title,” Dickey said. “But you could see that the kids had potential then. They love the game, and were always willing to put the hard work in. They grew and developed in to champions.”
Sam Kitchens had the pleasure of coaching another recreation World Series team, and was in the dugout this go-around as an assistant coach.
“It was so exciting to see those kids get to enjoy the thrill of being champions again,” Kitchens said. “Several of these boys were on the 2009 team that I had, and now to see them get to celebrate a state championship in high school is a great sight.”
Shaver has an extra special memory of both title wins. In addition to snagging the final out of the state title series against Brooks, he also was responsible for the final out of the World Series.
The City of Troy will honor the championship team on Friday with a pep rally and parade on the square in downtown Troy.
The event begins at 3:30 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.