Trojans used to playing in big stadiumPublished 11:00pm Thursday, December 5, 2013
Charles Henderson players admit they will take a peek of their surroundings after coming through the paper banner, but they say that’s all they will take. Just one quick look around.
The Alabama Super Six Football Championships are taking place inside the 100,000-plus seat football cathedral known as Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The stadium serves as the home venue for the Alabama Crimson Tide and has been the sight of some of college football’s greatest games, moments, teams and coaches.
But players and coaches are not getting caught up in the moment and won’t be intimidated by the big grandstands and bright lights.
“We are used to playing in a big stadium,” said Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean. “It’s not 100,000 seats, but Troy’s Memorial Stadium is bigger than all the high schools stadiums. Our kids are used to seeing the lights and all the bleachers. I don’t think we will be concerned with it at all.”
Several of Dean’s players have already been on the playing surface at Bryant-Denny, although with much less stakes on the line.
A handful of Trojans took part in the Nick Saban 7-on-7 Classic in 2012, and look forward to going back.
“We played up there a few years ago,” said Tedarion Myhand, Charles Henderson defensive back. “A lot of us have already been inside the stadium and been on the field. I’m sure we will take a quick look around, but we have to be ready to play.”
Dean agrees with Myhand.
“Some of the kids have already been there,” Dean said. “I think playing those three games up there a couple of years ago will help. The older guys know what to expect, and the younger kids will follow suit and listen to the veterans.”
While some have been inside the stadium for competition, the majority of the players have not. So Dean and the players took in the 5A State title game as spectators Thursday night.
“We wanted to get them in this stadium and get them around this atmosphere,” Dean said. “You get them inside here now, and they won’t be shell shocked at 11 o’clock on Friday. They may get a little jumpy in pregame, but once you get hit in the mouth or hit somebody in the mouth it is all football then. The field is still 100 yards long and 53-and-a-third across. There is just a lot more concrete and steel around it.”
Kickoff for the 4A title game is set for 11 a.m. Friday.