Hollis remembers ’87 team,
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 1, 2000
gets ready for Tourney
By STEVEN G. WATSON
It hasn’t been an ideal season for the Charles Henderson High School Trojans’ basketball team by any means, but all that can change come playoff time.
CHHS head coach Carl Hollis knows all about it. If there’s one person involved that would never wave the white flag it would be Hollis. He knows this is the time of the year anything can happen.
If there ever was a need for a turnaround it is now for the Trojans. They have a 7-11 overall record and after tying with Stanhope at 3-1 in Class 5A Area 6 they have recently learned that for the first time in four years they will not be hosting the Area tournament. That doesn’t phase the veteran coach.
"I’m a big believer that you can turn things around and I think I have the boys to do it," Hollis said of his team. "We’ve hosted the last three tournaments and now we just have to work hard and bring the Sub-state back to Troy. It’s going to be tough, but these guys have to decide that they’re not ready to come home yet. I’m not ready to come home."
Hollis has experience with teams in the same situation as his 1999-2000 squad. Back in 1987 he was an assistant coach at Charles Henderson and was a part of a team that shocked a lot of people by making it all the way to the finals after posting a losing record in the regular season.
"We had to travel to Sub-State and ended up winning there and making a huge run in Birmingham," Hollis said of the 1987 squad. "We made it to the championship game against Hayes High School and we lost on a last-second shot.
"In 1987 the newspapers branded us as the underdogs just because of our record, but I never felt we were," he added. "Our team had come a long way, but our number of wins wasn’t the measure of that team and we proved that."
Hollis feels this club could prove to be just that effective. There is still work to be done in the final weeks, but as with any team in the state right now, the future is wide open.
"I try to tell them that your record doesn’t really matter," Hollis said. "It’s not how many games you’ve won or lost, but what experience you’ve taken from the season. We have to feed off of what we’ve learned throughout the year and we have to lay it on the line. If we focus on what we’re doing I really believe that we can make a run."