Fan support a must for CHHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Sports Editor

There’s one thing that has been missing in the Charles Henderson High School baseball team’s run to the Class 5A Area 4 Championship and there’s no reason why that ingredient should go missing today.

What’s this guy talking about you ask? Well in a couple of words – fan support.

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The stands at Frazier Field usually hold a number of the same exact people every game. People that could probably best be described as family members, girlfriends and sometimes a curious teacher or two there to see their students.

There’s nothing wrong with this and some of those mom’s and dad’s are loud enough to make it actually sound like a packed house. Still, come game time today, those stands should be packed if for no other reason than respect for a team that has worked its butt off to bring the Area crown and the state playoffs back to CHHS after a 10-year hiatus.

With a 2:30 p.m. start, "Hogan’s Hole" should be over-flowing with orange and blue as the Trojans start their run in the AHSAA State Playoffs. Every student at the school should be required to show up with their faces painted to show support.

The school is even giving the students a chance to get out of school early just to go to the game. GO! Walk down the hill and support your fellow students in what could be a year many talk about for a long time to come.

In fact, anyone who calls themselves a true Charles Henderson fan and isn’t at this game better have a doctor’s excuse or be trapped under something particularly heavy.

What bewilders me is how small the numbers have been all season.

This is a team that reached as high as No. 5 in the polls, beat a Prattville team that is ranked in the Top-25 in the country and is without a doubt one of the more exciting high school teams you will see in this or any area.

They play fantastic defense, you never know who will step it up and be the big hero and I haven’t seen a game yet that I haven’t enjoyed personally – and I’m not that big a baseball fan.

The simple truth is that this is a very exciting team to watch. Unlike most teams that have gotten to this point because they have one dominate pitcher that no other team can hit off of, it’s almost impossible to point at one person or facet of their game that has propelled the Trojans.

The closest thing would have to be their defense, but even that has let them down at times. They have a number of solid hitters and a number of great pitchers. While no one pitcher is dominant, Jonathan Neeley, Hunter Mathews, Chris Boswell and Kevin Stephens are probably their most lethal starters. Add a tough bullpen with freshman left-handers Broady Samples and Justin Sims and there aren’t a whole lot of teams with enough depth to go three games with CHHS.

That’s why it is so important for the Trojans to get the support now, while they are playing at home. The first two rounds of the playoffs are single elimination. Win and you advance, lose and go home. That’s the deal.

If they can get past those first two rounds, then they get into the best-of-three games where CHHS could really accomplish a lot.

There aren’t many pitchers out there that the Trojans won’t be able to get at least a few base-knocks off of and I would venture a guess that there isn’t a team out there in the Class 5A playoffs that could shut the Trojans down in two straight games.

It’s the team’s job to go out and worry about pitching and fielding and being prepared to play the game of baseball. It’s the communities job to come out and support them. Especially when they have made it this far!

Game time 2:30 p.m… BE THERE!!