Trojans gear up for season

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2001

Sports Editor

At Charles Henderson High School’s Annual Picture Day on Tuesday spirits were high among coaches and players that the Trojans can somehow overcome the loss of 25 seniors to graduation and remain as competitive as they were during last season’s 8-3 mark.

The Trojans are talented, but much of that talent is unproven when it comes to playing Class 5A football at the varsity level. CHHS is also slim on senior leadership with just seven upperclassmen dressing this season.

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And the schedule is a tough one. Charles Henderson opens with Class 3A No. 7 Pike County on Aug. 24, followed by a homestand against Navarre High School of Florida. Regional opponent Hillcrest-Evergreen comes to Troy on Sept. 21 and the Trojans close the season with three straight games on the road against Carroll-Ozark, Andalusia and last year’s region champ Wilcox-Central, who entered the Class 5A polls at No. 10 to start this year.

Trojans’ head coach Hugh Fountain said the game with Navarre is for this season only, meaning CHHS will not have to make a trip to Florida in 2002.

"This is just one game only," he said. "The Florida schools are rescheduling this year, so we were able to pick them up, which is good because we had an open date at this same time last year."

The addition of Navarre to the Trojans schedule gives CHHS a total of nine regular season games, not including the jamboree on Aug. 24 against Pike County.

Fountain said Navarre, which is classified in Florida as a 5A high school, would be classified 6A in Alabama with a total of over 1600 students in attendance.

"Those numbers are obviously a concern for us, but we’ve been trying to find out what we can about them and do our homework," said Fountain. " We’re just excited to start the season off with them."

Although summer workouts for varsity football is entirely voluntary, Fountain and his coaching staff have been extremely pleased with the high turnouts and work ethic shown by the players during the summer.

"Summer workouts have been tremendous," Fountain said. "We’ve got 63 players this year and I think we had 50 players who did not miss more then two workouts this entire summer and that says quite a lot about them."

Fountain said the Trojans would "max out" in the weight room this week to determine how much more strength the players had gained since the spring.

"Weight lifting and maxing out is all a part of getting better at playing football, but it’s not the only part," he said. "We just want to see how strong each individual player has got."

Fountain said the players that proved themselves in the spring are the ones that will start off fall practice as starters, but added that he and his coaches evaluate players on a day-to-day basis

"Obviously spring is important in determining your starters," said Fountain "Except for the positions that were real close in the spring, the guys that have proven they are the starters will start. But everything we do is based on day-to-day performance. If you work hard and are a good player for us, then you’ve definitely got a chance to start."