CHHS’s success in 2001 was no surprise to Fountain, players

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 9, 2001

sports Editor

Charles Henderson head coach Hugh Fountain looked at his squad during spring training in May and saw a young Trojans’ football team.

A real young football team.

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With just seven seniors on the roster coming into 2001, much of CHHS’s talent on the field would be untested and untried underclassmen.

But Fountain’s young team responded with an 8-2 record and a second straight trip to the Class 5A playoffs and what’s even more amazing is that they appeared to be much better then last season.


Fountain, however, is not surprised.

"These kids worked hard during the offseason and they’ve been rewarded with a good year," he said. "Hopefully, what we’ve learned this season is without mistakes in the two games (Greenville and Wilcox-Central) we lost, we could have won every ball game. And that’s something we’ve got to learn from."

On offense the Trojans were more diversified as four running backs accounted for 1,335 yards on the ground and Pete VanHorn threw for 714 yards and seven scores, splitting time with junior all-everything Roderick Burden.

Fountain is high on both his sophomore and junior play caller’s.

"Pete had an excellent season," he said. "He’s got some areas he has to go back and work on during the offseason, but he helped win eight ball games. I think he’s thrown for the third or fourth highest in the history of Charles Henderson and this is just his first season. And that’s without the emphasis being on the passing game. We ran the ball well this year, much better then we have in the past and that’s taken a load off of him."

The 5-10, 165 pound Burden’s slash-type running style under center was equally effective. He finished with 140 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

"Rod can play so many places," said Fountain. "He does whatever we need to help the team. I look for him to be the same type of player next year. In college, I see him as a wide receiver, because that’s his natural position. We just want to put some more weight him, but what’s impressive is that he benched 160 last year and this season he maxed out at 245 pounds."

Defensively, the Trojans were down right disrespectful to opponents, giving up a little over seven points per game. That includes three shutouts.

"Obviously a lot of that credit goes to the defensive coaching staff," said Fountain. "We’ve got an outstanding defensive coaching staff. Of course, players make any coach better and we’ve been a better football team in the last couple of years because we’ve had better overall talent. But the coaches have to be the ones to get people in the right place. That’s important because we emphasize defense. They’re the ones that have to produce when it comes time."

One of those defensive players is Chima McClain. McClain started the season with very little knowledge of the Trojans’ defense, but has steadily improved since the first game of the year.

"Chima has had an outstanding year," said Fountain. "We knew coming in that he had the talent and the speed, but when we played Pike County, he didn’t hardly know any of our defensive checks. Now in practice he knows them all."

But what makes this team so "special" to Fountain and the rest of his coaching staff, is the "unsung" players.

"We have several guys … Brandon Siler, Adam Helms, Randall Maddox, Duran Boykin … who just come to practice to work," he said. "They come to practice everyday and don’t say a word. Kids like that are a joy to coach, because you never have to worry if they’ll be there or if they’re going to hustle. To me that’s the special thing about this team."