CHHS Trojans work hard in first two weeks of practice

Published 8:15 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

After a 7-4 season and first-round playoff exit in 2998, the Charles Henderson High School football has been hard at work in practice for the last two weeks.

One of they key concerns for head coach Hugh Fountain coming into practice has been the inexperience on the offensive and defensive fronts. However, Fountain says he has been impressed thus far with the camaraderie on the lines.

“I like their togetherness,” Fountain said. “They’re good kids, they all come from good homes and they’re all good workers. They want to do the work for you. I like their cohesiveness, booth on the O-line and the D-line. I like their personalities together. The offensive lineman fit in well together, just like the defensive linemen do.”

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While the lines have been building a relationship with each other, they still have to find a way to fit in with the rest of their respective units.

“I think we just have to get them to a place when they fit in with the whole package,” Fountain said. “Offense is 11 guys doing their job, not just two or three. That’s the toughest thing is you have to have 11 do it on both sides on the ball and in the kicking game.”

On the defensive line, the Trojans will feature a smaller, but faster defensive front.

“Normally, defensively, we’re not ever really, really big,” Fountain said. “We just try to have a lot of speed on defense. We try to stress running to the ball and I think this year we’ll be pretty fast. We still just have to build the whole unit together. We’re not there yet, but it will come as the season goes along. Obviously, you want it right off the bat, but I like the hustle and the willingness to do what we want them to do.”

While Fountain has been pleased with the effort of both of the lines, there are things he said the team has to work on before the season starts.

“The biggest thing this time of year when it’s hot like it is and it seems like it’s been forever since you played a game is mental toughness and mental concentration,” Fountain said. “We’ve done good in some areas, but the last two days we haven’t been mentally tough enough. The last two days, we’ve kind of given in a little bit and not been where we need to be at, but I attribute that to the youth in certain spots. We’ve got to get more experienced in working through adversity. That’s just something we have to get better at.”

The two weeks of practice for the Trojans have been filled with pressure situations in an effort to create that mental toughness.

“We just put the pressure on them in practice to execute like we want them to execute,” Fountain said. “We’re just not going to tolerate them not executing the right way. We just make them go through rep after rep after rep until they get what we want done with it.”

While there is inexperience throughout the team, Fountain said the team’s work ethic has shown that it has the opportunity to be successful.

“It’s hard to simulate lining up against another kid from another school who wants to hit you as badly as you want to hit them, but you can do that by getting them in the heat of the battle in practice,” Fountain said. “They’ve been good workers, and that mentality is a big part of being successful.”