Tournament time

Published 9:59 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For the ninth straight year, Charles Henderson’s varsity baseball team, as well as other teams around the state, will pay homage to one of its fallen comrades.

Former Trojans’ player and coach Terry Sikes, who passed away in 2001, will be honored again thanks to the Terry Sikes Memorial Invitational.

“Truthfully, I have been thinking about Terry a lot the past couple of days while getting the invitational set up – every year it helps bring back a lot of fond memories,” said Jennifer Sikes, who was Terry’s wife.

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“I know he would be honored by all of this.”

Along with the tournament, there is also a scholarship named in Terry Sikes’ honor.

“Terry didn’t come from a wealthy family, he needed help to go to school. So when creating this scholarship we wanted to help someone else in the same situation,” Sikes said.

“We look at how the player performs on the field, but most importantly, we look at their character. Character of a kid meant a lot to Terry,” she added.

In all, there will be ten schools from around the state competing in the invitational,

Charles Henderson, Eufaula, Northview, Butler County Magnet, Paul W. Bryant, Hoover, Hazel Green, Tuscaloosa County, Northridge, and Decatur.

“He and his family, were a big part of the baseball program,” head coach Derek Irons said about the former CHHS coach.

“Its incredibly special to be able to celebrate this legacy so many years afterwards. Hopefully, everyone participating in the tournament will be able to take a moment and think about coach Sikes.”

Eufaula and Tuscaloosa County will get things started at Riddle-Pace Field around 4:30 p.m.

As for the host team, the Trojans will also be getting under way at that time as the first game of its double-header will be against Paul W. Bryant, followed by a match up with Tuscaloosa County.

“We have two very quality opponents lined up (today),” Irons said.

“Both teams are playing well right now – hopefully we will be able to play at their level of competition.”

CHHS will be entering the tournament coming off what Irons called the team’s best game of the season so far, an 11-0 win over Andalusia on Tuesday.

“Mentally, this team is in a good place right now,” the coach said.

“I think we are playing well on all facades of the game, but it may be a challenge for us to play four games in a 48 hour span.”

The Trojans will take on Northridge Friday night at 6 p.m. at CHHS and then Butler Co. Magnet at noon on Saturday at Riddle-Pace Field.