Full steam ahead
As the sun began to set on Friday, the Charles Henderson Trojans found themselves in a familiar place as the team began stretching before its first scrimmage.
Veterans Memorial Stadium, the high school’s home away from home, was the site where the team in orange, white and blue finished off the first week of practice – and where it will be looking to claim home victories during the season.
“This is our first real game-type situation,” head coach Hugh Fountain.
“We got a long ways to go but I think we have got started off on the right foot.
“We were able to play (in the stadium) because Troy (University) was off tonight and we like to take advantage of playing in such a great place,” the coach added.
CHHS enters this season after missing the playoffs for the first time in several years in 2009.
But the Trojans’ silver lining is how it finished off last season.
After starting the season off 1-4, the team played better in the second half, going 4-1, and finishing with an overall record of 5-5.
Fountain said he hopes that this year’s squad is able to reproduce last year’s finish.
“With the way our schedule is designed, it is important to play well all through the season and not just at the end,” he said.
“Hopefully, this team will be able to build off of what happened. We finished 5-5 but we want more than that. We want to play in the playoffs – we don’t want to be a 5-5 football program.”
While the coach said his team is younger this season than in year’s past, there is a different mind set that the team has already obtained.
“I think for us to be successful this season, we are going to have to be physical,” the coach said.
“But one thing I have seen a lot of from this team is its willingness to play hard and the fact that it has the right kind of attitude. Both are very important in a good team and to see that this early in the season is something that I feel we will be able to work off of.”
With an exhibition against Pike County on Aug. 20 and the team’s season opener on the road against Beauregard the week afterwards, Fountain said there is still a lot of work to be done before these team is ready.
“We have a lot of good things going on with this team right now,” the coach said. “I think we have done a good job in practice thus far but we still have to improve in a few areas before we are game ready.”
One of the aspects that Fountain said he believes has helped the team focus on getting better is the having the first week of practice come before the first week of school.
“Obviously, when school starts the player’s main focus will be on their academics, so to get started a little earlier helps.”
CHHS classes will begin on Monday.
“We are headed in the right direction,” the coach said.
“We have leaders on this team that want to get this team back to where it has been before.
“I think we are going to have to fight for everything, but I think this is a team that will do that,” Fountain added.