Follow the leaders

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

While the season may have started less than a month ago for most football teams, that is not the case for the Charles Henderson Trojans.

This team’s season started in November of last year, or at least it did for the returning the players.

The Trojans had just completed a 5-5 season, and in the process, failed to advance to the playoffs.

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Just a mere week and a half after CHHS’ last game, which took place on Oct. 29, the rising seniors held a players only meeting to address the changes that needed to be made in the 2010 season.

Four of the seniors involved with the meeting were quarterback Corey Dennis, defensive backs Lequavious Bryant and Quintus Moss and Rashad McClaney.

“We felt like we had to do something,” Dennis said about the meeting.

“We felt like we had to make sure everyone was on the same page for how we wanted to the new season to be.

“And we knew that leadership starts at the top, and as seniors, we wanted to show how we care about this team and how it does (this) season,” he added.

Each of the players said it was that day when they all became leaders for the team, in the hopes that their senior season would not end the same way as the seniors before them.

“It’s about legacy,” McClaney said.

“We want to be remembered for getting to the playoffs and winning. We don’t want to be remembered as a team that didn’t have a good season.”

Winning a playoff game, however, is something this class has yet to do.

Even though the lack of playoff success is a motivating factor, it all comes back to how the 2009 season ended and how badly both the players and the coaches do not want to revisit those feelings.

“Last season is one that really stuck out to this group,” head coach Hugh Fountain said.

“They came into workouts for this year wanting to improve. They wanted to work hard so that their legacy when they leave is not a 5-5 record.”

While the coach said he sees strong leadership brewing within in this season’s senior class, there is still along way to go for each of them.

“They each have done a good job getting themselves and their teammates ready.

“But the true test of their leadership is going to show when the team faces adversity,” Fountain said. “That’s when we will find out what kind of leaders we have on this team.”

All four players acknowledged that they know exactly how important each of their roles on the team is.

“Every good team has good leadership, and we all know this,” Dennis said.

“That’s something that is a big difference from last year’s team – the leadership.

“As seniors, we want to lead the way and help everyone get better,” he added. “We know we need to step up and do our jobs.”

There is also something else that differentiates this team from last year’s, in the players eyes.

“We are a big family this year,” Bryant said. “There’s more love in the locker room.”

Moss echoed his teammate’s answer.

“We all hang out together. There really is no division in this year’s team.”

It’s that kind of a chemistry that has all of the seniors feeling confidant about what their team will be able to do in the coming weeks.

“We all think we are going to have a great season this year,” McClaney said.

“This is a good team here. We know that as long as we play together, we are going to do well.”

As far as how successful the Trojans will be this year, Dennis and his teammates have realistic expectations.

“We know we can be region champions,” he said. “That and making the playoffs are our top goals.

“But ultimately, we want the same thing every team wants – a state championship.”

“And there is not one person in this team that is not working for that,” he added.