Charles Henderson readies for season under Mike Dean

Published 9:51 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

Charles Henderson linemen participate in drills on Monday. (Photo/Wes Johnson)

Charles Henderson has already played a spring game under first-year head coach Mike Dean but the Trojans are still experiencing a lot of firsts.

Charles Henderson opened its first Dean-run practice on Monday although no everything was fresh.

“We’ve done so much this summer that today was just an extension of that,” Dean said. “We added some things that we did in the spring but weren’t able to do in the summer. It really didn’t feel like the first day, it felt like we were back to work.”

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The Trojans worked for nearly three hours on Monday, with team working mostly with their positions coaches and Dean making sure his detailed practice plan was executed on schedule.

Dean, who was hired in February, says he’s ready to get the 2012-13 school year underway.

“I’m big on routine,” Dean said. “I’m for organization and as much as we can keep the kids in a routine, I’m all for it.”

Although the team has been together in the weight room over the summer and during spring practice, Dean says the first couple of practices are about bonding and gelling as a team.

“I’m still looking for leaders,” he said. “We’re looking for one heartbeat. The key for us is learning how to overcome adversity.”

Charles Henderson finished 6-6 last season and fell to St. Paul’s in the second round of the playoff s. The Trojans, however, struggled to come up with big plays when they mattered the most losing their five regular season games by a combined 24 points.

“It’s a ‘win today’ mentality,” said Dean. “That’s what we’re trying to teach them. It’s like a day in your life. You’re going to have a good one; you’re going to have a bad one. But you’ve got to keep competing.”

Charles Henderson will begin play in Class 4A this season after 27 seasons in 5A. With the reclassification, comes a new region. The Trojans with face Bullock County, Ashford, Headland, St. James, Alabama Christian, Tallassee, and Beauregard.

Beauregard defeated Charles Henderson, 21-17, in the season opener a season ago. The Trojans beat Tallassee 28-12 the following week.

“We’re a young team,” Dean said. “But we’re a young team with experience. A lot of these guys played last year. We’ve go to have that belief that we can beat anybody, anytime.”

Charles Henderson will take on Pike County High School in the annual Pike County Classic on Aug.24 before opening the regular season against Bayside in Daphne on Aug. 31.