Team unity leads Trojans to first-ever regular season area championship

Published 9:39 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It took a little time and a couple of phone calls, but at the end of the process Charles Henderson head coach Jennifer Sikes confirmed that the Trojans had indeed claimed the school’s first-ever regular season volleyball area title.

“It’s a big deal,” Sikes said. “The girls were excited and I think they realize how much potential they have.”

Charles Henderson accomplished the feat Monday in Headland in a tri-match with area-foes Headland and Ashford.

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The Trojans knocked off Headland in the first match 25-14, 25-23, 21-25, and 25-20. The squad then turned around and swept Ashford 25-18, 25-18, and 25-14.

It was a sweet ending to Charles Henderson’s area slate as the team fell to Ashford in the first match of the season.

With eight matches and one tournament remaining on the regular season schedule, the Trojans know there is still work to be done.

“It was tough at the beginning of the season,” senior Victoria Outlaw said. “We had to pull up some young player, but they have done a great job for us and we’ve really come together as the season has gone on.”

The Trojans (8-9, 3-1) fell to Dothan and Northview on Tuesday, but with a tough schedule against mostly bigger schools, the players feel improvement is the main goal heading into the postseason.

“We trying to take one game at a time. Step by step,” said junior India Gandy. “We’ve gotten better as a team and know how everyone like to play.”

The majority of this year’s team has been on the court together since seventh grade, which has helped the girls form a bond.

“We want to go out with a bang,” Outlaw said. “We’re really sad to see it coming to an end, so we want to do the best we can to finish strong.”

Sikes says winning an area title is not only important to the girls currently playing, but also for the younger players at other level.

The school began playing volleyball at the middle school level this season to provide a instructional feeder program to the varsity level.

“They have athletes coming up. It’s getting younger players interested in the game,” Sike said. “It’s good for the younger girls to see the varisty having some success.

Charles Henderson will travel to Andalusia to take on Staughn on Thursday before wrapping up the week in Dothan on Saturday in the Northview Tournament.

The Trojans will then play tri-matches on Oct. 1, 2 and 8 before rounding out the regular season on the road against Dothan. The final home match of the season will be Oct. 1 when Charles Henderson hosts Barbour County and Highland Home.