Charles Henderson Trojans from years past remember playoff runs

Published 9:00 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

When the Charles Henderson Trojans run through the sign on the north end of Veterans Memorial Stadium Friday night, they will be doing something that just two teams in school history have done.

The Trojans are playing in the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs third round for just the third time in school history.

In 1980, Charles Henderson went 13-0 and captured the school’s only state title. The coach of the 1980 team, Jay Jeffcoat, said that his team had to have a little luck during its run.

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“You have to be blessed,” said Jeffcoat. “The ball bounces strange sometimes, and it has to go your way from time to time. It just has to be your shot.”

Jeffcoat also said that he believes that there is no clear formula for success, but used a simple system that worked for him in the past.

“Everyone has theories of how to win, but no one controls the outcome,” said Jeffcoat. “In the end it all comes down to if you did things the way you are supposed to do them and did you have the right motive. Character will trump everything else.”

The 2007 team completed the first undefeated regular season in school history and continued marching in to the playoffs. Charles Henderson was defeated by St. Pauls in the quarterfinals that season.

Brent Poole, quarterback of the 2007 Trojans, offered some advice to this year’s team.

“They need to enjoy it,” said Poole. “Enjoy it but play hard and smart, because it’s the playoffs and next Friday is not guaranteed. One game at a time and have fun.”

The former Trojan quarterback said that the entire 2007 team is behind the 2012 edition, and wants them “bring it home for everyone.”

The current Trojans have knocked off some of the state’s perceived best teams on their way to the third round. In the first round, Charles Henderson beat No. 4 Thomasville 39-22, and defeated No. 5 Central – Clay 13-0, last week.

Many people around the state of Alabama would call those wins upsets, but head coach Mike Dean is not one of those folks.

“Some call our wins upsets, I don’t,” said Dean. “We are a good football team. You don’t get to the third round of the playoffs without being really good. I told our guys it’s not how talented you are, but who is playing the best football right now, and we are doing that. We can get better though.”

Charles Henderson will meet Dora on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.