Trojans travel to ACA in second round of playoffs

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, April 25, 2013

A familiar foe meets the top-ranked Charles Henderson Trojans in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs. The Trojans (32-3) will travel to Montgomery on Friday to meet the Alabama Christian Academy Eagles.

Charles Henderson squared off with Alabama Christian once already this season, a game that the Trojans won 10-2. Charles Henderson head coach Derek Irons said that some teams might get a little off track when facing a team for the second time, but doesn’t feel that the Trojans will fall in to that trap.

“You have that sometimes, but I don’t think it will be like that with this group,” Irons said. “They have show great ability to focus on the task at hand, and ability to put away the distractions. They know that game was weeks ago, and it’s a new deal now.”

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Alabama Christian boasts one of the top players in the state of Alabama in pitcher/outfielder Chandler Taylor. Taylor turned in one of the top single-game performances during the Jason Armstrong FCA Classic earlier this season.

Taylor pitched a complete game, striking out seven, hit two home runs and drove in five runs to lead Alabama Christian to an 11-0 rout of Prattville.

Irons respects Taylor and the rest of the Eagles’ lineup.

“They are always a good team, and are always have lots of good ball players,” Irons said. “Chandler Taylor is just an amazing player. Up at the Armstrong tournament, he had what I would think was the best game in the state. We always seem to play real close, competitive games with them.”

Charles Henderson has its pitching rotation rested, and will send senior Houston Mabray to the mound in game one and Tripp Blackmon in game two. The one-two punch of Mabray and Blackmon limited Brewbaker Tech to just two runs in the first-round match up.

By sweeping Brewbaker Tech, Charles Henderson was able to keep its traditional playoff-week practice routine intact.

“It was huge for us to take care of business on Saturday and not have to play Monday,” Irons said. “We get a full of preparation for ACA and keeps us on schedule. We are where we need to be.”

Alabama Christian captured state titles in 1995 and 2000.

CHHS has reached the playoffs in 15 straight seasons and has been ranked in the top 10 of the ASWA poll every week since the beginning of the 2007 season. This covers a span of 44 polls.

Charles Henderson went wire-to-wire at No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association polls during the 2013 campaign.

The Trojans won the 5A state championship in 2004 and finished state runner-up in 2008.

Charles Henderson and Alabama Christian will play a double header on Friday in Montgomery at the AUM Baseball Complex. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. An “if needed” game will be played on Saturday at 2 p.m.