Trojans look to improve offensive line

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Charles Henderson Trojan offense scored, and scored a bunch in 2012. The unit averaged over 31 points a game a season ago, and the Trojan offensive line can be thanked for a portion of that.

The line allowed quarterback Austin Ingram to pick apart opposing secondaries, and opened holes for Courtney and Ernest Downing to run wild at times.

Gone from last year’s offensive line are guard Cody Hill and tackle McNeil Dobson, but Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean feels that the 2013 unit could be just as good as the 2012 group, if not better.

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With piles of returning depth on defense, Dean and staff have shifted Coby Smith and Hunter Steed to offense in order to get the athletic big men on the field.

“We have been blessed with a lot of depth on defense and are bringing nine of 11 starters back this season,” said Dean. “Right now, the offensive line has potential to be better than last years, and that is saying a lot.”

Charles Henderson will travel to Smith’s Station on Friday night without the first two quarterbacks on the depth chart. Both Austin Ingram and John Johnson, as well as starting center Xavius Burden, are members of the Trojan baseball team.

The baseball team is in the Alabama High School Athletic Association semi-finals.

Dean said that the issue of Ingram, Johnson and Burden not being at spring practice is a good problem for two different reasons.

“Every great program in the state is going through this right now,” said Dean. “I spoke with a coach this morning and he said that his team isn’t going to have a spring session because of baseball and soccer making runs. It is a good thing to have all your programs playing well.”

Dean also liked the opportunity to get younger players ready.

“We know what Richard McBryde and Austin Ingram and Kenyatta Jones can do,” said Dean. “We have used this time to find out if the guys behind them are ready for Friday nights. Now is the time to find that out, not in August.”

Charles Henderson travels to Smith’s Station for a spring scrimmage game on Friday.

Kickoff is set for 7 P.m.