CHHS football preps for busy summer

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

While many of their friends and classmates are making plans to relax or head to the beach, the members of the Charles Henderson High School football team are planing on going to work.

The Trojans have a packed summer full of camps, competitions and practices to prep for the 2013 football season.

Summer workouts begin one week from today for the Trojans, who reached the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs a season ago.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean said that the short time off is beneficial for both players and coaches.

“We give them about a week or week and a half off to let them rest and recover,” Dean said. “But the time off also lets us get together plans for the summer. You don’t want to give them too much of a break, because anything over two weeks and you begin to loose muscle mass.”

The Trojans will hit the weight room at 7:30 a.m. For an intense hour-long work out session then, after a brief chat with Dean, will head out to the practice field for a full practice.

Dean said that the structure of the practice will resemble the fall practices, minus the contact.

“We will do full group work, have a team session, do some 7-on-7 stuff, work offense, defense and specials, as well as running and conditioning,” Dean said. “Offense will be in one color and defense in another. We will have helmets on, and putting in big time work.”

In addition to the daily workouts, the Trojans will take part in numerous camps and 7-on-7 competitions.

The competitions help programs build their passing game, as well as getting defensive players acclimated to swapping between zone and man coverages.

The AHSAA recently reduced the number of competitions a team can compete in from seven to four.

Dean and the Trojans aleady have their eyes set on a certain few events.

“We were invited to the Gulf Coast Select in Foley, which is part of the National Select 7-on-7 Championships,” Dean said. “If we win that, we earn a spot in the championships.”

Charles Henderson is the only 4A team invited to take part in the Gulf Coast event.

The Trojans defensive unit will travel to Jacksonville State Universtiy over the summer to learn from the Gamecock coaching staff, and defensive guru Bill Clark.

Clark, former head coach at Prattville and defensive coordinator at South Alabama, was hired as the Gamecocks head coach early this year. One of the first hires he made was former Charles Henderson defensive coordinator Chuck Dunn as linebackers coach.

“They call that camp the TDP, which stands for Total Defensive Program,” Dean said. “Coach Clark is one of the best defensive guys out there, and we will learn a lot.”

Early in the summer, Dean said the team will benefit from finally having their complete offense together.

Quarterback Austin Ingram, wide receiver John Johnson and center Xavius Burden missed all of spring practice due to being members of the state champion Charles Henderson baseball team.

Despite missing the practices, Dean feels the trio’s experiences in baseball can help the Trojan football team achieve its goal of a “blue map.”

“Those guys now know what it is like to be champions,” Dean said. “They all called me after winning and said ‘Coach, you were right. This feels amazing!’ They can now take those experiences and help lead our guys, and show them what it takes to win a state title.