Local AHSAA teams open fall practice

Published 10:35 pm Monday, August 5, 2013

Goshen receiver Azontae Rogers (right) hauls in a catch over the outstretched arms of defensive back Deangelo Orum. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Goshen receiver Azontae Rogers (right) hauls in a catch over the outstretched arms of defensive back Deangelo Orum. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

While the mid-90s temperatures didn’t show it, football season in the state of Alabama officially got underway on Monday. The day marked the opening day of practice for Alabama High School Athletic Association teams, including four in the Troy area.

Charles Henderson began practice at 7:30 a.m. at the Charles Henderson Middle School facility on Elm Street. The early start time not only allowed for the Trojans to beat the hotter afternoon temps, but also keep the same routine they have had for the majority of summer.

Throughout the summer months, players have reported to early morning workouts and practice sessions, and the trend continued on Monday.

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“Teenagers are creatures of habit,” said Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean. “Getting our kids in a routine, and staying in it, with no surprises is key. They are used to the way we do things, and they know what to expect. Today was just another day for us.”

Pike County, fresh off a rebuilding season, used the first day of fall practice to primarily work on the special teams and kicking games.

Due to AHSAA regulations, the first three days of practice must be conducted in shorts and helmets, to get players acclimated to the August heat.

Bulldog head coach Fred Holland said that the first few days are great to work on the “third phase of the game.”

“We spent a lot of the day working on our kicking game,” Holland said. “You can spend a little more time on it now, because of the no contact period. We had a few first day mistakes, but all in all, it was a good day.”

Goshen opened fall camp with better numbers than in years past, and high spirits after four consecutive trips to the AHSAA playoffs under head coach Bart Snyder.

Snyder, a longtime coach and faculty member at GHS, enters his fifth season at the helm, and is the longest tenured head coach in The Messenger coverage area.

“I have been a part of this community for a long time, and we have the blessing of being pretty competitive,” said Snyder. “I have had a great group of assistants, and we are working hard to keep it going.”

Long-time Zion Chapel assistant Bradley Bowers conducted his first practice as a head coach on Monday, and feels that Rebels can make a push to get back to the playoffs in his first season in charge.

Zion missed out on the playoffs last season.

“We have some tweaks here or there on some things, but the main thing is finding the right guys to plug in the scheme,” said Bowers.

The first games of the 2013 AHSAA regular season is slated for Aug. 30.