Dean: We respect everyone, but fear no one

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, October 10, 2013

For years Troy has been known as a “baseball town,” but Mike Dean feels that it can be much more.

Dean grew up and coached most of his career on the Eastern Shore area of Mobile Bay, where Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish Fort dominate every sport in the area. The second-year Charles Henderson coach feels the school could do the same.

“Everyone says that this is a baseball town, and a softball town, but I don’t believe it,” said Dean. “Why strive to be good in one sport or one thing, when we have the tools to be good in everything. That’s what we (the football team) work to do every day. We want to be better than yesterday.”

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Dean’s message of non-complacency has worked to perfection so far in 2013. Charles Henderson is currently ranked No. 3 in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association poll, and currently sits 6-0 overall, and 4-0 in 4A Region 2.

Despite the perfect record, Dean is still searching for ways to make his team better.

“I am still searching for a complete practice,” said Dean. “Four good days of prep, make for four good quarters of football. It is my job to find something wrong with something at practice, so they don’t get over-confident. Sometimes I blow it up more than it is, but they have to always know they can get better.”

Charles Henderson will be favored in every game its plays until the end of the regular season. The Trojans meet Headland, Ashford, Bullock County and Eufaula in the next four weeks. While the competition level may not be as high now as it was in the early part of the season, the Trojans are still going to treat every game with importance.

“We have a motto that we live by,” Dean said. “It is ‘Respect everyone, fear no one.’ We know that any team can beat any other team on any given Friday. It is our job to get the game done early, and not let teams hang around. Then, you have to look at how you won. Did we make mistakes? Did we block well? Did we tackle well? It’s not all about winning, the game. We have to get better as we go.”

Headland, the Trojans’ opponent tonight, was locked in defensive grudge match against region foe Beauregard last week.

The Rams and Hornets were tied at 14, before Beauregard pulled away in the second half and won 28-14.

Dean knows that Headland can compete.

“They aren’t a great team, but they are much better than they were earlier in the season,” Dean said. “They have athletes, and if we let those guys hang around and begin to believe, we will have a ball game late in the fourth, just like Beauregard did. We have to get in, take care of business, get better in the process and finish the job.”

Charles Henderson and Headland have met just once before, a 73-6 rout won by the Trojans last season.  A win will put the Trojans one step close to bringing home a region title.

The game is the final game of a three-week road stretch for the Trojans.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at J.J. Yarborough Stadium in Headland.