Trojans ready for ‘second season opener’

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 12, 2013

While Charles Henderson’s loss to Abbeville Monday night counts in the official stats, the players and head coach Carl Hollis are looking to Friday’s game to get things rolling for real.

The Trojans came up short against the perennial 3A powerhouse Yellow Jackets in the season opener, but if it were possible to put asterisks next to games on the official schedule, it would have one.

Charles Henderson dressed only six players, five sophomores and one freshman for the first game because of the deep run made by the Trojan football team.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I didn’t play but six guys Tuesday night,” Hollis said. “Most of these guys haven’t been on the floor yet.”

Several of the players, including returning contributors John Johnson, Jermaine Parker and Richard McBryde, were held out of Monday’s game due to soreness or wear-and-tear on the body from football season.

Hollis, an 18-year coaching veteran, said it takes a little time to get the players out of football mode and in to basketball.

“There is a lot of transitions the kids have to make,” Hollis said. “You can’t just go from one to the other. It will take them a week or two to get in to full basketball mode. It is a different kind of conditioning, but we will get there.”

The Trojans won the area championship in 2013, besting a solid field of opponents, including former state champion Bullock County.

However, the Trojans will be without the services of two-time Messenger All-Area Player of the Year Tyler Mitchell and key contributors JhKendyall Johnson and Devantez Jackson.

All three graduated in 2013.

“As far as basketball players, no one can compare to the type of player Tyler Mitchell was,” said Hollis. “Last year’s team was better basketball players. Johnson and Jackson could shoot and Robert Lee was always strong to the hole. These guys now are better athletes than last year’s team. We just have to make them better basketball players.”

Charles Henderson meets 3A powerhouse Barbour County Friday night at Betty Wagoner Hall in Troy.

Barbour County has dominated since the school formed in 2000.

The Jaguars have won at least 30 games a season in three of the last four years, and have captured two state titles.

Hollis knows his team will be tested Friday night.

“Barbour County is always a good program because Raymond White is a great coach,” Hollis said. “It is our second season opener, but the first with our entire team.”

The Charles Henderson junior varsity boys and varsity girls will also be in action.

First tip is set for 4:30 p.m.