Charles Henderson soccer preps for spring season

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013

High school soccer may not start until February, but Charles Henderson head coach Rick Braisted already has his team working hard for the season ahead.

Charles Henderson is coming off one of the more successful soccer seasons in school history.

The Trojans finished second in their area and advanced to the playoffs where they fell to top-ranked UMS-Wright 2-1 in double overtime.

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Braisted said his team wants to build off last year, and, despite losing seven seniors off last year’s team, he thinks his team has a strong chance of making noise in the playoffs this year.

“Every coach’s goal is to win state,” Braisted said. “I’m not one to worry about wins and losses. We’re focused on peaking at the right time. We lost seven seniors last year, but we don’t think of this as a rebuilding year. We fully expect to win the area.”

The Trojans are preparing for a tough area schedule with a strong non-conference slate. “We haven’t scheduled any schools smaller than 5A,” Braisted said.

“We have games against Talladega, Valley, Northview, Dothan and Enterprise. We’re also going to the Southern Shootout in Mobile. We want to be ready because we have strong area teams in Andalusia, Houston Academy and Providence Christian.”

Everything the Trojans do during the season is preparation for a playoff rematch with UMS-Wright.

“Our area is drawn with the Mobile area for the playoffs,” Braisted said. “We’ll wind up playing UMS in the first or second round, and the team wants another shot at them. We think we could have beaten them last year.”

And for the Trojans, the season begins now. “Right now, we’re basically working on endurance and speed,” Braisted said.

“Soccer is one of the sports where you need to have both. Most of our players are in a weightlifting class, so they do their weight training in school. We’re working on our conditioning right now. We want to be in better shape than every team we play.”

The Trojans first game is Feb. 11.