BULLDOGS: PCHS football team prepares for annual match up with county-rival CHHS
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015
The annual Pike County vs. Charles Henderson preseason rivalry game is about pride.
Although the game is a preseason game that won’t count in the official standings Bulldog head coach Fred Holland knows it’s for pride and it is something that his team can take with them throughout the season.
“It’s going to be an exciting game for our whole community and we all enjoy it,” Holland said. “Being able to play in the same community is special. Everyone knows each other and the players know each other. It’s more than a rivalry game. We both look at it like we want to win; it’s a pride thing for 365 days.”
This heated rivalry game has been compared to many things but for senior quarterback Jerrell Lawson, there is only one way to describe it.
“This is the second biggest rivalry in the state, behind Alabama and Auburn,” Lawson said. “We are just eight miles a part from each other. We are playing against friends and family we grew up with.”
The Bulldogs have been getting ready for the Trojans since the start of August, battling the summer’s intense heat.
“We are excited we have had some good days of practice. The weather has been hot for everybody, we are just getting acclimated to practicing,” Holland said. “We are working hard to get ready for the game.”
The Bulldogs lost last season’s meeting with the Trojans 33-18 and although the Bulldogs want to return the favor, they are going about practice the same way they always have against every opponent. When it gets this close to the start of the season, its all about getting the kinks out of the playbook and fine tuning the fundamentals needed to be successful.
“We are trying to execute a little bit better and learning our assignments,” Holland said. “We need to be a lot more focused because of the game this week. We need to be focused so we can learn more and be able to adjust to whatever we throw at them.
Seniors like Lawson who have been in this game before know the excitement associated with such a big rivalry. Holland hopes there is a little bit more drive coming from his seniors this week.
“They realize what is at stake, they know this is the last time they will play the Trojans,” Holland said. “I rely on them for so much, their discipline, and work ethic. They show the younger guys the knowledge they have when it comes to the game.”
The Bulldog’s opportunity to play the Trojans in a higher class helps set them up for their 2015 season on Aug. 28 when they face Goshen.
“What we take from this game is our ability to learn and do a better job at executing,” Holland said. “We will gain more knowledge as we play and I believe that is something that we can use after facing a bigger team. That will definitely help us.”
Kick off between the Bulldogs and Trojans will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Editor’s note: Look for a preview story featuring the Charles Henderson High School Trojans for the cross-county rivalry preseason feauring the Pike County Bulldogs and the Charles Henderson Trojans game in an edition of The Messenger later this week.