CHHS grew up in 2015

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

This was a season of maturity and growth for the Charles Henderson Trojans.

The Trojans finished the season with a 5-5 record and a 3-3 record within the conference and returned to post season play.

“As coaches we always believe that we would always have the highest of expectations, one of those being that the team improves and wins a lot of ballgames,” said second-year head coach Brad McCoy. “Sometimes that is just not the case.”

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The Trojans came off an eight-win season in 2014 and hoped to continue to rebuild the program. The struggled out of the gates early, losing five out of their first seven games. But staring down the barrel of not making the playoffs, the Trojans picked themselves up and won their final three games and securing the spot in the playoffs.

“The main thing was how well the team played at the end of the season,” McCoy said. “We won the last three out of four games we played and those are some things that we are able to take into the off season and use it as motivation.”

McCoy isn’t the only who saw positives in the season.

“We have grown up and I saw a lot of change,” said Trojans defensive coordinator Chuck Dunn said. “As a coach you are proud of that. You always want to win, but I was proud to see the amount of guys that really grew up.

The Trojans played on Thursday night three times in 2015 including a long trip to Mobile to play Davidson, a game they lost 34-14.

“You want to win 15 games, but I think we did accomplish some things,” Dunn said. “There are things that we need to get better on but that’s football. At every level you always have things to work on.”

The growth started when the Trojans traveled to Dalton, Georgia, for an off-season camp that lasted two weeks. The Trojans spent that time getting to know each other and learning a new defense.

“That was two weeks of getting to know these kids and two weeks for me to introduce myself,” Dunn said. “From then until now our team grew up from that first camp until Thursday night I saw a lot of things to be proud of as a coach.”

McCoy echoed that, saying he saw maturity among key players.

“Some kids grow up faster than others, while for some kids it’s a process” McCoy said. “I think we had a mixture of both. We have guys that are in tenth and eleventh grade that are starting. We are going to lean on that experience in the off-season.”

One of the players that had to step up in 2015 was quarterback Noah Lowery. After starting the season as a backup to Bryson Gandy, the young quarterback was relied on the lead his team to a successful season.

“When we went into that second game against Dale County, our expectations were ‘Noah don’t give the game away’,” McCoy said. “I really think Noah went way above and beyond any expectations we might have given him.”

Lowery and the Trojans began the first seven games of the season averaging 26 points per game then averaged 46 points per game in their three final regular season games.

“There are some things that will hang over their head,” Dunn said. “We didn’t play our best game against Demopolis (in the first round of playoffs), but there are a lot of things that we can grow from, from football 101 knowledge to strength knowledge.”

Winning their last three regular season games and making it into the post season should give the Trojans plenty of confidence as they ride into the off season.

“We are ready to get into this off-season,” Dunn said. “The kids will have a break but we are ready to get this thing rolling. There are a lot of good football players in that will be back.”

Dunn is excited to see what the next season brings, both with returning and new players.

“I think we have a really good shot next year to battle for first place,” Dunn said. “That is our goal. We have a bunch of guys that played a lot of football this year. We have a good chance and I am excited for it.”