Trojans succeed in 2016

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Charles Henderson Trojans ushered in a new era of baseball in 2016. Former assistant coach William Teal took the helm and the led the Trojans to a second place finish in the area and a berth in the second round of the state playoffs.

“It was a good first year,” Teal said. “I made a handful of mistakes that I wish I could take back, but that is me learning. A head coach is only as good as his assistants. My assistants were amazing this year.

“It was a learning experience. There are some things that I will take with me moving forward, but I look forward to the future and what the future holds.”

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After getting past Tallassee in the first round of the playoffs, the Trojans fell to rival Rehobeth in round two.

“It was tough to swallow,” Teal said. “They straight up beat us in game two, but we handed it to them on a silver platter in game one.”

There were a lot of question marks for the Trojans. Former coach Derek Irons left to take over at Oak Mountain and former key players such as Chase Smartt and Austin Ingram left for graduation. Teal believes his team’s 27-10 record was a step in the right direction.

“A lot of people didn’t give us much of a chance,” Teal said. “We were losing Austin Ingram and Chase Smartt …The word on the street was they didn’t expect us to be as strong. My guys knew how to win and they fought and played hard.

The Trojans began the year with a 21-1 and record in 2016. They won the annual Terry Sikes Tournament. Teal admits that when things were going good for the Trojans they were a hard team to beat.

The 2016 season also was an opportunity to say good bye to their senior class, a class that shared in a state championship and one that made an impact in Teal’s first year as head coach.

“I have been coaching at the high school level for three years and it’s always hard to say good bye to the seniors,” Teal said. “This group of seniors was special because I knew these kids for a long time. I felt like they were good leaders on the field and I was proud of them.”

They also saw one Nick Lewis sign a baseball scholarship.

“I think I am going to look back and see how my coaches and I got our guys to play in year one,” Teal said. “I am a young coach and I have young assistant coaches and our guys seem to respond to how we did things. It was a fun year, if I had to pick one thing I would say winning the Terry Sikes Tournament would be number one, especially because of the competition that we had to go through.”

Now with the season at close, Teal will take a step back for a couple weeks before diving rack back into preparations for next season.

“It’s OK to let your guys enjoy their down time and forget about what just happened,” Teal said. “Our guys will be playing in the summer time and I will be around to watch them play.