Branson takes over at CHHS

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

There will be a new head coach patrolling the Charles Henderson sideline this upcoming basketball season. Doug Branson will be taking over for former head coach Shelby tuck when the Trojans began practice in October for the upcoming season.

Tuck took over for Carl Hollis in advance of the 2016-2017 season. Now it’s Branson’s turn to coach the sport that he loves.

“It’s very exciting and rejuvenating,” Branson said. “My career started as a basketball coach. That is what I played and that’s what I know. My dad is a basketball coach, so that is what I lived for the majority of my life. To be able to get back on the hardwood and on the sidelines, that gets your blood moving again. That is who I am, a basketball coach.”

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Branson will be a busy coach this school year. In addition to coaching basketball, Branson will also continue to coach both the golf and cross country team.

“I am going to coach all three this year,” Branson said. “None of the seasons really overlap. The end of cross country will be the first two weeks of basketball. Same thing with basketball into golf.”

This is Branson’s sixth year at Charles Henderson and during his time with the Trojans, he has seen them grow and become more successful with each passing year. After making it to Dothan for the regional semifinals a year ago, Branson believes the Trojans have the talent in 2018.

“I think the talent level is solid,” Branson said. “I think there is good youth at the middle school that is coming up. What I think we need to do is develop skills. That is the thing that I am really looking forward to is helping develop skills. The young men are excited about playing basketball.

“The things that coach Tuck was fortunate to do last year, that team got on a run and was able to get into Dothan, that is really exciting and it creates excitement and enthusiasm.”

The younger players are starting to gravitate towards the excitement of the basketball program and that is something that Branson wants to continue.

The excitement isn’t just shared by the players, it has also attracted the student body.  During their stretch run a season ago, the student section continued to grow at a rate that made Charles Henderson’s gymnasium a tough venue to play in for visiting teams.

“Watching our student section grow last year was so fun,” Branson said. “Toward the end of the season, our guys were playing really well and winning basketball games; our students were there and that gym was really loud. To be able to be successful like that, you need a home court advantage. That home court advantage can come from the students and the community being in the gym with that excitement.”
The Trojans begin practice in October and Branson has a simple goal for his players.

“It’s about 1 percent,” Branson said. “Starting October 15 when practice starts if we can get 1 percent better each day, we will have a chance to be where we want to be at the end of the year. We have to handle October 15 and then we have to handle October 16 and move forward through the year. There are going to be setbacks, but if we continue to improve each day we will have a chance to be ultra-competitive by the end of the year.”