Charles Henderson focusing on themselves in the spring
Published 12:09 pm Friday, May 6, 2022
The Charles Henderson Trojans closed out their first week of spring football practices this week and are building towards a showdown with Class 7A’s Lee-Montgomery Generals on May 20 in the Troy Spring Classic.
CHHS head coach Quinn Hambrite – in his second year at the helm – was happy with the physicality he saw in the first week of spring despite missing a number of players.
“The kids are really getting after it,” Hambrite said. “We’re missing a few key guys for track but those young guys are stepping it up and making it happen for the most part. We had a physical week of practice and I’m looking forward to next week when we get everybody back.”
The 2-8 Trojans fielded a team with just three senior starters last season and a number of sophomores forced into starting roles by necessity. That “experience by fire” for the young Trojans is something Hambrite hopes can springboard them into success this coming fall.
“We had 12 seniors last year and those guys were significant in us winning the two games we did,” Hambrite said. “I’ll miss all those guys for sure but we only had two seniors that started on defense and one on offense. So, almost everyone is coming back, which is a huge plus.
“The goal is to develop these young guys to be better than we were last year. We had a lot of 10th graders that were out there starting and a lot of them were far away from being ready to play but we had to play them. That experience going into this spring is big, though. I want to see them get bigger, faster and stronger and with 90 percent of the team coming back we need to see maximum execution with everything we do.”
A lot of schools tend to look for smaller schools – or bigger schools on a downward trend – to play in a spring game but Lee is coming off a successful 8-win 2021 season in which the Generals made it to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Lee will return to Class 7A this coming season after two years in 6A.
“My biggest philosophy during the spring is that we don’t want to build a false narrative of who we are going into the summer,” Hambrite emphasized. “We don’t want to play a smaller team just so we can beat them but then the team may or may not be that good, giving you a false narrative of yourself.
“Playing a big, physical team like Lee gives us confidence if we play well and if we don’t play well, then it gives us everything we need to improve on.”
While Hambrite wants to see his team have success against the 5-time state champion Generals, he is adamant that the spring and the Spring Classic is all about the Trojans.
“This game will help build our character and will be a challenge for us, but the spring is not for the wins or losses,” he said. “It’s to help develop us physically and mentally and to help us know what to work on in the summer heading into the fall.
“We want to get better for the fall, not go into this game planning like this is a playoff game. These three weeks are about us and getting better, being disciplined in our system and doing what we are supposed to do. We are going into that game focusing on us.”
Charles Henderson and Lee will play on May 20 at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.