Charles Henderson Football repeats as ASU 7-on-7 Champs

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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For the second year in a row, the Charles Henderson Trojans football team traveled to Montgomery and captured the Alabama State 7-on-7 Tournament Championship.

The Trojans were joined by teams from all across the state at the 7-o-7 Tournament on the campus of Alabama State on Tuesday. Smiths Station, Purcell-Marion, Sidney-Lanier, Elmore County, Jeff Davis, Murphy, Pike County, Vigor, Billingsley, St. James, Paul Bryant, Elmore County and Carroll were just some of the teams on hand for the tournament.

The Trojans went 8-0 on the day to capture the tournament championship after ending last year’s ASU 7-on-7 as co-champions due to the tournament ending before the championship game could be played because of weather.

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“They did an exceptional job,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said of his team’s performance. “There were some mental mistakes but we compensated for that with our athleticism and our will to get through the mental mistakes.

“The resiliency we showed throughout every game showed that we have the potential to be a very good football. 7-on-7 is fake football but it gives quarterbacks, skill players, defensive backs and linebackers a chance to develop in their own ways, so I was proud of the way we performed.”

At Charles Henderson’s first 7-on-7 Tournament, at Troy University, the Trojans had to deal with a long delay between pool play and the elimination rounds after an opponent pulled out earlier than expected.

“We had only practiced three days before the Troy 7-on-7 but I didn’t think that hurt us as much as having to sit there for so long with a three and a half hour wait,” Hambrite recalled. “We had a long time sitting down and I still think we could have made it further (in the tournament) but this time – with more practices and more confidence – it showed out there for us.”

With a number of players in new roles in key spots, especially on defense, the summer is an important time for the Trojans.

“I think (the new players) are coming along really well,” Hambrite said. “We still have some coverage issues, which is all mental. We have to read our keys and trust our eyes defensively.

“Offensively, though, we’re pretty much in phase with week three or four of the season. We are so deep in our offense we could do anything with anyone that is a starter and they’ll know what to do. Even though we lost two vital guys at receiver, Stephon Mosely and Khalil Carson, we have guys like Kam (Johnson) and Dertavious (Lee) that are stepping up and playing extremely well this summer.”

While the ASU 7-on-7 will be Charles Henderson’s final 7-on-7 action of the summer that doesn’t mean summer competition is over. The Trojans will head back to Montgomery next week for an organized team activity (OTA) at Montgomery Catholic, which will also feature Carver-Montgomery and Chilton County.

“The OTAs are more of a practice, so we get to do some inside run stuff with the linemen and linebackers,” Hambrite said. “We can work on our first and second down stuff and work on some third down and situational stuff, too. Getting them back into a team feel is important after doing 7-on-7 stuff. I don’t like the 7-on-7s because we play (football) with 11, so I think OTAs benefit us more, especially getting to do some of those situational things against other teams.”