CHHS Football competes in Montgomery OTA

Published 10:06 am Monday, July 3, 2023

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Summer workouts continued last week as the Charles Henderson football team headed to Montgomery to compete in an organized team activity (OTA) with three other teams.

The Trojans were on the campus of Montgomery-Catholic to compete against the Knights along with Carver-Montgomery and Chilton County High School.

“We did well,” CHHS Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “We still have a lot of work to do but we competed against some really well-coached teams over there and our guys got a lot of good work in. We got a lot of good reps, I think each kid got at least 20 reps minimum. That was especially good for our rising ninth graders. So, it was a really productive day for our team.”

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Charles Henderson is coming off winning the Alabama State 7-on-7 Tournament last month. While 7-on-7 competition only provides a limited level of competition – and development – OTAs allow for the entire team to compete in what is essentially a practice against other teams.

“We call 7-on-7 ‘fake football.’ It’s not realistic,” Hambrite said. “It’s good for the skill players and linebackers to be able to read their keys but it’s not realistic at all. When a quarterback doesn’t have pressure in his face – or really any running game – it’s not really football. At OTAs it’s a full practice. We get to do inside run, team work, 7-on-7, everything. It’s essentially a full practice but against guys that don’t have the same color jerseys as you have on.

“I know kids get tired of doing things over and over against our own guys and you start knowing all the plays and calls, so you can develop bad habits that way. Going against three other teams in one day is kind of like a ‘head on a swivel’ type deal. You can’t really game plan, so you have to make adjustments on the fly and you’re not building those bad habits by going against your own offense or defense every single day.”

Charles Henderson senior Jywon Boyd committed to Troy last week. (Photos by Josh Boutwell)

Last week, Charles Henderson senior Jywon Boyd committed to play college football at Troy University. Boyd’s coach had nothing but good things to say about his leader.

“Jywon is a kid that has always been a great athlete but it’s more about molding the person,” Hambrite said. “With the school administration and the football, basketball and track coaches, I think we have molded a great person above the athleticism. My wife made the comment the other day during 7-on-7, ‘He’s the most humble arrogant kid I know.’

“He’s not one of those kids where he’s boasting about himself but his aura – his presence – is that he’s the best but he just doesn’t present that as a person. That’s what I like about him. He’s a humble kid and I’m just proud of him making that decision for himself, no pressure from anyone else.”

Hambrite said that he’s thrilled he’ll get to see Boyd play college football regularly right across the street from Charles Henderson, and that he’s going to a program on the rise.

“It’s easy for me to drive 10 minutes to go the stadium and watch him play in college, so I’m happy about that for myself,” Hambrite said with a laugh. “Coach (Jon) Sumrall is doing an excellent job over there at Troy University and has really turned things around in drastic form.”

The Trojans have two more OTAs coming up next week – one in Auburn and one at home – and Hambrite is looking for continued progression from his team.

“I just want to see progression from the guys, especially the guys that have changed positions and our projected starters that weren’t starters last year,” he said. “I want to see progression from the guys we expect to make plays this year. We want to see progression from the young guys. It’s fun to see them develop over the summer and we need to develop those playmakers. We just want to develop our players into the best versions of themselves.”

Hambrite is especially looking forward to seeing the progression of his young quarterbacks behind senior starter Parker Adams.

“We have a veteran quarterback but we also want to continue developing (freshman) Kellen Stewart and (junior) Blake Lowery to build that competition for the No. 2 job,” Hambrite emphasized. “We want that next guy in line to be ready in case something happens and they have to play. The quarterback position is what I’m really focusing on, trying to get the next guy ready not just for this year but next, as well.”